It is 6 A.M. as I write this, and the world – at least the world I inhabit while in uniform – is quiet.
Though not for long: summer has finally arrived and the glorious madness it brings with it, has begun.
The answers I have sought on behalf of my love have not yet arrived. Medical science is maddening in its limitations, but we are in a better place nonetheless.
There is a ray of beautiful hope in our lives and so it is time to move forward. I will update you if necessary, friends, but for now, here is my much-delayed Man of Steel review, originally begun several days ago.
My mind remains under siege, and so my review has been structured thusly.
What can I say? The Hook will always find a way…
1) This is not your grandfather’s Krypton. Not by a long shot. This time around we’re treated to a lush alien landscape teeming with dragons and dinosaurs. “This is Krypton?” was my daughter’s first question and that about sums it up. Personally, I don’t think the departure will bother too many hardcore fans. I’m sure their anger arrived later on….
2) This is not your father’s Jor-El. When you bring Russel Crowe to the party, you give him something worthwhile to do, you let him flex his Gladiator muscles. In other words, you make his Jor-El a warrior as well as an academic. And so Kal-El’s daddy gets a few licks in before Krypton goes boom.
Even after his world is space dust and kryptonite, Jor-El finds a way to bedevil main baddie General Zod – as a hologram with attitude and control over Kryptonian technology. Crowe even gets to share a scene with Amy Adam’s Lois Lane. (More on her later.)
3) Kevin Costner gives Jonathon Kent a whole new mindset. And it works. The single most powerful aspect of the early Man of Steel trailers? A single word uttered by Jonathon Kent.
The elder Kent is admonishing his son for risking the safety of his secret by saving classmates on a sinking school bus. “What was I supposed to do, let them drown?” a clearly-conflicted Clark asks.
Jonathon’s one word answer of “Maybe.” is a major much-needed shot in the arm to the franchise and it firmly establishes the kind of man Costner wishes to present to the audience. This Jonathon Kent is fully aware of just what his adopted son’s presence will mean to the world and he wants to keep his little boy shielded for as long as he can. Costner’s best performance in years by far.
4) Henry Cavill should be proud of his performance. What else can I say? personally, I preferred the disheveled wandering Clark Kent in search of his identity to the polished, confident Superman, but that’s just me. The connections to Christ were a bit heavy-handed, but overall, Cavill was a great casting choice.
Of course, my daughter and I agree that after ten seasons of cutting his acting teeth on television’s Smallville, Tom Welling deserved a shot at the title, but you can’t have everything, can you?
5) A stellar supporting cast makes all the difference. Laurence Fishburne. Christopher Meloni. Diane Lane. Perfection.
6) Forget everything you know about Superman. Never mind the changes I’ve already highlighted, this film turns the established “Big Red S” mythology on its head, loads it into a rocket and sends it to the stars.
In its place is a Superman for a new generation. However, my daughter is a fangirl representative of that generation and she was not impressed with “Superman: 2013 Version”, to say the least.
“This is Superman?” was all she could say.
Personally, I enjoyed this new look and feel, but I’m an open-minded fan and not a hardcore purist.
7) Amy Adams is a terrific actress, but… She’s no Margot Kidder. Or Erica Durance, for that matter.
Adams is spunky as all get-up, but Lois isn’t spunky. Lois is a tomboy with a great rack. Lois is a scrapper. Lois is the girl you take to the strip club – and then home.
I just wan’t buying Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Not for a second. My daughter felt the same and she’s usually supportive of any and all female characters, especially in a superhero flick, but this Lois failed her litmus test.
8) Man of Steel is the superhero version of LOST.
The ABC drama was heavy on flashbacks and this latest outing of everyone’s favorite Kryptonian is no different. My daughter didn’t care for this plot device and many reviewers agree with her. I had no problem with the plot’s time travel aspect, but again, I’m open-minded and flexible.
9) This film makes the Transformers series look like a Bible documentary. Honestly, in all my years of watching superhero films I have never seen so much destruction.
- Smallville’s downtown core – which, let’s face it, is the entire town for that matter – gets pulverized.
- Entire blocks of Metropolis are devastated.
- Even the Kent farm takes a beating.
- To top it all off, it only took three Kryptonians to cause all this mayhem!
This flick is an insurance adjuster’s nightmare committed to celluloid.
10) Man of Steel may not be Iron Man, but it worked for me. Was this film a slam dunk? Not quite, but I loved it nonetheless. And no, not just because it provided me with a much-needed break from my troubles and worries and it gave me a chance to bond with my daughter over the discussion that followed. She hated it. I didn’t. You can imagine how the ride home went.
I loved this film because it represents the beauty of an artist’s vision. This was a Superman movie for a new generation of viewers huddled together in the dark, waiting for a hero to appear and take them on a journey.
And he did.
They may not be universal in their critiques of the final destination, but it’s the journey that counts. Man of Steel presented a flawed Superman, one who is willing to question his place in the world of vulnerable mortals and even violate his moral code if necessary.
No, this isn’t your grandfather’s Superman, kids, but that’s all right.
You need your own heroes anyway.
ONE MORE THING BEFORE YOU GO…
Because I love you all, here is Miss Four Eye’s review of this film.