This film’s vision of Krypton is awesomely way out there. A far cry from the sterile , barren, crystalline society of the Donner films and Superman Returns, Zack Snyder’s vision of the doomed planet is a full-on Frank Frazetta style dork-out, a 70’s rock album cover come to life, complete with elaborate personalized armor, oblong ships dominating the sky-scapes, and giant dragonflies for you to ride to work. And we get to spend about at least 20 minutes there…
4 The Villains (Faora Mainly)
Everyone loves 1980s Superman II, but the updated evil Kryptonians of this installment win by a wide margin thanks to the single-minded Zod, whose main power is that he is played by Michael Shannon, and his aide, the gorgeous and heartless Faora, played by the marvelous Antje Traue, whose cold line readings and efficient ass-kicking prowess send shivers to all the right places. These are the exact people you don’t want having superpowers.
3 The Action
After Superman Return’s mainly featured the hero lifting increasingly heavy objects before eventually going into a coma (really, watch the movie), the call came for more action, in line with the highly destructive super-powered fisticuffs modern comics and cartoons often see Superman engaging in. That call was answered and then some in this film, with enough earth shattering punches and heat vision aided explosions than most could handle. The results are no less than epic.
2 The Performances
We’ve already mentioned Shannon and Traue as the villains, though the rest of the cast does a bang-up job inhabiting their characters, including Russell Crowe as Superman’s birth father Jor-El, Kevin Costner as Pa Kent and Laurence Fishburne as Daily Planet Editor Perry White. Let’s also not forget of course, Amy Adams as the brash and intelligent Lois Lane, and Henry Cavill as her caped boyfriend from outer space. These are the two performances that will form the center of this franchise, and they work more than perfectly.
1 Killing Zod Was a Good Choice, So Was All the Destruction
One of the major criticisms you’ll hear about the film is that Superman apparently hasn’t much regard for human life, as seen in the massive collateral destruction of Metropolis, and his summary execution of Class A dick General Zod. Both these are necessary developments for the character that will obviously reverberate in future installments. And also, let’s not forget, every superhero in movies this summer has killed at least a couple people, and they didn’t practically cry afterwards like Superman did here, so get off his cape please…