^ Come on now, we're not talking about art films from the 60s & 70s here (and I'm 100% certain Film Crit Hulk has seen his fair share of those, as have I), but about a big, mainstream summer blockbuster. And as such, Man of Steel doesn't really work on a dramatic level.
Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of things about the movie that are quite enjoyable and I actually mostly had a pretty good time with it while it was playing. But it didn't resonate for me beyond the surface level in the way the very best blockbuster movies do and I never really cared about the characters, and that's precisely because of all the things Hulk lists in the article.
Superman, the character, resonated with me. As a Pansexual man, as an atheist, I have tasted being an outsider. The longing to be normal ("Can't I just pretend I'm still your son?") to other people's reactions (Hearing "What a freak" when he was in the closet) and the military's reaction to his power is perfect. It is about being different, accepting those differences, and being comfortable enough with yourself to still be who you are when society says that you are not normal.
I thought Lois Lane was a capable and believable journalist. The writing that they show of hers is really good. As someone aspired, at one point, to be a journalist, I wish that I could have written like that, and pursued a story with as much temerity as she did.
I thought Zod was an extremist, but I saw his character as an element of our society. Someone who is nationalistic, someone who is bent on preserving only one kind of people, it is something we deal with in our political discussions. The first 10 minutes of the movie scared me. With as much animosity and dissatisfaction as we have with Congress (the council of "fools"), I wondered if this was our future--a military coup. If not, just look at the countries around us to see it. The movie is almost anti-Western culture because it paints it as the bad guy. Western societies fit children into their schedule now, and they treat children like status symbols and we have abortions when it isn't convenient to have them. What we are doing to the planet, our technology, our lack of exploration and respect for science, this is a part of America as much as Apple pie is. I saw this as a reflection of our own society.
All of the characters mentioned above were believable. Perry not running with the "alien saved me" story. The argument about Lois being under contract, that she cannot just quit. It's fantastic to show the differences between our movie heroes of yesteryear and the realistic problems we face today.
I disagree with you that this movie doesn't communicate some truth and show elements of our society.