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Man of Steel (REVIEW)



Genre: Science-Fiction/Action
Director: Zack Snyder
Actor(s): Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: 14 June 2013
Length: 143 Minutes




Total Score
13/ 14

User Rating
20 total ratings



Acting. Storyline. New focus on backstory.


Not enough Kevin Costner. Some objectionable language not needed.

Posted June 12, 2013 by

Full Article

I have been looking forward to “Man of Steel” more than any movie that is coming out this year. As time has gone on in my life, I prefer Superman to every other comic book character. I can say, without any hesitation that the movie did not disappoint. This was a well-made, a well-acted, and an all-around good movie. It was not a perfect film, by any stretch, but it was good.

Our story begins on Krypton, during the last days of Krypton.  We have heard this story many times before. Jor-El and Kara-El send baby Kal-El off into the stars, saving his life and making him the last son of Krypton. The vision of Krypton that we are given is a more realistic Krypton than we got from Richard Donner’s Krypton. This Krypton has wildlife and has vegetation growing and one could see how this planet can sustain life.

A common complaint leveled at comic books movies is why the film-makers feel the need to retell the origin story. On the surface, one could ask that question about this movie. Looking back over the cinematic and television origin stories that we have had in the past, the majority of the time is spent with young Kal-El growing up with Martha and Jonathan Kent. This certainly did shape young Clark Kent the man. In this case, we are treated to more of the Kryptonian side of the back story, which was refreshing. It was nice to see Russell Crowe separate his performance from previous actors who have played that role.

One down side to spending as much time with Jor-El as the movie does is the movie does not use Kevin Costner more than they did. Many times, people tend to remember his bad movies (Waterworld, The Postman) or his epic movies (Dances with Wolves, Robin Hood) over his great movies (Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, Silverado.) Diane Lane gets a chance to shine here as Martha and becomes more of a central character than I had expected her to be.

The bad guy in this film, as many know already, is General Zod. Thankfully enough, the film-makers resisted the urge to shoe-horn in a line about kneeling before Zod. This line or a line like that would have just caused all of us to think to ourselves, “Oh yeah, I remember when Terrence Stamp’s Zod said that.”  This is a much more ruthless Zod than we have seen previously in film or TV. Michael Shannon does a capable job as Zod, but this will not be the role he is remembered for.

Taking the reins from other good-looking, dark-haired actors, Henry Cavill is Superman/Kal-El/Clark Kent in this movie. As Superman, he does a fantastic job.  As Clark Kent, for the most part, that has yet to be decided. He does not become the traditional, glasses-wearing, hiding-in-plain-sigh Clark Kent until the end of the movie. He does have the look.

One thing that I have always enjoyed about Superman movies is the fact that there is rarely any objectionable language. While this movie was nowhere on par with some of the language we have heard in other Hollywood blockbusters, parents of young children should be warned. The violence in the film is not as big of a concern as it is stylized science-fiction violence. There are a few intense scenes that could cause some concern, one of which involves a death.

I hesitate to reveal much about the plot. The film does not really break any new ground. The small additions to the Superman myth are not incredibly outside the realm of possibility, but it is nice to discover these things on your own. The climax between Superman and Zod does have a surprising end that on the surface is un-Superman-like but the more I have thought of it since seeing the movie, the more it does make sense.

If you are like me and you sit through the credits in just about every movie waiting for a final scene, there is no need to wait around.  As of now, there is not one.  The screening that I caught was in 3D, but the 3D does not add anything to the story, so you can save the extra 4 dollars.

Finally, there has been some discussion on the internet about how Superman shaves as he does have a beard and stubble in this film.  This question has already been answered in the comic books.  He uses his heat vision and a reflective surface to shave.  Better question would be, how does he have such nicely manicured fingernails?

Nathan Gifford

Nathan lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife, child and Zeus The Mighty, their dog. Nathan is a writer, a father, a songwriter, and a human.


    Kevin Morales

    Well done review Nate! Excellent job.


    Waterworld is a good movie!


    Great, thanks for sharing this article.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.

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