Feeling hesitant on whether or not you should see Man of Steel in the theaters this summer? Well, if you’re anything like me, you will have a comic book nerd’s conundrum on your hands and you will most likely be thinking about leaving every step of the way, even if you’re already in line. I bought pre-sale tickets and still almost didn’t go inside. But I did. And it was worth it. Why was it worth it? Well, I could go on and on for hours about why it was great, but I’ll save you from all of the spoilers and my fanboy ramblings and just narrow it down to ten major things that made this movie worth the price of admission.
1. Kevin Costner
If you don’t have some sort of emotional reaction to Kevin Costner as Superman’s dad every single time he’s on screen, you’re not a real person. Though he has a mere minutes on screen, his presence is felt throughout the entirety of the film. And to be quite honest, I don’t think the movie would work without him.
2. Henry Cavill
Finally, we have a Superman. Say what you will about past incarnations of the character, I think we can all finally agree to disagree about our respective favorites and come to the conclusion that Henry Cavill is Superman.
The opening sequence of the film is not Superman. The opening sequence of the film is not a bunch of outdated and almost Shakespearean Kryptonians arguing over stuff that no one really understands. And the opening sequence of the film is not just something that you watch once, and then when you rewatch it again on DVD or Blu-Ray, you fast-forward or skip the scene entirely. No. This movie’s opening sequence shows Russell Crowe kicking ass.
4. Russell Crowe
Say what you will about some of his recent role choices, but the guy’s still got it. If anyone could foreseeably birth a real-life Superman, it’s Russell Crowe. His portrayal of Jor-El is not only unique, but also has a sense of courage and grace that will probably never be recreated. It makes me want to not skip over all of the Kryptonian flashback stories in all of the comics when I go back and reread my stack of Superman books.
5. Michael Shannon
A villain that is, sorry to say it, pretty much a joke in the comics has been completely restored in my mind. He’s quick, dark, menacing, and powerful. And, when you really think about it, not necessarily even unjustified in his actions. A villain who accepts his role and will stop at nothing to do what he thinks is right is an important piece of the character puzzle that a lot of comic movies tend to leave out.
6. The Special Effects
Hands down, this is the best superhero film I’ve ever seen in terms of the fight sequences and the powers of its main character. Period. I never once thought “that looked dumb” or “oh, man, I really wish they hadn’t done that.”
We get the best of both worlds with a producer known for dark and gritty realism and a director known for brave and bold fantasy. It’s a match made in heaven.
8. Christopher Meloni
Such a minor role, with very vague ties to a fan-favorite D-list character pre-dating DC Comics’ reboot, handled with such grace and charisma. It’s always nice to see TV actors making it on the big screen. And not becoming a character actor or getting typecast as the hero or villain they play on their respective shows.
9. The Scope
This is the first superhero film that has ever actually seemed like I was watching a comic book. The fights are big. The world is big. And for once, the characters actually seem real. I don’t see the actors. I see the characters. This movie made its own universe, quite successfully, and never once did it even seem like I was actually watching a film.
10. The Script
Not since Batman Begins has there been a, dare I say it, perfect script in a comic book film. Yes, we’ve had great superhero films since (The Dark Knight, The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, just to name a few), but none have really felt like you were reading a comic book since Batman Begins. Until now.
So do yourself a favor. Go see Man of Steel. Multiple times. Hopefully I’ll see you there.