Truth, Justice and a 7/11 nearby. That says Superman/America!
By: Gere Iverson - MSTv
This new millennium has brought a whirlwind of changes to our ever shrinking world. Changes, ranging from the microscopic to technologies to ease our daily life trials, can now add the determent of the once mighty protector of Earth to the continuous assault of new progresses.
Can it be true? Yes, unfortunately it is.
However strange, it seems the 21th century will be known for being the days when the noble man of steel, Superman, was considered a menace to the human race - and actively pursued as such.
And just as strange, for the times we currently live in, these actions seem to make perfect sense. Or at least, this is what the producers of the new film, "Man of Steel," would have you believe.
In this Friday's worldwide release of the new film, Superman will finally be given a "reality check" for his place in a much more jaded and distrustful world.
Questions will be asked of those living within the film world, (and to the moviegoers likewise), as to how the world would react to a being, living among us, with powers and abilities capable of making him a world power unto himself.
Would this being be considered a terrorist? Would he be hunted down as a constant threat to national, if not worldwide security? These are fair questions considering one of the most intense scenes involves Superman being handcuffed and under military arrest, by his own choice.
Issues like this which will be explored and addressed in this newest trek into the varied 75 year history of Superman. And in a sense, the tackling of these issues seems way overdue in any medium.
Ever since his creation in 1938, this strange visitor from another planet was just kind of "accepted" into the world, albeit fictional, at face value. Despite Superman being an individual capable of throwing people, or ocean-liners, around at a whim, no one was ever shown distrustful of him, or running in abject terror from him using his abilities.
In addition, even once his alien origins were reveled, it seemed a simple smile and an "oath" to help humans with matters they couldn't address for themselves, was enough to keep mankind placated.
Well, we three-dimensional beings all know that a world like that just wouldn't exist. And its the more realistic possibilities concerning a being of inconceivable power, walking among us, that will be touched on in the new film.
Henry Cavill, the newest wearer of the "S" insignia believes Superman, in the real world, would be absolutely terrifying to the public. He says, "In the previous movies, it was just kind of accepted that he was a superhuman, but what would happen if this dude really did exist? If he was discovered, he would probably be put in a room and experimented on."
With justifiable feelings, Cavill exclaims that his version of Clark Kent/Superman begins very low-key and nondescript. At the beginning, this version is just a drifter trying to find his place in the world. His Clark doesn't wear glasses, work at The Daily Planet or have the familiar blue and red tights convenient to do a quick -save the day- change. The movie seeks to portray Clark Kent/Superman as a lonely outcast and someone with somewhat of an identity crisis. But, don't expect a revisit of the Batman/Dark Knight pathos to play out here.
"It's just a more realistically realized version of Superman. We tried to apply logic to the story. He lives in our world. That's it. It's a straightforward protocol. We put him in our world without it being a joke. If we had made it a little lighter, it would feel like Superman of the past," said film director Zach Snyder.
This Kent/Superman lives in a very jaded and immediate world where information produces on cue. In response, producers and directors of the film did away with the clumsy and wimpy Clark of days past.
This Clark had to be more cautious in protecting himself from discovery. He begins by working odd jobs all over the world - while still serving as a silent protector - based on the values and principals instilled in him by his adoptive parents.
And even more differences have been added to more ground the character in reality. Scenes of Clark seeking solace in a church, Clark/Kal-El's questioning of his loyalties amid Earth's invasion by his people and his finding of his innate "humanity" and a sense of acceptance are all explored within the film.
Even the relationship between Lois and Clark/Superman is explored slightly differently in this newest take. Lane, played by Amy Adams, still retains her aggressive, confident female markers. But unlike previous incarnations, she finds that Superman needs her, ofttimes more than she needs him.
"The dynamic is a little different," says Adams. "I loved how this relationship between Clark and Lois allowed for a subtle chemistry and mutual respect to develop. And I just thought there was something different to be explored within their relationship that we're able to touch on a little bit in this film. She believes him, and that's really rare for Lois. There's an authenticity there."
But will all these changes transition to moviegoers acceptance and box-office gold? Warner Bros hopes so as fans worldwide wait for the June 14th release.
Warner Bros hopes that this film will launch a film franchise for them; much like Marvel did with last year's Avengers and the cinematic universe leading up to it. But, will this newer, more actualized feeling of a benevolent, all-powerful alien being here to help humanity, change all our set memories and allow us to accept a more contemporary and relevant Superman?
I, for one don't think Warner Bros is alone in being fairly confident that will happen.