Man of Steel has integrity, good performances, and mega-action, but be advised, it feels like two movies. At two and a half hours, there is plenty of time for each. The first part traces Kal-El’s origins from his birth and send off, Moses-like, from the dying planet of Krypton by his father Jor-El. Played with serious intention by a convincingly stoic Russell Crowe, Jor-El invokes the wrath of General Zod, usurper of the throne of Krypton. He will spend decades searching for the cast-off son and sole bearer of Krypton’s remaining DNA. He is an arch-villain bent on wiping out both Kal-el and all the inhabitants of Earth. But before this high stakes cosmic conflict begins, there is a gentler movie.
Appropriately, the film begins with the birth of Kal-El. The Krypton segments feature some fresh and dazzling effects that put the design of the film firmly in sci-fi territory. When we get to Earth and to the boy now known as Clark Kent, the film is shot in muted colors and sepia tones in an effort to evoke the warm glow of Kansas fields and domestic life. It is amid this Terrence Malick-like scenario that Clark comes of age and learns to cope with his curious powers. Ma and Pa Kent are nicely played by Diane Lane and real live Midwesterner, Kevin Costner, who teaches young Clark lessons in humility, patience, and what having his divine powers might mean: will he someday be the earth’s savior?
As part of his training, Clark even reads Plato, . . . Continue Reading