Plot: Any Superman fan knows how Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) was sent to Earth to escape his dying planet. But Man of Steel leaves out Lex Luthor, leaves out the secret identity and the journalism. Instead, General Zod follows Cal-El to Earth and threatens destruction unless he is handed over.
Aided by Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and the US military, Clark must decide whether the human race can be trusted to fight with or against him as he battles to save the planet from invasion. He must learn how to step out from the shadows and become a true hero.
Quote: `Sometimes, you have to take a leap of faith first. The trust part comes later.`
Opinion: Having wanted to see this film for so long, I was disappointed. Considering its running length, there is very little plot. Instead, it feels like the directors had been watching too much Star Wars and decided to see how many visually appealing fights they could work into the film.
It leaves out most of the classic Superman traits. Clark does not become a journalist to hide his secret identity. There is no secret identity. There is no Lex Luthor. There is also none of Superman flying to aid those who need help or becoming a hero before Zod invades Earth. Then there is the whole issue of trust and whether humanity will turn him over. Apart from a few concealed rescues, they have no reason to be loyal to him. If they introduced the rescuing element, it would make sense for humanity to rally to protect its saviour. As it is, they had no idea he was even there.
The majority of the film feels like a game involving how many buildings Superman can be thrown into. Most of the film is a fight sequence; Clark being constantly beaten up becomes boring. The humans put up more resistance than him and so the plot lacks engagement while his character is portrayed as weak and vulnerable. It feels like it is being done for the special effects: Clark can be thrown through buildings and live, so let’s do it because we can. His heroic status is lacking for the majority of the film.
Then there is Lois Lane. Admittedly, Adam’s performance is brilliant – one of the strongest of the cast. But she tracks him down and knows him as Clark from the start. If I had been aware the film broke with so many of the Superman conventions, I might have enjoyed it more. I was expecting something completely different and was therefore disappointed with the outcome.
However, the visual aspects of the film were effective and the performances were strong. Stepping away from the lack of plot, I could appreciate the work and effort that had gone into it. If you like films that are visually pleasing rather than focusing on the story, then there is every chance you would thoroughly enjoy this. I needed more of a plot with my fight though.