Man of SteelFriday, June 21, 2013
Still remember the good ol’ days when we wonder why he could leap over a tall skyscraper building or a wide canyon with a single bound, where or how does he gets his shave done, flying faster than rocket propelled thrusters but even faster. That all till we gain the knowledge of how the last being from a distant planet, a traveller from beyond the wormhole of stars into our solar system, soaking the solar radiation immensely till beyond human comprehension. Oh yea, he’s back with a bang.
From the comic powerhouse, DC Comics with the brainchild of writer, Jerry Siegel and artist, Joe Shuster brings the titular character, Man of Steel or better known as Superman. First appearing in the 30’s, Superman have grown a huge fan base and not to mention several revamps. From his costume to his powers, they have embodied of what we can hope for the beacon and symbol of hope.
Flying through the years, Superman has undergone various changes to cater the wide audience and in the more recent years, movie adaptation has been successful. Christopher Reeves whom most would remember his portrayal as Superman and having the character associated in his name is truly remarkable. Then along came Tom Welling in Smallville which after a full 10 season, he wore the tights and cape along with some companions which might be a new arc but for now, it ended. While that hit the ratings, another movie was released starring Brandon Routh which some might think that he does share some similarity with Christopher Reeves.
Now another release of motion picture, Man of Steel with British actor, Henry Cavill (The Tudors, The Count of Monte Cristo) playing the titular character which he put many good pounds to bulk up and adding the sizzles hotness, engulf the anatomy structure of his frame work. Helmed by director, Zack Snyder whom previous works brought us the “300” (Yes, the 300 muscular man stand ground on a narrow passage to hell with fame ol’ war cry, dine in hell.) along with producer, Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy which could be a coincidence, considering both from motion picture are DC comics) , Man of Steel have shown promising signs from its marketing through trailer and posters which appeal to many fans out there though it was mentioned that one core element will not make it into the movie which pique many interest on what is it.
In the advanced civilization on the Planet Krypton, they have exhausted most of their natural resources which would eventually lead to the planet imminent destruction. During which a child was being delivered into the house of El, in the arms Jol-El and Lara-El. The scientist, Jol-El from the house of El pleaded to the Kryptonian Council to stop the planet’s core harvesting as the core itself is unstable and it is accelerating the core implosion which would wipe out every being on the planet. The council didn’t agree with his suggestion to migrate to another solar system as it wasn’t in their best interests who prompt coup d’etat by the commanding army General Zod whom blasted through the gates and taking out most of the council members but sparing Jol-El’s life for the moment.
Mocking Zod’s action, Jol-El hastily gets to the main ‘Genesis’ chamber to acquire ‘Codex’, a genetic encoder which contains every DNA sequencing of every Kryptonian and he infused the ‘Codex’ into his son’s DNA, whose given the name Kal-El. Left with little time, Jol-El and Lara prepare the launch for their son’s voyage into a new habitable planet to escape from Kypton’s imminent destruction.
General Zod and troops made his way to retrieve the ‘Codex’ from Jol-El and tries stop the launch but he had failed as the remaining council members along with the troops stopped him.
Arriving shortly after the launch into our solar system, the infant child lands on Earth in Smallville, Kansas which is soon discovered by his would be adopted parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent. The child is given the name Clark Kent and is been adapting to live amongst them on Earth. Due to differential genetic structure and Kryptonian physiology, Clark/ Kal-El’s cells absorbs the yellow sun’s radiation which prompts his manifestation of powers that proved to be hard to control but under the tutelage from his parents, young Clark gradually learns to hone the abilities that initially cause him confusion and discomfort and abilities though having a hard time blending as through a flashback, Jonathan reveals to a teenage Clark that he is an alien, and advises him to not utilize his powers publicly, fearing that society would reject him which some perceives him as freak or something. Hence growing up was a difficult process for him. After Jonathan's death, an adult Clark spends the next several years living a nomadic lifestyle, working different jobs under false names to cover his tracks and hide his identity but couldn’t stop helping those in need during those times.
He eventually discovers a Kryptonian scout ship with technology that allows him to communicate with the consciousness of Jor-El in the form of a hologram. He learns the history of what happens to Krypton, the purpose of the Kryptonian ship which is the relic from their previous ancestry heritage that had travelled across galaxies to seek planets to inhabit, and also the treachery of Zod which lead to Jor-El’s premature demise. As Jol-El briefs Clark on the effects of the yellow sun to Kryptonian’s physiology and presents him a suit which he hopes that it would bring the symbolic meaning on the crest of El, to lead the people on Earth into a future of untold possibilities and peace for generations to come.
Realizing what he can and must do now, donning the gift from his biological father and to explore further on his abilities, Clark/Kal-El sets out to create a new path in his destiny to be Earth’s future mighty protector.
Hot on his trail is Lois Lane, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist from the Daily Planet, whom also discovers the ship while pursuing the story, and is rescued by Clark when she is injured by the ships automated defence system. She had managed to trace Clark all the way back to Smallville by piecing together all loose bit information during Clark’s nomadic travelling with the intention of writing an exposé. Upon hearing his story that lead to his nomadic life, she decides not to reveal his secret.
Unexpected threat emerges in the form of Zod whom was released from the prison called Phantom Zone after Krypton’s explosion inadvertently caused a space rift disruption that broke Zod and his loyal officers out of the prison chamber which traces the a signal beacon from the scout ship on Earth during the activation sequence by Clark/Kal-El. Making his way to Earth and demands that Kal-El surrenders or face total planetary destruction. Unwilling to sacrifice the lives of many, Clark/Kal-El surrenders with certain conditions.
The army is deployed to secure Clark/Kal-El as demanded by Zod.
However this is just the beginning of something much more sinister and with the fate of the world rest on his shoulders, Clark/Kal-El will have to muster all his strength and abilities to save the world while holding on the fundamental core that mankind are capable of greatness and good if there is a guide to lead them towards it. This would be the ultimate test that will eventually shape Earth’s Mightiest Protector, the man of steel, Superman.
In all out honesty, this movie had shaken up certain fundamentals that made the iconic symbol which made many believe in the world that there is good in everyone while tackling the issue of believe and hopes. From the inception of the story that leads to the climatic point, they had managed to squeeze and compressed most of the element that made Superman into the movie.
Both the director and the producer, Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan had incorporate and revised several key elements to make the character much more realistic. While maintaining the element that binds the story, there are several loose ends which could be dealt but it might also be a backdrop for a sequel that was mentioned. The CGI had made the audience viewing in awe as the amazing and breathtaking scenes are remarkable. However there were some items that they could have make do without, is the chest hairs which could use some trimming as he could shave the beard (Spotting the beard during the earlier scenes) but not before donning the suit. Some fans might find it acceptable but some might not, as the suit is seen to have been revamp and the iconic spandex is removed and the powers are tone down in the movie.
Whilst the string of cast in their portrayal of characters is great and Amy Adams as Lois Lane which we think that Margot Kidder and Teri Hatcher still is the “Lois Lane” for Superman but nevertheless, the special effects and action scenes had got us stoked. For the grim and explosive scenes, we got Nolan to hook us up (Taking from the Dark Knight Trilogy) and the never falter attitude from Znyder (Leonidas battlecry), it complements on the overall aspect which breaths a new lease of life into a legacy of inspiration. So wait no further and catch the movie in the cinema near you today.
Till the next review….
David S, Goyer (Screenplay)
Christopher Nolan (Story)
Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster (Superman created by)
Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diana Lane, Ayelet Zurer, Laurence Fishburne.