A young Superman (Henry Cavill) must finally come to terms with his place on Earth and his birth on his home planet of Krypton in "Man of Steel", yet another cinematic retelling of arguably the most popular and beloved comic book superheroes of all time. Michael Shannon leads a group of militaristic Kryptonies to Earth in the hopes of resurrecting their lost civilization on a new planet and also along for the ride is Amy Adams (dare I say making us yearn to see Margot Kidder or Kate Bosworth instead) as our heroine/Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane who constantly seems to be putting herself in danger's way. "Man of Steel" makes itself out to be revolutionary and creative, but it struggles the whole way with strange casting, an interminable running time, offbeat pacing, and a resolution which is more migraine-inducing than memorable (and also more reminiscent of something this side of "The Transformers" rather than something from the "Batman Begins" series). Flashbacks strangely are the most compelling and interesting parts of the movie as we are transported back to seeing a young Clark Kent in Smallville slowly coming to terms with who he is and what his true purpose for existence is. Diane Lane and Kevin Costner (Costner, in particular doing quietly some of his best cinematic work in years) shine as the titled character's adopted parents. Russell Crowe is also on hand (and never seems to disappear even after his early demise) as Superman's biological father/accomplished scientist of Krypton. Superman's home planet destruction is a fascinating side-board as we get deep into politics, failed science, and even an unhinged militaristic coup. In the end, "Man of Steel"'s main story pales in comparison with its sidelines and this makes the film basically a special effects-heavy would-be tour de force which unfortunately never does really take off in the end. A shame too because Cavill's performance and the aforementioned attributes were right in line to make "Man of Steel" much more memorable and critically successful than it really is. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
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