Critical Essay 2 – Koontz

Man-of-Steel_01Man of Steel is an action movie about a man who is sent to Earth by his parents as a baby from a foreign planet named Krypton. His Earth name, Clark Kent, is given to him by the Earth parents who find his ship but his given name is Cal L. He is raised from infancy to a grown man on Earth, and Earth is as much his home as Krypton. His birth parents are Jor-E l and Lara. His Earth parents are Jonathan and Martha Kent. His love interest in this movie is Lois Lane, a reporter who he meets while she is chasing one of her stories. His main nemesis is Zod, a military General bred to protect Krypton.

On Krypton, artificial population control was established and they harvested all the natural resources of the planet which caused their planet’s core to become unstable. His parents foresaw this calamity and took steps to protect him by sending him to Earth. Shortly after he is sent to Earth by his father and mother, Krypton is destroyed. His Earth father believed keeping the secret of his supernatural strength was important for Clark’s safety and because he felt Clark was meant for more. Because of this, Clark wrestled with a lot as a kid. In one scene there is a bus crash, and he wrestles with the moral obligation of whether or not to let the kids die or to save them. He does what is right even though it could expose him. When threatened by a bully as a kid, he wanted to hit him but showed constraint and serious self-control. His father’s words were: “Decide what man you want to become, whether he has good character or not, he is going to change the world. “ Once he is a grown man, he finds a ship that allows him to access his background from Krypton and his father’s conscience. By accessing this ship, he allows General Zod to find his location.

The aesthetic qualities of the movie are really good. CGI is above average but at times during fight scenes especially it is not believable. Resolution is not as good and is not as detailed which causes the backgrounds to look fake as the characters are fighting. Framing is good but there are some unnecessary close ups. The cinematography is primarily good but there are times where the camera is shaky as though someone is holding it and walking with the actors. There are also some camera angles which cause glares with scenes that are shot outside. Some appear to be intentional but one appears to clearly be an accident (above his earthly father’s head). Sound effects, like with most action movies, are very loud which causes the volume to be too low during dialogue and far too loud during explosions, etc. The acting is decent but there is some overacting from some of the characters–for instance when Zod is being sentenced, he says “I will find him”. It is necessary to a point and shows drama. One positive is at the end when a woman is trapped under a building, she looks genuinely terrified to be alone then the man holds her hand.

The set colors throughout the entire movie are not vibrant but greyed out on purpose. The writing and the storyline took a parallel approach to the Biblical Savior; making Superman (Clark Kent) appear as though he is Earth’s Savior or “the light”. His suit is vibrant in comparison to everything around it.

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Superman has impeccable values, morals and self-control. In addition to the scenes already mentioned, he was faced with a situation and his father was in danger. His father held his hand up so he would not expose himself. Clark had to watch his father die. The emotion in this scene is accurately portrayed and the scene is hard to watch. Superman was raised by his Earth parents to treat people how people should treat each other. Even though the military attacks and shoots at him, he still saves them. One of his ethics is to never kill, but he had to change it to kill Zod so Zod would not kill everyone on earth.

Man of Steel was an uplifting, empowering and entertaining movie. It caused the viewer to feel a lot of emotion, heartache and angst. Overall, it was well written and well directed. A definite must-see!

 

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