Comic Vine Review


Man of Steel Review


Kal-El returns to the big screen in an amazingly entertaining fashion.

Ladies and gentlemen, there's a new "best comic book movie" in town and it goes by the name of Man of Steel. Sporting great performances and breathtaking action sequences, Clark Kent's return thankfully lives up to the mountain of hype and anticipation we've endured for at least several months. This new take on the iconic character delivers a constantly epic atmosphere which mixes a more serious tone with a lot of over the top fun. And when I say "a lot," I mean it.

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Yes, this is a reboot of Superman's origin -- a story we've seen countless times before -- but it doesn't suffer from a sense of overfamiliarity at all. They clearly draw elements from various comic stories from time to time ('Earth One' obviously inspired General Zod's broadcast and the symbol standing for hope comes from 'Birthright'), but for the most part, this is a mostly fresh take on the legendary character. After the grand sci-fi opening on Krypton (Russell Crowe's Jor-El is a boss), we fast forward to grown up Clark. From there, we're treated to emotionally compelling flashbacks about him learning to cope with his powers and receiving moral guidance from the Kents. There's some changes here and there to the mythos and I imagine some fans won't dig it, but for the most part, I think it's something many of us won't mind -- especially when countered by all of the things this film does so well.

Remember how The Avengers hit us with an astonishing and goosebump inducing battle in New York? I honestly believed a comic book movie (in the near future, that is) wouldn't be able to bring that level of greatness again, but Man of Steel totally does and then some. The action pieces are absolutely staggering and downright surreal. Director Zack Snyder fully unleashes the power behind these characters and when they throwdown it's visceral, intense and had my jaw dropped basically the entire time. While the two huge action scenes may be a bit too long for some, it was nothing but pure bliss for me -- I seriously can't get over how good they were and I was in awe.

My only minor gripe with these scenes was the lack of concern over the populated areas, but at least they tried to justify it each time (for example, one time Clark is beyond pissed and another time he tells them to leave). After all, Clark is new to this and he's not exactly dictating the fights all the time. It's something I can overlook, but when Clark tackles his enemy through a convenience store and blows up a gas station before the area is evacuated, I'm sure some of you will tilt your heads. And speaking of stores, holy product placement, Batman! If that kind of thing bugs you, then there's sure to be a few moments that'll make you groan.

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What really sells every scene (you know, aside from super powered punches) are the superb performances and Hans Zimmer's excellent score. The music simply brings everything to the next level, making even seemingly basic moments come off as extraordinary and legendary. You'll definitely want to see this one in a theater with quality speakers.

Michael Shannon kills it as General Zod, delivering a commanding performance and truly selling the raw emotion behind his standout acts. As for Henry Cavill... well, the man just oozes "Superman." Some may complain he's a man of few words in this film, but the quieter moments with the character allow him to physically convey the tone and he does so extremely well. And, when he does chat, you can really sense the warmth, honesty and good will behind his version of Clark -- and seeing as he's a character meant to inspire us, that's critical. Also, I thought he and Amy Adams had fantastic chemistry and she definitely brings a brave and believable Lois Lane to the table. Aside from one Daily Planet employee having a silly line or two, the remainder of the cast does a more than able job as well.

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It's clear Warner Bros. had a "go big or go home" mentality when kicking off the new direction for their DC universe and they delivered big time. I spotted at least two Easter Eggs which filled my face with such a goofy smile and I haven't been this excited about a movie universe's future since Tony Stark met Nick Fury. Speaking of which, there unfortunately wasn't a mid or post credits scene during my screening.

I do have some small problems with the film, but honestly, they're massively overshadowed by the things I loved. This isn't just my favorite comic book movie at the moment -- it's one of the best moviegoing experiences I've had in quite some time. With gripping performances and overflowing with absurdly impressive action, it's safe to say many of you out there will love Man of Steel every bit as much as I did. I know I'm definitely going to see it at least two more times.

505 CommentsRefresh
Avatar image for spitfireink
Posted By SpitfireINK

Review definitely seem a little * INFLATED *

Avatar image for g_money_christmas
Posted By G_Money_Christmas

Awesome! I trust @k4tzm4n more than those RottenTomatoes a-holes who are solely critics, not true comic fans (most of them at least). I can't wait to see it, I have to wait until Sunday, though, because I'm going to be out of town until then: /

On a side note, it was nice to see Clark wearing a Jayhawks shirt in one scene. As a native Kansan, (yeah, I'm from the same state as Superman, beat that) I just like seeing stuff like that in films.

Avatar image for charliejade
Posted By CharlieJade

Avatar image for lone_wolf_and_cub
Posted By Lone_Wolf_and_Cub

5 stars get thrown around way too much on this site. Just look at comic book reviews. That being said I'm sure it's a good movie but nothing ground breaking.

Avatar image for kzr
Posted By KZR

Great review. Definitely going to see it.

Avatar image for the_stegman
Posted By The Stegman

I'm Super excited! Seeing it Friday!

Avatar image for rich711
Posted By Rich711

@jonny_anonymous: Only the most ridiculous of fanboys would give it 10/10. It's like an 8 year old who's favorite movie is whatever movie they last saw.

Avatar image for jamdamage
Posted By JamDamage

so far the sites I've been reading reviews on are comic book sites. This and IGN gave it great reviews so I'm sold. I can care less what the news papers say. Fanboys are the real reviewers here.

Avatar image for rustyroy
Posted By RustyRoy

@k4tzm4n I'm guessing that silly Daily Planet employee is Ms. Olsen. Great review btw, I'm going to see it on Friday.

Avatar image for k4tzm4n
Posted By k4tzm4n

@rustyroy: Thank you.

The character's last name is never revealed -- they just call her 'Jenny.' And yes :)

Avatar image for johnkmccubbin91
Posted By johnkmccubbin91

@tikhunt: Thanks very much. Yours is pretty cool to.

Avatar image for jonny_anonymous
Edited By Jonny_Anonymous

@rich711 said:

@jonny_anonymous: Only the most ridiculous of fanboys would give it 10/10. It's like an 8 year old who's favorite movie is whatever movie they last saw.

Right and I suppose your the definitive opinion in this film then?

Avatar image for ultrastarkiller
Edited By ULTRAstarkiller

@batmannflash: Probably not but I bet it will be better than Batman Begins.

Avatar image for sylvain
Edited By Sylvain

See you soon Man Of Steel (i'm gonna see it in a week) 5/5?Exaggeration isnt it?

Avatar image for crazy_wilhelm
Posted By Crazy_Wilhelm

I'm hyped. Thanks for the review.

Avatar image for batmannflash
Edited By batmannflash

@ultrastarkiller: Yeah I don't think it'll be better than Dark Knight. However, I think it'll be better than Batman Begins and TDKR

Avatar image for k4tzm4n
Posted By k4tzm4n

I'm hyped. Thanks for the review.

You're very welcome.

@sylvain said:

See you soon Man Of Steel (i'm gonna see it in a week) 5/5?Exaggeration isnt it?

Is it? Perhaps you can let me know after you've actually seen the movie.

Avatar image for enigmalantern
Posted By EnigmaLantern

I have to wait until Wednesday to go and watch it because of exams beforehand, so frustrated, how can I wait THAT long to see this film. Damn it, I hate College.

Avatar image for saoakden
Posted By saoakden


Avatar image for superboy101
Edited By Superboy101

Midnight premiere...I'll be there.

Avatar image for flameboy298
Edited By flameboy298

The Critics on Rotten Tomatoes pulled this movie apart,and Iron Man 3 was rated higher then this WTF?

Avatar image for sylvain
Posted By Sylvain

@k4tzm4n: Yeah yeah yeah what next Iron Man 3 deserves a 5stars? .....i alway knew Iron Man 3 would not be a great movie and this is why i didnt see it in the theaters.You dont need to see the movie to know what its worth (approximately).

Avatar image for wonderwoman100
Posted By WonderWoman100

I'm Going To See It Next Thursday With My Younger Brother

Avatar image for modunhanul
Edited By modunhanul

I was so happy to read this review, because I had gotten REALLY down reading the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. I need to remember to stay where the geeks are.

Me too.

Avatar image for flameboy298
Posted By flameboy298

5 stars get thrown around way too much on this site. Just look at comic book reviews. That being said I'm sure it's a good movie but nothing ground breaking.

Ign gave it 9/10

Avatar image for gray_star
Posted By Gray_Star

Can't wait. This is my most anticipated movie of the year! I hope this is the beginning of a larger cinematic universe.

Avatar image for flameboy298
Posted By flameboy298

@sylvain said:

@k4tzm4n: Yeah yeah yeah what next Iron Man 3 deserves a 5stars? .....i alway knew Iron Man 3 would not be a great movie and this is why i didnt see it in the theaters.You dont need to see the movie to know what its worth (approximately).

The only thing good about Iron Man 3 were the trailers,I was really disappointed when I seen the movie.It was pretty average IMO not sure how everybody is still praising that movie

Avatar image for k4tzm4n
Posted By k4tzm4n

@sylvain said:

@k4tzm4n: Yeah yeah yeah what next Iron Man 3 deserves a 5stars? .....i alway knew Iron Man 3 would not be a great movie and this is why i didnt see it in the theaters.You dont need to see the movie to know what its worth (approximately).

Actually, I gave it 4 stars. Anything else you'd like to assume?

Avatar image for lurkero
Edited By Lurkero

I still say that Superman should have worn a belt to break the costume up. Not matter how good the movie is that will bother me.

Well said. I think that sums it up.

Avatar image for Paragon_Sean
Edited By Paragon_Sean

5/5! That's a relief, all those negative reviews had gotten my hopes down.

Can't wait to see this!

Avatar image for fragmentmind
Posted By fragmentmind

In the Bahamas and I'm ready to watch this! Movie tickets are $7 and it'll be in the good theatre!

Avatar image for ultrastarkiller
Posted By ULTRAstarkiller
Avatar image for lunacyde
Posted By Lunacyde

Midnight showing tomorrow...helllz ya

Avatar image for thereaper111
Posted By TheReaper111

can not wait!!!

Avatar image for drgnx
Posted By drgnx


There are always haters out there or folks looking to make a name for themselves, by giving negative reviews to enjoyable movies.

Avatar image for starkiller809
Posted By StarKiller809

I'm so happy to see Comic Vine gave it 5-Stars. I've been looking at the reviews and most of them are positive but there are some that mixed. Not many negative, and that's a good thing.

I'm going to see it tomorrow. I got the Special Presentation passes at Wal-Mart and will be going with a friend. I'm so pumped. It's going to be awesome.

Avatar image for muyjingo
Posted By MuyJingo
@k4tzm4n said:

Obviously! Warner Bros/DC is quite concerned over Man of Steel so they said, "QUICKLY! SOMEONE BRIBE COMIC VINE! IT'S THE ONLY WAY WE'LL SAVE MAN OF STEEL!"

Or, I spent the review explaining why I loved the movie and believe it deserves 5/5.


A third option might be you loved the movie but still stook the bribe money....j/k.

I'm really interested to see the movie. I've read quite a few conflicting reviews...the major gripes seem to be:

  • According to about half the reviews I've read, half the movie is full of heart and humanity for the first part.....this is all abandoned in the second half where it's just a CGI fight spectacle.
  • Superman is humorless and not so...friendly. No saving people with a smile and giving reassurance. One review that I read stated it is hard to understand why Superman wants to save these people...which is going to stay with em until after I see it.
  • The relationships with Clark and others are not clark kent the reporter, no relationship between Clark and Lois etc...this doesn't really bother me as it can evolve in later films.

Do you have any thoughts on those points?

The not caring about innocent people kind of bothers me...although that also never seemed to be an issue on Superman:TAS.

I hope it isn't too prominent....Nolan had Batman takes lives due to collateral damage without a second though which always bothered me.

Avatar image for drgnx
Edited By drgnx

Go an avoid the superman section till Friday, didn't read this article as to avoid any potential spoilers.

Avatar image for janus12746
Posted By Janus12746

To be honest was very worried when Snyder was attached to direct this movie, of course he does action sequences well but as far as storytelling, not his strong suit imo. That is why I became optimistic when I heard Christopher Nolan was involved. Reading this review and countless others it seem like the two balanced each other out well, getting the best of both worlds, with Snyder's action and Nolan's storytelling, I can't wait to see it!!!

Avatar image for banestrokelobogrundybatarrow
Posted By BaneStrokeLoboGrundyBatArrow

I want to see it

Avatar image for zeeguy91
Edited By Zeeguy91

@flameboy298 said:

The Critics on Rotten Tomatoes pulled this movie apart,and Iron Man 3 was rated higher then this WTF?

Not really. MoS still got a pretty good score on RT, considering how that site usually tears movies apart. So far, it still does seem like the majority of reviewers on RT like it.

Anyway, so far it looks like it'll be one of those cases where the critics give it mixed reviews, but the vast majority of moviegoers will end up loving it.

Avatar image for shadowswordmaster
Posted By ShadowSwordmaster

I hope to see it this Sunday .

Avatar image for stmichalofwilson
Edited By StMichalofWilson


Avatar image for theheat
Posted By TheHeat

Metacritic and RT would disagree. Even popular movie reviewers like Schmoes Know, Jeremy Jahns, Grace Randolph, and Chris Stuckmann were left underwhelmed. I'm still going to enjoy it, but my expectations will be lowered.

Avatar image for the_mast
Posted By The Mast

This is getting incredibly polarising reviews.

Even the positive ones can't even escape handicapping their compliments. It's always a bad sign when even the compliments say, "Despite flaws..." or "Even though it...". I'm concerned.

Avatar image for lordraiden
Posted By lordraiden

Biggest question is, is there any lead in to the DCU movie verse? Any other characters mentioned or seen?

Avatar image for snarkybits
Posted By snarkybits
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Every time I see a Gregg post, I think of:For this, he was wearing a superman costume...

Great review, sir. :)

Avatar image for lordraiden
Posted By lordraiden

And i'm so friggan pissed, have to wait another two weeks till the 26th here in Australia, I feel like I just wanna cry :-(

Avatar image for thegreatequalizermrnofear
Posted By TheGreatEqualizerMrNoFear

There's been so many bad reviews. But this review gave me Hope. Thank you for that.

Avatar image for fartvader
Posted By fartvader

@k4tzm4n you forgot to mention Kevin Costner's Jonathan Kent and Antje Traue's Faora! Costner did a stellar performance and Faora was really antagonizing and menacing considering she's just a supporting villain.