Man of Steel is a movie made in 2013 and is about guess who? No, it is not about a robot. It is about Superman. Yeah, I know, pretty obvious. Don’t know how it was rated or received. I don’t remember hearing much buzz at the time.
It definitely made use of the latest CGI effects. There was a lot of whizz bang, especially toward the end when they tore up a lot of New York. Why is it that New York always seems to get the raw end of things?
What was interesting was the way the movie fleshed out parts of the Superman creation myth but also changed some long standing parts of that myth.
Beginnings on Krypton
It starts out with Superman’s father Jor El talking to the council about escaping from the planet Krypton. No one believes him that he planet is unstable and will self destruct. They turn him down but just then General Zod comes in with troops and tells the council that he is taking over because they won’t listen and shoots the head councilwoman. Jor El and Zod agree about the planet but disagree on everything else.
It turns out that for centuries all babies born are bred in special pods and not born naturally. Each is selected genetically for a specific role. Jor El and his wife Lara have decided that more choice is needed and so they have just had a son through natural birth.
Jor El escapes Zod, steals a device called a codex with the genetic code for everyone on Krypton and gets back to his home / citadel. There he uses the codex to incorporate all the information it contains into Kal El’s (Superman) genes or cells. Based on my knowledge of biology and genetics, this seems a bit dodgy. How do you store another person’s entire genetic code in the cell of another person?
Anyway, Kal El gets shot off in a rocket, Zod kills Jor El, Zod and other get banished to an alternate zone, Lara watches the planet explode around her and everyone dies. As we find out later in the movie, because the planet is destroyed it frees Zod and his compatriots.
Superman Arrives on Earth
Kal El lands in a farm in Iowa (?) and a farmer and his wife raise him as Clark Kent. They hide his powers and warn him that people might react badly if they found out about him. But he keeps saving people and giving glimpses of his powers.
Superman and Lois Lane
Then something is found under 300 feet of ice in the arctic in Canada and Lois Lane goes to investigate. Clark hears about it to and signs on as a laborer. Lois sees him leaving one night and she follows and finds he has drilled a hole in the ice using his laser eye power. He discovers a space ship which turns out to be from the planet Krypton. It is from 20,000 years ago and yet his father appears to him as a hologram. So did the software automatically upgrade itself over time or had Jor El lived for 20,000 years? Or was there a time warp on Kal El’s flight to earth? Kal El saves Lois from a flying robot and then he flies the ship away so it won’t be discovered by people from earth.
Then Lois starts trying to figure out who this guy is. She finds his name or rather alias (not Clark Kent) and traces him slowly back to where he grew up. Finally Clark shows up and confronts her. He explains how his father died when Clark could have saved him because he didn’t want Clark’s secret to be exposed. Lois decides to stop pursuing the story and trying to publish it.
Then Zod shows up, drawn by a beacon set off when Clark / Kal El started up the ship. Zod asks for the person from his planet. The FBI finds Lois and takes her to a secret facility. Kal El surrenders and lets himself be taken in as long as it it so where Lois is being held and that she must be released.
Then he is handed over to Zod and Zod decides to take Lois as well. In the ship, Jor El appears to Lois and helps her escape, but before that she and Jor El make enough changes that Kal El can escape as well. Good thing because he needs to save Lois from crashing. As soon as he gets her down safely he realizes Zod is at his mother’s house and he gets there in time to save her and a big battle ensues during which half of his home town gets ripped apart. Zod retreats.
Then Zod deploys a machine that will terraform Earth, or perhaps we should say Kryptoniform, because when it is done, it will be uninhabitable for humans. Lois tells of what Jor El told her and they plan on using the ship Superman came in to connect with Zod’s ship and create a black hole that the two ships would be sucked into.
The terraform ship and Zods ship made a connection through the earth. The other was in the Indian Ocean and Zod’s was over New York city. It started destroying the city from the beam outward. Superman flew around and tried to destroy the other ship. He had troubles because he lost power when he was back in his own atmosphere. But, of course he struggles and overcomes and destroys the machine.
Lois and Scientist Saves the Day
That allows Lois, a scientist and others crewmen to arm the device and crash it into Zod’s ship and form the black hole. Lois falls out of the plane and Superman sees her and catches her again and saves her. He has to fly and strain like crazy to beat the effects of the black hole. This time they kiss when they get to the ground.
Somewhere in here Zod has gone to another ship, (the one found in the ice??) which has the ability to grow people from Krypton with the information in Superman’s cells. Superman confronts Zod and destroys the ship which Zod says means an end to the Krypton race that he spent his whole life trying to protect.
In a way, Zod is like the bad computer in I, Robot or in 20001 which decides that he knows what is best for mankind or Krypton kind and will do anything to protect it even if warped and misdirected.
Superman Saves the Day
Zod emerges from the crashed birthing ship and he and Superman have a battle royal which destroys a bunch more buildings in NY. Compared to most Superman stories, this one had an amazing amount of collateral damage. Finally Superman snaps Zod’s neck.
Then it shows a general driving along and a drone crashes right in front of him. Superman shows up and says I am willing to work with you but don’t try and track me. The general said that was a $12 million dollar drone. Superman says basically, so what. I will help but on my terms. Don’t pry into my business.
Intro to Clark Kent
Finally he tells his mother that he needs to get a job someplace where he can get information about what is going on in the world. He next shows up at the Daily Planet with glasses on. Like that is going to keep people from recognizing him? Especially Lois? That was kind of lame. Although I guess it was a bit suspect in the original comic too now that I think about it.