In the 75 years since Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel created a little character that no one initially wanted, Superman has taken many incarnations. What Will Eisner once called, “…crudely drawn,” is now the house that built DC Comics. Now, during the diamond anniversary of the Man of Steel, Henry Cavill has dawned on the cape and taken flight in the most highly anticipated film of 2013.
If director Zack Snyder was the visionary wild stallion, it took producer Christopher Nolan, to grab on to the reins and guide him through the mythos we have come to imagine for the Man of Tomorrow.
Just like Christopher Reeves did 35 years ago, once Cavill appears on screen in full Superman garb, not once did anyone think it was an actor in a suit but rather, “Dear God, that’s Superman!”
As every hero needs a villain to elevate him/her to a greatness, it was Michael Shannon’s portrayal of General Zod that hoisted Cavill past good to phenomenal. Shannon was not only intimidating, but haunting. He has a way of drawing you without ever putting the audience at ease. If anyone should be nominated for a Best Supporting Actor award, it is Shannon.
Amy Adams’ performance as Lois Lane was a refreshing departure from the standard Margot Kidder set in the ’70s, to a sly reporter that uses her talents to get the story instead of intimidation.
The Judeo-Christian aspects of Superman are all there, Jor-El as God the Father giving his only son as the savior to the world as Jonathan Kent, the proverbial St. Joseph, a righteous man who raises the messiah to fulfill the laws of the father.
What Man of Steel felt like was an independent film that has a blockbuster budget. The scenes on earth between the Kent Family, Kal-El and Kansas allowed for an idealized Americana of yesteryear, while Krypton is the future we fear.
Truth, the only problem with this film was the first 15 minutes and watching the destruction of Krypton, which was reiterated for Kal-El half an hour later by Russell Crowe (Jor-El), explaining where he came from, who he was and how he got to earth. This film would have been far more powerful if they had just started with him as the guardian angel on the fishing boat with pockets of flashbacks to tell the origin story. However, the action scenes went beyond making up for any fanboy dissatisfaction. The final fight scene will leave you breathless!
The same way Superman: The Movie did by setting the original bar to measure all superhero films, Warner Bros. not only moved their own bar, but placed it on a completely different plain. From here on out, the comparison in the 21st Century will be, “Was it on par with Snyder’s Man of Steel?”
A sequel is already in the works; the only things now leading up to a Justice League movie would need to be World’s Finest followed by Trinity to build up the anticipation for the ultimate team-up.
Man of Steel opens Friday, June 14, 2013. The Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack should already be pre-ordered by any fan of the superhero genre.