Cast: Henry Cavill, Russel Crowe, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon
Director: Zach Snyder
It’s the simplest of Superhero stories, with effective usage of flashbacks in between, explaining everything that could cross your mind, in just one Sci-fi’d adventure. Super-man origins or Man of Steel as it is called is Mesmerizing. A good start to a promising series.
Krypton. A planet, which is on the decline, is on the verge of an attack from General Zod played by Michael Shannon, a rebel who is trying to bring back Krypton again to its glorious days. Jor el, played by Russel Crowe, and Lara, played by Ayelet Zurer, have krypton’s first natural birth after years, and foreseeing of what was coming, they decide to launch him (Baby Superman) out of krypton, with a genetic codex with all of Kryptonian data in his cells, so that one day, krypton might live again. A ray of hope.
General Zod and his army are ultimately arrested and sent to a phantom land to die, but before that Zod already kills Jor El. Since, Jor had taken the kryptonoan codex and put it all into his new born, kal!!
With krypton getting destroyed, along with our Supersman’s mother, and General Zod and his army escaping, superman got delivered on earth. His new home and with new parents in Martha and Jonathan Kent. Growing up was tough, first he had to adjust to the earth’s atmosphere and then the surroundings, where it was difficult to keep his powers hidden from others. But with his father’s consoling words, he finally grows up controlling it all, until one hurricane takes away his father. And a death which Clark could have avoided with his powers, yet just for the sake of not letting it out to the world as that moment wasn’t right.
Living on with a nomadic life, of forged identities and controlled anger he ends up meeting Louis lane, played by Amy adams, the journalist from Daily planet who ends up uncovering the truth about him.
Meanwhile, General Zod ends up locating Superman and makes a deal with the inhabitants of earth to hand him over to him to save themselves, else face consequences.
The story unfolds into what Zod does next and how Superman has to face a choice of getting back his world, the krypton or saving the Earth from Zod.
This whole simplified story, where Superman comes to know about his origins, what ended up turning him into the kind of person he is now, who even after being an alien living on earth has controlled himself into not showing his powers. The reason of it all has been explained beautifully by using flashbacks then and now. Zach Snyder, the director, has made it simple without any sort of attempt to complicate it even by a bit.
In simplest terms, it’s about an alien invasion on Earth to take back one of their own kind and in return destroy the whole earth to establish their own world, as they don’t have any other. And how this one, Alien who has been living on earth for 33 years tries to stop them.
The treatment as I told earlier has been simple, yet effective in bringing out the human emotions and sensibilities attached. Be it the way in which Clark’s dad consoles him or how for his mother, he is that valuable gem. Or how, even in the face of calamity, some men never leave others to suffer.
There is one scene in the movie, where Superman is trying to rise above his limitations, (of being weak in the Krypton’s atmospheric conditions) and on the other a journalist’s boss holds on to her (when she is stuck in the debris) even though there is the greater risk of both of them dying from it. The superman near the Krypton’s atmosphere like condition and the human saving another’s life even by risking his won. This scene, of two different beings, doing what it takes to save humanity will touch you.
Chords like these are what Zach Snyder touches beautifully and makes this origin a wonderful watch, with some really great physical action along with the mesmerizing sci-fi content.
Henry Calvin makes an impressive start to the superman adventure that unfolded with this movie, wearing a suit with undies tucked in (something which is a first), and not just does makes it look great but even explains from where does the suit came from. He brings in the character of Superman with years of consoling, where humility and understanding are visible, to life.
Amy adams, is pretty in her role as the journo from Daily Planet. While Shannon playing Zod makes an emphatic impression with his rage to save his planet Krypton and how he never wanted to kill Kal’s father and how he regretted it. That regret is visible in his eyes, even though it’s being very subtly shown.
But one other person that makes sure he will be remembered is Russel Crowe. As superman’s dad, he shows what a leader is. The opening scenes featuring him, where he fights on the army of Zod, are such a treat to your eyes. The action scenes are wonderfully shot and so are the visuals. Russel deserves a big applause for it.
Also, amazing are the fight scenes between Faora played by Antje Traue, and Superman, the action scenes which she is part of, makes a solid case of special effects making it look real, and making it look fantastic. This German is surely good in action stuff and sure does look hot.
Kal el, or Clark’s (as he is called by his earth’s parents), played by Diane Lane as Martha Kent (mom) and Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent (dad). Both of them do put up a good show. Putting themselves at risk for the sake of their alien child and making sure that he does not go astray. They put that into their characters. Scenes in flashbacks, where the child Clark is depicted as someone trying to break free and where his father consoles him are reassuring.
Superman isn’t some cult classic that is on display here, just a great start to a promising series. Special effects were mesmerizing and dialogues were not typical superhero-tailored. Calvin makes a Superman that realizes his potential and is faced with dilemmas, and is aptly portrayed by him.
It’s good entertainment. Nothing really new here of course, but instills faith in the idea of Human spirit, and even an alien can vouch for it.
I’m going with 3.5 out of 5 for Man of steel, it sure packs a punch and a promise for more to come.