I was rather impressed by Man of Steel. Even though it was a Zack Snyder film, which tend to be very monochromatic and strange, this was no Sucker Punch or The Watchmen. I liked that we get more insight on the history of the destruction of Krypton, and how its demise led to Kal-El’s journey. We also saw more interaction with his adoptive parents, the Kents of Smallville, particularly Martha Kent (Diane Lane).
So let’s go back to Krypton, and learn a bit more about how Jor-El (Russell Crowe) attempted to save his dying people, and how those in power led to its downfall. Like the dwarves in the Mines of Moria, the leader had their workers dig too deep searching for an energy source. The people of Krypton were a population of clones made from the days when the world was clean and natural. Unlike the dwarves, they did not unleash a demon, but something far more foul. The breached the core of their planet, and now it is on the brink of imploding. Jor-El and his wife, Lara Von-An (Ayelet Zurer) have worked against the council and have created the last natural borne Kryptonian in their son, Kal-El. General Zod (Michael Shannon) and his followers is wanting to take over the planet against the wishes of the council.
Jor-El disagrees with the council , but does not wish to become part of Zod’s failure of a coup. Jor-El’s idea of taking the Codex, basically the database of Krypton’s DNA to a new world is sound, and the technology is there to do so. The council is far too stubborn to let go of their old ways and this dying planet, and Jor-El is dismissed. He comes home to his wife, and they have created a small spaceship and a world to send little Kal-El to. They get the pod ready just in time, right as Zod invades their home, but by then it is too late. The pod has been launched is is hurling towards System Sol, and its third rock.
Zod and his minions are foiled, and are going to soon spend some time cooling off in the Phantom Zone. This gives Kal-El the time to get to Earth and within a decade or so, become part of his new world. He is adopted Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha (Diana Lane) Kent, and does his best to live in the everyday world of a small Mid-Western farming community in the middle of Tornado Alley. Many times his secret has been close to getting loose, but his adoptive parents are wise, and do their best to protect him, even from himself.
Many years later, Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) is working in the Arctic as a commercial fisherman, but has trouble concentrating on his job. Soon his personal disaster is overshadowed by a real one when a close-by oil rig is about to blow. Soon Clark is nowhere to be found, but he turns up at the rig, and saves many workers there with his super strength and resistance to heat, then he just disappears. He soon makes it back to land, steals some clothes, and blends back into extreme Northern society again.
We follow Clark from job to childhood flashback to new job, and then flashback again, in a sort of pattern, until Lois Lane shows up on the scene at a dig in Canada where their is supposed to be a alien spaceship they are attempting to uncover. The Daily Planet wants the scoop on this story, and has sent their best reporter to get it. Lois gets too curious when she sees a strange man go off into a tunnel, and follows him. What she and the man, Clark Kent do not know, is that this is a ship sent from Krypton many years before Clark arrived.
Lois gets back home to Metropolis, and her editor, Perry White (Laurence Fishburne) can’t take her story seriously about aliens and spaceships, but she manages to get the story out there via the Internet, and she is suspended for three weeks. She uses this time to track down the strange man from the base that saved her from the security sentry on the ship.. Meanwhile, Clark is learning all about this sentry ship, and other Kryptonian facts through the hologram of Jor-El on the ship.
Lois’ travels bring her to the Home of Martha Kent, but is taken aback when the man she has been tracking all this time just shows up. We learn more about Clark, and how Jonathan Kent died trying to keep his son’s secret. After some time, news breaks that there are man spaceships coming close to Earth, and that Lois’ story was not a load of bunk. Zod and his minions had escaped from the Phantom Zone, and have come to hunt down Kal-El. He has the Codex, and Zod believes that Earth should belong to Krypton, and is ready to terraform it for his kind of colonization. Kal-El is the one thing that stands in his way.
The FBI learns about the story Lois had put up on the Net, and brings her in for questioning. It becomes one big misunderstanding after another as Zod tries to make our world his home, but before he can be defeated, many an international landmark will fall, and the war will rage from the streets of Metropolis right to the wheat fields of Smallville, Kansas.
This was one of the best renditions of the Superman Story yet, though the 1979 Superman is still my favourite. With this, it seems that Zack Snyder suddenly discover the colours of blue and green, and his world became a little brighter, even though it was still a bit muted. The script was well written, and the movie really had no slow spots. This is a keeper!
I give this film a Musing review of