Went to the Man of Steel on Sunday with youngest daughter. Her gift to me for Father’s Day. :-)
Origin stories are difficult. You’re hoping to attract new viewers with novelty of a franchise reboot, but you still want to do something different to satisfy veteran fans of Superman. Rather than presenting a formerly unseen villain the filmmakers offered a fresh take on the General Zod storyline people saw in the second Reeve film. Which makes sense since we see Krypton as part of Superman’s back story.
Most of the back story was handled well, presented as a series of flashbacks. So we didn’t have to wait through a long build to Superman being Superman. Henry Cavill was excellent as Clark Kent/Kal-El. Superman emoting is slightly strange, but better than the comic take offered by Reeve during his stint in the role. Not to knock Reeve; his films were a product on their time, and we’re a jaded audience and people today. :-)
The other cast members turned in good performances as well, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent and Michael Shannon as General Zod most notably. I first came across Shannon in Boardwalk Empire, where he plays the tightly wound Nelson Van Alden, ex-Revenue agent and budding gangster. Diane Lane is still a beauty as Ma Kent, though seeing her made up to be older than her actual 48 was weird; made me feel my age.
The only sign I caught of Lex Luthor was a LexCorp tanker truck that ended up trashed during the climactic fight scene. Don’t know whether that was a nod toward Luthor making an appearance in a sequel, but the movie was good enough to merit one.