Steve Mollmann wrote:
I don't know that I believe this is a legit criticism of Jonathan-- it's obvious that within the narrative of the film, the overpass is supposed to be safe place to go. Unless we believe that not just Jonathan, but all the inhabitants of Kansas know nothing of tornado safety. This might be factually wrong, but that's a critique of the filmwriters' research, not Jonathan Kent.
Which was exactly my intent. I think the filmmakers did a horribly irresponsible thing here and might get somebody killed by presenting that as a good idea. But I'm mad at them for that and
I'm mad at them for creating the most contemptible Jonathan Kent ever. When I critique Jonathan, I'm not critiquing him, because he's just a construct of the filmmakers. I'm critiquing the decisions that went into portraying him that way. So in both cases, yes, it's the filmmakers I'm critiquing. I hate their portrayal of Jonathan and
I hate their irresponsibility in failing to do basic research into tornado safety. Those two things just happen to converge in that particular scene.
This isn't like me. I usually try not to be the kind of fan who rants angrily about creative decisions I don't agree with, or who makes my criticisms into personal attacks against the filmmakers. In fact, I'm usually a very forgiving moviegoer while I'm actually in the theater, letting myself get immersed in the experience and not prone to dwell on the negatives until afterward. MoS is one of the few films I can remember seeing in the theater that made me angry and frustrated while I was watching it, that made me bitter toward the filmmakers for the choices they made.
I've been thinking about your points, Christopher. I think the fault here lies in the flashback scenes that were chosen. There is nothing really in the movie to suggest that at other points in his life, Jonathan did not be the type of father figure your are suggesting. In fact, dialogue in the movie specifically states that he had been, even if we don't see it.
The scenes that we are shown in the movie specifically relate to the times in Clark's life when his parents were worried that his secret would be revealed--and there is no arguing that Clark would be taken away from the Kents if it were. Jonathan does not have answers for Clark during these scenes but it is shown that he believes that Clark will find them some day. These flashbacks are presented because they specifically relate to the alien invasion and paranoia themes in the story.
Maybe in a future movie, we will see the type of Jonathan Kent scenes that you feel are missing. I could very well see flashbacks in the upcoming movie comparing Bruce and Clark's upbringing in their journeys to become heroes.