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Man of Steel Review

5

Kal-El returns to the big screen in an amazingly entertaining fashion.

Ladies and gentlemen, there's a new "best comic book movie" in town and it goes by the name of Man of Steel. Sporting great performances and breathtaking action sequences, Clark Kent's return thankfully lives up to the mountain of hype and anticipation we've endured for at least several months. This new take on the iconic character delivers a constantly epic atmosphere which mixes a more serious tone with a lot of over the top fun. And when I say "a lot," I mean it.

Yes, this is a reboot of Superman's origin -- a story we've seen countless times before -- but it doesn't suffer from a sense of overfamiliarity at all. They clearly draw elements from various comic stories from time to time ('Earth One' obviously inspired General Zod's broadcast and the symbol standing for hope comes from 'Birthright'), but for the most part, this is a mostly fresh take on the legendary character. After the grand sci-fi opening on Krypton (Russell Crowe's Jor-El is a boss), we fast forward to grown up Clark. From there, we're treated to emotionally compelling flashbacks about him learning to cope with his powers and receiving moral guidance from the Kents. There's some changes here and there to the mythos and I imagine some fans won't dig it, but for the most part, I think it's something many of us won't mind -- especially when countered by all of the things this film does so well.

Remember how The Avengers hit us with an astonishing and goosebump inducing battle in New York? I honestly believed a comic book movie (in the near future, that is) wouldn't be able to bring that level of greatness again, but Man of Steel totally does and then some. The action pieces are absolutely staggering and downright surreal. Director Zack Snyder fully unleashes the power behind these characters and when they throwdown it's visceral, intense and had my jaw dropped basically the entire time. While the two huge action scenes may be a bit too long for some, it was nothing but pure bliss for me -- I seriously can't get over how good they were and I was in awe.

My only minor gripe with these scenes was the lack of concern over the populated areas, but at least they tried to justify it each time (for example, one time Clark is beyond pissed and another time he tells them to leave). After all, Clark is new to this and he's not exactly dictating the fights all the time. It's something I can overlook, but when Clark tackles his enemy through a convenience store and blows up a gas station before the area is evacuated, I'm sure some of you will tilt your heads. And speaking of stores, holy product placement, Batman! If that kind of thing bugs you, then there's sure to be a few moments that'll make you groan.

What really sells every scene (you know, aside from super powered punches) are the superb performances and Hans Zimmer's excellent score. The music simply brings everything to the next level, making even seemingly basic moments come off as extraordinary and legendary. You'll definitely want to see this one in a theater with quality speakers.

Michael Shannon kills it as General Zod, delivering a commanding performance and truly selling the raw emotion behind his standout acts. As for Henry Cavill... well, the man just oozes "Superman." Some may complain he's a man of few words in this film, but the quieter moments with the character allow him to physically convey the tone and he does so extremely well. And, when he does chat, you can really sense the warmth, honesty and good will behind his version of Clark -- and seeing as he's a character meant to inspire us, that's critical. Also, I thought he and Amy Adams had fantastic chemistry and she definitely brings a brave and believable Lois Lane to the table. Aside from one Daily Planet employee having a silly line or two, the remainder of the cast does a more than able job as well.

It's clear Warner Bros. had a "go big or go home" mentality when kicking off the new direction for their DC universe and they delivered big time. I spotted at least two Easter Eggs which filled my face with such a goofy smile and I haven't been this excited about a movie universe's future since Tony Stark met Nick Fury. Speaking of which, there unfortunately wasn't a mid or post credits scene during my screening.

I do have some small problems with the film, but honestly, they're massively overshadowed by the things I loved. This isn't just my favorite comic book movie at the moment -- it's one of the best moviegoing experiences I've had in quite some time. With gripping performances and overflowing with absurdly impressive action, it's safe to say many of you out there will love Man of Steel every bit as much as I did. I know I'm definitely going to see it at least two more times.

504 Comments
Posted by texasdeathmatch

pssst, it's JUST A MOVIE

Posted by InnerVenom123
@walzo said:

@rich711 said:

Really?! 5 out of 5 stars?! Did DC pay comicvine to write that or just threaten to cut you off from their creators if you didnt?

Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey.

Stop being yourself.

LMFAO

Posted by EnSabahNurX

Sorry but honestly would give this movie 2-2.5 stars. I'm not a huge superman fan but I generally like the movies, though this one was quite awful. It made me want to rewatch the Christopher Reeves movies because at least I like the first two.

The movie managed to make me hate Jonathan Kent, which I NEVER have hated him in any incarnation I've read or watched.

Zod: Poor casting and they stripped him of any real motivation outside of that weak compulsion he had to "Protect" Krypton.

Lois: I liked, she was better than the last one and didn't mind the red-ish hair.

Martha: She was fine as well.

Perry: Served his purpose.

Plot-holes up the arse. Also WHY was Jor-El a warrior? That contradicts everything the movie sets up. Liked Kal's new birth origin in theory but that needed work.

Just a subpar movie.

Edited by DeviousBastard

@ensabahnurx: Jor-El wasn't a warrior. Just a bad-@$$ scientist. Zod probably taught him how to fight since they were friends.

Posted by bj365

Just saw the movie it was awesome! best superman fighting scene ever, DC went all out on this one!

Edited by StMichalofWilson

Halfway of being the best Superman movie. Why?

  • Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe were the best parts of the movie. I really liked how both their characters played important parts in Clark's life as the fathers.
  • The Lois and Clark dynamic was a bit rushed. Plus Adams looks a bit old for him (that doesn't mean she still wasn't great!)
  • Honestly, this is the first Superman movie that actually showed how powerful and badass the Man of Steel is, which to me was a good thing. I was happy they really made the fight scenes cool, but overall it was way over the top most of the time. I mean the battles in Smallville and Metropolis were so devastating, that I was like "Superman get your **** together man! Save the civilians!".
  • It seemed like they forced Superman to abandon everything from his Kryptonian heritage, that was a bit to far in my opinion.
  • Michael Shannon was held back, I mean it. He did a okay performance as General Zod, but they held him back. Snyder should have let him pull a "Kneel before Zod!!!" and make him spend the rest of the movie making everyone kneel before him.
  • Superman had to kill in order to save lives. Couldn't have saved a moment like that until the sequel or third film? But whatever.

Overall, this was a good action-packed Superhero film, but it wasn't as good as Iron Man 3. Hopefully the sequel can do better.

Posted by morgan_13333

I think the battle in metropolis was a total succes, I mean what happens when two gods fights it dosen't mater were they fight the battlefield it's gonnna be destroid and people it's gonna get hurt.

Edited by GeekOfKrypton

Over all, I was not disappointed but there was too much Lois Lane tho. Even tho I love Superman and his mythology I do not like the Lois character. Thank god they left out Jimmy Olsen. Phew!!!!

By the way what's up with these movies especially CBM where the hero's girl ends up saving the day? We saw that in:

>The Dark Knight rises: Catwoman kills Bane.

>Iron-Man III: Pepper got the Extremis in her and saves Tony in the end.

>Spider-Man: Gwen saved the city and deployed the antidote to the Lizard serum.

>Man of Steel: Lois is endowed with the knowledge to stop the Kryptonians by Jor-El.

and I' sure that there are many more that I left out.

SMH

Posted by Darkseid011

just saw it. worst superman or dc movie EVER!

Posted by k4tzm4n

just saw it. worst superman or dc movie EVER!

Well, I guess that's good news for Catwoman and Superman 3/4.

Staff
Posted by GodOfMischief

Just saw it today. It was good, but I think it was extremely over hyped. The acting was good, as were the action scenes; but the pacing felt really slow. It felt like it really dragged at some points.

Posted by yo_yo_fun

I thought Man of Steel was....AWEsome!

I agree 100% with Gregg's review. The fighting scenes...Oh my Lanta! Those were epic!

I absolutely loved it! Though it wasn't perfect, there were some parts I had problems with but this is a case of the good outweighing the bad.

Edited by Fantasgasmic

I just got back from seeing this ALLEGED movie. You can go straight to hell Gregg.

There were 3 decent aspects of this movie. The design (costumes and environments) was good, Krypton felt alien without being distractingly so like Asgard felt in Thor., The music was ok, tense in the tense parts and sad in the sad parts, but if you asked me to hum it to you, I couldn't, not like the 1978 music. The special effects were ok. I saw it in 4K 2D and some of the superfast/flying stuff was OBVIOUS CG like it was being run thru a PS3. Better than Matrix 2 fights that looked like they were made in the original XBox, but it was enough to start to take me out of the movie when combined with the shaky-cam.

It's a sad, dark day when the best character in a movie is played by Russel Crowe. Everyone has been praising him and Kevin Costner, but Costner's Pa Kent was so far out of character for Pa, I couldn't believe 80% of the things he said. EVERYONE knew Superman's "secret" identity, Zod's plan was full of holes, the dialogue was mediocre at best, and awful at times. and all in all, it felt more like an Elseworlds book where Superman just isn't hung up on protecting people. It's like a first draft. It was too long, yet it felt rushed. It's like the editor was out sick for this movie. It's like the cameraman was on meth. Worse than the betrayal that was Dark Knight Rises, ALMOST as bad as Prometheus. You can say that Superman is an outrageous character and people can't relate to him, yada yada yada. If Thor could be a perfectly watchable exciting comic book movie in the B-, 3.5/5 range, why can't Superman be too? Yeah some of the action was cool, but NO amount of action can save such horrible writing. I hope whoever wrote this movie never works on another film again.

1.5/5

The tag line should be "Man of Steel. Because you just don't learn! Give up already!"

Edited by lilben42

Its better when you watch it a second time.

Posted by SandMan_

@fantasgasmic: You are entitled to your own opinion. But MOS, for me, was way better than those 3 pieces of s*it movies that you mentioned.

Edited by k4tzm4n

@fantasgasmic:

You can go straight to hell Gregg.

For loving the movie? Really?

Honestly, I don't have the patience for ignorance like that tonight. Be mature, realize people have different opinions and express your own without insulting others. Otherwise, don't bother posting. Consider that a first warning.

Staff
Posted by SandMan_

@k4tzm4n: Btw, I keep reading that there was a part where Cavill looked like Reeve...Did you notice it?

Posted by k4tzm4n

@sandman_ said:

@k4tzm4n: Btw, I keep reading that there was a part where Cavill looked like Reeve...Did you notice it?

No, I don't recall ever thinking that.

Staff
Posted by inferiorego

Man, a lot of people in this comment thread are cranky. Ya'll need naps.

It's a new Superman for a new era. I, for one, am tired of Reeves films and was insulted that Superman Returns tried to play off that. I don't want my comics recycling the same old Silver Age crap stories, and the same goes for my movies. They gave us something new, and it was awesome. And finally, Superman has been treated like how he always should have been treated, like a science fiction character.

just saw it. worst superman or dc movie EVER!

Green Lantern, Jonah Hex, Superman IV

Watch those... Also, you can't say ever... there's still terrible future movies that have yet to come out.

You can go straight to hell Gregg.

Take a step back and breathe. It's an opinion. There is NO reason you should be telling someone to go to hell because they liked something you didn't like.

Staff
Posted by inferiorego
Staff
Posted by SandMan_

@k4tzm4n said:

@sandman_ said:

@k4tzm4n: Btw, I keep reading that there was a part where Cavill looked like Reeve...Did you notice it?

No, I don't recall ever thinking that.

Apparently when he beans up to the World Changer.

Edited by k4tzm4n
Staff
Posted by Stormbox

@sandman_: I saw it too and yeah its in that part

@k4tzm4n: Some people just love being douches. Joke's on him as he ended up looking like a tool over something so minor like a movie

Posted by DocLuthorVonDoom

I done been snitched out!

Posted by jorgeareizaga

great movie, super fun, higly recomended!!!!!!!!!!1

Posted by fullmetalquach

I agree for with almost everything. I think the final action battle in the Avengers was better, but that was due to the teamwork part, but as far as raw action goes I have to admit Man of Steel takes the cake. I wanna see this again in IMAX. I noticed the whole "not caring too much about public safety" thing too., but i easily looked over it because like you pointed out, he is a new hero. However, the ending where he kills Zod. That was unexpected, but not in a good way. Seemed totally out of character. I also think that this movie felt more like the end of a trilogy or something. Things advanced so fast in the movie and with the scope of the final battle I just think it would've been better as ending an era than beginning a journey. Mainly due to the fact that Lois knows who Superman is and that he kills Zod at the end. They could've built up the killing aspect in earlier movies and ended it in this final movie to make it more dramatic for people that don't read comics. I definitely want to see this movie again and it puts hope in my heart for a Justice League movie and for future Superman movies.

Edited by AntWillClark

It was Excellent movie!!!!! the only thing they should of included was construction workers/ new buildings being rebuilt at the end..... to show that they're trying to get things back to what things where before the destruction. also a scene to show Jor-El explaining to Louis how to defeat Zod and his army would have been nice...It just felt rushed. Now thinking about it... the beginning of clark origins was a bit to long maybe they could used Smallville the Tv series for inspiration on that part it felt way to long....and I didn't buy Kevin Costner performance in this movie... he seemed overly protective maybe, or something ...I like Jonathan Kent in Smallville better ...but maybe we'll see more from him in the next one regarding Clarks memories of his father. The things that we dislike might be the things that will make since the second movie so enjoying this movie for what it was ....I cant imagine how hard it would be to produce/ create a movie towards this magnitude.... so I give all of them a round of applause.

Edited by AntWillClark
Posted by Grimoire

@deviousbastard: Thanks for the link. Clears up a lot of small questions that really didn't bother me as much as those who asked the questions. lol

Just saw the movie and I thought it was great. Only didn't like his secret identity being found out so easily.

Posted by SpidermanWins

I loved this movie. I hate Rotten Tomatoes, the reviews were so damned opinionated it was insane. Superman is normally serious anyway and even if his lack of humor was somehow an issue that does NOT IN ANY WAY give them the right to warrant it a failing grade based on that reason and shoving away how good the acting was and how moving the movie was at points. Despicable I tell you, stupid, opinionated, unaccepting, frustrating. It blew the nitpicks out of proportion to the point where they forgot how good it really was and had that determine that it was worse than Superman Returns. How in holy hell? I just cant comprehend how to hate a film that much over such little, unimportant hings. It was such a good movie, It's just a damned shame it won't get any reward for what it has brought us in the award shows to come.

Edited by CaptainLantern76

I loved this movie. I hate Rotten Tomatoes, the reviews were so damned opinionated it was insane. Superman is normally serious anyway and even if his lack of humor was somehow an issue that does NOT IN ANY WAY give them the right to warrant it a failing grade based on that reason and shoving away how good the acting was and how moving the movie was at points. Despicable I tell you, stupid, opinionated, unaccepting, frustrating. It blew the nitpicks out of proportion to the point where they forgot how good it really was and had that determine that it was worse than Superman Returns. How in holy hell? I just cant comprehend how to hate a film that much over such little, unimportant hings. It was such a good movie, It's just a damned shame it won't get any reward for what it has brought us in the award shows to come.

I loved it too and I somewhat agree with you on Rotten Tomatoes.

Edited by DMXN

One Easter Egg I noticed was LexCorp, but what was the second?

Posted by SandMan_

@dmxn: Wayne Satellite.

Posted by warlock360

Saw it at the night screening with barely anyone there (in 3D), it was definately one of the most intense movies out there and action wise can't be compared to anything before. Also, Supermans actor was a very fitting cast, especially if you watch some behind the scenes or interviews.

Edited by TheAcidSkull

awesome movie. People bitch way to much

Posted by JuliusTakalua

just watched this and came back and first i'd like to say I loved it as a comic book fan and a film-goer but 5/5 is waaaaay too high.

The film is a very very good movie but it's still very choppy and we don't get to embrace the emotional impacts of the movie that much because it's too hasty. Not enough time for audiences to learn the characters and the world better unlike the TDK trilogy. I actually liked this Louis a bit better than the first two Supes movies. This Louis was actually SMART. BUT I also did miss the tension between both Louis and Supes.

The fil did not have enough cheeky moments and humor but it's not that big of a deal. A few laughs were needed but there was at least two or three laughs so it's fine. Cavill sold it as Kal El/Superman/Clark Kent and the story written by Nolan and GOyer was excellent. I only wished that Nolan directed this. He did such a great job showing Batman and Joker and the world they were in in TDK and I bet he could have done the same here.

Snyder was a bit meh to me... The film had too much action in the beginning which I thought was unnecessary and could have replaced it more with what was going on in Krypton really and show some heavy stuff more... It was a strange combo to me really. I don't know who exactly wrote the script but the script did not match Snyder at all.

I'd give it a 4/5, very good or pretty great. But there are others who really loathe this movie (critics and old people who're just nostalgic) and think of this movie as "heresy to Supes!" which is weird cus Man of Steel was very true in tone with teh modern superman mythology. Snyder and the scriptwriter should've focused more on Birthright and Secret Origin than Earth One... The Louis Lane side story was great at times but it started in a hasty way too... More Clark, less everything else!

Posted by Bezza

This is one of the first sensible reviews of MOS I have seen and reflects how I feel about the movie! It had its flaws and isn't the masterpiece that Superman 1 was, or Dark Knight was, but overall its epic!

Posted by Owie

I really liked it. Sure it had faults--my pet peeve is the old maneuver of having teh same military guys show up in every scene the military is in--the base in the arctic, then the helicopter/plane attack, then the landing of Zod's ship, then the "bombing" run at the end. And they seemed to force Lois into a lot of scenes where she had no reason to be.

BUT, I honestly didn't care too much about that. The acting was very solid, especially from Zod. He was fantastic--lots of subtlety. Even Costner was good. And the action was great. I was so happy with the speedster-style fighting. Lady Zod (whatever the hell her name is) was a bada$$. Lots of fun.

Posted by Owie

I really liked it. Sure it had faults--my pet peeve is the old maneuver of having teh same military guys show up in every scene the military is in--the base in the arctic, then the helicopter/plane attack, then the landing of Zod's ship, then the "bombing" run at the end. And they seemed to force Lois into a lot of scenes where she had no reason to be.

BUT, I honestly didn't care too much about that. The acting was very solid, especially from Zod. He was fantastic--lots of subtlety. Even Costner was good. And the action was great. I was so happy with the speedster-style fighting. Lady Zod (whatever the hell her name is) was a bada$$. Lots of fun.

Edited by Owie

I really liked it. Sure it had faults--my pet peeve is the old maneuver of having teh same military guys show up in every scene the military is in--the base in the arctic, then the helicopter/plane attack, then the landing of Zod's ship, then the "bombing" run at the end. And they seemed to force Lois into a lot of scenes where she had no reason to be. And the camera was super-jittery when it really didn't need to be.

BUT, I honestly didn't care too much about that. The acting was very solid, especially from Zod. He was fantastic--lots of subtlety. Even Costner was good. And the action was great. I was so happy with the speedster-style fighting. Lady Zod (whatever the hell her name is) was a bada$$. Lots of fun.

Edited by ScreamingGhost

Maybe its because I prefer the Timmverse Superman but this film was a subpar 2/5 for me. All the plot holes, pacing problems, generic art direction and product placement killed it for me. Way to much time with Jor-El and not enough on what should matter to Clark the man who raised him. I hope Synder isn't in charge of Justice League, because he didn't even deliver in the action department this time. Just a bunch of punching each other through buildings.

Posted by akirajay38

I saw this on Saturday, It was definitely amazing and very exciting. Russel Crowe's Jor-El was my favorite thing about the movie. I will spoil one easter egg cause the people I went to see it with didn't see it, so I want people to look for it....Look for a "logo" on a tanker truck ;) My one gripe was with coughing. You'll see.

Posted by Beerminator1

The best comic book movie ever made (at least so far). As much as I love The Dark Knight, Man Of Steel is just a bit better. I don't think I've ever had as great experience in a movie theater as I had with this.

The ending was a shocker, seeing Superman kill someone, but I still understand it. There was no way to send Zod to the Phantom Zone anymore, and it's not like he's just going to give up after a beating, he was so pissed off. During their fight, thousands of people must have gotten hurt, maybe even died. Superman realized that the fight would go on maybe for hours and more people would get hurt. He couldn't let anyone else die anymore. There was no other choice than killing him. And it's not like Zod would have just agreed to go fight outside the city. The situation kinda reminded me of when Superman fought Doomsday in 'The Death Of Superman'.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@bezza said:

This is one of the first sensible reviews of MOS I have seen and reflects how I feel about the movie! It had its flaws and isn't the masterpiece that Superman 1 was, or Dark Knight was, but overall its epic!

Thanks!

Staff
Posted by Raw_Material

Man Of Steel was such a sick movie. Now there's definitely needs to be a sequel to this one for sure. Hopefully a Justice League Movie will be apart of its tie-ins!

Posted by Raw_Material

..And the battle scene between General Zod and Superman was one of the most badass fights I've ever seen on screen.

Edited by Loki9876

I liked it not a 5/5 but a 7.6/10.

Posted by Xshinobi

I finally got around to watching this and I freaking loved every minute of it. I'm a big fan of Zack Snyder and he didn't disappoint here.

Posted by Xanni15

It does seem that the majority of other critics don't agree with your take that MoS is the best comic book movie. :P (Yes, I know this is just your opinion)