tek's rating:

Man of Steel (PG-13)
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Caution: spoilers!

This is the first film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). It came out in 2013, but I didn't see it until 2021. It begins on Krypton, with Jor-El (Russell Crowe) trying to convince the council that extreme measures need to be taken to preserve the Kryptonian race, now that their planet is doomed. That's interrupted by an insurrection by General Zod and his followers, though they're later captured after a large battle, and sent to the Phantom Zone. Meanwhile, Jor-El steals something called the "Codex," which he sends to Earth with his infant son, Kal-El. After arriving on Earth, the scene switches to Kal-El (now named Clark Kent; played by Henry Cavill) as a young man who is unsure of his destiny, but knows he wants to use his powers to help people. Throughout the film there will be flashbacks to his childhood. His adoptive parents, Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane), do their best to raise and guide him toward the good man they hope he'll be. Though Jonathan stresses that he'll have to keep his powers a secret.

Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams) travels to the Arctic, where an ancient Kryptonian ship had been found. She meets Clark and soon learns of his powers, but when she returns to Metropolis, Perry White (Laurence Fishburne) refuses to publish her story about aliens. So instead, she gives her story to a shady online news outlet. Meanwhile, Clark discovered a recording of his father's memories in the ship (via a key Jor-El had sent with him as a baby), and finally learns where he came from and what his destiny is (or could be). He also receives the suit he'll wear as Superman (though that name doesn't get used until much later). Lois eventually tracks Clark to Smallville, Kansas, where she meets Martha (Jonathan is now dead). She finally agrees to keep Clark's identity secret.

Clark revels in testing his powers (including learning to fly). But then Zod and his followers (including sub-commander Faora-Ul, who is pretty badass) arrive at Earth and issue an ultimatum, for Kal-El to surrender himself in exchange for Zod not harming humanity. (He's desperate to get his hands on the Codex, but I won't spoil anything about that.) Clark does so, after turning himself in to the U.S. military. And for a reason I don't understand, Zod wants Lois to come with Kal-El. Whatever the reason, it gives her a chance to meet the recording of Jor-El, who tells her how Zod's forces can be defeated. But before that can happen, Zod starts terraforming Earth to turn it into a new Krypton, which would lead to the extinction of humanity. So of course there are lots of battles between Superman and the Kryptonians, as well as the military vs. the Kryptonians (which doesn't go so well). And of course, thanks to Superman's efforts as well as Lois's information and help from Dr. Emil Hamilton, the Kryptonians are finally defeated. And Clark decides to take a job at the Daily Planet (where Lois pretends to be meeting him for the first time).

Well, I think this is my favorite Superman movie to date. It was certainly the most serious and dramatic Superman film I've ever seen, and the most realistic. I liked all the characters, and the epic battles (which wrought a hell of a lot of destruction, unfortunately), and little bits of humor peppered throughout the film (some of which could be easy to miss). And I suppose I don't have anything more insightful than that to say about the movie, but it gives me hope that I'll enjoy more of the DCEU movies whenever I get around to watching them.

comic book movies

DC Extended Universe
TV Tropes; Wikia; Wikipedia

Man of Steel * Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice * Suicide Squad * Wonder Woman * Justice League * Aquaman * Shazam! * Birds of Prey *
Wonder Woman 1984 * The Suicide Squad * Black Adam * Shazam! Fury of the Gods * The Flash * Blue Beetle
TV: Crisis on Infinite Earths * Peacemaker