FRANK RANTS: 'Man of Steel'

Welcome to Frank Rants. Here, I can express my thoughts outside of the realm of the Slamfist main blog. What does that mean to you? It means that I can rant free-form, without the restrictions I pose upon myself in the main blog. It means, I can let loose, and not give a damn about spoilers, or my language.  It will be my sounding board to nitpick on things that seriously bug the shit out of me.

With that said, the standard caveat applies, ahead there be spoilers. If you haven't seen the movie, turn back, lest the film be forever spoiled. Having said that, follow along, as I step up onto my soapbox, and I rant as I have not done in a long while.

 

I did mention spoilers, right? 

 

So, I think to begin this entire thing, I have to preface it all with a little background. I am not necessarily, a comic expert, however, I know a little bit. I have been familiar with the Superman mythology for almost as long as I can remember. I grew up watching the Christopher Reeves movies, I read the comics when I could get my hands on them. And based on what I have seen and read through the years, I have come to certain ideas about the character of Superman. 

Everyone knows by now the basic story. Alien, grows up in Kansas, becomes a symbol of "Truth, Justice, and the American Way." Ya'll knew that much I hope. So, he grows up in a rural area, living on a farm. His parents teach him the difference between right, and wrong. Those life lessons then are translated on a much larger scale to how Superman conducts himself in public. His parents, instilled upon him a very specific moral ideology, that is very much in line with the basic Judeo-Christian mindset. There is a reason, he is sometimes referred to as the "big blue boy scout". 

In essence, the entirety of the Superman mythos, is a giant morality play. A sort of blueprint of what the "right" thing to do is. It's cheesy, it's corny, but, when you get down to it, it is what Superman is all about. In fact, in the end, it is what ALL superheroes can be boiled down to. Characters with great power, acting to maintain their moral code. Like Spider-man's uncle Ben has said in most iterations, "With great power, comes great responsibility." Heroes, like Superman, have a responsibility, to maintain that moral code, to elevate themselves over the lawlessness that they face.

And I think a central tenant in the superhero bylaws, has always been, "Don't Kill." Think back to all the heroes throughout the years, and you will see that murder is just not something a hero is known for.

And, this is where the spoilers start...

It's seen at the beginning of the film, that Zod is a killer. he is a horrible Kryptonian that is not above killing council members, or even Jor-El. After imprisonment, he goes on to reveal that he is also not above doing a spot of genocide, as long as it furthers his expressed goal of reviving the planet Krypton. So, yes, Zod is a bad dude. 

Also, early on, we are shown that Clark Kent, is a good guy. He's willing to risk his life to save people. Well, not really risk his life, because... when you are a god-like being that can pretty much not be hurt, there is very little "risk" involved. But, he will at least take time out of his busy schedule to save people. So we firmly establish Clark is a good guy.

Now take a moment, and go back up a little bit. As I stated, Superheros don't kill. Killing is firmly in the realm of the anti-hero and the villain.  Killing is an action that is an absolute last resort. So it is painful to watch as, in the closing act of this film, Superman does the unthinkable, and Kills Zod! That's right, mister Truth, Justice and the American Way, snaps Zod's neck like a fucking twig.

The apologists will say, "He had no choice, Zod was threatening a handful of people." And to that I say, bullshit. If Superman had the strength, to snap Zod's neck (Zod, who had the same invulnerability and super strength that Superman himself possessed, I might add) , he could have turned him around to give the people time to get away. He could have found some other way to get rid of the threat. 

You see, there is a very simple problem with Superman becoming a killer... There is a reason Batman has krytponite in the batcave. If Superman strays from his guiding morality, if he decides that it is through his will that people live or die, what will stop him. That sense of guiding morality is what keeps him from becoming a murderous despot. a sort of supreme ruler. Remove that adamant ban on killing, and you are left with a Superman that is... no longer Superman, but instead has set himself up as an Ubermensch. 

In that singular instance, the screen writer(s) for this film, displayed a fundamental lack of understanding of the character they were writing. And in so doing, hve doomed this film, which honestly was a decent enough popcorn flick, to a life of undying hatred from many a Super-fan.

 

And as an aside, I would have given the film between a 6 and a 6.5... I honestly found "This is the End" to be a much more enjoyable film.... 

Update: Just saw an article HERE  , that seems to share my thoughts, with almost more anger about the whole ordeal than I had myself!