After years of waiting for another Superman story, “Man of Steel” is finally here. Zack Snyder, who succeeded in deconstructing heroes in “Watchmen,” this time builds one from the ground up, creating an origin story that utilizes the iconography of the character to take him in a new and markedly different direction.
But is that what audiences will want?
The trailers thus far have promised something that has kept fans abuzz, hoping for something serious as the “Dark Knight” films, but as sweeping and epic as, well, a Superman movie should be. MTV News has assembled a roundup of reviews from around the Internet by different folks — some of whom thought it exceeded those expectations, and others who thought it fell short.
How Faithful Is It To Classic Superman Stories?
“There’s nary a mention of kryptonite, the Fortress of Solitude is only an existential locale, and Clark Kent never earns so much as a single Daily Planet byline in ‘Man of Steel,’ director Zack Snyder, writer David S. Goyer and producer Christopher Nolan’s strenuously revisionist Superman origin story, which might more accurately have been titled “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Spacemen,” given the amount of screen time devoted to exiled Kryptonians body-slamming each other into all manner of natural and manmade structures.” — Scott Foundas, Variety
How Well Does Zack Snyder Handle Christopher Nolan-esque Material?
” ‘Man of Steel’ is second-tier and third-generation Chris Nolan-flavored neo-superhero material. Nolan chose not to direct this film, but co-wrote the original story with David S. Goyer (who wrote the final screenplay) and is one of the producers. I feel at least some compassion for Snyder, a director [who] 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.” — Andre O’Hehir, Salon
Does The Movie Make Sequels A Possibility?
” ‘Man of Steel’ feels like Christopher Nolan and David Goyer and company were inspired by the idea of a showdown between Superman and General Zod, to create an even better story about what it means to be Superman. But in the end they just couldn’t bring themselves to cut those cables of homage to the initial inspiration. Thus we’re left with an inspiring, beautiful origin story grafted onto an anti-climactic hero/villain showdown, and all the the hackneyed tropes that go along with it.” — Vince Mancini, Filmdrunk
What The General Zod Aspect Like?
” ‘Man of Steel’ is a half-great movie — meaning the first half. Then it collapses into a familiar fight-and-destruction scenario, as Kryptonian bad guy Zod (Michael Shannon) journeys to Earth and confronts Kal-El/Clark for the same sort of small-town showdown that Thor and Loki engaged in two summers ago in a Marvel epic. Belatedly arriving in Metropolis, the movie stages the umpteenth replay of 9/11 with a happy-ending chaser and never adequately addresses the superhero dilemma of saving a few people while the evil enemy kills millions.” — Richard Corliss, Time
Ultimately, Does It Live Up To Previous Superman Films?
” ‘Man of Steel’ feels like a lost but worthy chapter in Superman’s origin story that could easily fit into Donner’s original without skipping a single bound. After multiple adventures where the same details were repeated about his birth and his adulthood, this — like ‘Batman Begins’ — compellingly uncovers the intervening years of exploration and self-discovery that led Superman to become the mythic icon we’ve always known.” — Todd Gilchrist, The Verge
Check out everything we’ve got on “Man of Steel.”