‘Man of Steel’ Review: Not Super… But Good

Man of Steel is finally here! We’ve been waiting to see how well Henry Cavill fills out the suit for what feels like years now, and as of today – our questions have been answered. Henry Cavill IS the new Superman. But there are some problems…

With this reboot of Superman, we start at the beginning. We see the war taking place on Superman’s home planet Krypton, we meet his parents, and we see them ship him off to Earth. As Krypton quite literally falls apart, Zod, the film’s villain, vows to find the child, and 32 years later that’s exactly what happens. With flashbacks to a young Clark Kent to the evolution of that boy into Superman, we skim over the years of Smallville as the film sets us up for the first major battle of the reboot – the showdown between Superman and Zod. There’s lots of little Easter eggs with references to our favorite future villain, Lex Luthor, but they’re subtle and you’ll have to really be looking for them to see them. There’s also a twist to the love story here, Lois Lane already knows who the cute and nerdy (but who are we kidding – super sexy) journalist is when he first walks into the Daily Planet. In this tale, Lois is already in love with him.

So let’s get to the issues… There is some weird editing in the first half of the film with a number of flashbacks and flashforwards that don’t have a seemingly strong transition. I felt like I could hear them in the editing room… “Oh we have this scene… let’s put it in here!”

I quite enjoyed the casting, and even though there is a lot of buzz about how this new Superman is a bit too brooding – I still feel like Henry Cavill is the perfect actor to fill the suit. Amy Adams also delivered a strong performance and probably my most likable Lois Lane to date. That being said I didn’t feel the chemistry between her and Superman at all. Sure, she’s a re-imagining of the character, she’s smarter and stronger – but the romance between the two characters just wasn’t there. And it wasn’t the actors, it just wasn’t written in a way that made you want these two together.

I also would have liked to have seen Zod (played by Michael Shannon) written to be a bit more evil. All of the fight scenes between him and Superman almost feel like they’re playing dress up. All they’re really doing is grimacing and throwing punches that don’t seem to do anything more than throw them across the city or through a building. I realize they both have super powers, but the fight scenes just seemed like action overkill.

Ultimately, more attention should have been placed on plot and character development and a little less on fancy special effects. That’s what made Dark Knight one of the best superhero movies of all time. It was perfectly balanced. And since Christopher Nolan was involved in this script, I did expect to leave the theaters a bit more wow’ed than I was. Dark Knight this movie is not, but Man of Steel is still worth your trip to the theaters.

Grade: B-
Review By: Emma Loggins

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  1. I wanted to love this movie more….it’s Superman. But I agree, not as great as it could have been or even should have been.

  2. I haven’t seen it yet but I have heard that Michael Shannon’s abilities are somewhat wasted on Zod – that he could have done a lot more if written a little better. But mostly I have heard good things

  3. I’m sure I’ll end up seeing it, but I’ll probably wait and watch it at home. I was hoping it would be better than everything I’ve read so far!

  4. I have to agree that the movie was ok. I think the movie was pretty to look at but I guess I like a superhero with shades of grey and superman is pretty black and white

  5. I saw Man of Steel on Friday. I’d give it 4/5 stars. I liked how the flashback scenes were weaved into the movie at just the right time. It was a new way of telling the origin story w/out being tied to a timeline.

    I agree that the balance between action and story was way too heavy on action. Some of the fight scenes went on too long. There was also a scene of two that tried humor but it was too forced.

    I’d definitely recommend seeing Man Of Steel on the big screen in IMAX and look forward to the inevitable sequel or two! Thanks for the review!

  6. Can’t wait to watch it, i am just glad that it isn’t that bad as the one wirh Brandon Ruth in it.

  7. Thanks for sharing all your thoughts with us as well! 🙂 I love reading what you guys think of it! 🙂

  8. I’ve seen Man of Steel twice now. The first time in 2D and the second time in IMAX 3D. Agree that 3D isn’t necessary.
    Although, if you can see it in IMAX it’s definitely worth it.