My thoughts? I loved Man of Steel. This film finally takes Superman in the right direction cinematically, dropping him in a modern world that is in desperate need of a Superman.
Henry Cavill is everything I could hope for in a new Superman. The character doesn’t need to be dark and gritty just to adapt to modern times. However, I like how we see Clark choose to become Superman instead of getting brainwashed for 12 years by his bio daddy. Along with that, Clark is still finding his footing in this new role, and Cavill embodies that loneliness and confusion in the earlier parts of the movie perfectly.
A big change that I enjoyed but might irk long-time fans is how Superman and Lois first meet. Not to spoil this, but it actually makes a lot of sense given the modern day context of the movie. I mean, Lois IS a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter and not an idiot.
Superman having trouble fighting Zod and his soldiers at first made perfect sense as well. For one, from what we can tell, the Superman in this film had never really used his powers in a fighting capacity before Zod arrived. Two, he has never encountered any person as strong as him, let alone several people. And three, Zod and his officers are all trained soldiers bred from birth to be the best, whereas Clark is not. This made for very interesting fight sequences in both the battle of Smallville and Metropolis.
There has been a lot of criticism of this movie and I can’t help but disagree with most of them. Let’s start with the simple problems most critics had with the film; pacing and story development. If you’re searching for someone who doesn’t know the origin of Superman, you’re going to be searching a while. The film saved us the time of going through the nuances of Clark’s life that we’ve read, seen, and recanted a thousand times over and showed us new scenarios and the people affected by them. I met the fathers of Clark/Kal-El, and while I didn’t spend too much time with them, learned which parts influenced him and the decisions he makes.
Probably the most frustrating and ignorant criticism I’ve heard is “action for no reason”…seriously? The world is at stake. It’s going to be destroyed, and it all happened within a few hours. As much as I would love to see Superman go incognito as Clark for 30 minutes, I don’t really think he has time for that. 8/10