Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Man of Steel -- The Choice

People are talking about the ending of Man of Steel.
Go see it before reading this. Right now. It’s awesome. Take it from someone who’s read Superman comics for 30 years. I’m telling you, being happy with a Supes movie was a tall order for me. I walked out thinking the movie was Magnificent on almost every level. Loved it.
There is much going on in this movie. Some big ideas that you don’t really get the gravity of and discover the far-reaching implications of, until the end.
This is the problem with big ideas in a movie that is being viewed by people who were not ready for big ideas… they need time to think about it. Maybe another viewing.  They think about what they might have missed.
Kind of like taking a test that you thought you were ready for but when you get your paper back, your grade isn’t all you hoped it would be… you tear through the paper and try to find out what you missed. And WHY you missed it.
It could all come down to one question. One tiny aspect of the movie that you disregarded as just a plot Lilly pad --- instead of a plot stepping stone. Perhaps that one line of dialog was more important than you realized. Perhaps those words you overlooked, were meant to bear more of the weight of the plot than you realized… Words have meaning and power. Especially when they are used correctly.
What if a child dreamed of becoming something other than what society had intended?
This is one of the BIG ideas in this movie. So much of what happens is founded upon this.
Jonathan Kent tells a young Clark to find out who he is.
Jor-El tells an older Kal that he was the first natural birth in a very long time on Krypton. Thereby, giving him a release from what Kryptonians, for ages, have leaned on for assurance and structure. Kal would not be created for a specific purpose.
He would have the ability to CHOOSE.
It is this power of choice that is the ultimate crux of the most controversial moment in the movie.
Clark is faced with a choice.  In my opinion, an impossible choice. Neither is good. Some are mad that he made the choice he made. I wonder if, if they would be happier if he’d allowed to happen- what would certainly have happened, had he NOT acted? I think not. (that may not make sense, but go see the movie)
His opponent, General Zod, is not however a person with a  choice. He will do whatever he has to do to accomplish his goal in life. He was bred for one purpose. And one purpose alone.
Zod will kill humanity. He has stated as much.
Clark’s solution to the situation is to… SPOILER.
Just go see the movie.
It is this power of choice that this movie is ripe with. Some say it violates Superman’s character to accept the choice he made. I do not believe it does. He made a choice. He is pulled in 2 directions in this movie… between humanity and Krypton. There is a time when he doesn’t really like either choice.
Make no mistake. This is a big idea movie. Big idea movies stand up will to the years of scrutiny. I suspect this one will as well.
Well done, to all involved with Man of Steel.