This is easily the most palatable Zack Snyder action movie to date. The cast of characters as written and acted are all solid, from Amy Adams in the hard to pull off role of Lois Lane, to Michael Shannon as the surprisingly sympathetic (but menacing) villain Zod, to Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe as alternating father figures. As for the Man himself, Henry Cavill very much has that essential sincerity and noble quality, not to mention the square jaw and astounding physique. Also credit writers David Goyer and Chris Nolan for neatly packing an origin story, a coming of age story and some city smashin' action all into a single briskly moving film, along with one of the most poignant scenes from a movie in recent memory.
That said, Snyder still has difficulty filming action and effects that don't look like a video game (except in the prologue, where he's clearly copying Avatar). Even that most staple of Superman effects of our hero levitating in the air looks like Cavill plastered over a background. There's a good deal more superhero action - specifically more superhero *fighting* - than the last Superman movie, but while seeing characters zip across the screen too fast for the eye to follow until they're walloping someone upside the head looks cool at first, it loses its zap the fifteenth time around. There are certainly a few fantastic visuals on display but all in all it's a decent action movie not a great one, and despite the respectable attempts at installing human drama come the end of the film that's the impression that remains. -- 3/5 stars