I saw Man of Steel last in IMAX 3D. Based on the early buzz, I was worried I wouldn't like it. But I actually walked out of the theater quite satisfied. I can see why some people might not have liked Man of Steel--it's a bit darker than what people are generally used to when it comes to Supes, there are some liberties taken with the mythology, and I've heard the argument that the wanton destruction was a little much.
None of this bothered me. The darker tidbits made everything feel more realistic about how things might be if a superman walked among us. And yes, Superman killed, which is something he tries to steer clear of, but I was fine with this too. There was no choice--he killed Zod to save innocents, and he grieved after killing a character with no redeeming qualities. Lois Lane uncovering Superman's identity so quickly was a big deviation from the mythology, but I didn't much care. Again, this rings true to me. For a very long time in the comics, she's supposed to be this amazing reporter, but can never figure out that day after day she's working with Superman at the Daily Planet. There is a certain charming naivete to that that idea for a comic book in 1940s and 50s. But the closer you get to the present beyond this point, the more improbably it becomes, especially in today's world. So I liked this choice a lot.
And sorry guys, but I was quite happy with all the fighting scenes. I thought it was just right. There was plenty of storytelling up until that point, and I rather enjoyed getting to know this version of Superman. I guess the characterization for Lois Lane was a bit thin, but really, everyone beyond Superman took a back seat, and I was fine with that for a remade origin story for the most iconic superhero of all time. So by the time we got up to the fighting, I thought they had definitely earned it. And if the destruction was a little more than what we've witnessed in other superhero movies, I feel that's intentional. They're driving home the point about what a powerful being Superman is, not just to us as the viewing audience, but also to the characters of that world.
This is probably blasphemy to many, but I enjoyed this movie way more than Avengers. Then again, I've never been the biggest Joss Whedon fan, so take that statement with a grain of salt (and to be fair, I did like Avengers, I just didn't love it). I am a very big Christopher Nolan fan though, and I think this franchise benefited greatly from his presence, even if he didn't direct this one. And Henry Cavill may not be Christopher Reeve, but I totally bought into him as Superman. I'm looking forward to the next installment in this franchise. If it follows the pattern of Nolan's Batman, we'll be meeting Lex Luthor in the next movie. The first movie gave us Batman's origin, and the second one gave us Batman's arch-nemesis in the form of the Joker. I think Lex qualifies as Superman's premiere nemesis. What would be the equivalent of Bane in a third Superman movie though? Doomsday? Now THAT would lead to some wanton destruction. Superman has a pretty big rogues gallery though. They can leave Doomsday out of the equation if he doesn't translate well to the big screen. I'd be perfectly happy meeting Brainiac or Metallo.
Anyone else notice in one fight scenes that when a truck was thrown at Superman it read LexCorp on the side? I loved that little touch, and I also take that as a sneaky acknowledgment that yes, Lex Luthor is up next.
P.S. I freely acknowledge that they could've done away with the subtle (not-so-subtle, really) Jesus imagery.