It's effects that Steel the show... MAN OF STEEL (12A).
Sherwood Forest stars Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner are both forced to give way to the 143-minute scale of this 'origins' reboot. Just like Amy Adams' Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane - an excuse for a throwaway line about journalistic integrity. Ooooh!
And then there's Henry Cavill as our hero Kal-El, sent from Krypton by Jor-El (Crowe) and raised here as Clark Kent by farmer Jonathan Kent (Costner) and wife Martha (Diane Lane).
Can Krypton's last son protect Earth from invaders eager to find the 'codex'? Will humans fear his powers? The answers lie amid a welter of occasionally impressive effects and so many spectacularly destructive scenes they make 9/11 seem like a Manhattan loft conversion.
At least when The Transformers wreak havoc, they're unlikely to worry about killing thousands to save a few. Superman surely should.
Caring Costner aside, Man of Steel lacks warmth, humour and peril so having Zack Snyder (300 / Watchmen) directing a story co-written by The Dark Knight's Christopher Nolan isn't the dream team we'd expected.
With no sense of jeopardy, Superman throws General Zod (Michael Shannon) around ad nauseam. It's a punch-up gone mad.
The relatively unknown Cavill sports a decent six-pack, but with his barnet dyed unflatteringly jet black he resembles a Tussaud waxwork-in-progress that's missing its ID.
As he wrestles with who he is, are we watching John Travolta, Jim Carrey, Michael Sheen or tennis star Andy Thingy? Although the 1978 Superman might seem dated, the late Christopher Reeve's charm still keeps it flying, while Bryan Singers' Superman Returns (2006) was underrated.
In 35 years' time, I rather suspect today's popcorn fix will simply be described as 'pants'.
A line about the 'S' logo now meaning 'Hope' sums up Man of Steel perfectly - this Superman is less the Cape of Good Hope, more Cape Cod.
Unimpressive 3D and the fact that three house lights were left on above a picture featuring a foot of black screen to the left and two feet of blackness to the right also left me wondering if my packed Warner Bros' public screening was even in the right ratio - a not uncommon issue today.
Some jittery action effects made me want an instant replay in 2D and then IMAX to compare.
This film is already dividing critical opinion, but perhaps that's partly because having multi versions means we're no longer all seeing the same thing.
Henry Cavill as Superman in the Kryptonian's latest outing, Man of Steel. Amy Adams' Lois Lane is pictured far left with the hero, and Michael Shannon's General Zod is below