Man of Steel: a fresh take on a classic character
Man of Steel has been getting a lot of flack from critics so far. While the movie is far from perfect, and I understand where the critiques are coming from, I feel they're not entirely grounded.
You have to consider that the majority of the movie going audience is not comprised of avid comic fans. Their only understanding of the character is that presented in the TV shows and movies up until this point. If you walk into this film expecting the bright colors and optimism of the Richard Donner/Christopher Reeve films (or the Singer/Routh love letter), you're going to be disappointed. Those movies brought something to the character that hadn't been seen before, and they deserve our respect. They should not, however, be the definitive version of the character by which all others are judged.
If you consider this film in the context of a more realistic universe (similar to that portrayed in Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy), it's hard to find fault in the characterizations presented. How would the world respond to the knowledge that there is an alien in their midst who could destroy them all without even trying? How would that character respond to people's reaction to him? The isolation, the paranoia, the distrust are all portrayed to perfection by a stellar cast, even if some on-the-nose dialogue can be slightly groan inducing.
Despite being a generally entertaining movie with realistic and refreshing takes on some beloved characters, this movie is not without its faults. In addition to the some occasional corny dialogue, there are times when the Christ imagery can be a bit heavy handed. However, it should be noted that this is not unique to this iteration of the character and has often been observed in both the comic books, and movies that have come before it. Additionally, the product placement is a bit excessive. While it's a fact of working with a studio these days, and I don't fault the filmmakers, it does have a tendency to take the viewer out of the experience, albeit briefly. There's some awkward pacing in the first act that leads to a rather anticlimactic reveal of Cavill in the new suit, but he fills it out well and the moment passes quickly when he begins to fight in a way never before portrayed in live action film.
Overall this was an overwhelmingly enjoyable experience. It's exactly what I want to see from a Superman movie going forward in a post Dark Knight DC cinematic universe. It's an origin story in the truest sense of the word, and while some people may be exhausted of the seemingly endless barrage of superhero origins flooding the box office, those familiar with the character might appreciate some new takes on the Superman mythos.
Well worth the price of admission, and I'd be remiss if I pretended I wasn't going to see it again. Should you choose to check it out, I'd be excited to hear your opinions so feel free to share your impressions in the comments!