Man of Steel Gives us a Superman for the Ages
- Tuesday, June 11, 2013
"You’re going to have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be," Jonathan Kent tells his son in one of the film’s most poignant moments. It is the parenting of the Kents that gives Clark the moral center to be "Superman." Snyder comments: "[The Kents] just try to do their best to do the right thing and to teach him what it means to be good. I always feel like I see [Jonathan Kent] in every decision that Clark makes along the way. I think that’s what makes this Superman so interesting."
In this the filmmakers hope they have imbued Man of Steel with an emotional resonance and character development not typical in a summer popcorn action flick.
"I think people expect to see the spectacle and great action. But I think people might not expect [a film] that’s emotional, that has depth," says Snyder. "[Clark Kent] comes to realize he has these two fathers and they have contributed so much to who he is... I think that's what makes you care about this character."
Director Zack Snyder has gone on record saying he wants his take on Krypton's last son to unpack the "why" of Superman. "I always felt in the past Superman has kind of been this unrelatable character," he tells MTV News. But Superman is much more comprehensible if "we understood his love of humanity and his morality... then we would 'get' the grown-up Superman."
"Superman is one of the truly special figures man has created throughout history," says Henry Cavill, the actor chosen to embody Clark Kent in Man of Steel. "He stands for hope, for the ability to conquer adversity against all odds. That's something we can always hold onto, no matter where we are in life or what’s going on in the world."
There is much to appreciate about Man of Steel and the character of Kal-El: the struggle to find a greater purpose in life... the desire to use your talents in a noble pursuit... the sacrifice of parents who put the life of a child ahead of their own.
But most notable is the idea that someone with the kind of power Superman possesses would use it to make the world a better place. As Christians, we believe that sin has corrupted the perfect world that God has created for us. We see far too many examples of powerful people using their strength for nothing more than their own self-interest, to the detriment of those around them. It’s uplifting to think that maybe, someone with the superhuman abilities of Superman -- someone whom no one on the planet could restrain by force -- would choose to use his powers for good. It's an ideal we all can strive for whether we have heat vision or not, and stories that celebrate characters who do should be applauded.
Be sure to visit the Pastor Resource Site for Man of Steel, where you'll find everything you need to educate and uplift your congregation including Free Videos, Sermon Outlines and Images!
Stephen McGarvey is the Editor-in-Chief of Crosswalk.com and the Sr. Director of Content and Brand Management for the Salem Web Network.
*This article first published 6/11/2013
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