The genesis chamber where the Kryptonians are birthed was reminiscent of the Matrix’s field of human batteries, and their technology was also reminiscent of the machines in that same trilogy; not a bad thing but it was interesting to note.
With the introduction over, we see a very brief glimpse of Kal-El (now Clark, of course) struggling with his powers as a child, and then a young man, traveling the world and helping people wherever he can.
We jump back and forth between the present and the various stages of Clark’s childhood and it really feels like these scenes are in the film just for the sake of it. Saving a bus full of school kids and refusing to fight a bully as a teenager are all well traveled ground and nothing new is brought to these setups.
It’s also quite distracting jumping around in time when we just want to spend a moment with our new Superman to get to know him a little better.
Shortly after, and on an arctic expedition with the ballsy Lois Lane, Clark discovers an old Kryptonian ship and uses his ‘key’ to start it up, thereby summoning General Zod and his crew, who have escaped from the Phantom Zone and now seek to recreate their race with the very key that Jor-El left with his son.
Pretty much the first day they meet. Lois discovers the Kryptonian vessel, his strange powers, and that he’s an alien in a very anticlimactic way.
From the get-go, their relationship feels forced into the story. There was really no need for Lois in this film, she would fit right into the second film in this series, but here she feels out of place in the story. Amy Adams is a capable Lois and likeable enough, but we can’t quite see her as the world’s ballsiest reporter. Telling off an army Colonel in front of his men and drinking straight whiskey does not a strong female character make.
From here on, Zod soon arrives and the real action ensues. Michael Shannon plays the one dimensional villain with such intensity and vigour that you can help but admire the brashness of the performance.
His crew are much less interesting, but the fight sequences between these beings of great power are quite a spectacle to behold and are easily the highlight of the film.
There are a few other points that really seemed out of place and feel the need to mention. There are some major spoilers in them, however, so if you don’t want to know, skip ahead to the end.
Clark’s father on Earth, Jonathan Kent, is played by Kevin Costner and he is essentially the moral compass for when Clark is a kid.