Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Steel Struggles

Last year I was of the same mind as Sequart's Julian Darius on The Dark Knight Rises (which I re-watched last night, and I'd say has actually diminished from my initial "meh" review), and we're also of a piece on Man of Steel, which both he and I enjoyed greatly. I recommend checking out his entire piece looking at the film, but one part in particular that jumped out at me was his take on the film's controversial climax (a climax that even exec producer Christopher Nolan had to be convinced on, by the way). I alluded to potential controversy about this development in my review, and indeed it's been a central talking point in the "anti" column. Nonetheless, I was okay with it, and what follows is why. Since this is still spoiler material, I'll put the relevant bit after the jump:

...it’s important that we understand that Zod wants to die. If we don’t, the scene doesn’t make sense at all. 
All Zod has to do is move his eyes to the left, and he’d roast the cowering humans. Superman might be holding Zod in place, but he can’t hold Zod’s eyes still. 
Zod’s created this situation. He wants to die. He’s already lost. His ships are gone. His people are dead. His mission was to secure Krypton’s future, and he’s failed. All that’s left for Zod is the death in battle that his sub-commander Faora talked about — and has already received. 
In a way, getting Superman to kill him is Zod’s final — and only — triumph.
While I fully respect the well-stated opinions of those (such as comic book writer and Superman Super-fan Mark Waid, among others) who feel that a central precept of Superman has been violated with Man of Steel's coda, I have a difficult time going along with it, not only because it has precedent both in the comics and in previous media iterations, but also because the film doesn't portray his actions as being easily or lightly taken. This is a wrenching decision that wrecks the character. As it should. Read the rest from Julian here.

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