First off, Superman doesn’t wear red trunks over his tights and there is no Lex Luthor — there is a throwaway clue that he might appear in the sequel though. There is no Jimmy Olsen either and the Christ-like symbolism gets a bit heavy (he is 33, he is willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good, he is sent by his father to save the world ) but it is all okay.
Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, while lacking in the pop colours and humour of the Superman films starring Christopher Reeve, makes up in the sheer grandeur of its visualisation and execution.
Jor-El, a scientist in the doomed planet of Krypton sends off his infant son Kal-El to earth to save the race. General Zod attempts a coup to save the planet, but is banished to the phantom zone for his pains. Kal-El grows up in anonymity as Clark Kent in Kansas with a kindly farmer couple, Jonathan and Martha. Clark has powers that he is trying to come to terms with. When Zod arrives on earth Clark knows he has to confront his destiny.
David S. Goyer, who also wrote the mind-bending Dark City apart from Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy (Nolan has produced the film), has created an origin story that makes the obligatory nods to history and tradition but is not afraid to get rid of some stuff (like the red trunks, I suppose) or add details.
The level of destruction towards the climax is truly awe-inspiring, the sets are sheer magic and Hans Zimmer’s score sounds like a pounding pulse in the brain.
Another big plus for Man of Steel is the cast. Everyone from Russell Crowe as Jor-El, to Michael Shannon as Zod and Laurence Fishburne as editor of the Daily Planet Perry White suit their roles to a T. Diane Lane and Kevin Costner bring an old-world charm and warmth to their roles as Martha and Jonathan Kent.
British actor Henry Cavill has the physique and the clean-cut good looks for Superman, while Amy Adams makes for a feisty Lois Lane. There are lovely cheesy lines you can hoot at, explosions you can crack your palms at in naked wonder, like the bard said, and an origin story as old as time itself. That would be the recipe for a successful superhero film. Now we will just wait for the sequel and Luthor — asking for Otis would be plain greedy!
Director: Zack Snyder
Cast: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Laurence Fishburne, Russell Crowe
Storyline: An alien casts his lot with his adoptive planet
Bottomline: Rocking reboot
This article has been edited for a spelling error.