24 December 2013

Movie Review: "Man of Steel"

Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action, and destruction, and for some language
Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, and Michael Shannon
Released: June 14, 2013 (wide theatrical release) / November 12, 2013 (DVD/Blu-Ray)
Synopsis: Before the planet Krypton implodes, scientist Jor-El (Russell Crowe, Les Miserables) sends his son Kal-El (Henry Cavill, Immortals) to our planet for safety, where he is adopted by a young childless couple (Diane Lane, Secretariat, and Kevin Costner, Field of Dreams) in rural Smallville, Kansas.  As he grows up, he realizes there is something different about himself...but what could it be, and why does he have such abilities? When a group of criminals from Krypton come to Earth in search of Kal-El, they seem well-intentioned...until he and new friend Lois Lane (Amy Adams, Enchanted) find out that their actual intent is to destroy Earth solely to bring Krypton back to life.  Only a Man of Steel could even hope to stop them...but will he be enough?
Produced by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Inception).

Artistic Merit

Plot: 5/5
You know a movie is amazing when you watch it on your iPad and it still has you glued to the screen.  Seriously, though the story takes liberties with the Superman legend--as you can see above--the story is the same kind of engaging, suspenseful yarn we've come to expect from Christopher Nolan.

Production Values: 5/5
Nothing to complain about in this department, either.  Amazing acting; outstanding special effects; great soundtrack; wonderful action sequences...what's not to like?

Moral Content

Positive Elements: 4.5/5
Superman and others--including his adopted father--put their lives on the line to save others.  The villains' desire to get their way no matter the cost is shown as evil.  A priest tells Superman, "Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith," and he does.

Sex: 3.5/5
The movie starts off with a childbirth scene, though nothing explicit is shown.  There is also some kissing.  Probably the most serious thing is this department is a crude remark about "measuring" private anatomy.

Nudity: 3.5/5
Superman is seen shirtless for a while, and Lara (Superman's biological mother) wears a dress that shows a bit of cleavage.  Baby Kal-El's private area is shown a couple of times.

Language: 3.5/5
The d-word, a-word, and h-word are used about three times each, and the s-word as well as a euphemism for the f-word are both used once.  God's name is misused a couple of times, and a slang term for a part of the private anatomy is used twice.

Violence: 2/5
The good news about the violence in this movie is that it's only slightly bloody and not the least bit gory.  The bad news? There's quite a bit of it, and it's rather intense.  People are shot at with both earthly and intergalactic weapons; two people are killed by having their necks snapped; one man dies from a tornado; explosions and Kryptonians slamming through buildings happen quite frequently; and, at the start of the movie, a planet implodes.

Drugs: 4/5
A couple of brief scenes have people consuming alcoholic beverages.

Frightening/Intense Scenes: 1.5/5
Whether emotionally or violently, there's little in this film that isn't intense in some way.

Final Score: 4.5/5
After finishing this movie, all I can say is, "Wow." Christopher Nolan has done it once again, folks.  Some of the purists may bristle at the liberties that were taken with the story, but who wants to see the same exact tale told again and again? If you watch this movie...prepare to be amazed.

No comments:

Post a Comment