Hello guys and girls, Kylo here. This is my first review for Dawn of Comics and I thought what better way to start my first review than with the superman movie I felt gave me HOPE.
First off, I would like to say that I know a lot of fans of Superman are divided on Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, saying ‘it is not the Superman we remember’, or ‘this Superman never smiles’.
Everyone has their own opinion. That is absolutely fine as everyone is an individual who has different opinions to the person they stand next to.
To start off I am gonna review what I loved about this movie, starting with the great character building it did, how I felt the movie was different and why it deserves more love than the hate which the film and the filmmakers received/still get.
Anyway, I hope I haven’t bored you all to death before I’ve started. I hope you enjoy my review and maybe even look at this movie in a different way.
AN IDEAL OF HOPE
In the beginning we are introduced to Krypton. The planet known for being Kal-El’s home planet that has a red sun rather than a yellow one.
We see Jor-El speaking to the council about harvesting the core of the planet which is the reason for the impending doom of Krypton. The opening of this movie gives us all a different look at Krypton with its politics, nature/animal life forms and technology. A man tries to reason with the Kryptonian council to save the people of Krypton. Not by fear or war but by hope. By looking to the stars like their ancestors. It may have been too late for the people living on the planet but not their legacy.
Not only do we see Jor-El trying to help his people his way but we see also the way General Zod tries to save his people. Zod tries to save Krypton through military force, fear and war. Zod’s command of the military forces is what he was created as a child to do.
The opening just shows that the people on any world are divided by some force of nature. That amongst all living beings there will always be someone on a demanding end. And some on the side of hope.
Unlike other incarnations of the character on screen, we have a better connection to not only Jor-El but also Lara. We saw the pain she felt when she knew she had to say goodbye to her son in order to save him from death on his home world and become the last hope of Krypton’s survival.
To me, I felt for these characters more in this opening scene than I ever had before. With Hanz Zimmer’s beautifully crafted score over the top, it just brought down every type of connection. It really made you feel for Jor-El and Lara. I also think we can agree that the music makes up a lot of the emotional attachment to the scenes in any movie. Without James Horner’s beautiful score for James Cameron’s 1986 Aliens, would that film have been as scary as it was? I don’t think so.
SOON THEY TO WILL JOIN YOU IN THE SUN
David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan had written, in my eyes a great, fresh take on Superman that not only respected the original 1978 Richard Donner film but also Superman himself. Zack Snyder brought that to life on screen with amazing visuals, stunning graphics and great directing.
Zack Snyder captured great moments on camera. Whether it be someones emotion or just a peaceful shot of scenery, one thing that he captured in my eyes was in the first teaser trailer for the movie with the young Clark Kent running around a clothes line with a red blanket on as a cape. That trailer and those moments not only stunned me with how beautiful it was shot, it also reminded me a lot of me when I was a child growing up. I was running around with a Superman cape pretending to save people, and now my little girl does it too but as Supergirl or Batgirl, and that to me makes this film also very relatable.
As the movie progress’s you see Clark Kent as an adult working different jobs under different names. It shows that he is not sure where he wants to be in this world; where is his place. He see’s the different type’s of people around the world, those who are bullies to the weak and those who cannot defend themselves against them. He steps in because he believes helping people is the right thing to do. To give them hope that there are people out there looking out for those who need help.
He jumps at the moment to help those people on the burning oil rig even though we heard over the radio that it was to late for them, but he believed that he could help them and he was slowly finding out his place in the world, which is to be the worlds beacon of hope.
Clark’s journey as an adult in Man of Steel shows his growth in character and his care for the people.
Jonathan Kent taught Clark as we had seen in the beautiful moments of the flashback scenes with the talented Kevin Costner. When Clark was being bullied he said that he wanted to hurt them, he wanted to fight back. Jonathan said “but then what” telling him that he needs to decide what kind of man he wants to grow up to be, whether it be good or bad he is gonna change the world and the smallest decisions in life will make a big impact of who he will become.
Ultimately Jonathan’s teaching helped Clark grow up into the beacon of hope that the world needs. In the end he was still unsure what to do, but also knew what the right thing to do was. As the priest says to him, “sometimes you have got to take a leap of faith, the trust part comes later”.
I believe the writing and story for this movie is strong and brilliant, it also sends a message that we ourselves need to find our path. Our decisions is in doing whats right. We can live on the ground full of negativity and cruelty against one another, or we can look to the sky and join each other in the sun. We may fall, we may stumble, but in the end we will bring hope back to the world.
A lot of people’s negativity on this movie comes from nolstalgia and what they remember growing up with the likes of Superman the Movie. People are so fixated on the past and what they remember as it was like when they grew up. They don’t realise how close Man of Steel and Superman the Movie really are in comparison.
But some people don’t believe in generation change and think that some things should stay the same. The 1978 Superman is great for its time, but this is the Superman of this generation. This is the story being told in this generation. Same thing can be said for the Star Wars fandom. The original John Williams Superman theme doesn’t need to be a part of this Superman. It is a different generation.
Superman Returns tried to bring back the magic of the original but again, even with the original theme and similar tone, it still divided fans as they say they were trying to copy Christopher Reeves superman.
THE BEACON OF HOPE
The moment superman walks out of the Kryptonian scout ship and looks to the sun and breathes it all in, to me is one of the best captured moments on screen. When he kneels down, takes a deep breath and looks up, you see some of the snow and rocks around him lift up as he is about to take off. With Hanz Zimmer beautiful track called ‘First Flight’ it just captures everything that is Superman. The journey we watched with him growing up in Man of Steel and everything we have seen before in real life being the original movies or comics. It showed superman becoming the beacon of hope. Him believing that he knows what the right thing to do is.
The fight scenes were perfectly choreographed to represent the power of the Kryptonians. Jay Oliver the great director of a lot of the animated DC movies (Justice League War / The Dark Knight Returns), helped Zack Snyder story board out the fight scenes. To bring something we haven’t scene on the big screen before, and i believe it worked. The fight in the final act was great and nothing like we had really seen before. It showed the destruction that was capable of happening if something like this were to occur. It also showed the kind of fear that it could bring on the humans. But also showed that humans too could be heroes at any time. With Perry White and Lombard willing to sacrifice their lives trying to save Jenny from her untimely death under the rubble of a destroyed building.
Superman taking Zods life at the end was a symbol of hope, Superman didn’t want to kill Zod but Zod had left him no choice. He had to choose between his own people who came down from the heavens to invade earth and remake Krypton, destroying humanity in the process, or the people and the world he grew up with. His journey was leading up to this decision. Superman decides to fight for the people who can’t defend themselves, the peaceful minds of humankind. The movie really gives a insight to the humanity inside of Superman. He is just as much human as he is alien, and he is just as much Clark Kent as he is Superman.
WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT SAVING THE WORLD
All in all, this movie shows great emotion and human feelings. Superman’s doubt, his journey, and his belief in hope. Alongside Hanz Zimmer’s score, as soon as the piano starts on Superman’s theme it sends shivers down my spine. You can here the emotion vibrate and deepen itself within the moments in the movie.
To me Man of Steel is the perfect blend of reality and a comic movie. The humour in the movie is not ‘thrown in your face laugh out loud’ humour, but it is there.
I still believe in Snyder’s vision for the DCEU and hope that he comes back to do more with his team behind him including Amir Mokri (Director of Photography), David Brenner (Editor), Clay Enos (Still Photographer), and wife Deborah Snyder (Producer) just to name a few who helped with this movie. He can bring beautiful cinematic films for us to watch and enjoy. There are plenty of action and deep emotional stories to be told and I hope he continues to bring us more.
I give the movie a score of 8/10.
The movie has it’s flaws, but in my eyes it is a solid story and is beautifully shot with an even more brilliant score that just blends so well in my head. I don’t look for negatives in movies, I look at what is great about movies when I watch them. The musical score has a big impact in any movie. Man of Steel is a very underrated movie that i don’t believe deserves the hate it gets, but that is me.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review and I hope if you didn’t really enjoy this movie the first time around, you will watch it again and see it in a different way. I hope you all look after yourself and please leave any comments as I would love to hear back.
Thank you sincerely,
(Review by KyloKent)