Growing up, I always favored Superman over other super heroes. He was a hero you never had to worry about dying* and to a young kid that's a safe bet.
Then along came Christopher Nolan and his Dark Knight. It made me realize that a good story revolves around things being out of your control and the possibility of knocking on death’s door.
Nolan’s creative sensibilities are all over Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot, Man of Steel, which follows the journey of Kal-El from birth and youth to a confrontation with his home world of Krypton’s chief general, Zod. The back story is almost exactly what we’ve seen from previous Superman entries, but the execution is much more enjoyable. We spend a lot more time on Krypton… more than I ever would have assumed there would be based off previous Superman movies, and it’s a fantastical experience, like a beautiful video game and I mean that in a good way.
As the iconic hero, Henry Cavill was quite a super (looking) superman, and does a serviceable and believable job in the role, even if he doesn’t really bring anything new to the role -- it's the same well mannered boy scout we're used to. Still, I wish they gave him more to work with in the film in terms of dialogue. One odd thing about Man of Steel is that I couldn't remember a single continuous, non-fighting scene with Superman lasting more than, say, 3 minutes. The film is loaded with flashbacks and "chapters," strung together to set everything up, and at times it makes the editing feel choppy and plot/character development comes up a bit short.
I was also thinking that the Superman canon, this movie included, has a really strong identity theme (who am I? where do I come from? what do I stand for?), so it’s ironic the movie has an identity crisis of its own in terms of cinematography/style. The episodic nature of Man of Steel translates into a myriad of visual styles, and while I thought they were mostly well done and emotionally evocative, it also adds to the overall sense of choppiness at the expense of consistency and cohesion.