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Man Of Steel: 50 Best Moments

Lois' wound cauterisation

Lois has just been attacked by one of Krypton's security butlers (that's not their official title, but it is more fun) and is bleeding from an open wound.

Then Clark pops up and squashes the kill-bot with his bare hands, tells Lois that "I can do things other people can't," (which got some filthy sniggers from the dirtier members of the audience in the screening we were in), then aims his heat vision at Lois' bloody tummy.

It's a fairly gruesome moment for a kids film, but it does serve a purpose.

It highlights Clark's inherent goodness - he's found a way to turn what should be a weapon into a tool for healing.

"Activate the world engine"

Zod has so many cool lines in this film, but this is definitely one of the best.

Firstly, because it leads to that impossibly awesome shot of the world engine crashing into the south Indian ocean.

Secondly, because it causes the hugely creepy Jax-Ur to utter: "We are slaves to the world engine."

That's a pretty intense way of saying "Yep, the world engine's online and we're connected to it."

'Target that ship"

Poor old Zod, whenever he tells his minions to shoot something, they generally make a pretty bad job of it.

Whether its Jor-El or the ship carrying Kal-El, they never seem to be able to hit the target - something always ends up shooting them first.

But by far our favourite example comes when Zod targets the plane carrying Lois and the phantom drive. Just as the General's locked his target, Superman flies out of nowhere to smash into his ship.

Zod begs him not to destroy it, as the ability to recreate Krypton dies with the craft. Superman pauses, then remembers the lesson his dad taught him.

"Krypton had its chance," he bellows, before unleashing his eye-fire, buying Lois and Dr Hamilton enough time to activate the phantom drive.

Which, is another of our favourite elements of this movie - Superman doesn't save the day on his own, he helps the humans save themselves. A key theme that many critics seem to have completely missed.

Jor-El's combat skills

Man Of Steel contains about a gazillion fight scenes (not that we're complaining, it is a Superman movie after all) but the moment in which Russell Crowe kicks Zod's minions' black-clad asses is worthy of special mention.

Firstly, because it's the first proper fight of the film. But mainly because it's so well choreographed. You know exactly what's going on, where people are in relation to each other, and, despite the fact it moves at a fast pace, there's enough time to admire a headbutt here, and a low side kick there.

Clearly, scientist Jor-El has been lurking at the back of Zod's martial arts lessons.

And Zack Snyder's been paying attention in the edit suite.

The history of Krypton

Possibly the greatest exposition scene in the history of film (except maybe the opening minutes of Back To The Future ), Jo-El gives Clark a history lesson, whilst all around them a giant Soviet-style diorama illustrates every event.

It's so beautiful it makes you want to rub your eyes in wonder. Brilliantly realized, and indicative of the inventive visual imagination that runs throughout Man Of Steel.

The tornado

It's an incredibly powerful scene. We join Jonathan and Clark in the middle of an argument - Clark wants to use his powers to help people, Jonathan wants him to be happy working on a farm (very Star Wars ).

Clark's just uttered the immortal words almost all adopted / step-kids say at one point in their lives: "I don't know why I'm even listening to you. You're not my dad. You're just some guy who found me in a field. "

Well, maybe not all adopted / step-kids are found in a field.

Anyway, he immediately regrets his words, but before he's had a chance to apologise, they're interrupted by a disaster - a tornado over Kansas.

Jonathan compels Clark to protect his mother, then rushes to save their dog (who, as we'll see in a later flashback, has been a member of the family for a number of years).

When Jonathan hurts his ankle, and is unable to escape the furious winds of the tornado, Clark moves to help him.

But Jonathan Kent holds up his hand, to say "Stop." He smiles, all goes quiet, and he's enveloped by the storm.

Then there's nothing left to do for Clark, but scream "Dad!"

Kevin Costner has limited screen time in Man Of Steel , but his contributions are unforgettable. This is a superb moment amongst many.

Perry and Jenny's final goodbye

This particular moment is an example of some of the best acting we've seen in a superhero movie.

Jenny, trapped underneath the shattered stone and twisted metal of a fallen building cries out for Perry, who takes her hand.

The sheer panic in Rebecca Buller's eyes when she thinks Perry is about to leave her is chilling.

Then, when the world engine begins to expand in their direction, their acceptance of their fate is extremely powerful - and completely wordless. With one glance, they express everything - immediately upping the stakes for Superman's quest to destroy the machine. We desperately want him to succeed, because of one moment of eye contact.

Then, we return to Superman, who has somehow managed to wriggle free of the giant metal octopus that's been attacking him (this film contains a giant metal octopus, what's not to like?) and is summoning every once of his fabled willpower to fly up the blue beam.

When the music kicks in, and the Man Of Steel rises, all we experienced was goosebumps and the desire to scream out: YES.

"You're a monster, Zod"

It's hard to pick the best individual element of this moment, but it's between the line of dialogue itself, and a piece of physical staging.

Let's focus on the dialogue first. "You're a monster Zod, and I'm going to stop you."

Not only is it just a cool line, but it echoes Jor-El's speech earlier: "I will honour the man you once were, Zod, not this monster you've become."

In this instant, we truly believe that Kal-El is his father's son.

Then there's the fact that, as Superman is talking, he floats into an attack position.

It's logical - Superman wouldn't just stand there with his hands on his hips with Zod ready to rumble in front of him - and it just looks impossibly cool.

We're going to have to call it a tie on this one.

Wayne Enterprises

This is literally a blink and you'll miss it moment, but if you pay close attention to the bit where Superman and Zod take their fight TO SPACE (which is amazing enough in itself), they smash through a satellite carrying the exact Wayne Enterprises logo from Nolan's films.

This actually fairly significant - it means the two films absolutely exist in the same universe. Which surely means that Christian Bale has to return as Batman for any subsequent sequel / crossover, right?

Well, we can dream.

"I was worried they were going to take you away"

In one of several quiet, tender moments in Man Of Steel , Martha Kent expresses a very human fear about her alien son.

Like so many other parents of sick kids, Martha spent a lot of time watching and listening to her son sleep - paying close attention to his breathing.

When Clark asks her if she was worried that people would find out what he really is, she replies no "What you are is beautiful."

She then breaks down, "I was worried they were going to take you away."

It's an incredibly emotional moment - Diane Lane really sells the scene, you can feel her love for her boy in every word. It's a key moment for Clark; he's grown up feeling ashamed of himself and his powers, but all his mum has ever felt for him has been pride.