But in this version, Jonathan isn't really a "mentor" figure. His role is more of the father of an "exceptional" child. He doesn't really have any answers for Clark--other than to keep his powers a secret.
Yeah, but this version of Jonathan sucks. The worst, absolute worst kind of father for an exceptional child is the kind who teaches that child to be ashamed of his exceptionalism, and forbids him to do the things he's capable of doing. I feel that the way MoS Jonathan treats Clark borders on emotional abuse, even if he didn't intend it that way.
What he does offer Clark is a symbol of humanity, and that part the movie did quite well.
I couldn't agree less. Normally, Jonathan is the role model whose example of goodness and kindness shapes Superman into who he becomes. Here, he's the character whose values Clark has to reject in order to become Superman, the guy who's been relentlessly holding him back and whose fears about how Clark would be treated by the public turn out to be wholly wrong. If he's Clark's symbol of humanity, then the only reason this Superman has to identify with humanity is that his examples of Kryptonians are mostly even worse. Well, except for Jor-El, the actual hero of the movie.
I agree. In this movie Jonathan was pretty much a wuss. He didn't teach Clark to be strong and stand for what is right. He showed him that basically being a coward was the best way to live. And die.
Jonathan's "sacrifice" was hollow, and served no purpose. I live in tornado alley, and I guarantee you that no one -- NO ONE -- would stand there and let themselves be sucked up into a bigass tornado.
This movie wasn't very well written. Not at all.
But thank goodness Costner wasn't directing. Then it would have been 4 hours instead of 2 1/2.
Side note: John Schneider's character in Smallville would have taught Clark that if he needed to use his abilities he would have to be careful to not let people see him doing it, not to avoid using them at all. And he would have punched that tornado right in the face.