My Take on “Man of Steel”

Overheard:

“LOVED the new Man of Steel movie!”

Well, you know me – I just LOVE to throw a dead cat in the pool when everyone is having a pool party, right?

Last week a pre-screening of the movie “Man of Steel” was held that allowed pastors and a guest to attend. Following the movie, an email was awaiting me at home that asked me for my “thoughts” on this current rendering of a character beloved by Americans – especially males – since 1933.

Superman’s character has long been held up as brave and kind-hearted, a hero with a strong sense of justice, morality, and righteousness. He adheres to an unwavering moral code instilled in him by his adoptive parents and he has a deep reverence for the law and authority in general.

Violence is used by Superman as a last resort, and only that amount and degree necessary to thwart the evil doer he is faced with. His regard for human life is beyond question, often allowing villains to escape (temporarily) rather than allow harm to befall an innocent person. Superman shuns collateral damage and goes to great lengths to protect life and property as much as possible.

Much of that has changed with “Man of Steel”, which hit the box office this weekend.

The current offering provides a great deal more “backstory” than previous movie portrayals of this popular hero, and there is a wistfulness/lost-ness to the adult Kal-el missing from earlier renditions of the story.

Still a man of integrity and rightness, this Superman has clearly gotten the message that his father sent him to our planet with the intention that this “super-man” was a gift to us and would lead the human race into a bright and glorious future (shades of Messianic under/overtones…).

I was cool with a lot of this – artistic license and such and so on…

The last third of the movie (or there about) began my becoming disheartened with “Man of Steel”. The wanton destruction of EVERYTHING IN SIGHT, without regard for collateral damage – INCLUDING HUMAN LIFE – was shocking to me.

Dozens of skyscrapers are demolished, debris falling on hundreds of fleeing humans below (and there were even people falling out of buildings without Superman flying to catch and save them), all very reminiscent of the news footage we saw over and over and over on 9/11 and following…

One of the more disturbing aspects of this destruction was the scene where a fighter jet is demolished as its missiles are launched which, missing the intended target, detonate on the street and into a building in the city where, once again, there are innocent human beings fleeing the impending doom. But, to no avail…

I became an Un-Fan close to the end, however, when, quite unavoidably, Superman has to make the choice to kill General Zod…OR ELSE!

General Zod has it made it crystal clear that he will not cease killing humans as long as he is alive. If Superman wishes to preserve the human race (oh, NOW we care about innocent life…), then Zod MUST die!!

Watching the Man of Steel snap a man’s neck was too much for me to bear. I know that the earliest comics had Superman toss around the bad guys in ways that made it obvious they couldn’t survive. But, it wasn’t SHOWN. And, by 1940, that kind of violence in the Superman stories went away.

I have heard from a lot of Facebook friends since this movie was released, and all of them (so far) have been delighted with the movie.

Well, you all can have your little party.

I, for one, am withdrawing my vote for the “Man of Steel” as my all-time favorite super hero.

 

Soli Deo Gloria

 

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