, Newburyport, MA


June 13, 2013

Film follows grim path first trod by the Dark Knight


Few will care about such things. There are gut-wrenching (though not necessarily pleasurable) suspense scenes such as a school bus full of kids headed for a watery grave. The supporting cast includes such stalwart players as Laurence Fishburne (as editor Perry White), Christopher Meloni (as the toughest guy in the U.S. military), and Richard Schiff (a scientist, hanging around to explain magnetic polarities and such).

Cavill looks great in the key outfit. Maybe that’s enough. The crowd at a “Man of Steel” preview the other night exited the theater not excited, not chatty, but quiet, vaguely shellshocked. Was it the ridiculously loud volume levels? Or the pounding inflicted by the most protracted action sequences? Or both?

This is the secret to any superhero movie’s success, bad, good or — in the case of “Man of Steel” — respectably in between. You must destroy the planet, or nearly, for Superman to save it, and if it’s more work than fun to witness, in 2013: That’s entertainment.

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