(director: Zack Snyder; screenwriters: David S. Goyer/based on a story by David Goyer and Christopher Nolan/ characters appearing in comic books published by DC Entertainment; Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster; cinematographer: Amir Mokri; editor: David Brenner; music: Hans Zimmer; cast: Henry Cavill (Clark Kent/Kal-El), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Michael Shannon (General Zod), Diane Lane (Martha Kent), Russell Crowe (Jor-El), Antje Traue (Faora-Ul), Harry Lennix (General Swanwick), Richard Schiff (Dr. Emil Hamilton), Christopher Meloni (Col. Nathan Hardy), Kevin Costner (Jonathan Kent), Ayelet Zurer (Lara Lor-Van), Laurence Fishburne (Perry White), Cooper Timberline (Clark Kent at 9), Dylan Sprayberry (Clark Kent at 13); Runtime: 143; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Charles Roven/Mr. Nolan/Emma Thomas/Deborah Snyder; Warner Brothers Pictures; 2013)
The joyless pic never won my heart.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Zack Snyder (“300″/”Watchmen”) directs in a blah manner this overlong and humorless Superman. The joyless pic never won my heart. The new Superman is the Brit actor Henry Cavill, who looks good in a cape but is a bit too bland in the acting department. The Superman” franchise is given another reboot by the authors David Goyer and Christopher Nolan, the same dynamic duo who gave us all that Batman angst in The Dark Knight. The writers fill this superhero tale with an expanded back story and whenever possible reach for far-out action scenes.

It opens on the alien planet of Krypton, and since the planet is doomed, Kal-El’s (Henry Cavill)scientist father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe), parent of the only child born there in ages, decides to send him by rocket to live on Earth. There the infant’s adopted by the kindly Kansas farmer parents (Kevin Costner & Diane Lane) and named Clark Kent, and they hide from everybody that their son is an alien and possesses super powers. Meanwhile Krypton is destroyed and General Zod (Michael Shannon), vows to track down Kal-El and make him restore Krypton or he will destroy the Earth. That means the Daily Planet ace Pulitzer Prize-winninginvestigative reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams), the alien’s love interest, will die along with the other humans.

When General Zod touches down on Earth in a giant spacecraft, it’s up to Kal-El, now aged 33, to show he cares more about the Earth than Krypton. At the half-way mark our superhero dons his cape costume for the first time and in the third act he battles against the baddie Zod and his minions trying to steal back the codex, which holds the key to dominating the universe, a gizmo dad gave his son to hang onto while on Earth. The climax battle scene works overtime with computer-generated special effects, and we’re reminded that if Superman loses the Earth is a goner and on the sensitive side we learn that even if Superman is an alien he still craves freedom on Earth–something he never would have had in fascist Krypton.

If you want more of this same kind of Superman brand, the same creators of this pic are signed on for a future installment.