When trying to make Man Of Steel so different than the previous Superman movies, Zach Snyder made it a muddled mess. I mean, it’s not really “so” different, but rather Snyder saw how monotonous it is to keep seeing the same origin story after a movie has been rebooted so many. But, he still wanted to keep that origin story, but present it in a different way so as not to seem like we’re getting beaten down with the same old stuff we’ve heard from the previous how ever many movies.
Rather than telling a linear story from when Superman gets jettisoned to earth as a baby, and watching him grow up through his young-adult years, get picked on others, and slowly discover his powers and how different he is, we get something different. Well, we still get all this, but Snyder positions this scenes as flashbacks throughout the film, at seemingly pointless moments. It is a wise decision to start the film with Superman already being established, so we don’t have to wade through all that exposition for an hour and a half before we finally get Superman. It’s just that these scenes are dispersed so haphazardly it’s hard to distinguish at what point Superman is in. Do people know he exists? Is he ever Clark Kent? What does he do? Why is he doing so-and-so? Everything is painted with so broad of a brush that the important finer details never show up.
As touched on before, because we’re not dealing with a point A to point B structure here, the exposition is handled in the worst way it’s ever to be handled, with a characters diatribe in a monologue. Show, don’t tell. Russell Crowe as Superman’s father is really just one big exposition machine. I can’t recall one scene of his that isn’t just to describe why something is happening or what everything means.
Before seeing this I’d seen a lot of critics complaining online that there’s too much violence in the film and too much reckless abandon towards innocent civilians and such? I honestly don’t understand that at all, and saw none of that. I guess supposedly Superman is too noble a person to destroy buildings in the pursuit of a villain? Anyways, that stuff would seem to me to be the worst of the movies problems, see above for just a start of them.