Man of Steel – Best Movie of the Year…or Possibly Ever
I watched the Superman movies when I was a clueless kid that couldn’t appreciate a good movie with a great hero. Therefore, me experiencing the movie, Man of Steel, was like experiencing this hero for the first time. My expectations were high, and I wasn’t disappointed. I would even venture to say it rivaled all the Marvel movies including The Avengers. My husband (super Marvel movies fan) was asked if it was one of the best movies he’d seen, and he said, “Well, I’d put it above The Avengers and below…yep, I’d say it’s one of the best I’ve seen.”
Part of what made Man of Steel such an epic movie was the special effects, some of the best I’ve seen. I’ve read some critics felt they were a bit overkill and used to mask a shallow plot. I disagree, and I am not a big fan of movies with all action and little plot. I would argue these effects only enhanced the plot and action and were broken up enough with lovely scenes showcasing the hero and his plight. The editing and pacing were also perfect, and although it was almost 2 and a half hours long, it didn’t drag.
Still, what made this movie one of my all-time favorites if not the favorite, was the hero and what he represented. Superman is the ultimate ‘good guy.’ The epitome of goodness, honor, and morality. Not only is he a kind hero that helps people and saves lives, but he is also a hero with unshakable integrity, a selfless heart, and unwavering hope. Our society doesn’t see that type of ideal very often – not in real life and not in movies. Most heroes have a hint of depravity or, in the very least, are a little edgy, making them relatable to the average guy. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But it is refreshing to see this alternative. Superman is a type of hero we can whole-heartedly rally around and cheer for.
In fact, I was so caught up in cheering for Superman that I probably cringed more when he was getting hurt or beaten than any other main character in the same situations. I wanted desperately for him to be safe and to win, as if all good and morality resided in this one character. When he was being assaulted or was in danger, all he represented seemed to be at stake.
There were also so many beautiful moments of selflessness, too many to recount here, but I will say the climax was my favorite. Without giving spoilers, after being drained of much of his power, he drew on everything he had left in an impressive show of determination to plunge deep into danger in order to save earth and all humanity. It was the epitome of a beautiful sacrifice, and as I watched him carry out the act, my heart filled with a powerful, passionate burning as though I could feel his goodness and selfless love overcoming evil and pouring out onto even me.
Since he is so good and selfless, it’s fitting that he isn’t human so he can be perfect and above reproach without the audience rolling their eyes. Of course, people may still get annoyed and think he is too high and mighty, but with Superman’s character in this movie being so amiable and likable, I doubt it. It’s easy to be drawn to him and to want to be like him. In our world, as we scramble to find heroes worth emulating and constantly settle for imitations, we need Superman. We need a reminder of what true purity, true morality, and true selflessness looks like. And how beautiful it can be.