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The recent Superman movie, Man of Steel, was in many ways, exactly what I expected:  The movie started with background on Krypton, explaining why Superman came to Earth in the first place.  We then see Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) struggling with himself as he comes to terms with being “different”, and he finally learns the truth about himself and becomes Superman before the villain, General Zod (Michael Shannon) arrives, bringing the climactic battle.  No surprises here.

What was in some ways surprising, and a departure from the series from the 70s and 80s, was how they did this.  The Kryptonian segment was far longer than I expected, with quite a bit action.  We also see more of Clark Kent’s struggles before he discovers his legacy.  And his childhood story is interspersed with this.  This approach certainly helped keep the Superboy parts from lagging (no, he doesn’t put on his suit and cape as a 10-year old).

The other departure from previous movies was the villain.  In the 1980s version, General Zod was out for revenge and wold domination – a bit cliché, but Terence Stamp sold the role.  In this version, though Zod is no less malevolent, his motivations have more substance.  Revenge is important to him, but less so than doing his duty, as he sees it, for Krypton.

The cast all does a superb job, as well.  Amy Adams, in particular, captures both Lois Lane’s irritating impetuousness and her charm.  All in all, I have to say that this certainly lives up to the inevitable comparison to the best big screen Superman movie to date, and was worth seeing – and I’m sure I’ll be seeing it again.

On an extraneous note – with the metropolitan devastation commonly seen in superhero movies, whether that is the Avengers, Superman, Batman, etc, etc, I have to wonder what their insurance rates are like . . .

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