Man of Steel – 1 star

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The allure of Superman is inescapable. A baby arrives on earth with super human strength and is cared for by a Midwestern couple. As he grows up, he must learn to surreptitiously use that strength for good, wondering all the while the nature of his origins.

Director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) gives us a few flashbacks to Clark Kent’s upbringing under the tutelage of his earth father, Kevin Costner, and these are by far the most interesting scenes in the film. But it is clear Snyder is more interested in the fate of Krypton, which results in a tedious dramatization of the planet’s politics and an over-the-top performance by Michael Shannon as the maniacal General Zod. Cue the inevitable, droning CGI fest at the end, plus Superman’s ridiculous triumph (all he had to do was snap Zod’s neck?), and you’ll be awakened from your slumber just in time to see Superman take a job at The Daily Planet, a newspaper populated by such dim bulbs that the mere accoutrement of horn rims serves to disguise the man who just saved them from certain death.

At least the film includes that sly indictment of modern journalism. Other than that, and a spunky performance from Amy Adams, there is little to recommend.

Part 2 would appear to be unavoidable, and word on the street is that Denzel Washington is in talks to take the role of The Green Lantern (green being the operative word).

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