In 1938 FDR establishes a minimum wage, Hitler is named Time magazine’s man of the year and the first Superman comic gets published. Things are easy, a bad guy wears a black hat and cat burglars wear masks over their eyes, you know right from wrong because your parents and your scout leader and your Sunday school teacher and Superman told you so.
Over the years Superman has came to represent everything that is wholesome and good about America. Orphaned as a baby and raised by good ol’ farmers, he doesn’t lie, he is decent, moral, honest, upright, law abiding, and trustworthy. He is in the same category as baseball, apple pie, the Statue of Liberty, puppies and jazz. He is an icon of America he is our mascot. He stands for Truth, Justice and All That… yeah that’s what the movie said… I saw Superman Returns last night and the line is “Truth, Justice and All That”.
“The American Way” what did it mean when it was written and why don’t we say that Superman stands for The American Way? Is it possible we have sunk below Superman’s standards? Would Superman be ashamed of being for today’s The American Way? Would Superman be fighting against his own country in the name of fighting for Truth and Justice? What would Superman make of Guantanamo Bay? Our lack of involvement in Darfur? Our zeal in arguing over gay marriage all the while Hurricane Katrina displaced more than 2,300 foster children in Louisiana, and state officials say about 158 are still unaccounted for. Ok, maybe it wasn’t a political statement, perhaps it was just the same fun as the line “Look, it’s a bird, it’s a plane no it’s…...” funny because is just alludes to the original.
Perhaps we should throw reality out the window and say that Superman lives in a world were we only worry about a train derailing or a bank robber shooting at cops. It’s a nice little movie world made for children where the bad guys get caught and often throw their heads back with maniacal laughter after revealing evil plans. One were gangs and drugs don’t exist at all. Ok, I can escape to that world. I like that world, I still know what The American Way is in that world! Yes, I can totaly accept Metropolis... until... I had to watch Superman be in love with Lois Lane. If my brain has to reside in a wholesome universe were Superman isn’t fighting insurgents in Iraq then I absolutely refuse to believe he would love a woman who not only sleeps around before she’s married but smokes, treats Clark Kent like dirt and drags her child along to commit felonies (that would be breaking and entering into a known villain’s evil lair). I don’t buy it; Superman would fall in love with a woman who has more class, I just know it.
I give the movie 4 stars anyway because it made me cry and Lex Luther is awesomely evil.