That is the best way, in a slightly corny style, to sum up this wonderful movie.
It is a great Superman movie. It’s an amazing Superman story. And it is most definitively a Superman for the here and now.
What follows is a SPOILER FREE look at the Man Of Steel film.
The basic beats all Superman origin stories encompass, and needs to, is that Kal-El is born on Krypton to Jor-El and Lara-El. Around this same time, Jor-El reveals that the planet is about to explode. Kal is sent to Earth and is found by a kindly couple named Jonathan and Martha Kent. They do there best raising a son with what could described as unique abilities. Upon adulthood, when the threat of danger presents itself, Clark Kent as he now is called, steps up to do the right thing. He becomes Superman!
And you are all saying: We Know This Already!
Yes, yes, you do. The basics everyone knows, almost like it is bonded to our DNA upon birth. Everything else is gravy added to the mix, all to bring humanity and texture and twists to the mythos.
And this film delivers all this in spades. Even with all my massive love and admiration for the original movie, I have long thought it was time to put it to rest. It is an undeniable classic, along with the sequel, but the slavish devotion to those movies slightly undermined Superman Returns.
So with the past now firmly buried, the Man Of Steel movie picks up the framework and gives it abit of a shake-up. Relationships are made more realistic, feelings of characters explored in a different light, and the science fiction elements pushed into moral areas.
Three parts, all lined up in the beginning of Man Of Steel, sets the template for the viewer that this new.
The very first scene. A daring way to begin, with hallmarks to the some of the later takes on the origins, provides a set-up not only to this story overall but also to multiple plot points.
After that initial scene, we shortly after glimpse what Krypton is like today. And thankfully, not a crystal in sight. Everything from the wardrobe to the architecture to the technology was very organic and felt right for this time and place.
During this segment, we see one bit that made me almost shout out in the theater. Longtime fans who have fond remembrances of the 1980’s and 1990’s will know what I am going on about. This is when I fully realized how much homework was put into Man Of Steel.
These clues that they plucked from the best of the comics was evident to a geek like me, who has read well over one thousand Superman stories, and it was much appreciated. Cobbled together into a seamless story are all these bits and pieces, from all sorts of media.
They take these all ideas and smash in a lot of realism, a trademark of Nolan who acts as producer, and makes the characters live in our world. Never once does Man Of Steel ring false, either with character or story or life.
The one dishearteningly aspect that hit me at the end of credits was how many critics I have read online who completely misrepresented so much of this movie. In fact, several outright lied about what happens on screen. That is dishonest, both intellectually and morally. Shame on them.
Otherwise, my geek heart has been dreaming about this move for almost twenty four hours. DC has to keep this momentum up and give us a Wonder Woman and Flash and a real Green Lantern movie. Then, finally, catch up with Marvel and provide a Justice League film.
The beginning has been set with the world’s greatest hero. Just like it should be.
…is currently reading The New 52 by DC Comics.
P.S. This post is one of several I hope to do this year to celebrate the 75th Birthday of Superman. Happy Birthday Kal-El! Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
P.P.S. Superman Man Of Steel opened Friday, June 14th 2013. For an indepth look at the creation of this landmark movie, check out Jeffrey Taylor’s columns.