“Man of Steel” Flies Some of the Time

Director Zack Snyder completely reboots the Superman legend with an otherworldly alien quality to the superhero’s power and backstory in Man of Steel (B-). Henry Cavill was effective as the outsider, and Snyder enjoyably shakes up the formula with flashbacks and a story told out of order. Amy Adams plays a plucky Lois Lane (Daily Planet as blog) and Michael Shannon is decent in an underwritten role as villainous General Zod. The Smallville sequences were nicely done, and the themes of pleasing one’s father (Jor-El/Superman has earthly father played by Kevin Costner and Krypton father played by Russell Crowe) were strong throughout. Some of the action sequences are tedious with too high a body count. But ultimately the reinvention afoot here is fascinating and helps the franchise fly with renewed purpose.