Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"Man of Steel"

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm fairly pumped for the upcoming iteration on Superman, Man of Steel.  Directed by 300's Zack Snyder, and produced by the director of the recent Batman trilogy, Christopher Nolan, this film promises to be fairly amazing.

I feel it is my obligation to get others just as pumped about this as me, so for your viewing pleasure, I will include the full length trailers.

On a personal note, I've always preferred Batman to Superman.  Batman is grittier, darker.  He represents all the challenges and darkness that we humans face on a daily basis (with a little hightened reality, of course).  Superman always seemed a boyscout to me.  He was just too nice, too optimistic.  And of course he could afford to be nice, because he could do the things that Batman couldn't.  I always thought that if Superman lost his powers forever, and was forced to tackle everything as Batman was forced, then Superman wouldn't be such a goody-two-shoes.

But that's sort of the point of Superman.  I've been looking at the character a bit differently lately.  Two quotes from some Hollywood types have really put the character in perspective for me.  First is Christopher Nolan, and I'm loosely quoting him here.  Of Batman and Superman he said, "Superman is how America perceives itself, and Batman is how the world perceives America."

If I may extrapolate, that rings true for humanity as a whole.  Batman represents what humanity is.  We're dark, we're gritty.  Often times we have to get down and dirty to right the wrongs and injustices of our existence, because that's all we're capable of doing.  Batman represents our current reality.

Superman, on the other hand, can accomplish things that Batman cannot, because he has super-human powers.  He can lift a mountain.  He can melt through anything.  He stop a missile, mid-flight, and fling it into space.  And because he can do just about anything, he has the luxury of maintaining the highest standards of moral values and ethical principles possible.  Superman represents that part of the human spirit that yearns to be good and deeply desires to right all of the wrongs.

In an interview for Man of Steel, Kevin Costner, who plays Jonathan Kent in the film, says "we have to believe that somebody can make things right."  And that's the essence of Superman.  He is that somebody.  Yes, Superman is a fictional character, but that doesn't make his significance less potent.  Superman is that deep desire for justice and harmony present in humanity.  If Batman is our reality, Superman is our ideal.

And I know many people say that idealists are ridiculous, but I would submit to all of you that idealists are what's most important.  Without the ideal, what are we striving for?  Personally, slaving away just to maintain the status quo is not good enough.  We'll never have a Kryptonian in our midst to save us from ourselves, but damned if we shouldn't keep the vision of a better world in our sights, even if that sight is far beyond our own lifetime.



Anonymous said...

I partially disagree Jackie.

Doctor Manhattan is invincible too, why isn't he like superman?

Movie Wolverine is damn near invincible, why isn't he like superman?

At some point, it is up to the people to become good, something you may have alluded to but it was vague.

I would like to think that if tomorrow I was blessed with superman's powers I would use them all for the forces of good, however the nature of our world would not allow it. If I would do something I perceived as good, like breaking up NK for instance, then there will be those people that cry foul. The nature of the world and of life as we know it depends upon balance. If I went around saving everybody from everything then there would be a TREMENDOUS hell to pay at some point in time, when we ran out of food, when we ran out of resources, when we overpopulated the earth and destroyed all the wild animals, when we had so much pollution the planet turned into mars, etc.

Perhaps the difference between us lies simply in the fact that Superman was born with all the power he would ever need, there might be enough of a difference between working towards being powerful like batman had to, and just naturally being so superior to the point of absurdity from birth to warrant a hyper boy scout like mentality.

KP said...

Great post, mate. Well thought out. I am pumped for the movie. Saw a new trailer at the theater last night I had not seen before. It was POWERFUL! Don't want to see anymore.