Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wide Tube 2.0: Man of Steel

Got a chance to watch Man of Steel two days after it was first released. Thanks to a special screening ticket I acquired months ago from an office colleague.

After Marvel comic's Iron Man 3 last May, Man of Steel was the next anticipated movie to hit the big screen. It is also this year's DC Comic's superhero movie adaptation after the Dark Knight Rises ended Christopher Nolan's trilogy last year. He also lent his creative talent for this movie as one of the story writer.

With Nolan on the creative board, this hints that this reboot of the Superman movie franchise might share the cinematic universe with the Dark Knight story line and eventually lead to a live movie adaptation of Justice League. But this is just still speculations and let's hope this can be true.

Man of Steel re-tells the origin of Superman suited for this modern times. It begins with back story of where Kal-El (Henry Cavill) came from. The viewers are introduced to Jor-El (Russell Crowe) as he prepares for the inevitable destruction of planet Krypton. Audience gets a better idea who he is and not just Superman's birth father as compared to the 1978 film which just shows him (Marlon Brando) sending his son to the outer space to save from impending planetary doom.

We also had a better understanding who General Zod is and his close relationship with Jor-El. This gives the audience who are not familiar with the comics a better idea of these characters. 

Another thing I noticed is that Jor-El was more seen through out the film as compared to Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner). Clark's adoptive father was only shown from flashback scenes which contributed a lot on how will the then young superhero be able to adjust to the world as he discovers his true identity. While Jor-El can be seen through out the film especially when his AI was activated on the Kryptonian scout ship when Clark found it.

There are scenes he was saving people from but he was not yet in costume that time. In this Zack Snyder's adaptation, Clark saves people prior to becoming Superman or fully embracing his destiny as Superman.

As compared to previous films where he usually helps people from disaster when in costume was greatly reduced. The movie instead have focused on the battle against Zod's minions and the military.

Amy Adams was completely different in portraying Lois Lane compared to her predecessors such as Kate Bosworth and Margot Kidder. Her version of Lois Lane is tougher and stronger. Adams' portrayal of Lois is no longer just a damsel-in-distress type but rather a strong character that can assist Superman.

Michael Shannon was able to bring the character of General Zod to a new level. Having a bad-ass villain with the same powers Superman has and taking only a short time to master them is a formidable enemy. Too bad that he's totally gone.

One thing that struck me is the finale of the battle between Superman and Zod.This is a first time in a movie that Superman has to kill someone. I am not sure if this can be justified by the fact that the latter is trying to kill some people. This might affect how the storyline will be in the sequels of the movie. I remember in the comics that when Superman; especially if an alternate universe version, takes matter into his own hands, something bad is about to happen like in the case of Injustice: Gods Among Us. I hope that Zack Snyder has a good reason for allowing Superman to kill somebody.

I made some list of the items that I caught my attention during the course of the movie (Warning! This might contain spoilers or key points for the movie):

  1. This movie adaptation is reboot of Superman (1978) and mostly Superman II (1980) where the main plot was to battle Zod (Terrence Stamp) when they escaped phantom zone.
  2. Lois Lane used Nikon D3S in the movie. (That's one point for Nikon fans and I am one of them). I hope that the broken one is just a replica of the camera since it's not that cheap.
  3. Clark Kent only works at the Daily Planet after all the events in the movie unlike on previous films.
  4. Daily Planet's Editor-in-Chief should be Perry Black and not Perry White since Lawrence Fishburne was  the first African-American to play the character in a movie.
  5. Jimmy Olsen, the Daily Planet's photographer is not included on this movie adaptation.
  6. As mentioned by the film makers, no kryptonite made an appearance in the movie.
  7. Sometimes having no cape looks cooler such as Zod when he removed his armor. This movie proved that capes can be hazardous to superheroes.
  8. Superman's arch-nemesis Lex Luthor does not appear in this movie. But LexCorp logo was seen on a truck during the battle at Metropolis and is hinted that he might appear in the sequel.
  9. Wayne Enterprises logo was seen on a satellite during the outer space battle between Superman and General Zod. This gives us a large possibility of shared universe with Nolan's Batman storyline.
  10. The Fortress of Solitude on this movie adaptation is a Kryptonian scout ship that crash-landed thousand of years ago. This shows how advance Krypton was and also indicates that Kal-El was purposely sent to Earth and not by  accident.
  11. I am wondering how much did 7-11 paid for movie placement?
  12. This is one movie that I shows a lot of destruction of properties. The damage done to Metropolis by the world engine, and not yet including to that Smallville, Kansas, is far more greater compared to the Battle of New York in The Avengers. 
For my personal rating, I will give Man of Steel 7 out of 10. The movie was good but some of the elements I was expecting from a Superman movie was not met. But I will be waiting for the sequel and the possibility of Justice League movie in the future.

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