Man of Steel: Movie Review

Are we disappointed with the "Man of Steel"? On one end, the film succeeds in making strong connections on the emotional front. A film that deeply looks into the psyche of a non-human, of an outsider, of a hero in-the-making and what it takes to ultimately become Superman. Sadly, on the other end of the spectrum, we find a film lacking originality, of scene upon scene devoid of any connections, of characters being left out and under-developed. "Man of Steel" turns out disappointing because it could have been more but what we get is a generic re-telling of one of the biggest (if not the biggest) superhero ever conceived.

As Krypton is on the brink of destruction, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) devises a plan to save his just-born son Kal-El from death. He sends the baby boy to Earth with the hopes that one day, his son will serve as a guide to the young dwellers of the planet. Years after that event, Kal-El or known as Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) struggles with the ultimate question - Why am I here? Shaped by the values of his adoptive parents Martha (Diane Lane) and Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner), Clark soon discovers that having super abilities means making very difficult decisions. But when the world needs stability the most, it comes under attack. Will his abilities be used to maintain peace or ultimately used to divide and conquer? Clark must become the hero known as "Superman," not only to shine as the world's last beacon of hope but to protect the ones he loves.

"Man of Steel" has the makings of becoming one of the biggest superhero films ever made. What we eventually get is a glimpse of that potential. Although this is the case, this doesn't mean that it was a bad film. In fact, what we do get is an incredible watch - one that fully explores the mythology and making of Superman like nothing before. The film starts off with Krypton - with a rather lengthy look into the planet, its inhabitants and the struggles of a population on the grips of their forthcoming and unavoidable demise. This sets a tone that the film is onto more depth and depth is what we get all throughout. In fact, the biggest asset of the film is the emotional connection of Superman with his two fathers. These are relationships that will deeply influence his decisions if he shall reveal himself to the world or not and if humanity is even worth saving. So strong are these emotional connections that we felt it as viewers and even shed a tear or two at times. Another thing that truly stands out is the narrative style the film takes. The non-linear nature and how the present reveals key aspects in Superman's past is something we appreciated.

Unfortunately, as much as the film focuses on Superman and the immediate family around him, less time is actually spent on the other characters involved in this new origin story - there's just too many people being introduced at times. Even the love story angle between a significant character feels half-baked and completely unnecessary. But the biggest culprit of all is that the film simply feels generic. Yes, the film may take a slightly different approach, but in the end, it just lacks originality. Additional minor grievances like questionable logical problems (most notably concerning one of the villain's eventual survival) and the tedious fight scenes add more to the film's less than stellar turnout. Overall, "Man of Steel" is probably the greatest Superman adaptation on the big screen but it is not the best superhero film we have seen. Still, a great watch that could have been bigger, better than its current state.

Rating: 4 reels

Why you should watch it:
- focused on the Man of Steel's origin
- solid acting especially by Michael Shannon
- we didn't expect this to be emotion-filled but it is

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- too many characters
- fight scenes are eventually too tedious and repetitive for our taste

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