Superhero based movies are a hot commodity. Living out these fantastic comic books on a giant movie screen has fans and casual movie goers flocking to box offices on opening weekends. The summer is a fine time to bring this eye-grabbing epics to theaters. Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder and starring a dashing Henry Cavill, dropped this past Friday. The most surprising thing that could have possibly happened to such a brilliant film was the controversy that followed.
That’s right. “Superman” kills General Zod after he threatens all of humanity and turns his heat vision of an innocent family in a near destroyed Metropolis. Zod and his fellow Kryptonian soldiers are attempting to terraform Earth so they can rebuild their race using a Codex which is inside Kal. After their plans are thwarted, an angry Zod begins to brutally fight Kal. The fight ends with Kal snapping Zod’s neck, ending his life.
As a viewer, I did not think twice about this until the internet lit up. There were (slight) problems with the film, but that scene was not one of them. What people seem to forget is that this is a young “Superman”. He is not even called “Superman” in the film which was probably a carefully devised plan by all of those involved. There has to be a reason this movie was not called “Superman” and the word “super” was never even used in relation to him. That reason was to differentiate the Superman everyone knows and the inexperience hero on screen. This is Kal’s first fight. His first time even using his natural born powers to this extent. He is faced with choosing between his birth people and those he has spent 33 years with.
Henry Cavill is perfect at conveying the many facets of this early Superman. Even after the unfortunate death of Zod (because you can definitely empathize with him. He’s not truly a “bad” guy in the traditional sense), Kal was very emotional to the point of a screaming painfully. Whether this was about the destruction all around him or the destruction of his Kyrptionian race is ambiguous.
Many have likened this movie to the Avengers, again, as if Avengers is the movie all other superhero movies strive to be. No. There are to many differences between the two to compare them to each other. Man of Steel has one hero. Avengers has six. Man of Steel has a superhero at the very beginning of his heroics. Avengers has seasoned heroes. You can not completely level NYC in a film like that without some backlash unlike the fictional Metropolis being nearly wiped off the map with buildings falling on people and whatnot.
Now, being honest, people are just trying to find something wrong with a film based on a DC property while they keep Marvel movies on a pedestal. Did you all forget the recent mess that was Iron Man 3?