Director Zack Snyder said that Superman needed to be juiced up and roughen his good reputation. Together with producer Christopher Nolan, he comes up with Man of Steel. It feels like the franchise starts from scratch because it doesn’t have the humor and charm of the original Superman as well as the iconic performance from Christopher Reeve.
Henry Cavill dons the red cape in Man of Steel. He plays the role as if it has never been played before. His Clark Kent is a loner raised by his foster parents Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha (Diane Lane). The story is still the same. Krypton is near its destruction and Jor-El (Russell Crowe) sends his son Kal-El to Earth in order to save him. General Zod follows the baby to take over the planet.
The storytelling of Man of Steel is not linear in nature. It starts with baby Kal-El in the lifeboat rocket and then shows 33 year old Clark working on a fishing trawler. It features flashbacks to fill up the rest of the story.
Costner gives a heartfelt portrayal of Jonathan Kent that lifts Man of Steel. As Jonathan, he tells Clark to hide his powers. In turn, Clark never smiles and doesn’t make any friends because of fear of becoming popular.
The Superman costume in Man of Steel is muted, just like the Clark character. He falls for Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams) while looking for the codex that holds the key to global domination. Amy Adams is perfect for the role. Her Lane sees Clark’s secret alter-ego even with his glasses on.
Man of Steel is a rough rollercoaster ride with lots of computer generated effects. It has a lot of angst and action that is incomparable with all of the past Superman movies combined.