Finally, a damn good modern Superman movie. I was excited when I saw the first trailer and had high hopes for this movie and it did not disappoint. I saw it opening weekend at the movie theater and watched it again recently on blu-ray and enjoyed it even more.
The main thing that made this movie work so well was Henry Cavill as Superman. Perfect casting. They did not just go for someone with the right look, but someone who could really portray this character perfectly for a modern audience. Unlike most portrayals of the first superhero, Cavill did not come off as perfect. When Zod threatens his mother we see a natural reaction of pure rage and the destruction that can be caused by someone in that mental state who has super powers. Some people did not like that aspect of his character in the movie, but I really felt it rang true. He is young and learning and mistakes will be made which is how life works.
I also enjoyed Michael Shannon’s Zod. He showed glimpses of being a good person, but in the end threw it out the door and was willing to sacrifice an entire planet to save his people…understandable, but still pretty darn nasty. His fights with Superman were brutal and came off amazingly well.
Other great casting choices include Amy Adams as Lois Lane. I never liked Margot Kidder’s portrayal of Superman’s love interest and really feel that Adams is the first person to nail that character perfectly. Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, etc…were all great casting choices. A lot of effort was put into making this a great Superman movie and I really feel they succeeded.
The biggest point of contention many people had with this movie is when *spoiler alert* Superman kills Zod. The general consensus was that Superman would never kill. I have two issues with that. First off, in this movie he is not a flawless character as we normally see him portrayed. He is young and learning so mistakes will be made. Secondly, one of the biggest issues I have with heroes in comic books is when they do not kill. If Batman would just kill the Joker then thousands of lives would be saved. Superman killing Zod saved that family and untold numbers of other lives. Zod had to die. It was the right thing to do.
This is definitely a must see movie and only gets better with repeated viewings.