Soaring into Movie Theaters
Hollywood has set its sights on summer as the time to release most of the yearís high energy, superhero fantasy, and action-packed movies. Thatís why attending any of these films is a lot of fun, especially since viewers seem revved up before the first frame of the movie even appears on screen.
This was what I experienced when attending the pre-screening for Man of Steel, the latest Superman flick. At the beginning of the film, I first thought it was a trailer for another movie, then realized the story starts on the planet Krypton where Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and his wife Lara (Ayelet Zurer) are expecting a baby to be born at any minute.
What turns into a wondrous time (with lots of awes from the audience after seeing the baby) soon becomes reality for Jor-El. Heís Kryptonís primary scientist and has seen the future for Krypton. Knowing it will soon be destroyed, he has created a vessel/rocket to place his son Kal-El (played as an adult by Henry Cavill ) in to travel to Earth.
Most Superman fans know this story. General Zod (Michael Shannon), Kryptonís military enforcer, wants revolution. He fails to stop the vessel from leaving, and as the planet blows up, Zod ends up in somewhat of a safe zone.
The baby lands in the farm yard of Martha and Jonathan Kent (Diane Lane and Kevin Costner). The Kents name the baby Clark and raise him to a grown man. They learn where he came from and even about his super powers. At one point Dad even warns him about avoiding those who want to steal his powers or destroy him.
At this point in the film itís time to get into the danger zone. Out comes the U.S. military assigned to capture or destroy this man who has potential to do evil. Hot on that trail is Lois Lane (Amy Adams), reporter for (yup, you guessed it) The Daily Planet.
David S. Goyerís (Batman: Gotham Knight) screenplay then becomes a kaleidoscope of events catching up with Clark in current times as he tries to fit in without using any of his powers but always ending up doing just that. It also time travels through segments of his life on the farm. Thereís plenty of military gunfire, explosions and destruction but also moments when the chemistry between Lois and Clark goes from almost rabid to tender.
The film becomes a huge spectacle in New York City when General Zod arrives intent on destroying Earth. Thereís a scene showing a tall building melting to the ground, which cemented the idea that many did not make it out of the building. This bad reminder of 9/11 upset me. I think it was insensitive on the filmmakerís part.
The cast does a fine job, and if Cavill (Immortals, The Tudors) sticks around, he might make a good future representative of the Man of Steel.
Unfortunately, the end of Man of Steel goes on and on with one battle after another, and I found that tedious. So were the big, heavy 3D glasses. However, I didnít wear them during the entire film and saw 95 percent of it just fine.
(Released by Warner Bros. and rated "PG-13" for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language.)
Review also posted at www.reviewexpress.com.