Ever since Marvel movies exploded onto the scene, Warner Brothers has been desperate to launch a Justice League feature similar to how Marvel did The Avengers. They planned to introduce individual characters in their own films, then combine the heroes, down the road, into one epic feature. However, unlike the competition, the plan keeps getting foiled by poor returns. Superman Returns was a mess, Green Lantern was by most accounts terrible (and a bomb), and the Wonder Woman movie cannot get off the ground. The only DC success story lately has been Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, and that was set in its own self-contained universe.
Now, in a last ditch effort to save a franchise, they have rebooted the Superman saga and brought us Man of Steel. Restarting franchises from scratch has proven to be very lucrative as of late, so why not do it to the most most well known superhero of all time? This time out, instead of being given the ultimate boy scout we get a tortured hero. He is haunted by decisions in his past and the results it had on the life of both himself, as well as that of his adoptive family. The Kent’s are not urging Clark (Henry Cavill) to do good things, instead, they are doing everything they can to keep his powers a secret, even if it means letting others get hurt so as not to expose him. Clark is then torn between doing what he could and what he should. His real decision comes when General Zod, a villain from his home planet of Krypton, shows up on Earth and threatens to cause major destruction.
This is not cheesy superhero movie like its predecessors, it is a very serious film like The Dark Knight. If you’re looking for humor, you may want to look elsewhere. The acting talent, and thereby the acting, is phenomenal. When you have the likes of Amy Adams, Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner around, what else can you expect. The action scenes, though minimal, are breathtaking. The lack of action throughout is what leads to my biggest complaint, and that is that the movie is very slow in parts. Maybe I expected more, but the movie could have easily been 45 minutes shorter.
In any case, Warner may have finally found its launching pad for a Justice League movie. Now lets just hope we are spared more half-assed attempts at getting other heroes launched. So in the end, I took three things away from this movie:
1- If handled with care, any superhero movie can be good
2- Marvel now has a reason to be concerned
3- No matter how much old age makeup you cover her in, Diane Lane is still completely doable