Rugger Review: Man Of Steel
Summary: On the planet Krypton, a scientist sends his newborn son Kal-el into space to escape the planets destruction as well as the attempted coup by General Zod, thereby saving his race. Crash landing on Earth, the boy is taken in by Kansas farming couple The Kents, and through their love and teaching learns to harness his immense powers. When Zod arrives on Earth three decades later, Kal-el must choose between his heritage and his humanity.
*Mild Spoilers Ahead*
“You’ll believe a man can fly” was how it all began 35 years ago – Superman’s life on the big screen. For in 1978, believing he could fly was the key to creating a successful transformation from comic to film.
How then, thirty-five years later, when we have seen superheroes do the unbelievable on screen, do you reinvent a timeless hero that we already believe can fly?
The answer lies in another comic book character who has had somewhat of a renaissance in Hollywood in the past decade; Batman.
For where it not for Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, Superman may have been stuck in the phantom zone of bad copycats and homage’s (we’re looking at you Superman Returns).
Nolan’s influence is felt throughout Man of Steel, not just in his position as producer, but the influence and legacy that his Batman films have left on the world of comic book films.
Superman is not generally known for brooding and here the big S on his chest might just stand for “serious”. I can tell you what it doesn’t stand for; Superman.
Because Superman here is a different incarnation to what has come before. He is a hero for our age and a symbol of hope (what the S does stand for), an ideal that we all have humanity in us somewhere. In a world of violence and hatred, he is a hero we must strive to emulate.
For anyone who loved Superman as a child, and still does as an adult, you will notice the stark contrast between this and the Donner/Lester films.
Gone is the bumbling, goofy Clark Kent embodied so gracefully by Christopher Reeve, replaced here with a gruff and gritty Henry Cavill, embodying a man searching for answers and trying to figure out his place in a world that is not his own.
For many, Cavill was the wrong choice when cast but as Heath Ledger has shown before, sometimes it requires a little faith that the filmmakers know what they’re doing. As daring as it is to say, Cavill was born to play Superman.
While not getting much of a chance to show us his Clark Kent, as Superman he is entirely believable as both a man and what is to us mere humans a God.
Zack Snyder has not only found the best possible man of steel, but a supporting cast worthy of any Oscar-winning film.