It's not easy being the world's greatest superhero of all time. Especially when the world isn't ready for one.

Or at least that's the belief Jonathan Kent preaches to his destined son throughout Zach Snyder's Superman reboot, "Man of Steel."

On the contrary, I'd say there's never been a better time for our alien super-being to return to the big screen. And after a seven-year hiatus (eons for Hollywood), Superman returns with the help of Snyder, producer Christopher Nolan and screenwriter David S. Goyer.

From his birth on the doomed planet Krypton to his first awareness of his powers, "Man of Steel" follows Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) as he learns to become a man before he can become super.

Kevin Costner and Diane Lane star as Jonathan and Martha Kent, the well-meaning couple who adopt an infant Superman following his plummet to Earth.

And while Martha serves as the parent who just wants her son and husband to see eye-to-eye, Jonathan is the firm parent determined for Clark to have a normal upbringing.

Meanwhile, Clark knows nothing of his other world on Krypton or where his special gifts come from, and thus spends his childhood as a lonely misfit. As an adult, he's even more lost as he wanders between towns working odd jobs and even growing a ragged beard for effect.

It's not until he unlocks the "preserved consciousness" of his real father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe), followed by his first encounter with ballsy reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams) before Kent begins to seek his true purpose.

But while Clark is busy testing out his new cape, General Zod (Michael Shannon), a rebel leader from the destructed planet Krypton, reaches Earth in search of a codex, the key to preserving the Kryptonian race.

It may not sound too malicious - except that he'll need to destroy Earth to rebuild Krypton.

Clark teams up with Lois and the U.S. military to stop him, and Earth transforms into a colossal war zone where they duke it out in small towns, big towns, skyscrapers and spaceships.

The movie never loses speed as Snyder uses the film's first half for a tonal retelling of Superman's origin story - not that it isn't enjoyable.

We get a fast-paced look at Krypton's final moment of existence as Jor-El races to save his son before the planet is blown to smithereens.

Down on Earth, the movie is chock full of historical Superman memorabilia and foreshadowing of what could come in the sequel.

Longtime fans may have caught a glimpse of a young Lana Lang, Clark Kent's first crush in the comic series, as well as the Smallville water tower during the start of the action.

And there was no way you could miss the LexCorp tanker that blows up during Superman and Zod's final head-to-head.

The CGI is heavy but impressive as Clark takes flight for the first time, soaring past cattle and snowy mountains - never a hair out of place.

All of that plays out with a climatic score by Hans Zimmer, Nolan's right-hand man most recently noted as the music composer for "The Dark Knight" trilogy and "Inception."

But the more pressing matter is deciding the verdict of Cavill's performance as Superman. Throughout the almost 2 ½ hour film, he hardly ever cracks a smile and his attempts at wit are few and weak.

But what he lacks in charm, he makes up with swooning good looks that could make any girl turn as red as his laser-beam eyes.

"Man of Steel" does little to conceal Superman as a hero of biblical reaches thanks to repeated bits of mystical wisdom voiced by Jonathan or Jor-El.

But the film's greater ambition does a stand-up job at conveying the relationship Superman has with his adoptive planet and the discovery that he needs humans just as much as they need him.

Janay Kingsberry is a web producer for She studies journalism at Savannah State University and practices photography during her free time. Find her on Twitter at @_LoisLane or email