updated 06/12/2013 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 06/14/2013 AT 4:00 PM ET
The new Superman is super hot, but PEOPLE’s critic says 20 Feet From Stardom is the weekend’s best bet.
Man of Steel
Get the paper bags ready, fanboys, because the plot of the new Superman will make you hyperventilate with its Krypton-heavy backstory and angsty vibe. Before I get to that, though, the straight ladies and gay dudes need a moment to lust after the Man of Steel himself, Henry Cavill.
People, I share with you that within his first three minutes onscreen, Cavill is shirtless and on fire. I don’t mean he’s merely hot – or even smoldering in the figurative sense – I mean the dude literally has flames leaping off that impressively-chiseled chest as he rushes in to get his superheroics on. He’s so beautiful it’s distracting. That may be a good thing.
Because the rest of Steel is a well-intentioned but overstuffed sci-fi extravaganza that tries to accomplish way too much – as if director Zack Snyder and co-writer/producer Christopher Nolan wanted the movie to be all things to all ticket buyers.
Packed into the film’s two hour and 23-minute running time is a recrafting of the Superman origin story, with a lengthy sequence on Krypton explaining the clash between Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and General Zod (Michael Shannon), the main narrative arc of Clark as a drifter hiding from his true self, Clark stepping into the super suit for an intense mega-battle with Zod, and flashbacks of Clark’s adolescence with the Kents (Diane Lane and Kevin Costner).
Did you notice that I left out Lois Lane (Amy Adams)? It would hardly be fair to say that the movie nearly does too – she has plenty of action-heavy screen time – but the relationship between her and Clark gets awfully short shrift.