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This was the attempt to Batman Begins the Superman franchise. I don't think it worked.
The film itself is interesting enough. Its shot decently, its got some drama mixed with some action, and in places its thoroughly enjoyable. But there are some serious detriments to this that take away from it not only as a film but a Superman film.
In its high points the cast is in perfect form. I enjoyed all performances (even Amy Adams, who many claimed shouldn't be Lois Lane). I was enthralled by Russel Crowe in a way I haven't been since Gladiator and that's saying something.
I feel like the beginning of the film was the end of a truly epic sci-fi movie that we only got the tail end of. It was incredibly done and Krypton was beautiful, from the random creature elements to the pursuit by Zod. The idea of the genetic template being contained was also interesting, but perhaps containing them in a blackened skull with runes on it wasn't too practical.
Henry Cavill is Superman. Ya, he kind of looks like Tom Weller, lets get that out of the way, but he's perfect for the role. He can embody the idea of 'boy scout' quite well and is able to be the struggling, benevolent man-god that Superman has to be. Thought he nailed it.
Michael Shannon didn't immediately grab me as Zod, but by the end he'd grown on me. He was grand at it.
Now for my issues...
Why is Lois allowed freaking everywhere!? She was on the freaking bomber for crying out loud, and for some reason Zod wanted her on his ship even though there was absolutely no purpose for it! They literally allowed her in everywhere and I hate to say it but at some point 'press pass' doesn't fly for a plot point.
The other issue I have is with the structure of the film. Batman Begins was non-linear and it worked for it, but this one is more about flashbacks than non-linear. Its awkward in places when there will be a massive battle going on and people get tossed back into Clark's life. Its jarring and in a lot of places just doesn't work.
My final issue with this film is difficult to figure out. I'll just toss it out - he snaps Zod's neck in a moment of desperation. Superman doesn't kill people. Like at all. That's the character. He killed him, and ya he regretted it and they set it up so he almost had to, but for the character it made no sense. Superman would have found another way. I just dunno.
This was a fairly disappointing film, but it was entertaining enough. I'll see it in the cheap theatre when its old enough.
Perfection is a lifelong pursuit requiring sacrifice. The only way to get it quicker is to sacrifice the most.