Man of Steel made its cinematic debut on Friday June 14, 2013 and was welcomed by fans of the traditional Superman series. Man of Steel versus Superman of old, clearly exhibited updated cultural themes and futuristic animations. The Superman franchise is reborn and its savior is the Man of Steel.
The anchor in the original series, George Reeves was first to don the trademark cape of the famed hero in the 1950’s film version. The Superman series has always been a hit to the American public going from film to TV series in the Fifties up until the 2000’s with Smallville.
Christopher Reeve carried the gauntlet into the 1980’s with a series of phenomenal actors Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Ned Beatty, Kevin Spacey and Valerie Perrine. Comedian Richard Pryor also made an appearance in Superman III.
Brandon Routh appeared in Superman Returns and the audience was reintroduced to the mythology of the hero. In this film the subtle change to the Man of Steel persona was noticeable in the darkened suit; versus the old Superman with the vibrant colors of red and blue.
Man of Steel debuted with Henry Cavill as Superman and gave the aura of the Batman’s Dark Knight series. The darkened colors of the hero projected a hardened and resolve assurance as it relates to the character. The darkened suit is also reflective of the Man of Steel’s dark brooding of inner struggles for understanding and self-identification.
The Movie’s plots were heavy with action and held audiences captive as scenes alternated from Krypton to planet Earth in its storytelling. Sent to earth amid an insurrection and his planet’s ultimate destruction Superman’s portrayal of life on Earth represented a resurrection. As the symbol and last hope of what his people represented he fights evil.
The enhanced science fiction plot of the movie sought to be entertaining and explained more about the hero’s culture and own reasoning. An insight was given of the being of Superman like no other film before. The psychology of Superman was explored to the depth of the murky abyss.
The action scenes, special effects and science fiction element all help to make this film the potential blockbuster seller of the summer. Superman continues to have a captive cult following among fans. It is poised to garner the new generation of moviegoers with its hip futuristic portrayal of the hero.
Those of us who readily observed Superman’s transition from the 1930’s idealist to the 21st Century realist welcome the change.
By Thomas Barr