Thursday, January 18, 2018
Home  >  Features  >  SUPERWEEK: MAN OF STEEL - The MightyVille Review

Joe Kach caught a midnight screening of Man of Steel and loved it. Want to see just how much he loved it and why? Read on!




Man of Steel is certainly the Superman movie I've been waiting for. Or a pretty good start, at the very least. The epic comes out with guns blazing and slaps that fanboy guffaw right off your face.

The film is a tent-pole achievement in Superman cinematic history, and I thoroughly enjoyed every bombastic second of it.

But it's not a perfect film, either.

[Note: I am going to be as spoiler-free as possible without going into specific plot details, but I may comment on things I felt were left out of the film. So if that sort of thing bothers you, you've been warned!]



From the very start of Man of Steel, you can tell this is like no Superman movie you've ever  seen. In some ways, it harkened back to Jon Carter of Mars. There was way more of a sci-fi twinge than I expected, but that's OK, because it made sense. Right away, you see why baby Kal-El is so special and why he'd be wanted by General Zod and his team of revolutionary nogoodniks. It's a bold, new concept and it works amazingly well. Jor-El has a substantial role, and we get to know his character right off the bat. Russell Crowe was well-cast.



Speaking of the cast, let's get that out of the way. Henry Cavill plays a pitch-perfect Superman. The "Clark Kent mask" is not utilized much, so the duality was missing, but it did not take away from the story because that's not what this tale is about. And I'm sure some in the audience loved the full-package on display when in costume. Amy Adams shines as the intrepid Lois Lane, though I felt she was a little under-used. Michael Shannon plays General Zod capably, though a bit over-the-top and hyperbolic in his ways. But what would you expect from a Kryptonian Warlord Zealot? Those of you hoping for him to demand that people kneel before him will be a bit disappointed. Kevin Costner brought a lot of life to the role of Jonathan Kent, and nailed the touching moments. Diane Lane was fine as Martha Kent, but I didn't quite feel the motherly connection between her and Clark. The rest of the supporting cast does an equally find job with their portrayals (including Laurence Fishburne as Daily Planet editor Perry White and Rebecca Buller as the gender-bent Jenny Olsen). I quite enjoyed Antje Traue's turn as the Kryptonian terrorist Faora-Ul; she really shined in the battle sequences (more on that awesomeness later). But it made me wonder why they didn't go with "Ursa" as her name...



What made this movie work? The action sequences and science fiction elements that seem to be a big draw these days (see Avatar). Because to be perfectly honest, it's a bit light on character development. But how much of that do you really need in this sort of movie? Make no mistake: this is not a superhero movie. This is a film about one man's rise against an alien invasion to protect his adopted people. And he succeeds ... in one Hell of a shocking ending.

The fight sequences between Kal-El and his Kryptonian brethren were breathtaking. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it on film. And based on the "ooohs" and "aaahs" I heard from the audience, I'm pretty sure they would agree. There was far more wonton destruction than I expected, but I guess that would be the "reality" of this sort of situation. One scene in particular, a Main Street battle between Superman, Faora-Ul, and another very large Kryptonian whose name I did not catch (we'll call him "Non" for now), was spectacular and will be something that people talk about for quite a while. I mean, this film made it rain cars, literally. I was so taken by what I saw, I almost cried during a Hollywood big-budget battle. This Superman is not just strong, he's also quite smart, using the Kryptonians' enhanced senses against them deftly.



Like I mentioned earlier, it's not a perfect film. I did feel some aspects, both of Superman lore and film-making in general, were missing. We didn't really get to know Clark all that well throughout most of the film. A lot of his story was told in flashbacks that really didn't pull themselves together until one of the final moments in the film, and a heart-warming one at that. Much of the criticism towards Superman is that he is "unrelatable", and understandably so. In some ways, I feel the creators took that to heart and decided to just skip it altogether and go for balls-to-the-wall action. I would have liked to see more of Clark's early travels go more global. My last critique would be that I didn't get the sense of Superman's unifying abilities. I would have liked to see the people of Earth rise up after being inspired by their alien savior, but that didn't quite happen. But, again, this is clearly the first of a series, so I'm sure we'll see that soon enough.

A few pieces to note: I brought up the "shocking" climax, and it's something that I am sure will bother many people. In fact, I see that it already has. But it works, and is the only logical conclusion given all the circumstances. It was such an intense scene that I squirmed a little in my seat. Many people wanted another "warm" Christopher Reeve/Richard Donner-style Superman with winks, smiles, and cats in trees. This is as far away from that Superman as you're probably going to get. Again, this is not necessarily a "superhero" film, and I thank Zack Snyder, Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer, and crew for that.



So, what about the Lois/Clark/Superman love triangle? Well ... let's just say the whole "secret identity" concept and whether or not Lois can tell that Clark is Superman is dealt with (some might say "side-stepped") in a pretty clever manner. One a semi-related note, there were almost as many women in the audience with a giant "S" on their t-shirts as there were men, and that brought a smile to my face more than once.



All-in-all, Man of Steel is an almost perfect summer blockbuster, with colossal action sequences, mind-blowing sci-fi effects, and enough touching scenes to tie it all together. While I did feel there some minor issues, I cannot wait to see where they go with this franchise. I enjoyed this movie so much that as soon as I'm finished with this article, I am going to check when the next showing is.

And so should you.

Man of Steel is now playing in a theater near you.


Who else caught this Super Epic? Let us know what you thought!

More Superman on MightyVille:

SUPERWEEK: SUPER Comic Book Giveaway of STEEL

FEATURED VIDEO: Exclusive Nokia MAN OF STEEL Preview



Comments (2)
  • bjmorga
    Loved this film! I'm not the biggest Superman fan, but this worked for me on just about every level.
  • Joe_Kach  - Three Truths
    Three undeniable truths from this film:

    1. Lois Lane gets to do things that would land any other American in a Federal prison within minutes.

    2. Not only do Kryptonians have accents, there even appear to be some Nazis.

    3. Superman rocks the hairy chest like it's 1979, & I cannot thank him enough for it.

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