Guest / Limited Access /
Man of Steel
Clay Enos / Warner Bros.
Man of Steel
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
(28 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (For intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language)
Directed By
Zack Snyder
Run Time
2 hours 23 minutes
Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane
Theatre Release
June 14, 2013 by Warner Bros.

Superman is a complex character, as superheroes go, too complicated to reduce into hero stereotypes and character-bio shorthands. He is Clark Kent, farm boy from Kansas; he is Superman, hero of Metropolis and symbol of Freedom, Justice, and The American Way; and he is Kal-El, alien from Krypton, his parents killed and homeland destroyed. And the most interesting, human moments experienced by Superman always show up in the interplay between his coexistent identities.

But in Zach Snyder's Man Of Steel, Superman (Henry Cavill, best known for his work on The Tudors) is there mostly to satiate that part of the American psyche that wants their messiahs to punch things, too. It's understandable why Snyder, director of stylish, brooding action movies like 300 and Watchmen, chose to go this route: the film is packed densely with information and plot, covering the death of planet Krypton, Clark Kent's upbringing in Kansas, his antagonists and their objectives, and the myriad twists and turns that result.

The hand of Christopher Nolan (who shares a story credit) is clear here—anyone who sat through The Dark Knight or Inception will recognize Nolan's proclivity for stories with climaxes that go on for half an hour. So amid all the action scenes, flashbacks, and cutaways that follow around Lois Lane (a precedent-breaking redhead, Amy Adams) as she investigates into who exactly this superhuman person is, there simply wasn't room to earnestly explore Superman's identity issues.

Unfortunately, the movie's climax still depends on Superman feeling torn between his respective roles, human/alien/messiah, all of them in some way true and all of them impossible to entirely fulfill. But we almost never ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current Issue
Subscriber Access Only Wilson's Bookmarks
From John Wilson, editor of Books & Culture.
Current IssueHow Gratitude Made Ann Voskamp an Activist
Subscriber Access Only
How Gratitude Made Ann Voskamp an Activist
Ann Voskamp’s rural Canadian life may seem picture perfect. But with her new book, the intensely shy writer could spark a social movement among North American Christians.
RecommendedBefore You Vote, Watch ‘Vertigo’
Before You Vote, Watch ‘Vertigo’
What Hitchcock's thriller can teach us about sexism, nostalgia, and the gospel's call to justice.
TrendingLifeWay Stops Selling Jen Hatmaker Books over LGBT Beliefs
LifeWay Stops Selling Jen Hatmaker Books over LGBT Beliefs
One of evangelical women’s favorite authors loses her place in one of America's largest Christian chains.
Editor's PickWhy I Forgave the Man I Once Plotted to Kill
Why I Forgave the Man I Once Plotted to Kill
Revenge fantasies were darkening my heart before I trusted in Jesus.
Christianity Today
Man of Steel
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

June 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.