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Old June 15 2013, 08:55 PM   #197
Trekker4747
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Re: MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
I spoiler coded this early, maybe in the other thread, but here's my take on Jonathon's death.

It seemed pointless and over nothing. Jonathon goes back to the truck to save the dog. Which, I'm sorry, you're pretty much bred to simply not do in Kansas when it comes to going to safety from a tornado. You're told to get yourself and family to safety and to not worry about pets if you can't get to them. Going back to the car to save the dog was an idiotic move in the circumstances they were under. All of the humans were "safe" (an underpass, really, isn't all that safe place to be when covering from a tornado) Jonathon should've gotten to safety too and not worried about the damn dog. And I say this as a dog lover. Jonathon also, pretty much, "decides to die.'
There's so much wrong from a tornado point of view in that scene:

1) When you live in tornado country you know when the conditions are right for a tornado and you're not out driving on the highway so the 35 cars full of people are wrong right off. People tend to stick very close to home when there's a tornado watch on. On top of that, unless there's a football game that afternoon or church that morning, you don't find that many cars trailing each other on a minor highway between small towns in Kansas.

2) When you live in tornado country, you know that if you are in a car and a tornado is coming, you don't huddle under an overpass, you hit the nearest ditch and get down. Because of the way highways are built in that area, there are generally generous ditches on either side of the highway. If there's no ditch, then you find whatever divot in the earth you can - but you couldn't have Clark watching in anguish if he's head down in a ditch.

The scene is contrived from start to finish to create the circumstances of Jonathon's death. It's clumsy for sure.
For what it's worth, though, there have been news stories (one, in fact, that took place in central Kansas conceivably at the time Clark would've been this age as it was in the mid-90s) where people have survived taking shelter in an over/underpass. There's even video of a couple of these incidents one DID include people on a fairly busy highway. So it DOES and HAS happened, the underpass thing I've not too much a problem with. (It IS a wrong idea but people have done it and survived.) But the biggest problem, really, is that it was over a dog. Which people would know better than to risk their lives for and for audience members it can come across as trivial. It would've been more impactful if Jonathon risked himself to save a child or a person rather than a dog. Again, I say this as a dog lover, but if I'm in a situation where I have to get myself to safety and the dog isn't coming, screw him. I'm getting myself safe.

Everyone likely knows of the infamous video of "Galloping Girdie" of the Tacoma Narrows bridge that was poorly designed without wind guards resulting in it bucking and swaying like a banner in high winds. In that video a car is trapped on the bridge and eventually goes down with the bridge. There was a dog in that car that people tried to save but the dog wouldn't come and eventually the people involved and trying to save it gave up and fled to safety before the bridge collapsed.

It's sad, but that's what you're supposed to do in disaster situations. Save the human beings FIRST and then, only if you can safely, get the animals. Jonathon died saving a dog and, really, that feels a bit shallow.

Well, maybe shallow isn't the right word. But it just feels... "pointless". again, maybe that comes from always being taught to worry about human beings before animals but I think the death would have meant more if it was to save a person or a child than a dog and if Jonathon really WAS in a situation where saving him would've meant much more exposure for Clark. Here, Jonathon is pretty much just stand there, holds up his hand and says, "Meh, I've done my time. Let me go."

I agree the death in SM:TM meant more because it was a natural thing Clark COULDN'T do anything about. Here it could've just been a choice Clark had to make between exposing himself and saving his father but, really, it seems like his father risked himself, essentially, for nothing. If Jonathon risked himself to save a person it'd mean a bit more. But saving a dog doesn't work for me.

Now, on another front, I'm big on the idea that Superman doesn't kill. And at first I was bothered by the killing of Zod but then I think it kid of worked because we saw the anguish in Superman after he did it. He didn't want to do this but he pretty much had to to save lives, he was pushed to his limit. Now we could argue that Superman always finds another way or even that the people weren't truly trapped, but I think the moment works because of how Superman reacts to it.
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Last edited by Trekker4747; June 15 2013 at 09:06 PM.
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