labe- Man of Steel (2013) becomes its own kryptonite - Oh So Geeky

Man of Steel (2013) becomes its own kryptonite

Reasons why you might not agree with me:
  • I'm not well-versed in comic book histories
  • I hated loathed abominated The Avengers
  • remains slightly disinterested in its related franchise films
  • really loved Christopher Nolan's Batman series (which once loved now receives backlash)
Something about two hour films of superheros making each other feel uncomfortable with forced humorous one liners in an undetectable plot just isn't my bag. So you may have to excuse that despite the fervent audience dislike for Man of Steel, I'm once again going against the grain to say that I really liked it.

Excluding the obvious eye candy, I came out loving Man of Steel because the tale of Superman is a dramatic one; not the usual self-deprecating yet realistic take other blockbusters do.

The first half of the film builds Clark's struggle with his identity and connects it to his relationships with his fathers - his real one from the planet of Krypton Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and adoptive one from Earth Joe (Kevin Costner).

Opening the film with Clark's birth, the planet is facing imminent self-destruction. Placing his final hope into his son, Jor-El infuses Clark with a genetic code of the entire Kryptonian race and sends him to Earth for their race's sole survival. His ideal is that Clark will change the world he will soon be apart of. Throughout the film after Krypton is destroyed, Jor-El guides Kalel to understand he can be both honorably human and Kryptonian, and never fear to show who he is and guide another planet to safety.

When the planet is ultimately destroyed and Kalel has been safely catapulted to Earth, we begin to see how Clark is raised by his adoptive parents, Joe (Kevin Costner) and Diane (Diane Lane).

Told in flashbacks, we see how Clark spent his youth saving those in peril - a young woman getting hit on in a bar, a school bus full of his classmates that skidded off a bridge and into a lake. When he could have easily beat the pulp out of the guy in the former, or could have let the bus sink to save his own skin in the latter, Clark battles against his powerful intuitive connection to rescue.

Both parts of these relationships are told in a way that we are not spoonfed how Clark creates the iconic blue and red suit. Neglecting the "let's see how the group bands together against evil" ploy, Clark is trying to figure out how he bands his indestructible powers to his human sense of morality.

In his adulthood, Clark has jumped from job to job, any place where he can keep his head low. On an archaeological dig in the Artic, an alien ship has been found by the government. Reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams) from The Daily Planet goes to the exhibition site to investigate, where she is the sole witness to Clarks' superpowers.

Clark's identity is not only known to Lane. Hailing from the regions of Krypton villain General Zod has trailed Clark to Earth hunting down the genetic codex. Threatening the human race to turn over Superman, Earth will face complete destruction. In Metropolis, Clark is forced to own up to his identity to save mankind and battle Zod.

The second act of the film is dedicated solely more on the battle between General Zod (Michael Shannon),  love interest Lois Lane (Amy Adams), and the complete transformation of Clark into Superman.

For me, comic book blockbusters have become a generic genre of shoveling realistic yet self-deprecating tales of superheros. Man of Steel breaks a lot of rules. More than a summer popcorn flick, it comes across more as an observational-styled film about the origins of an iconic superhero.

Man of Steel isn't perfect. Considering Zac Snyder's reputation with spartan blockbuster 300, and flops of Sucker-Punch and Watchmen, he has finally at least mastered to use slow motion sparingly. The CGI proves to be extraordinary. Seeing Superman fly around Earth and the battle scenes between him and General Zod are some of the crispest cinematography of the year. There are some disappointments with the plot choices everyone online has become irate about, but I tend to see them in a different light and won't go on about them here.

If you can get past the dramatic turn of Superman's world, I thought there was plenty to enjoy. From Henry Cavill's genteel yet powerful Clark Kent to Michael Shannon's malicious General Zod, and the supporting actors like Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe, and Amy Adams, the rest of the film is quite fun.
Rating: ★★☆

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