I just want to preface my review by saying that I loved Superman growing up. I had the action figures, I watched the Kids WB series when I was a teenager, I saw the movies with Christopher Reeves when I was about 5 years old and kept watching them, played the Nintendo video game, and watched re-runs of the television show from the 50s on Nick at Nite
. My first dream was to be Superman. I was 5, but that was my career choice at that age.
I thought Superman's origin story was more compelling than the action sequences. It's just my personal taste. They destroyed a city, they destroyed that town in Kansas. They killed people in both of those things. And as man who doesn't look for action films because of the lack of respect for life in them, I found every death except Zod's, his father, and the general on the plane, treated like an action film. I didn't like all the action. Too fast for this old man and too much like a video game. Some of the dialogue is heavy-handed and dramatic, too. That's where my complaints end.
The emotional heart of the film, Superman's origin, coming to understand himself and his place, and whether earth would embrace him was good and I wanted more of it by the time I left the movie theater. I think he earned the reputation he has on earth in this version of the movie. How would we treat an alien from another planet? Look at how we treat aliens from other countries. This was realistic. I think that the acting--from Amy Adams, Henry Cavill, Lawrence Fishburne, Christopher Meloni, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe--is fantastic. This was a compelling movie, even when, especially Russell Crowe's dialogue, was heavy-handed.
I loved this movie's heart. I didn't appreciate the action as much. It was a situation where I felt like I needed Maalox with my popcorn because of the stakes. I wondered how they were going to get out of it. By the end, I realized that Superman could've just killed them all and it would've been a shorter movie, but it's his compassion that allows him to defend, and not kill. Having Superman responsible for the end of Krypton (even though it would kill all humans and life on the planet) was a nice twist and one that could have consequences later on.
All in all, I gave the movie a solid B. I enjoyed it more than Star Trek Into Darkness