Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language. Reviewed by: Dave Release date: June 14, 2013 Released by: Warner Brothers
Man Of Steel captures the authentic comic book essence of Superman's long established mythology. Director Zack Snyder delivers 2 hours and 43 minutes of nonstop action, adventure, and a little bit of romance. Granted, this movie is not perfect, yet it comes really close to the original concept of visionary creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
2013 is the 75th anniversary of Superman's first appearance in Action Comics #1 (June 1938) making this film even more exciting. With seven Superman movies to date; this is absolutely the finest version of them all.
Our newest Superman (Henry Cavill) goes back to his secret origins on Krypton, as a young boy in Smallville, to adulthood at 33. Through Clark Kent we see all of his conflicted emotions. A potential savior with unlimited superpowers, yet unable to use them to help mankind. Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) cares very deeply about his adopted son. He cautions Clark to hide his capabilities from the world for fear of reprisals from a frightened populace.
Enter Lois Lane (Amy Adams) who inadvertently triggers a series of events which leads Superman to finally reveal himself. The film shifts dramatically at this juncture. Phantom Zone survivor General Zod (Michael Shannon) and his minions soon arrive on Earth. Zod intends to capture Superman's hidden codex to terraform and repopulate the Earth with his twisted vision of a new Krypton. Zod first made his debut in Adventure Comics # 283 (April 1961), much later than Lex Luthor, Superman's most recognizable nemesis who first appeared in Action Comics #23 (1940). In comparison, Luthor rarely appeared as eerily psychotic or frighteningly malevolent as supervillian Dru-Zod.
Superman will do anything and everything to save his adopted world. Many great battle scenes, and special effects abound as Zod and second in command Faora-Ul (Antje Traue) keep getting beaten down. Watching them become increasingly frustrated and enraged in their vengeful pursuit of Ka-Lel is a pleasure to behold.
Supporting cast members are also a critical element of the extended mythos. We learn of Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and Lara Lor-Van (Ayelet Zurer). How they placed their infant son in a spacecraft bound for Earth to save him from impending destruction of the doomed planet Krypton. Martha Kent (Diane Lane) lovingly calms and nurtures her son Clark from beginning to end. She adds a much needed humanist element to the film. Perry White (Lawrence Fishburne) is cool and collected Daily Planet editor Perry White. Smallville resident Pete Ross also appears in two small but important roles, preserving continuity along with Lois Lane thereby setting the Man Of Steel up for a definite next chapter.
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