I like Superman. A lot. I think he's gotten too much flak in recent years from Batman-lovers. I very much adored Man of Steel. It did almost everything I hoped it would. Perhaps it could have cut some of the action to appeal to more people, but I personally loved seeing Superman let loose and use all of his power. That was something sorely lacking in Superman Returns.
That being said, my only issue with the movie was a thematic one. Because (also like Superman Returns) it's still a messiah story. The major theme is that Superman can become a beacon of hope for humanity, that he can guide us down the right path, and essentially, save us from ourselves. And that's what I don't like. The great moments in Superman's many stories are never when he saves humanity from itself. They are when he saves humanity from some unimaginably dangerous villain that wants to destroy the planet or something. So just from a plotting perspective, I find that theme weak and useless, certainly not strong enough to carry an entire more, let alone a franchise.
But even disregarding the implications it has on the plot, I still think it's a bit of an irritating theme. We need Superman to save us from ourselves. Okay, fine. Let's say we do. But wait a minute. We don't actually have a Superman. He isn't real. So buying into the major theme here is... also kinda buying into the idea that the real world is fucking doomed, because Superman doesn't exist. Which, is decidedly NOT a beacon of hope for people.
Unless, of course, Superman is an allegory for Jesus. In which case... *sigh*