Movie Review — Man of Steel

by Ryan on June 16, 2013

in Anything Else,Pop Culture,Religion

There’s no denying that we’re in the film age of the prequel and reboot – Star Wars, Spiderman, Batman, and countless horror movies, etc.  Zach Snyder’s Man of Steel is an attempt to reboot the Superman franchise into something a little more modern, with edge, grit, and a bit more character depth.  Here’s the trailer:

As someone familiar with the Christopher Reeve Superman franchise (as well as the 2005 attempted reboot) Man of Steel is as solid a reboot that this storyline is apt to get.  It’s almost what Christopher Nolan did with the Batman franchise in his extraordinary Dark Knight trilogy.  We get more Krypton, more explanation about Superman’s powers, more depth into Superman’s main enemy, the importance of Clark Kent/Superman/Kal El to the grand scheme, more of Clark’s upbringing and Earth parents, and his time in the desert snow finding himself.  We get characters we know with those we like and get to see them all develop.  That, and the last thirty minutes is a sci-fi visual spectacle love fest.

Yet, the movie was treated harshly by the critics.  I went in knowing what only that the trailer looked cool and the critics were “meh” on the whole thing.  I left understanding why.

MILD SPOILERS BELOW

One possible reason is that Superman is allegorically Christ-like in this film.  He turns-the-other-cheek often after people abuse him, he helps people without wanting any reward, his life is blurry before he reveals himself (by the way, Superman is 33 years old in the film too), he decides to help mankind without having mankind understand his purpose, and he’s got super powers he uses for good. Oh, and just for good measure, the last straw for the Hollywood types… Superman both seeks advice from a priest and actually admits he likes America.  Shocking!

So, of course, in Hollywood that means that the movie was too long, we miss Christopher Reeve, it’s not romantic enough, questioning Russell Crowe ‘s appearance in the movie, and a host of highly superficial knit-picking points.  Those who loved the film didn’t necessarily play-up the Jesus themes, but still enjoyed the show .  It’s a reboot, it’s not a remake — it’s restarting the story, not doing it over again.  This subtlety seems to escape some critics nearly 15 years into the reboot/prequel era.

Man of Steel was familiar enough to vaguely know where they were heading, but fresh enough to keep me interested in how they were going to get there.  My only major issue was that the last 30-minutes was a bit too much (you’ll see what I’m talking about).  I got a little tired with how many times supermen were getting thrown through buildings.  The special effects towards the end got a little gratuitous.

Nonetheless, Man of Steel is a fresh and interesting take on the Superman story with a real plot line told with shades of a Christ-like figure in Superman.  I give the film a B+.

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