I love the ambition and guts of director Bryan Singer who overlooks the fact that the last sequels were crap so that he can continue the iconic Superman myth by returning to what Richard Donner did with it. Brandon Routh is a more likeable Superman that I dared believe but the rest of the cast is a hit-and-miss affair. Appreciate it for the effects and it is a better ending than "Superman IV" ever was.
Along with Ang Lee's Hulk, I think this was unfairly derided simply because it failed to pacify an American audience. Singer treats Superman as the god that he is, constantly alluding to Christian mythology. In this interpretation, Superman doesn't NEED to throw a single punch. It's also a somber send-off to the Donner films.
Every decision Bryan Singer makes is wrong. Why is the costume different? Why is Lois Lane not strong and independent? Why make it a sequel to the original series if you wanted to treat it like an origin story again? Why is Kevin Spacey playing a tongue-and-cheek character straight? Why do these great rivals barely have any screen time together? How many times can we see Kal Penn approaching an injured Superman?