Far too often, action films will get a bad reputation, arguably deserved, for continued attempts to move plots forward with only CGI-explosions and sound enhanced fist fights.
Many studios go towards high-octane movies guaranteed to bring in a large audience, spending more time blowing up sets than writing tight scripts.
Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" proudly attempts to defy this category and noticeably holds itself to a higher standard, but those who expect a Christopher Nolan-inspired philosophical quandary to take home may leave slightly disappointed.
Snyder, who is no stranger to the typical action movie plot, has helmed past films like "300," "Sucker Punch" and "Watchmen." He teamed up with Christopher Nolan, the man we all should thank for the recent Batman franchise, to return Superman to the respectable plot elements every action film should have.
The overarching themes, the Hans Zimmer score and even the cinematography and the camera's capture of the light all grandly come together to give this reboot of the Superman franchise a noticeably different feel from its predecessors.
To what should be no one's disappointment, Snyder and Nolan have done away with the traditional happy-go-lucky Kal-El more well-known with audiences, and replaced him with a more realistic and withdrawn Henry Cavill. Cavill, the first English actor to play the traditionally patriotic American character, seems well accustomed to a life hiding his true identity and displays more of the human characteristics that make Superman a great character.
Cavill captures less of the traditional smile and contained confidence of Superman, and instead brings out a more human feel, one unsure of the rightness of his actions, how to feel at place in society and a longing for a life of normality that was never his. He is less of a confident hero from outer space and more of a man from Kansas just trying to fit into his home. To college students, the more relatable character helps make this film great.
In addition to Cavill, the cast includes an ever-smart and capable Laurence Fishburne as the underutilized character Perry White, who is mainly relegated to yelling at Amy Adam's Lois Lane. Somehow the role suits both of them well; at the least, neither actor visibly bears the weight of a company desperately trying to catch up to Marvel in its share of comic book adaptations.
Those who have come to appreciate the dark, grim nature of Christian Bale's Batman will easily see Nolan's hand at work, with even the lighting and costumes seeming to evoke the loneliness and sober thoughts of a man who lacks a real home and identity.
Rounding out the film is the master himself, Hans Zimmer, who creates a much-needed epic score for a film dripping with the seriousness and worry that accompanies the films of Snyder and Nolan. Zimmer, who also scored the recent Batman films, adds a respectable complement to the film. Walking out of the theater, one will immediately miss the driving force of the film's soundtrack in his own life.
Make no mistake, "Man of Steel" is far from your typical action film, and will stick around for a long time.
At no point does the acting feel forced, even if the audience still wishes that the talented actors had been used for more than dramatic screams. In this sense, Snyder and Nolan fall short, but no more than what one should expect from a movie budget of over $200 million.
The era of the forgetfulness of big budget action films with no real plot is going away, and it is Nolan and Snyder who are leading the front.