Man of Steel
is as square as Superman’s storied jaw. Peel away the pyrotechnics and digital flimflam and what you’ve got is an earnest paean to America, told in close-ups of majestically flapping flags and freshly shaved No. 2 pencils. Coming from director Zack Snyder (Watchmen
) and producer/co-conceiver Christopher Nolan (the Batman franchise), this new Man of Steel
– grave and emphatic, intermittently ravishing and punishingly self-serious – smartly scraps a linear plotting of baby Kal-El’s evolution from alien émigré into Kansas-bred loner Clark Kent, and finally the caped savior of the human race. Unfortunately, as the story eventually, predictably, succumbs to endless mayhem, Man of Steel
falls in line with the contemporary action-movie adage that more is more. But what of Cavill, our new man of steel? When given the chance to actually act, he’s good, with shades of greatness – much like the film built around him. Read a full review of Man of Steel.