Soooo, I bought today’s movie a while back after it had been out on DVD and had it placed with the rest of the Superman movies. Then I bought Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (not entirely sure why) and found myself in a bit of a conundrum. See, technically, it was a sequel of today’s movie so I had placed it with the other Superman movies. However, both of these movies wound up being part of DC’s new movie universe, so I should probably put it with the “D’s”, but I was honestly fighting that temptation. When I got Suicide Squad for Christmas, I just gave up the fight and went ahead and reorganized my collection so I could place the DC universe together. So let’s go ahead and get things started with today’s movie, Man Of Steel.
The plot: On the planet Krypton, Jor-El is speaking before the Supreme Council and tells them that Krypton’s core is collapsing and recommends that the Council give him control of the codex so he can ensure their race’s survival. Before the Council can say anything, General Zod and his soldiers blast their way into the chamber, killing one of the council members and taking the others prisoner in a coup, including Jor-El when he refuses to join him. Jor-El manages to escape and contacts his wife,Lara, telling her to prepare the launch, then flies off. Jor-El heads to where the codex is kept and grabs it, then heads back to his house, pursued by some of Zod’s men but he manages to evade them. When he gets there, he places the codex in a small ship and asks Lara if she found a world to send their son and she says she has, but is having second thoughts on sending him. When Zod and his forces arrive at the house to retrieve the codex, Jor-El kills two of Zod’s men, then fights with Zod and stalls him long enough for Lara to launch the ship. In a rage, Zod kills Jor-El, then orders his men to destroy the ship, but the Kryptonian forces have managed to defeat Zod’s forces and take him prisoner. Zod and his remaining men are tried and sentenced to the Phantom Zone and as Lara returns to her home, she watches as Krypton falls apart and wishes her son Kal-El to make his new home a better world. The ship carrying Kal-El makes it’s way to Earth and crashes in a field in Kansas. Decades later, Kal-El, who was named Clark Kent by the couple that found him as a baby, is working as a deck hand on a fishing boat when they receive word of an oil rig that is on fire. Clark sneaks off the ship and heads to the rig, where he is able to free some trapped workers and help get them onto a rescue helicopter, then keeps part of the rig from collapsing on the helicopter, but ends up falling into the ocean as the rig explodes. As he sinks beneath the water, Clark flashes back to when he was a kid and he has trouble dealing with his powers as they begin to manifest. After an incident where Clark saves some of his classmates when their school bus crashes into a lake, Clark asks his adopted father, Jonathan Kent, for answers and Jonathan takes him to the barn and shows him the space ship that Clark came in and says that Clark was sent here for a reason. Back in the present time, as the adult Clark is still making his way across the country, Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane is up in the Arctic for a story about a discovery buried deep in the ice and as she heads out at night to take some pictures, she sees Clark and decides to follow him. Clark uses heat vision to make a tunnel to the object and discovers an ancient Kryptonian scout ship buried under the ice. Using the crystal that was with him when he arrived, Clark powers up the ship and begins exploring but when Lois heads inside the ship and is attacked by a security drone, Clark destroys the drone, then tends to Lois’s injury before flying off in the ship. When Lois is found by the military, she writes up her story but her editor, Perry White, refuses to publish it so she leaks the story online in the hopes of it getting back to the mystery man. Meanwhile, Clark lands the ship on an iceberg and sees a holographic image of Jor-El, who explains what happened to Krypton and why he was sent to Earth. Lois Lane begins following all of the stories of mysterious heroics and manages to backtrack them to Smallville, where she meets with Martha Kent, Clark’s adopted mother. Lois goes to Jonathan’s grave, where she meets Clark and he tells her about how Jonathan died in a tornado and he was unable to save him at Jonathan’s request, and tells her how his father wanted him to keep his abilities a secret so as not to scare everyone else and Lois decides to kill her story. The next day, the military spot a ship in lunar orbit just as a drone descends to Earth and broadcast a message worldwide from Zod, ordering Kal-El to surrender within 24 hours or the Earth will suffer the consequences. When word gets out about Lois’ story, she is picked up by the FBI for questioning. After some questioning on what to do, Clark decides to surrender himself to Lt. General Calvin Swanwick on the condition that he gets to speak with Lois and she is set free afterwards. After speaking with Lois and Swanwick, Clark is taken to the desert and is greeted by Sub-Commander Faora Hu-Ul, who demands that Lois come as well and Lois agrees. When they reach Zod’s ship, Clark grows sick from the ship’s atmosphere and passes out, where he has a dream involving Zod and what his plans are for Earth. While Zod sends two craft down to Earth, Lois is placed in a holding chamber but uses the command key that Clark gave her to infiltrate the system. The hologram of Jor-El appears and helps Lois escape, as well as changing the atmosphere to one benefiting humans. Clark is able to escape as well and, seeing Lois’ escape pod in trouble, Clark flies out and saves her from dying in reentry. Meanwhile, Zod, Faora, and several other Kryptonians arrive at Martha’s house looking for the codex and when they don’t find it, they threaten Martha but Clark shows up and begins fighting with Zod. When he damages Zod’s helmet, Zod finds himself bombarded by all of his hyper-senses and is temporarily incapacitated. Faora and another Kryptonian attack Clark while Zod is taken to safety and as his ship leaves, the military arrives and begins attacking all three Kryptonians. Clark does his best to fight off both Kryptonians and save the soldiers and civilians and eventually the two Kryptonians leave, while Colonel Nathan “Guardian” Hardy tells his men that Clark is not the enemy. Clark goes to check on his mom and while he is there, Lois arrives and tells him she knows how to stop Zod. Meanwhile, Zod is informed that the Codex has been bonded with Clark’s blood so Zod orders the World Engine to be released and to begin terraforming Earth into a new Krypton. Clark, Lois, and Guardian head back to the command base with Clark’s ship, telling Swanwick of their plan to stop Zod. Clark flies off to destroy the World Engine, while Guardian and Lois accompany a military squad to the other ship, preparing to drop the ship that Clark arrived in onto Zod’s ship, so that the two phantom drives will open a singularity that will send the Kryptonians back to the Phantom Zone. Meanwhile, Zod flies a ship to the Arctic and boards the scout ship there and while the hologram of Jor-El argues with Zod, Zod overrides Jor-El’s programming and erases him. Clark manages to destroy the World Engine and Guardian steers the cargo plane towards Zod’s ship but as Professor Hamilton and Lois try to arm the ship, Zod flies the scout craft towards them and destroy’s their escort planes. Clark shows up and destroys the scout craft while Faora boards the plane and begins killing the soldiers. Hamilton arms the ship and Guardian pilots the plane into Zod’s ship. The collision triggers the singularity, sending all of the Kryptonians, their ship, as well as the plane into the Phantom Zone. Lois was thrown from the plane by the explosion but Clark saves her and as they land, the two embrace and kiss. Zod emerges from the scout ship and Clark approaches him and tries talking to him but Zod refuses to listen and says that he will kill all of humanity to make Clark suffer what Zod has lost. The two begin fighting, with Zod getting more control over his powers as the fight goes on. When Clark has Zod in a headlock, Zod threatens to kill some onlookers and Clark is forced to break Zod’s neck, killing him, then drops to his knees and cries out at what he has done. Some time later, Clark destroys a surveillance drone that was following him and confronts Swanwick, telling him he is not an enemy of the US but he has to be able to operate on his own terms. Clark then gets a job as a reporter at the Daily Planet, so he can be able to keep aware of what is going on while not looking suspicious for being in dangerous areas, and Lois quickly welcomes him to the job.
Man Of Steel met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Man of Steel‘s exhilarating action and spectacle can’t fully overcome its detours into generic blockbuster territory.” The movie was a box office hit, earning $668 million off of a $225 million budget, making it the highest grossing Superman movie and the second highest grossing reboot behind The Amazing Spider-Man. Due to the success of the movie, Warner Bros. decided to push forward with plans for their own extended movie universe featuring other DC Comics characters in an attempt to compete with Marvel/Disney’s MCU.
Ok, I know that when it comes to comic book movies, it is hard to be objective about the movie and not compare it to the source material. That being said, as far as movies go, this was a pretty decent movie but it lacked some of Superman’s character. The acting was pretty good, with Henry Cavill doing a good job as playing Superman. Amy Adams (Lois), Michael Shannon (Zod) and Laurence Fishburne (Perry) were also good in their roles, but I really liked Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe as Jonathan Kent and Jor-El respectively. I did like the plot and the story of the movie, with the early parts of Clark wandering the globe to find himself being fairly true to some of the modern comics. The special effects were really good, especially the scenes on Krypton, which looked amazing. The big problem I had was mainly with Superman and how reckless they made him in the movie in order to make it more exciting. Let’s face it, everyone knows that Superman is pretty much the perennial good guy and does everything in his power to save lives. As such, he’s not going to go throwing people through buildings and such because he will try to avoid unnecessary casualties at all possible. Character issues aside, this was an entertaining movie and worth a watch.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5