After recently posting my excitement over the release of Superman reboot ‘Man of Steel’, I’m delighted to report that its one hell of a film.
In many ways it is a film of two halves with the first introducing us to Kal-El aka Clark Kent and many other aliases before really cutting loose in the second half with action literally make your jaw hit the floor.
We begin on a dying Krypton where Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and his wife Lara-El agree to send their newborn child (no prizes for guessing who that is) to the far reaches of the galaxy away from the poisonous grip of corrupt military leader General Zod.
With the power of flashbacks which play out in a similiar way to Batman Begins (Goyer and Nolan’s influence surely), we see Clark as young boy in his junior years with glimpses of his powers.
In these scenes Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Clark’s adopted father, really comes the fore. Sympathetic and without judgement he treats Kal-El as one of his own and in keeping his darkest secrets makes the ultimate sacrifice.
It’s strange but in ‘that’ scene, no dialogue is required just a simple nod of the head tells you all you need to know. It’s truly heartbreaking, but again adds another layer to a character many myself included thought would play a minor role.
After Kal-El accidentally triggers a beacon to a long lost Krpytonian ship, General Zod is back on the hunt for what is the last of his kind outside of his army; who may just have the key to a new beginning of Krypton.
Zod (Michael Shannon) although ruthless does have method and a plan, he is just so forthright and straight down the middle he cannot see the sacrifices that would be required to make his plan a reality.
This is where Kal-El differs from his adversary having spent 33 years on Earth he has grown compassion and feelings beyond the narrow minds of his former planets inhabitants.
Let’s just say they don’t really agree on a number of things which lead us into the second act as Zod and his troops aim to harvest Earth and wipe Kel-Al off the planet.
The ‘Battle of Smallville’ as it has been coined is a truly wonderful spectacle of destruction, as our hero battles Zod’s troops through pillar and post.
Backed up by Hans Zimmer’s truly thunderous score these scenes take on a life of their own, and the rollercoaster just keeps on going right through until the finale.
You can see the influences of Goyer and Nolan throughout the film but this is very much Snyder’s film in what could be titled Superman Begins. We see Kal-Al’s evolution throughout, from gaining ‘the suit’, understanding its meaning before really revelling in his role as Earth’s saviour.
With fantastic performances from Henry Cavill, Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner, this is Avengers scale action with a story worth watching, just nobody call him Superman.