Jor-El (Russel Crow) is a scientist tries to convince the rulers of Krypton to abandon the planet due to it being completely dry of resources. General Zod throws a revolution against the current rulers and kills them. As Jor-El then fears for his sons life, the first natural born person on Krypton in eons, rushes off to ship his son to Earth. Kal-El/Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) grows up knowing his different and learns of his extraterrestrial heritage. He eventually has to defend Earth from General Zod who wants to rule Earth and rebuild Krypton.
This is a great fast paced movie. It starts with a bang with the destruction of Krypton. The struggles of any kid are amplified because Clark slowly starts to realize he’s different and his parents help him hide what he is. Later he travels the globe taking odd jobs and helping who he can when he can. Yes there is some immaturity to his actions, but most are within reason and for the greater good.
The greatest parts of the movie is that despite all Superman is facing he still takes time to see if others are OK, or safe. There’s a few scenes where he does ask if someone is OK during the middle of a fight or sky scrapers crashing down around everyone. This movie truly captures the essence of the Superman character: a almost pure (i.e. completely good) person. Which running into someone so flawless probably would be alien in itself which only adds to the stand-off-ish kinda personality of Superman.
In return this movie isn’t about much else. Yes, it answers questions like it tells why Jor-El sent Superman to Earth. It fails to be something concrete considering Superman would have turned out the way he did regardless because with most people ‘the apple doesn’t fall far form the tree.’ It also completely ties up whatever loose ends concerning the origins of Superman, and it did a lot better then I had expected.
Although I don’t understand why they introduced Lois Lane (Amy Adams), and their relationship so early. She came much later in Clark/Superman’s life and was more obsessed/in love with Superman then Clark. She was the making of a modern day working woman who’s more invested in a career then some man. So the fact that they left the whole relationship completely open was fine by me. It also left everyone to assume that it would be something in the sequel.
Oddly enough many have complained that half the movie doesn’t have Superman in it. Superman, in any form whether it be comics, movies, or tv shows, was rarely just about Superman. It was about the good in humanity, the durability of the human spirit, and how there are millions more out there like him willing, wanting, and able to help but they just can’t fly. More then half the characters in the displayed this. The best example was the side character Colonel Nathan Hardy, who was played by Christopher Meloni. I guess all those years on Law and Order: SVU did him well. Anyway, the two characters relationship develops over time and Colonel Hardy eventually sides with Superman. This showed Supermans slow ‘talk-things-through’ approach that you often see in the comics and it worked well with this character.
Every one did a decent job acting wise. Henry Cavill was good as Superman, but needs more lines to explore the emotional side of the character. Amy Adams was a cute additive, but, as said before, wasn’t really needed, even with the story structure. Richard Schiff did a decent job for most of the movie, but when the shit hit the fan in the later half of the movie he needed a little more UMPH to the performance when he realized everything was going to end for them badly. Michael Shannon was great as a insane bad ass as usual. Russell Crowe was great as ominous narrator, but the drama is sapped away later in the movie due to how calm him and Kent seem while they know billions could die in the next few hours.
This is worth seeing in theaters. The action is spot on and fun to watch. The character development is steady and leaves enough room for a sequel. It completely explores the Superman origins, even though it’s told in a more modern day explanation, and fully develops the Superman character. It even gives side characters enough room to grow. Just ignore the critics and go with a friend.