by Dan Fields
© 2013 Warner Brothers
“Clark Kent… now there was a real gent.”
At one point in Man Of Steel, a young Clark Kent, wrestling with the overwhelming onset of his superpowers, laments to his mother that the world is too big for him. “Then make it small,” replies Ma Kent. This is not one of the film’s best scenes, but the lesson could have been useful. Director Zack Synder, as well as writers Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer (of the Dark Knight saga) know a lot about spectacle and scale and heroes and villains, but not one of them seems to understand “making it small” as a practical storytelling strategy.
Given the amount of money and creative freedom that these men probably had at their fingertips for a new Superman project, it would be hard for anyone to resist the temptation to pack the movie as full as possible of absolutely everything. Man Of Steel is simply too much, swaddling about seventy minutes of outstanding Superman material in eighty more of muddled narrative and extraneous action climaxes.