Superman - Man of Steel *SPOILER ALERT*

Superman - Man of Steel *SPOILER ALERT*

Positives:
What a great "Origins" movie! I didn't know what to expect going into it and boy was I pleasantly surprised! If you're not familiar with Superman, don't worry. This movie is a great primer and I'm sure the sequel-prequels will be just as easy to follow. This was a good movie because it allowed you to meet all the characters without some deep dialogue establishing their "role", no pun intended. It stuck with the comic book as well as a modern-day moving picture could. Remember, the comic was written when type-writers were a big deal so the concept of "how Superman got his powers" was a little more intricate than how he came about them in the movie. Of course, it's easier to SHOW you than TELL you...

Negatives:
Violence. But isn't it always? It's almost a matter of how much are you willing to tolerate as opposed to how violent can the violence be before you won't let your kids watch it. In this movie the harm was very little and the most dynamic was all the planets getting blown up and the bad-guys always wanting to fight. Then again, it IS Superman...

Overall Review: 1 being worst-5 being the best

Family Friendliness - 4
This movie is suitable for the entire family and has enough action to keep the kids paying attention while adding enough drama to keep your spouse engaged. There are some thematic elements and fantasy violence played out but nothing that's un-explainable to an 8-year old. Considering I have an 8 year old, that's an honest assessment. I gauged it this way; after my son saw it with his grandfather he was eager to tell me about "the skull that was missing its jaw that they put in the baby!" Obviously he had missed the point of it but I think this clearly illustrates my point for the rating here.

Violence - 3
Like I said, the violence was left to space ships blowing each other up and all-in-all I suppose it's relatively harmless however, when you're kids get home and start blowing up their Legos... NOW there's a problem! There was no blood flying or guts getting blasted open which I was glad to see, or not see. The only scene where there was physical hands-on death was when one of the characters killed another character off-screen. While you didn't see anything, it was implied and we got the point. Nothing that will require counseling and honestly I'd give it a 5 for almost no violence except the struggle for good always seems to involve conflict. What do you want to teach your children about conflict resolution?

If we, as parents, honestly believe that our children are old enough to separate fantasy from reality then by all means, buy their tickets and send them on their way while you and the wife see something else. However, I can assure you that if you don't pay very close attention to the environment you are surrounding your child with then the behavior you start to notice will be your own fault. I can watch Harry Potter and understand that no matter how hard I try nothing is coming out of the end of a twig no matter how hard I shake it at someone. Children don't.

Language - 5
This is one area I was pleasantly surprised at. Either I've been numbed to it or there really wasn't any foul language here at all. At the end one character asks him "What the EFF was that all about?!" He literally says EFF and not the F-bomb! I was pleasantly surprised. After all, this is a children's superhero, let's leave it for them.

Overall - 4
Overall I'd like to give this thing a 5 but with the markdowns in violence I really can't. Yes, there are "5" movies out there, even without crassness. Just check with Disney! This movie is still fun for the entire family. The youngest ones might not make it through a 2 and 1/2 hour movie but that's not their fault. I'd say stick to 8 and up on this one. Their cognitive thinking is about the right "age" to grasp the fun in the fantasy and still sleep well enough at night. Go see it!

Parting Thoughts:
One line that really caught my attention was a statement by one of the characters. He said "I fight for Krypton. That's what I was created for!" Although he was trying to destroy earth, I almost didn't blame him. After all, he was only trying to preserve his own race. He was doing what he was created to do, he just wound up meeting the wrong guy while he was trying to do it.

It reminded me a lot of America's history. Considering that we're barely 250 years old, as a nation, it's hard to look at ourselves and think we've done anything in our current history that wasn't self-motivated! Weren't we just fighting for our own Krypton? Yes, we're so kind that we've rushed to the aid of poor-helpless countries without taking anything for ourselves on the way out. We're American! It's what we're created for, right?

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