DVD of the Week: 'Man of Steel'

Man of Steel was probably doomed from the start. Practically every fanboy on Earth questioned Zack Snyder's choice to reboot the origin story we've seen and already loved before, so why go that route yet again? But if you somehow missed it in theaters, put down your preconceived notions and give it a look at home.

Snyder gives this origin tale a slightly different and definitely more serious spin, and it plays up the fact that Superman is, ya know, an alien. A good first third of the movie explores Supes extraterrestrial history: what life was like as it ended on his planet, how exactly Superman got to Earth, how he felt growing up as "the weird kid" in school alienated, so to speak, by his classmates even when he's just trying to help, and the tender relationship he has with his parents--who know he ain't from around here, but they don't love him any less. (The movie as much a father-son tale as it is anything--how many superhero movies can also call themselves tearjerkers?)

The fish-out-of-water element takes an even grimmer turn when a determined reporter (Amy Adams, redefining the meaning of "spunky" but likable in the end) discovers his story and by leaking it to a rival paper, sets the wheels in motion for evil General Zod (who wants Superman's genetic code to further their race under his control on a distant planet -- someone should have told Michael Shannon to dial back the crazy eyes just a bit), to come to Earth for the inevitable showdown. And it's SOME showdown, one many complained had way too much CGI and quick-cutting action in a violent, incomprehensible and prolonged climax that underwhelmed as much as it overwhelmed. Other than a few lighter moments (the exchange between Superman and Lois about his "S" symbol is great) touches of humor are woefully few and far between, and chemistry between Lois and Clark doesn't come across. Be that as it may, it may not be the Superman you were looking for, but the movie is well worth watching for some dynamic set pieces, the well-done setup and terrific performances all around.

Extras: Featurettes on the evolution of the characters, Henry Cavill's training regimen and the Krypton tech (DVD/BD); the Blu-ray and 3D combo pack add two more featurettes on the planet Krypton and a video commentary on the film with the cast and Snyder that plays alongside the entire movie.

 

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Next Article by Derrick Deane

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