Henry Cavill stepped in Superman’s boots nine years ago and hit the big screen. The anticipation and expectations of fans were high. DC Comics would either make or break it with their reincarnation of one timeless and most beloved superhero.
Nine Years Ago
So, yesterday I wrote an entire article about Krypton and the visual and history it left us with from the movie. Well, Man of Steel review nine years later after its first debut, let’s do this!
The Kryptonian planet lacked a few pertinent details and overall evacuation planning. Looking back on the article, maybe now we should look at the rest of the movie.
Comparing this 2013 movie to all the others made previous to it is an improvement. Christopher Reeve is the only Superman to me, but Henry Cavill’s appearance hit the mark for Superman’s look.
The British actor took the role seriously and worked to fit the mantle. However, his acting used to be limited in the depth a good actor could bring to the character.
Moreover, Superman being a two-dimensional superhero, for the most part, missed the mark on digging beneath the surface because Henry Cavill was not much of an actor.
What We Are Missing
Surrounded by elite actors such as Kevin Costner, Amy Adams, and Diane Lane, making the British actor appear talented worked for most of the movie. As a result, the writers cut some of Cavill’s lines in the script. At the time, it was the right decision, in my opinion.
Spreading childhood moments into the movie was a brilliant idea. It brought tears to my eyes as the casting was so well done it engrossed me in the story.
The touching moments between a mother and her child, a bullied boy stronger than math, can count with the biggest heart possible…it is touching.
Overall, in Man of Steel, we witness Clark going through hard times when his Kryptonian abilities surface one by one.
Bullying A Man Made Of Steel
Some of the best parts of the movie revolve around his childhood memories. However, the other part is how he conceals his abilities by traveling, so no one knows him long enough for the association.
I can’t lie. I wanted the movie to change Clark’s life from a journalist to someone roaming around.
It makes more sense for someone with his abilities, taught to hide them, to not stay long enough in one region to be recognized.
What is remarkable about this movie is how it gives us a peek into Clark’s life that isn’t shown as much in comic books. We witness moments in his life that define him as an adult. The naïve and pure kindness of Clark is breathtaking through Henry Cavill’s eyes which reflected that part wonderfully.
Man of Steel shows Clark moving around and surviving bullying when he’s a boss boy at a restaurant in Alaska. He is often the victim, takes a few breaths, and takes the name-calling and whatnot.
Do we think that making fun of a six feet tall guy with the body of a WWE wrestler is a good idea? No, but again, those Alaskan men had one too many beers.
Clark used his abilities a few times to save people but didn’t stay long enough in one place to attract eyes.
No Glasses Can Fool Us This Time
One can appreciate from the movie how quickly Lois Lane finds Superman’s identity. That was one of the dumbest ideas in a comic book to have your “best journalist” fooled by a pair of glasses.
In The New 52, DC Comics’ writers tried to explain the situation by making the glasses Kryptonian, therefore, changing certain features of Clark Kent so people wouldn’t make the association. But, translating it to a movie without having the purist fans lose their minds needed some intricate work.
Also, making sense of the “S” on the chest is kind of important. In the comic books, Lois Lane is the one that gives him his name, Superman. But he already had the “S” on his chest.
When Clark says it means “Hope” on his planet, I ‘reject that reality and substitute my own’ by classifying it as: it’s a symbol for the House of EL because maybe EL is spelled “S” on Krypton.
New Man of Steel New Lois Lane
Lois plays a more significant part in the movie as well. I never liked Lois Lane. I find her a self-centered superficial overrated b-word who doesn’t deserve Superman. But now we know why he might be attracted to her, a life of being the victim of bullying.
So, Amy Adams, to me, was a perfect choice. I’ve wanted her to be a superhero’s girlfriend for so long! She is absolutely gorgeous and brought softness and kindness onto a character that desperately needed it.
Instead, in Man of Steel, we see Lois as an intelligent and compassionate person. She wants to protect Clark and Superman from the government.
Scientifically Something Is Off
It took years for Superman to master and control his abilities so as not to have those overwhelm him. He grew up developing larger-than-life senses and strength, multiple visions, and flight.
He had a little over thirty years to master those Kryptonian skills. Yet, when Zod’s helmet breaks, despite the overwhelming senses and disorientation he suffers, his adaptation is quite sudden, if you ask me.
The smart move was to bring Superman inside the ship regulated to the Kryptonian atmosphere and livable conditions. It explains his strength and ability to ‘fly’ somewhat due to the vessel having gravity pull way heavier than ours. We also see him cough blood due to the air.
The movie almost got away with a tiny problem when giving Lois a helmet. But that’s to help her breathe, not help her from her skeleton crushing under the gravity pull. If Superman is face to the ground, imagine a human?
For real, Lois’ spine would have snapped like a wishbone.
The Killing In Man of Steel
First, everybody must calm down. The one scene that everybody refused to accept was the infamous killing of General Zod. But General Zod explained that every Kryptonian had a purpose. His was to protect the Kryptonian bloodline with his life.
The purpose of Kal-EL was to become a bridge between the genetically engineered Kryptonian and the people of Earth. That was a new purpose his parents created, knowing their planet would soon explode. Yes, it was a leap of faith on their part, which is foreshadowing for our Superman later.
Following that thought, Zod swears that he would collect the genetic code from Kal-EL and rebuild Krypton to his ideal. Superman had two choices, letting Zod win as he would not surrender or kill him and end the madness.
This moment proved that most of the time, you cannot have it both ways. Extremism at Zod’s level is not something curable by Earth’s means. Superman stopped him in the only way he could to save his adopted world.
The Climax Was Amazing, But The Ending
What did I love about the ending? Knowing that Lois was about a decade older than Superman, You go, girl! Clark working at the Daily Planet? I know most fans loved it, but I didn’t. I mean, did he get his journalistic skills and diploma overnight? Private teaching, I guess?
To wrap it all up with a bow, we have a Clark Kent becoming a journalist and a Superman who doesn’t want to be a boy scout. DC Comics wanted to go the darker road, but they failed a little by giving a shallow speech to make their point from Superman.
The perfect ending was when Superman hugged Lois on his knees. His cries after killing someone first-hand with his arms and hands for the first time in his life were heartbreaking.
That was enough, and there was no need for the ‘happily ever after.’ DC Comics aimed for the darkness of a superhero’s life, and that came across loud and clear. Perfect ending.
My advice to DC Comics: You want to go darker than own it! You want to change the character and make him more relatable? Do it but own it and back it a hundred percent.
That’s my opinion of Man of Steel, to which I give a solid 7.5/10. So, what are your thoughts and score for the movie?
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