My grade: B+
I thought some of the fight scenes lasted a little too long and there were issues with the story but all in all I saw it with my oldest daughter and my son and we all enjoyed it.
Some issues that I did have concerning the story though:
1) I explained away Superman's victory against combat trained and veteran soldiers by way of the idea that he was simply more powerful. All the years he lived on earth had given him an advantage over fellow Kryptonians who recently arrived. One problem I had was with the Kryptonian atmosphere making him so weak so quickly. I surmise that Kryptonians aboard their spaceship are as weak as humans on earth (or Kryptonians on Krypton). So I guess aboard their spaceship they are weak even if they do open a window or two to suck in the Sun's radiation.
Also, since I assume that in their armor they are also breathing in Kryptonian atmosphere in their suits does that mean they lose the benefit of whatever radiation manages to penetrate their armor??? Apparently Kryptonian atmosphere is deadly to humans (ie Lois Lane) but the opposite isn't true (the human atmosphere didn't kill the Kryptonians, only disoriented them with super powers . . . nice!)
2) While I enjoyed Russell Crowe's badass Jor-El I couldn't help but wonder how a scientist (chief scientist granted) could so easily dispatch trained military (bred for combat) in both hand to hand and with firearms. Not only that but he also happens to have a battle armor suit in his house with which to don when fighting Zod & company (apparently its more for show than offering puncture wound protection from sharp pointy objects though). Apparently Kryptonian scientists are much more badass than their counterpart earth scientists.
3) The Kryptonian's seemed just about ready to pack it in and die as a race. They didn't really dispute that their planet was going to explode but rather offered the "We had to drill the planet's core! We were running out of resources, what did you want us to do?" response. And despite the fact that Jor-El had stolen the Codex and he and his wife launched it with their child Kal-El off planet . . . she seemed welcome at Zod's trial. Did the council realize that if the planet wasn't going to explode that their method of repopulation had just been stolen? They really didn't seem to care either way.
4) Talk about destruction. I thought Vengeance crashing into San Francisco and killing thousands of innocent people (and star fleet personnel and resources) was trivialized but metropolis???? HOLY SH*T!!! Likely tens if not hundreds of thousands were killed in the final battle (including several square miles of a major urban city and whatever was around that part of the Indian Ocean that was hammered to dust) and at the end its all . . . "Back to work people! Welcome to the Daily planet! If you look out he window you can see the collapsed buildings of dozens of major skyscrapers marking the final resting places of thousands of innocent citizens . . . would you like some coffee Clark?"
The staggering financial and resource losses are devastating as well as whatever long term environmental effects from all the terraforming that did get done will have major implications to both the US and the World. I hope Superman can fix climate change cause I have an inkling there might be some on the way.
5) Maybe because I am ex military I was more taken aback at the tremendous losses of our servicemen and women. Just about every plane that took the air against the aliens (to include helicopters) and its crew was lost. Anyone who shot at the Kryptonians is also likely dead. Is getting your chest cavity crushed as you are hurled back dozens of meters not supposed to be fatal? Its not like anyone that was unlucky enough to be swatted by Faura could have survived. I wonder why the Kryptonians even carry firearms when they don't seem to use them (ammo conservation perhaps?). I guess given the death of tens of thousands of civilians its hard to complain about several hundred military members although its clear enough that being asked to engage the aliens was essentially a suicide mission.
6) I liked Kevin Costner's portrayal of Pa Kent but thought the script did him a disservice. I felt that when Clark asks his father if he should let his friends and classmates just die that . . . "Well . . . maybe" is a piss poor response. Clark you are so important, much more important than those other children or any other humans around . . . don't you understand that? I mean for goodness sakes Jonathon, Clark already made the choice so try to be a little nurturing and understanding? I expected him to respond "No, of course not but you have to be careful to make sure no one sees you." Well . . . I guess I was wrong because I got the "Let the lil bastards die Clark. It's better to live with the guilt than possibly get caught and face a more difficult life. It's not like Clark was putting his own life in danger to save lives but rather that he might get caught.
That seemed completely against the ideals of Superman and what Jonathon Kent was supposedly trying to endow in his son. It just seemed very out of place.
7) This has been mentioned before but if the Kryptonian's landing at the Kent's farm didn't give away Clark's identity then they just need look for the house having the pickup truck removed from the second floor bedroom to get suspicious. Not to mention all the actual witnesses in the town who actually saw Clark fighting Zod's forces. That's the problem with fighting aliens in the town you grew up . . . the recognition effect.
8) Jor-El made Clark a suit in the downed Krypton ship? "Here son, I designed a cool new costume for you to wear in your new role complete with red cape because that's really hot with the ladies!!!" There wasn't much lead in to this (edited out perhaps) so it seemed kind of out of place. It could probably be explained away but just felt forced to me.