Okay, I give this movie an extra star for its 3D version which does make a difference in the viewing experience. It's also nice to see a version of Superman/Clark Kent/Kail-El who's manlier and gets to shake off the whole clean cut guy image. My full review follows:
The first (and most lasting) impression I had after viewing Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel is how apocalyptic the whole thing was. If ever there was a planet that needed saving, it’s the Earth of Christopher Nolan’s ever-collapsing galaxy: imagine 9/11 and every tsunami, earthquake, and mass shooting you ever heard of combined and exponentially raised to the nth degree. It’s basically Superman and the No Good, Very Bad, Horrible, Terrible Doomsday Scenario.
That being said, the movie works, though it’s not nearly so fun as mainstream popcorn action flicks based on comic books used to be. The dark backstory that the makers give Superman is perhaps a little too ironic and (dare I say?) substantial for a movie of this kind. But Nolan seems hellbent on reinventing the superhero saga of good-vs-evil to mean more than its original makers intended. Why is everything so bleak in these movies? They’re about guys in bat suits and red cape/yellow undies ensembles!
The story begins with Clark Kent yearning at the age of 33 to discover what his purpose is in life beyond simply being “different”. He spends a lot of time brooding on an oil rig and taking his shirt off. He was raised by a sweet Midwestern couple played by Kevin Costner and Diane Lane who bake him lots of apple pies. It’s as idyllic as 1920s America could possibly have been.
The movie jumps too broadly and too suddenly when Lois Lane (Amy Adams) shows up to uncover the secret of Kent’s background. We all know the story but the movie decides it doesn’t want to earn its emotional climax (of which there are several) and instead dives head first into major action sequence after major sequence. For those who don’t care about narrative power, it’ll be no big deal. But if you want to care about Superman and his quest, a little bit of setup would have gone a long, long way.
Those who complained that the first hour of The Dark Knight Rises was far too tedious and slow will know exactly what that methodical plotting could have done here.