Would I read the book?
You know what? I think I totally would read this as a book. In fact, I think that should have been a book (or graphic novel) all along. With those media, you can more effectively explore the many, many, many, themes that this movie was attempting to explore – with scattered results. I’m not saying that the medium of film does not allow for depth; it’s just that, as a superhero story set to be on screen for a set amount of time, it became a victim of its own ambition coupled with pressure from the studio to be a hit – because Superman is the superhero and superheroes are supposed to be big hits today. Readables don’t have have as much pressure put on them; characters, concepts, plot points can be explored more leisurely, can be developed by writers and digested by readers at a better pace.
Ignoring all the (hopefully unconscious) references to OTHER superheroes’ stories, I believe that this movie had the potential to be a truly great narrative – something along the lines of Superman for All Seasons. It just wasn’t organized or told as well as it could have been.