Monday, June 17, 2013

Superman vs. The Elite (2012)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie Superman vs. The Elite (2012)

This movie is based on Superman comic "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?". First movie shows what Superman stories could be and then it shows what makes Superman stories so bad. To be honest I have never been fan of Superman. I have given Superman change many times, this time included. Only Superman story I have liked so far has been Red Son which is Elseworlds story where Superman is Soviet superhero. Others have problems with Superman character. Superman is too powerful and clean. There is nothing edgy in Superman. He is too virtuous. Irredeemable showed in beginning what you could do with Superman like character if you use all potential. Too bad that they used all potential during first 12 issues and after that it was downward spiral.

Back to this movie. Movie tries to answer question why you should put criminals to jail instead of killing them. Problem is that movie gives better arguments for killing criminals than against. Arguments against killing criminals are more arguments why you shouldn't give anyone too much power.

Superman meets superhero group The Elite. The Elite want to be friend with Superman but Superman doesn't like how they are ready to torture and kill their enemies. Superman has put supercriminal Atomic Skull to prison. When Superman fought Atomic Skull he thought of killing him. Atomic Skull had killed people to make Superman appear. After the fight Superman goes to United Nation to be questioned about fight and damages it caused. Some people doesn't understand why he didn't just kill Atomic Skull. There is war between two distant countries. Another country uses superweapons. Superman goes to see what happens. He doesn't do anything until The Elite starts fighting superweapons. Then he joins the fight.

Atomic Skull escapes and returns killing people. Superman and The Elite stops him. Crowd want The Elite to kill Atomic Skull. They are happy to do that. Superman man is not happy about that but starts to question his way. If he had killed Atomic Skull earlier lot of people wouldn't be killed this time. Atomic Skull is so one dimensional character in this movie that it is hard to think any reasons why not to kill him. Prisons can hold him and all he does it killing people and destroying things. No motivation for this is given. So why not kill and stop killing and destruction.

People s prefer The Elite way of killing supercriminals and they are turning against Superman. Next time when Superman meets The Elite he hears that they have killed all leaders of warring counties in order to stop the war. This makes Superman losing it. Duel is set between Superman and The Elite. During the fight Superman start acting more violently than before and kill members of The Elite. After neutralizing powers of leader of The Elite he tells that it was all for show and Superbots had saved all people including members of The Elite. Superman wanted to show what violence looks like to make people be against violence. Superpowers of The Elite are taken away and they are sent to jail.

Everything is back to normal and Superman is still hero of everyone who doesn't make any deeper analyses. If Superman can remove superpowers, why he didn't do that to Atomic Skull. If that was option why he let him keep his powers and continue to kill innocent people. Why he doesn't do that to other supercriminals? If Superman takes powers away other superheroes whose methods he doesn't like and we are ok with that what stops him taking powers away from everyone else and making him only one with Superpowers? What if he then turned against everyone else? What can we do then?

Another problematic lesson in this movie is that we should let the strongest should set the rules. The Elite says that in one point. Then Superman implements that in the end. Without anyone giving him authority he takes away superpowers of The Elite and send them to jail. All United Nations hearings were just a show. In the end he does just what he wants and no-one is capable of stopping him. What if we don't like same values he has? Does he submit to us or make us submit to him? This movie tells us he will make us see his way.

Lets go deeper. Why did Superman took powers away from The Elite and not from Atomic Skull? Is it worse to be kill to do good that killing just for fun? If The Elite had continued their crusade against bad people Superman wouldn't have any one to fight against and people wouldn't have reason to thank him. Were the reasons selfish after all?

I really liked the movie when it gave arguments against Superman's position. Arguments for Superman's position were total let down and Superbots saving everyone was final nail in coffin. Superman is too powerful to have any suspension and all philosophical content ends up being that Superman is our image of ideal moral being so he has to be right. Not because our ideal morals are right. If he is not right because our ideal morals are right then he is so powerful that he has to be right.

There are many good reasons why not kill criminals but they seem to be too sophisticated for world of Superman.

No comments:

Post a Comment