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'Man of Steel' never gets off the ground

'Man of Steel,' starring Henry Cavill as Superman, is dreary and overlong.

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'Man of Steel' stars Henry Cavill as Superman.

Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Pictures/AP

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The real war in superhero movieland isn’t between good and bad guys; it’s between Marvel and DC Comics. So far Marvel, with Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, the Avengers, et al., has been winning the tussle. Now DC’s “Man of Steel,” the umpteenth reboot of the "Superman" franchise, leaps into the fray. Taking a cue from the “Batman” series, the film is dark and thudding and overlong, not surprising since the film was written by "Dark Knight"'s David S. Goyer from a story he concocted with Christoper Nolan, who also co-produced. It’s also in 3-D, to no great effect. (A 2-D version is also in theaters.)

Anybody attracted to the Superman of olden days will be alienated by this gargantuan drearfest that pits our hero, played a bit too blankly by Henry Cavill, against Michael Shannon’s General Zod, a survivor of the planet Krypton’s catastrophic extinction. Zod and his minions sport the latest in Kryptonian leatherware while Superman, back on Earth, takes forever to don his suit and cape.

 
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