<div> <strong> <a href=”https://www.slideshare.net/ryanleger129/man-of-steel-autosaved-autosaved” title=”Man of steel [autosaved] [autosaved]” target=”_blank”>Man of steel [autosaved] [autosaved]</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/ryanleger129″ target=”_blank”>Ryan Leger</a></strong> </div>
- Superhuman strength : more powerful than a locomotive
- Speed : faster than a speeding bullet
- Stamina &Durability
- super breath : which enables him to blow out air at freezing temperatures, as well as exert the propulsive force of high-speed winds.
- vision powers : x-ray, heat-emitting, telescopic, infra-red, and microscopic vision
Man of Steel review: A surprisingly human superhuman story
Superman’s latest shines when it focuses on the people around him and within him.
Most of Man of Steel’s best scenes don’t have Clark being very super at all…
“Can you imagine how people would react if beings like that actually existed?”
Daily Planet editor Perry White’s question to reporter Lois Lane about halfway through Man of Steel neatly encapsulates the key question this movie tries to answer. In examining this question, the movie becomes as much about the mortals living with gods among them as it is about those gods and their awe-inspiring powers. By taking the focus off of the “super” and putting it on the “men,” Man of Steel effectively sets itself apart from most run-of-the-mill superhero flicks to become a thoughtful, touching, and exceedingly human story.
It takes a while for the film to find its groove in these strong suits, though. First, audiences have to suffer through 20 minutes or so of plodding backstory focused on Superman’s parents and the last days of his birth planet, Krypton. While there’s a tiny bit of necessary exposition here, as a whole the opening seems like an unnecessary effort to show that super-dad Jor-El (played by actor Russell Crowe) was actually a bad-ass fighter and dragon-rider (yes, he has a tiny dragon for some reason) in addition to being a prescient scientist that predicted Krypton’s explosion.
In any case, the opening sets up the mutinous General Zod (played by a delightfully scenery-chewing Michael Shannon) as the clear “bad guy.” When Zod kills Jor-El in a rage (after Jor-El sends the codex with the key to all Kryptonian DNA off in Kal-El’s famous escape pod), you can almost see the title card instructing the audience to hiss. It’s hard to feel very mad about this murder, though, given that the entirety of Krypton, Jor-El included, blows up from seismic stress almost immediately afterwards. Of course, Zod and his allies were safe from this in his Phantom Zone prison (which is in space, despite the fact that the Kryptonians have long since ceased any space exploration that might save them from their doomed planet), thus making him able to seek revenge from beyond the death of his home planet.
Just grit your teeth through this overly long introduction, because things get much better as soon as the scene makes a quick, unexplained jump to Henry Cavill working on a fishing boat. Over the next half hour or so of the movie, director Zack Snyder provides an excellent summary of the life of one super-powered Clark Kent with minimal plodding exposition. Through quick jumps between scenes of an adult Clark trying to blend in to the scenery of the Pacific Northwest and scenes of him discovering his powers while growing up (shown as a terrifyingly fraught experience), the character’s backstory slowly unfolds in a natural and compelling way.
We find that this version of Clark Kent has taken great pains to hide his developing powers from the world at the advice of his down-to-Earth father (played to a tee by Kevin Costner). If this means not fighting back against schoolyard bullies, taking a beer can to the back of the head, or even letting a few people die, so be it. It’s all worth it, supposedly, to protect revelations of superpowers he’s sure the world isn’t ready for. And besides, Clark himself wants to make sure he’s ready for a time when his powers could save not just a few people, but the world (hint, hint).
Through it all, you can see Clark struggling to contain his raw power while still trying to be a good person that can blend in with the humans surrounding him. It’s done in a wholly relatable way. By introducing the “man” well before the “super,” both sides of the character are made stronger.
Things come to a head, though, when Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane comes snooping around a military expedition that’s stumbled on some unexpected technology buried deep in the northern ice. There, she crosses paths with Clark as they both stumble into a mysterious Kryptonian vessel that landed on earth thousands of years prior. When Clark reveals himself to save her, the secret is out… even though it has to get leaked to a blog rather than published on the august pages of the Planet (the journalist in me loved the new media v. old media battle being ably waged on-screen here).
Amy Adams plays Lois as a fiery reporter who steals practically every scene she’s in through pure moxie and spunk. Her efforts to doggedly track down her mysterious rescuer after the fact take her back through many of the same scenes of Clark’s life we’ve already witnessed. Once she finally tracks him down, Clark opens up to Lois in an attempt to convince her not to out him to the world. Her struggles with that decision, and her on-screen chemistry with Clark, do a great job of turning her into the human connection he desperately needs as he learns the difficult truth of where he came from.
Enlarge / His teeth are like that so he can chew the scenery better.
This comes just in time, because General Zod comes-a-calling soon after. In an eerie message delivered across every screen in the world, Zod demands the surrender of the hidden Last Son of Krypton or he’ll destroy the planet. The world, of course, proceeds to immediately go nuts and the army descends on Lois to try and find out exactly what she knows about the world’s most famous secret ransom.
After some soul searching, Clark decides to give himself up to the government in order to protect the planet (and, to some extent, Lois). This leads to a good deal of on-screen philosophizing about the military’s need for control, a superhuman’s responsibility to the mortals around him, and the necessary trust both sides have to put in each other to survive. The movie could have dealt with these themes a little bit more subtly than it does, but it still gets points for addressing the world’s very understandable reaction to alien super-beings in the first place.
Don’t worry, we get back to the action soon enough. After a few overly expository scenes with Zod (and a well-crafted, holographic-Jor-El-assisted escape from his spaceship), Superman soon finds himself fighting with Kryptonian henchmen Faora and Non on the streets of Smallville, Kansas. It’s an epic fight that’s beautifully choreographed and integrated with CGI effects to really play up the power and brutality of these super-powered opponents. These aren’t just guys in suits pretending to be superpowered—these are Gods coming down from Olympus to battle on the streets of men.
Things threaten to devolve into Dragon Ball Z territory a bit here, as the insanely powered Kryptonians send their opponents careening through multiple buildings and deep into the concrete with practically every punch. The filmmakers manage to keep things grounded, though, with a returning focus on the terrified citizenry that are collateral damage in the battle and adding a confounding role from a scared and confused military.
From this point in the movie, things start to descend a bit more into hackneyed comic book movie territory. Superman and the military are forced to work together to stop a “world engine” that Zod hopes will transform Earth into a new Krypton (unaddressed: why Zod can’t just convert some other planet into a new Krypton). There’s a lot of over-produced CGI destruction and a cliché, noble sacrifice on the part of a secondary human character. There’s a brutal final battle between Zod and Superman amidst the ruins of Metropolis. Audiences even get to enjoy an extremely overwrought scream of “Noooooooooooo!” (Similar cries are depressingly common throughout the movie, actually.)
Yet even in this portion, the film takes time to focus on the more human side of things to great effect. There’s a tender moment between Superman and his adoptive mom before he has to go off and fight. There are extended scenes taking a closer look at the citizens trying desperately to survive as the superpowered battle destroys any sense of normalcy in the world around them. And there’s a surprisingly touching scene after the climactic battle ends, with a moment that casts this version of Superman in a very different light than almost every other one put to the page or screen (without giving away too much, let me just say that my jaw was nearly on the floor for a good minute or so).
Man of Steel is far from perfect. A lot of the excesses that made Snyder’s Watchmen and 300 such ridiculously over-the-top spectacles are still on display here. But by taking a good, hard look at how humanity would react to a world that suddenly had a Superman (and supervillains) in it, the movie gains an emotional core that’s missing from many of the less thoughtful superhero flicks. After the utter misfire of Superman Returns, this could finally be the film that rebuilds Superman as a continuing film franchise that will resonate with audiences.