From the desk of Eric Ratcliffe:
I’ve been promising you guys more content so I guess we’ll start with the most obvious seeing as how it’s Superman month and all.Also it’s almost 3:00 am here so hopefully I’m making sense.
We start our story off as Lara-eL is giving birth to her son, Jor-el helping her through it. Of course longtime Superman fans know that this happy moment wont last long and without going into heavy spoiler territory (which I’m going to avoid as much as possible) that happy moment wont last long. We’re soon introduced to General Zod, longtime friend to Jor-el. The two men don’t really see eye to eye much but you can tell they’ve been through a lot together.
In this opening, we see elements of Superman birthright, World of New krypton and I’m sure several other stories that I can’t think of off the top of my head. In fact there are elements from writers like Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Mark Waid and John Bryne throughout the movie.
Russel Crowe completely steals every scene he’s in as Jor-el, one of my favorite appearances of the character is the arc where Jack Knight meets him in Starman and this version of Jor-el is incredibly reminiscent of that. He’s a kind, caring man who honestly wants the best for his people but not at the expense of anyone else. And it’s really interesting to see a fresher take then the much harsher omnipotent version that we saw through most of Smallville. I honestly don’t think I can say enough positive things about Jor-El in the movie.
Amy Adams plays a fantastic Lois Lane who is constantly ignoring everything to get to her story which led to some of my favorite scenes in the movie, both in flashback form and in the ongoing narrative. Laurence Fishburne was a fantastic Perry White as well. I’d say one of my only complaints about the entire movie is that we don’t spend too much time in The Daily Planet. But the way those characters were used I am more then cool with.
I also before talking about the two main leads of the movie want to talk about Christopher Meloni who I actually had no idea would be in the movie. His part is a bit one but it runs throughout the movie and while I hope one day the man actually has a leading role as a super hero, does a fantastic job in the role he’s given here. Been a fan of his acting for a longtime and this just adds to being a bigger fan.
Of course the 2 main actors who impressed me throughout the movie and were the basic stars were Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman and Michael Shannon as General Zod. Zod throughout the movie is flat out terrifying. The man will do anything to get his way and stand for nothing holding him back. It’s really interesting seeing a much more raging version of the character for a modern audience then the classic stoic version that Terrance Stamp once played years ago. Shannon plays him as almost a tragic figure and it’s really interesting to see it. I’d go so far as to put the performance right next to Heath Ledger’s Joker in the way that it’s put on screen.
Cavill of course plays Clark exactly as Clark should be shown on screen. He’s a man who just wants to help people and do the right thing but has to hide all this crazy power from everyone and basically has to put the kid gloves on around everyone in the world. Not to mention he has to keep his anger in check so he doesn’t hurt anybody in the long run.
The themes of alienation as a kid and the loneliness of power are represented well here as Clark struggles to truly understand just who he is and what it means to be human when your dna argues differently.
Oh and the fight scenes are incredible, some of the best we’ve seen in a superhero movie so far.It felt powerful, you could see just what kind of damage the kryptonians could do to our world and just how dangerous of a situation things could turn into if we didn’t have Superman to protect us.
The easter eggs are a lot of fun as well. I don’t want to spoil too many but if you listen carefully at one point, you might be able to hear the classic score at one point sampled. And if you’re a film nerd you know exactly what the wilhelm scream is.
Final verdict: I honestly believe this is right up there with Iron Man, The Avengers, Sin City, Scott Pilgrim and other movies of the last decade which have been able to play with their established characterizations and still modernize/modify things to fit the average movie going audience and still retain the heart of the source material. I know at least a few longtime fans of Superman who will have issues with what happens at the resolution of the film but at the end of the day it really is on par with what the original Donner film did back in the 70’s. This is an accurate and beautiful Superman movie that deserves your movie going money. Sit back and allow it to take you on the ride.