Review: Man of Steel (2013)


“I have journeyed across an ocean of stars to reach here. Your world has sheltered one of my citizens. He will look like you, but he is not one of you.”
– General Zod

The planet Krypton is falling apart, its inhabitants having exhausted its core and killing it all off. Scientist Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and his wife, Lara (Ayelet Zurer) have birthed the first natural birth the planet has seen in centuries. Kal-El is seen as the planet’s hope, and Jor-El is intent on convincing the Kryptonian council that the codex need to be sent out to preserve the Kryptonian race. However, General Zod (Michael Shannon) has staged a coup to extinguish all the bloodlines he feels are responsible for their planet’s demise. His faithful followers are caught and sentenced, though Jor-El has fallen, and Kal-El has been sent to Earth with the codex.


“No matter how violent, every action I take is for the greater good of my people.” – General Zod

Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) is a young man running from his destiny – from his life. He has spent his entire life hiding who he is at the behest of his father, Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner), not believing that the world is ready from him. He and Martha (Diane Lane) found Clark as a baby and adopted him. Jonathan taught Clark how to control his superhuman powers he has gained on Earth, and tells him where he is really from. Clark’s insistence on helping people with his powers has caused that he needs to run – people cannot know who he is. While on the run, reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams) discovers Clark, who is on a mission to find out more about his people and where he is truly from. Clark meets his biological father, Jor-El, and learns of Krypton’s destruction and how he is the last hope. Lois is intent on spreading the story on alien life after Clark saves her life, but her boss and editor at the Daily Planet, Perry White (Laurence Fishburn), refuses to publish it. Lois will not let it go but changes her mind after tracking Martha and Clark down, and hearing the reason for his secrecy.


Discovering the truth about your origins can be empowering

However, Zod and his followers have escaped the Phantom Zone, and track Clark down on Earth. They inform Earth that they are housing a fugitive, and insist that they turn him over or their planet will be eradicated. Clark is torn between turning himself in (knowing that he cannot trust Zod) and trusting the humans on Earth to do the right thing. Clark chooses to trust the people, and hands himself over to the United States military. They are both threatened and in awe of the powerful being. Zod’s second in command, Faora-Ul (Antje Traue), takes Lois as well as Clark to her general. Zod insists that Clark join them, and when Clark turns him down he is agitated. All hell breaks loose.


“My father believed that if the world found out who I really was, they’d reject me… out of fear.” – Clark Kent

Will Clark be able to neutralize General Zod and protect the inhabitants or Earth? Though he knows nothing of the codex, will he be able to keep it from the superhuman beings and maintain his identity? Will he be able to fight off the last remaining members of his extinct race?


Man of Steel merits a 7/10. I thought about this for a while, but I think that the score is fair and deserving. Yep, I know I am late to the Superman party, but we got it late. Michael Shannon was an absolute joy to watch as the hardcore General Zod, and the Kryptonians had such phenomenal costumes. They just looked brutal. The opening sequence of Krypton and its demise was so well rendered, and it was breathtaking to watch. Russell Crowe was a great good Jor-EL, and Kevin Costner impressed me as Jonathan Kent. Diane Lane was also lovely as his mother. Hans Zimmer again delivered a stunning score, and Man of Steel was visually stunning to look at, though I see why people say that there was an overload of CGI. The destruction was just a tiny bit much for me, but in a way I guess foreign life coming to Earth did not mean they were going to give a toot about damage totals. Henry Cavill is simply a great Clark Kent and Superman, so kudos for that. He was really compelling to watch, charming and the complete embodiment of what Clark Kent should be. I do feel though that there were so many intense action scenes to mask that there was not as deep and in depth a story as you would expect, but the action and fighting keeps you from getting too close to that. The revamping of the Superman outfit was truly fantastical, and long overdue. That cape just thrilled me (yes, again me and the cape). The kids that were chosen to play Clark over the years were so cool as they really looked like they could have been Cavill at a younger age. Amy Adams was well cast, but sometimes I think she is too cute for the role of someone so gritty, though she made it work here. What I appreciated about this film was that it had a darker tone, though there was still some humour. I like some humour in this type of thing, but I feel it is far better with a bit more brooding, which they nailed here. It gives it a sense of realism, not total cheese. Overall, one of the best DC comic book films in many years, and it was epic, though not as wonderful and wow as I would have hoped – I was holding out for my new Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan set a whole new bar for the genre with his Dark Knight trilogy.

12 thoughts on “Review: Man of Steel (2013)

    • Thanks, Keith! I thought it was a really good reboot for the franchise, finally breathed some real life into it. I see people are a little split on it (blame the trailers that were pushed out in abundance prior to its release). I am with you on it being great for being different!


  1. Nice review Zoe! I enjoyed Man of Steel but not quite on the same level as you I don’t think. It felt a little shallow in the second half and just went a bit Transformers. They just blew everything up with little substance to it. I thought the first half was really good though and thought Henry Cavill was an excellent Superman.


    • I am with you on the second half! It was good, but it was not the great that I was expecting, to be honest. Hence it was a toss up between a 7 and an 8 for me. Not bad, though, but the story was really not as in depth as they try to represent, and cover that with unnecessary and overblown action!



  2. Awesome review Zoe!! Glad you enjoyed this one. I actually love it more the second time around and could easily go for a third helping on this, ahah. I love what you said about Shannon and Cavill, both are excellent but the cast overall are great, even the kid who played the teenage Clark is good.

    “That cape just thrilled me” Ahah yes indeed! That scene of him coming out of the fortress w/ the cape billowing in the wind had me all giddy like a school girl!! But Henry’s smile is KILLER, I particularly love the scene of him with Diane Lane sitting on the front porch… I’d rewind the heck out of that scene when I get the Blu-ray! 😉


    • Thanks Ruth! I am sure that this movie had you in a proper tizz (it did LONG before its release :P)

      Man, listen to us cape girls here teehee! Ah, truly it was a beautiful smile, so with you there. Hmmmm… screenshot it and custom build your own private-perve wallpaper? 😀


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