CLEVELAND - When I first heard that Warner Brothers planned to do another Superman origin story I was not happy. Even naming the movie, "Man of Steel" I felt was unimaginative. They were just ripping off Nolan who used Batman's nickname as the title of his second sequel, "The Dark Knight." The final strike for me was when it was announced that General Zod would be the villain.
When you read the blogs online I knew I was not alone in my feelings. The only saving grace was when Nolan said he would be a producer on the film and he co-wrote the story. Now flash forward to a movie that opens nationwide at Midnight. Just the movie clips and three trailers alone have people wowed to see this picture. There was a special screening of the movie in Cleveland at the Cinemark at Valley View Theater this past Monday.
The reaction to the picture as people were leaving reminded me of those famous words from former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens, "Get your popcorn ready." Folks, hold on to your seatbelts because the action in "Man of Steel" is a cinegraphic thrill ride that you would experience on a roller coaster at Cedar Point.
From the opening scene you could tell director Zack Snyder was saying this is a rebirth of the franchise. Forget what you have seen in the 1970's Christopher Reeve Superman. The look is different, the feel is different, the music flows with ease as it rides along with you from scene to scene.
We see a very different looking Krypton not the large ice sickles we saw in the 1970s. We see an ancient looking but very sophisticated race of people who have chosen to have children born for a specific reason. Kal-El (superman) was born naturally which is a problem.
The interaction of Russell Crowe (Jor-El superman's Kryptonian father) and Michael Shannon (General Zod) is amazing. But this Zod is not the kneel before me type. He is trying to protect his people they only way he knows how as a soldier. So he's not the typical bad guy.
And when you think about what Jor-El does which some could describe as self-serving; you can understand Zod. My friend who came with me to the premier said she thought Jor-El was a jerk for what he did. I heard one national reporter say, ‘If this movie was made for Kryptonians, Zod might be seen as a hero." Let me know what you think because I believe he may be right.
There is a famous scene in the 1970's superman movie where a young Clark lets the Kent's know just how strong he is. I was expecting to see that but Snyder chose to tell this movie of a young Clark mostly in flashback, which I thought, worked brilliantly. We travel with Clark as he is trying to figure out who he is. He goes from job to job using different names and remains mostly a loaner. The amazing thing is how his parents taught him to hold his temper. There is a scene in a bar where I think I would have used my heat vision but Clark just wipes off the hot coffee. When you see the movie ask yourself what would you have done?
Funny thing is Snyder said he wanted this movie to seem real. That a man who could fly could exist in this world? The situations that he puts a young Clark through are situations you and I have been through many times. But I bet some of our reactions were not always super.
The casting of Amy Adams was not a thrilling moment for me but after seeing her play Lois Lane I thought she was perfect for the part. She doesn't seem over the top. She seems very real. A lot like some of the aggressive reporters I've known over the years. And you will see why sometimes in news you might know information but you don't report it. You see why Superman falls for Lane. For the first time in his life he's able to be himself and he doesn't have to hide.
There are a couple of things I think didn't work in the movie. When he flies for the first time I think I would have had the same reaction he did. He was smiling, laughing, an in disbelieve that he was soaring through the sky like a bird, a plane, no Superman. Snyder said if you could fly you wouldn't go slow you would go as fast as you can. Sounds true no? The flying scenes are incredible but I thought the movie didn't go into enough detail about how he knew he could fly. One minute it was like, "Up, up and away."
Finally, the ending scene I thought didn't work and made no sense. Funny, it's a movie about aliens, people as strong as steel, heat vision, people flying around punching each other in the sky and somebody going to work makes no sense? I guess in the end me going to work at Channel 5 in a suit and me stopping by there to pick up a few things in jeans and a T-shirt have a common thread right? It's still me.
Mobile users watch the trailer here: http://youtu.be/NlOF03DUoWc