These days it seems like every superhero under the sun has been given a modern makeover for the big screen -- Batman, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Thor -- so it only makes sense that the grandaddy of them all is finally up for an overhaul in
The latest incarnation of the Superman mythos features
The Times' Kenneth Turan said the film "is pulled in different directions, delivering satisfactions without managing to be completely satisfying." On the plus side, Turan said, "the Goyer/Nolan story is well-imagined in terms of broad outlines," and the cast is strong, with Cavill in particular being "a superb choice for someone who needs to convincingly convey innate modesty, occasional confusion and eventual strength."
On the other hand: "While ['Man of Steel's'] ambition and scope pull one way, its pinched and unconvincing sense of drama pull the other. Whatever strengths director Snyder revealed in films like '300' and '
He added, "Snyder knows how to put on a show, and 'Man of Steel' has a massive scope that's hard to resist. ... But what's missing from this Superman saga is a sense of lightness, of pop joy."
Similarly, New York magazine's David Edelstein said "Man of Steel" offers "lots of noise and clutter -- but never the simple charm of the original comic by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster or the faintly self-abashed handsomeness of Christopher Reeve. The movie isn't dead on arrival, like Snyder's over-reverent 'Watchmen.' But it's pleasure-free."
Phillips also agreed with Turan that "Cavill is quite good: less impish than Christopher Reeve, more intense than
Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly said he thought "Man of Steel's" "'Dark Knight'-style makeover never quite comes together. Sure, Superman is still faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive. ... But he's been transformed into the latest in a long line of soul-searching super-brooders, trapped between his devastated birth planet of Krypton and his adopted new home on Earth. He's just another haunted outsider grappling with issues."