Man of Steel makes clear Christopher Nolan is limited.
He needs real world-characters who can supply real-world solutions, even if those real world characters are fighting The Joker. Starting off on an alien planet? It’s just too otherworldly for him to make worldly.
Sure, the screenplay is credited to David S Goyer, with whom Nolan wrote the Dark Knight trilogy. But Nolan and Goyer cooked up the story, and Nolan’s streak of seriousness runs throughout Man of Steel’s yawn-inducing 143 minutes.
The Superman story needs something—whimsy, maybe—Nolan and director Zack Snyder don’t provide. They give it the furrowed brow treatment. We see infant Kal-El leave a dying Krypton, get shunned on Earth and then thrive there. And we see an adult Clark Kent (Henry Cavill, who’s good) become Superman.
Nearly all the fight scenes devolve into slamming bodies through walls of glass, brick or concrete. When the fighting starts, use those many minutes to hit the bathroom or the concession stand.
Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner, as Kal’s fathers, are good. Amy Adams doesn’t have much to do, but manages well enough. Michael Shannon, as General Zod, is simply bad. He thrives in subtlety, which Snyder (300, Watchmen) doesn’t do.
Superman may be faster than a speeding bullet, but his movie is as boring as whale shit.
MAN OF STEEL
Directed by Zack Snyder
With Henry Cavill, Amay Adams and Russell Crowe
Regal Santa Fe Stadium 14