The 2013 movie Man of Steel was the original film in the modern DC Cinematic Universe, so it's only fitting we take a look at some of the highlights from Superman's triumphant return to the big screen.
1. The Cast
Everyone was well cast. From Henry Cavill's poised Superman and anxious Clark Kent, to Michael Shannon's over-the-top General Zod, to Lois Lane's (Amy Adams) wit and tenacity, everybody delivered stellar performances. When Superman leaves Jor-El's (Russell Crowe) ship and floats above Earth, Henry Cavill physically embodies the quintessence of Superman.
Moral relativism has always eluded Superman, and so his movies have mostly been about good incarnate vs. the forces of evil. When young Clark Kent rescued a bus full of drowning children, his adoptive father Jonathan (Kevin Costner) was not pleased. Jonathan's heart was in the right place, as he feared what would happen if Clark's secret powers were discovered. When Clark asked his father if letting the children die would have been the right approach, Jonathan takes a pause and tentatively mutters, "Maybe."
Several years later, Jonathan allows himself to die rather than be saved by his son, proving he really was willing to die before letting the world discover his son's secret.
3. Jor-El's explanation scene
Russell Crowe did a stupendous job depicting Jor-El (Marlon Brando is a tough act to follow!). When Clark Kent finally learns the truth about his origins -- that he is an alien from the planet Krypton -- he does so from a hologram created by his father. It's a touching scene. Jor-El isn't really there; it's just a computer program, but the emotional tension created by the fact that the two will never meet is heart-wrenching.
4. Zod's attack on Metropolis
This action-packed scene is everything a Superman fan could want. General Zod and Superman duke it out with the superhuman strength granted to them by the sun and Earth's atmosphere. If you're a fan of superhero battles, this scene is a can't-miss.
5. Superman's heartbreaking decision
Superman has vowed never to kill. Zod is about to murder an innocent family. Superman's only option is to kill Zod. In a heartbreaking moment that painfully calls back to Jonathan Kent's reluctant "maybe," Superman decides to kill Zod. This moment is so powerful because it introduces Superman, a supposedly "perfect" embodiment of human potential, to a no-win scenario. The scream Superman lets out is the movie's most powerful and potent moment.
What were your favorite Man of Steel moments? Let us know in the comments. ~ Yanis Khamsi