The time has finally come to see the newest film in the DC Comics Universe of Warner Bros. Pictures. We all know just how unsuccessful The Green Lantern was in theaters, so no need to discuss this further. Last year, we saw the ending to an incredible trilogy dedicated to Batman from the brilliant mind and vision of Christopher Nolan. It is only a matter of time before we find out how future films of the dark knight will be brought to life on the big screen again. However, in the mean time, we have anxiously waited for the newest film dedicated to Super Man. It is no surprise that disappointment summarizes what many felt about Bryan Singer’s Super Man Returns. Therefore, a new film dedicated to this iconic super hero with a different approach was inevitable. A solid film like this is what it will take to expand the number of films under DC Comics since the Batman franchise has been holding it on its shoulders for the last decade at least. When it comes to films in the super hero genre, Super Man always has a special place within that genre because he truly is the perfect example we have of a super hero in films.
To say that I was shocked to see the rotten rating this film received on Rotten Tomatoes, (57% currently), is an understatement. I truly believe that people are giving that rating much more value than what it really is. There is a strong point to be made when people really love and enjoy a “rotten” rated movie; and the same can be argued when people watch a “fresh” rated movie and simply hate it. If beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, the same should be said about films. As an art form, we should all see a movie for ourselves and make our own conclusions. How can we judge a film just based on the opinions and negative commentary of others? Furthermore, if you truly are a fan of this iconic super hero and the long-lasting history of his character in films, then you will make an effort to see the film regardless of what the critics and people are saying. The fact that this is a new film with a new approach should tell you that there is much more to come from this film even though the certainty of a sequel isn’t exactly understood. From an origins story perspective, this is in a similar league with Batman Begins. There are many answers at the conclusion, but there are also many questions that raise interest in what this caped-hero will do in the next film.
Are there flaws in this film? Yes. It is not the perfect film that we all were expecting for Super Man. However, that does not mean that it has no strengths that keep this from being another summer blockbuster hit at the movies. Behind all of the action, CGI, and effects, there is a heart that beats strongly in this film. There is no question that we know who Super Man is. The more pressing question to ask is what do we know of the man wearing the suit? I have to assume that there is a feeling of excitement and nervousness in an actor when you are given such an iconic role in a movie. From the public’s perspective, there is an enormous amount of pressure placed on that actor to deliver the goods that we have come to love from this Kryptonian hero. However, every actor that delivers such roles has his own agenda so to speak. It his job to take this character and bring him to life in his own way. Henry Cavill is the latest actor to play this iconic role, and he definitely left a very lasting impression. While his physical characteristics fit in the suit just fine, it is the personal aspect of his character that make him stand out most of all. It is a remarkable achievement when you can show the audience the human side of a man that is incredibly out of this world in terms of his strength and abilities. It is not the incredible feats of strength of these super heroes that impress, it is the small, heartfelt things that they do that make you cheer for their victories and feel their pains. There is no question that they do feel pain. It is the hope that they inspire in humanity that earns them their super hero title.
Perhaps it is a coincidence that Man of Steel is being released on Father’s Day weekend when there were such huge roles of father figures in this film. In contrast to Batman, who was devastated by the loss of his parents, Super Man had the fortune of having two fathers. Both of them had a tremendous influence in his life, and on the man that he would become. The casting of Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner was perfect. Aside from the similarity of being fathers, they are two characters that are very well developed in the film. The development of the story is done in such a way that you can appreciate how they played a role in the development of Super Man the hero of Earth. In stark contrast to the the warm, father figures in the film, the cold villain is played wonderfully by Michael Shannon. Even though it is his first time in a comic book film, he was very much a worthy adversary to Super Man’s size and strength. Not only did he look the part of a ruthless villain, but he possessed the right combination of physical and mental strength to challenge Super Man in a number of battles. This is one of the trademarks of great super hero films: a worthy adversary that is both strong and challenging.
You can’t say enough about the cast in this film, especially about the role of Lois Lane played by Amy Adams. She is much more than a damsel in distress as she plays a key role along side Super Man throughout the film. I would say that in addition to Cavill, she is another actress that should be kept for the sequel as she has great on-screen chemistry with him. It has been quite a long time since we were last able to appreciate a series of Super Man films; we have to go back to the times when he was played by Christopher Reeve. There is no question that Zack Snyder wanted to emphasize the action sequences as there are many throughout the movie, but going forward, you just have to wonder how much emphasis will be placed on the story and dialogue. It is very easy to assume that there is no heart in the film when there is so much action and CGI effects going on, but there is also a strong commitment to the emotional aspect of Super Man’s heroism. This is a great start to what I hope will be the process of releasing more films under DC Comics at Warner Bros. Studios. The promise of a Justice League films depends on how well this film is received. Regardless of the negativity you may have heard, this is a film that gives you a reason to believe in Super Man again!