It has been a few days since the release of “Man Of Steel“, that loud and lengthy “How-to-destroy-a-building-by-throwing-people-at-it” instruction video. Various pundits and fans are still debating how the generous and compassionate superhero of the 70s turned into this grim and sulking, humorless and violent creature.
Well folks, I’m not surprised. The poor guy has had to suffer not one but two fathers who, well, suck. Add to that the fact that the guy is a walking, er..flying, if you will, identity crisis. When you take that into consideration, that sort of emotional trauma is not just predictable, its bloody well inevitable.
Let’s take the Kryptonian father first, Jor-El. Sure, Russell Crowe puts up a superb performance in the movie. His portrayal of the noble-hearted scientist is both poignant and sombre. Its his actions that gives me the creeps. A father uploading the contents of a burnt and blackened skull into his newborn baby? Seriously? And by the way, why the heck is the codex a skull? I mean, its supposed to contain data, and a lot of it. Don’t you think the Kryptonians, even with their serious fascination with animated pin-cushions, would have picked something a little more, uh, sensible? Also, could someone please tell me why exactly a child’s parents would be hell-bent on sending their child alone to a different planet? With all his expertise, couldn’t the father have built a slightly larger ship? To send his mother along at least? Besides, what was all that about their son being a “God” to the residents of this lucky planet? Is it just me, or did anybody else smell imperial ambitions or dumb religious symbolism?
Anyways, let’s head back to Earth. Here, Kevin Costner plays the familiar Jonathan Kent. He….is a psycho, and a morbid one at that. Picture this, when young Clark Kent saves a bus-full of school children from drowning, his father tells him he should have let them die! But never fear. Our young boy learns his lesson well. So well, in fact, that some time later he just stands and watches as father dear is whisked away by a rather selective hurricane. If that alone isn’t proof of irreversible childhood trauma, I don’t know what is. Jonathan Kent isn’t just about homicidal and suicidal instincts though. He also has a mania for secrecy and paranoia that any Cold-War era CIA agent would have been proud of. “Hide, hide, hide.” Seems to be his mantra for his extraterrestrial son. “Everybody will hate you, everybody will fear you, everybody will turn on you, everybody will persecute you.” I mean, ! Who does he think his son is, Justin Bieber?
To add insult to all these injuries, the poor guy doesn’t even get called Superman in the entire movie. Well, not properly at least. Ka-El, the alien, Kal..I mean a guy needs a minimum respect, doesn’t he? Even that very obvious “S” on his chest, we’re told, is not an S. It apparently means “Hope”. Kryptonians sure use a complicated alphabet, if you ask me. Anyways, Add to these the fact his Kryptonian father wanted him to be a God, a sign of hope, the last of a planet, the saviour of a race; and his terrestrial father taught him to be a murderer, a thief, a weakling and a lamppost.
Well, what can I say. I almost feel sorry for you, you poor man of steel. I wish you were a little more flesh and blood. As for the troubled childhood, maybe you can ask Britney Spears or Justin Bieber for advice.
p.s : Almost forgot. Wish those two a belated “happy father’s day” for me, will you Kal-El? What? Er…no, I don’t know where mom is, sorry.
- Man of Steel (fogsmoviereviews.com)
- Man of Steel Movie – my Disappointment (philipwardlow.com)
- Critics of Steel (thearnoldianproject.wordpress.com)
- Film Review – Man of Steel (quitedapperblog.wordpress.com)
- ‘Man Of Steel’: On My Planet, The ‘S’ Is For Sucks [Spoilers] (comicsalliance.com)