Review: Man of Steel

The origins of DC Comics’ iconic hero are redefined and reimagined in the new adventure “Man of Steel.”

Superman returns to the big screen in visually stunning fashion in the new film, “Man of Steel”

Director Zack Snyder (“300,” “Watchmen”) delves deeper into the origins of the last son of Krypton and the path he takes to become Earth’s greatest defender.

Clark Kent, played by Henry Cavill (“Immortals”), is off the farm he was raised in Smallville Kansas and is adrift in the world trying to find answers as to how he has such extraordinary abilities, ranging from super strength, invulnerability, heat vision, x-ray vision, and why he was sent to Earth to be raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent, played by Academy Award winner Kevin Costner (“Dances With Wolves,” “JFK”)  and Academy Award nominee Diane Lane (“Unfaithful,” “Under the Tuscan Sun”).

During Clark’s upbringing, the Kent’s helped him hone and develop his abilities and urged him to keep his powers a secret, in fear that the world was not ready to know who Clark is or what he is capable of.

Once Clark was old enough to leave the farm, he travels the world to try and find answers to his origins and he finds the answers he was looking for and more when he stumbles onto an alien spaceship buried in ice. Through activating the ship’s system, he comes across a hologram of a man named Jor-El, played by Academy Award winner Russell Crowe (“Gladiator,” “A Beautiful Mind”).

You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall but in time they will join in the sun. In time Kal-El, you will help them accomplish wonders.”-Russell Crowe as Jor-El

Jor-El happens to be Clark’s biological father and a scientist of the destroyed planet Krypton. He and his wife Lara, played by Ayelet Zurer (“Angels and Demons”), decided to save their son from Krypton’s impending apocalypse by sending him in a spaceship bound for Earth.

Jor-El also warns his son about a Kryptonian named Zod, played by Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road,” “The Runaways”), and his legion of soldiers who are on their way towards Earth and they don’t share Clark’s interests in living amongst the humans in peace.

Michael Shannon is ruthless as General Zod

Zod will stop at nothing to claim Earth as the new Krypton and it is up to Clark, or as he is known on Krypton “Kal-El”, to defend his adopted homeworld with the help of a few humans, including Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane, played by Academy Award nominee Amy Adams (“Doubt,” “The Master”).

“Man of Steel,” is a bold and unique adaptation into the origins of Superman and it offers audiences a different flavor of super hero genre but at the end of the day, it is slightly above average.

Credit should be given to Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer (“The Dark Knight Trilogy”) for penning a fresh and original story for Superman’s beginning for there are a lot of liberties taken in this movie, but the plot is, at times, overshadowed by the astounding visual effects; a calling card for a typical Zack Snyder motion picture.

The acting is pedestrian at best. Michael Shannon’s interpretation of Zod is menacing but no one in the cast truly stepped up and put a stamp on their roles.

The direction of the film is marginally standard. Snyder had all of the elements to make “Man of Steel,” stand out from the rest of the blockbusters but unfortunately, it underachieves.

This is a movie good enough to see for it offers a new perspective on the Superman legacy, intense action scenes and great visual effects, but it is simply satisfying rather than groundbreaking.

“Man of Steel” is a film that doesn’t have enough power to soar, but it glides nicely and has decent entertaining value enough to see on the big screen.

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