Since Christopher Reeve took flight as Superman, the iconic hero has been laid to rest, endured teen angst, and stumbled in the 2006 blockbuster.
Last year, Batman, another DC Comics stalwart, hung up his cowl in the conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s award-winning Dark Knight trilogy, so the time has come to resurrect Krypton’s prodigal son.
Nolan’s fingerprints as producer and storyline co-writer are evident on every digitally enhanced frame of Zack Snyder’s film. Man Of Steel is cast in the mould of Batman Begins, removing any traces of campness or charm that distinguished the 1970s and 1980s big screen incarnations.
Man Of Steel spares no expense with the pyrotechnics, including a breathless final showdown.
Cavill has the rugged good looks and impressive physique but his performance lacks emotion. Thankfully, co-stars Michael Shannon, Adams and Costner are in fine form, particularly the latter as the moral compass for young Clark in his darkest hours.
And there are plenty more dark times ahead in a sequel and a film version of Justice League, which sees Superman fight alongside Batman and Wonder Woman.