Man of Steel Not Quite Super

Zack Snyder directs Superman reboot

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 14, 2013 4:55 AM CDT

(Newser) Man of Steel brings us the origin of Superman, with a little help from producer Christopher Nolan. While the heavy-handed movie has its moments, critics aren't quite convinced:

  • "The chief problem here is one of rhythm and balance in the storytelling and directing. The movie swings between destructive overstatement and flat-footed homilies," writes Lisa Kennedy in the Denver Post. Meanwhile, "very little of the cultural/emotional wisdom or puzzle-solving pleasures of Nolan's Batman films or Inception can be found here."

  • Director Zack Snyder "finds himself in the impossible position of trying to put his own stamp on material that feels a lot like Dark Knight Lite, while avoiding the impression of serving as Nolan’s surrogate or transcriber," notes Andrew O'Hehir at Salon. "Unfortunately he can't pull it off."
  • The movie is "frantically overblown and beautifully filigreed," writes Manohla Dargis in the New York Times. "For roughly 100 minutes, or the running time of an average movie, Mr. Snyder is in control of his material." But in "the last 45 minutes, when Mr. Snyder piles on the hammering special effects," he becomes "yet one more director gone disappointingly amok."
  • It's "a very dark film, with as much unrelenting destruction as a Transformers movie. Hard to believe that chaos on that scale can almost become boring," observes Michael Sangiacomo in the Plain Dealer. Still, "Amy Adams is one of the best Lois Lanes in a long time," and "Man of Steel is the best Superman to date."

This film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel.
This film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Henry Cavill as Superman in "Man of Steel."   (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Clay Enos)
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A trailer for the film.   (YouTube)

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