EDITOR'S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the movie of the week: "Man of Steel." Want to be a film fan? Email email@example.com.
3 stars out of 4 stars
Kal-El was born on the alien planet of Krypton and is sent by his parents to live on planet Earth. It's on Earth that he is given the name Clark (Henry Cavill) by a farmer named Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) and his wife, Martha (Diane Lane). They raise Clark as if he was their own son. Other notables in the film are Gen. Zod (Michael Shannon), journalist Lois Lane (Amy Adams), editor-in-chief Perry White (Laurence Fishburne) and Jor-El (Russell Crowe).
When his world is attacked and humans are left powerless, Clark assumes the identity of Superman and vies to protect the entire human race. "Man of Steel" certainly has its flaws but it's hard not to appreciate the amazing visuals and the effort put forth into making this film the best it can be. With Zack Snyder directing, his take on Superman is fresh indeed. "Man of Steel" also has a nice soundtrack by Hans Zimmer as well as a decently paced story and strong performances. The visual effects are some of the best I've ever seen. The film did a nice job balancing the character development with action and emotion. "Man of Steel" has a cohesive story line and stays true to Superman's fundamentals.
This movie was entertaining to watch and I believe moviegoers and superhero fans will easily find something to enjoy. You should have no problem leaving the theater with a sense of satisfaction and a feeling that your money was well-spent.
-- Isaiah Motz, Lawrenceville
3 stars out of 4 stars
Compared to the original "Superman: The Movie" and the more recent "Superman Returns," "Man of Steel" is a much better movie with better character development and more action. Both aforementioned movies tell the Superman story in basically a linear format where the story is told from Superman's birth until he puts the suit on and saves the day. In "Man of Steel," although it starts with the destruction of Krypton and Superman, as a baby, being sent to the Earth, his growing up on a farm in Smallville, Kan. is told in flashbacks.
The movie borrows liberally from both "Superman: The Movie" and "Superman II" with Gen. Zod being the main adversary as opposed to Lex Luthor. Henry Cavill as Superman and Amy Adams as Lois Lane are an improvement over the actors in "Superman Returns," although you do spend the movie wondering why there is no Jimmy Olsen. The first half of the movie does tend to move a deliberate pace but the second half of the movie is nonstop action.
"Man of Steel" is a good retelling of the Superman legend and the movie is engaging throughout and the action in the second half is first rate. A good summer movie entertainment value.
-- Mark Weinstein, Lawrenceville
3 stars out of 4 stars
This is not your father's Superman movie. And thank goodness. Gone is the campy humor, overdone romance and goofy Clark Kent reporter replaced with a movie that defines a Superman for a new generation. That being said, it still didn't quite live up to its potential.
"Man of Steel" begins with Superman's birth and pending destruction of his home planet Krypton. In an attempt to give his son, Kal-El, a chance to survive, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and his wife, Lara (Ayelet Zurer), launch their son to Earth to carry on the future of their race. In a failed coup and killing of Jor-El, Gen. Zod (Michael Shannon) and his group of villains are banished from the planet. Jumping 33 years forward, we learn about Kal-El, known now as Clark Kent (Henry Cavill), and his struggles growing up with super powers. Director Zack Snyder does a great job showing flashbacks of the Kents (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane), who teach him to hide his special powers as Clark faces different challenges of childhood. He ultimately grows up to become a loner going from one job to another after heroic feats of saving people and, of course, rescuing journalist Lois Lane (Amy Adams). The story ramps up as Gen. Zod invades earth looking for Superman and eventually forcing him to reveal himself to the world, ensuing in a huge battle destroying half of Metropolis.
"Man of Steel" is by far more violent and darker than any other Superman movie. It lacks the humor and light moments of the Marvel movies but certainly has the same spectacular CGI special effects and fight scenes. The 2 and a half hour movie is too long and the final battle with Gen. Zod seems to drag on. However, the end certainly sets up for a sequel that can take the story in any direction. The fanboys loyal to the comic books are sure to love this darker version while other moviegoers will probably be split on it. Overall, it's entertaining, has a great cast and is worth seeing.
-- Ken Gamble, Lawrenceville