I should start off by saying I am a huge comic-book, cartoon-watching nerd–from way back. I am always up for watching whatever summer superhero movie is out. I have really enjoyed the tidal wave of superhero movies over the last 10 years or so, and, yes, I do love how the CGI has caught up with what is put on paper in comics and in the cartoon realm–without looking like CGI.
For me, Man of Steel was more of a father/son film then a superhero/comic-bookie film. From the beginning of the film, you find Jor-El and his wife, who is giving birth to Kal-El (the first natural birth on Krypton in hundred of years). They decide to send their son to Earth as their planet is dying. In their eyes, he is Krypton’s last great hope (a way for their planet to live on).
Jor-El says to Kal-El, “Good-bye my son. Our hopes and dreams travel with you…” For me, this was tough. I am not sure I would have the strength to send my son away–to be unable to see him grow up. It would be incredibly hard. And, yes, I did tear up a little bit.
After arriving on Earth, Jor-El is found by Martha and Jonathan Kent. They name him Clark. They live in Smallville, Kansas.
Throughout the first 45 minutes of the movie, we see flashbacks between the present and growing-up. He saved a bus-full of fellow, school kids, which brings unwanted attention.
Jonathan tells Clark, “You have to keep this side of yourself a secret.” Clark says, “What was I supposed to do? Let them die?” Jonathan said, “Maybe. I don’t know. You just have to decide what kind of man you want to be, Clark. And whoever that man is, he is going to change the world.”
Jonathan feels strongly that we (as humans) are not ready to learn about the “big question.” He shows Clark the spaceship, and tells him, “You’re the answer, son. You’re the answer to: ‘Are we alone in the Universe.'”
Clark says, “Can’t I keep pretending I am your son?” In a moment of pure love, Jonathan answers, “You are my son! And, I have to believe you were sent here for a reason. Even if it takes the rest of your life, you owe it to yourself to find out what that reason is.”
When Superman meets with the Army and Lois Lane, he says to them, “My Father believed that if the world ever found out who I really was, they would reject me. He was convinced that world wasn’t ready.” Jonathan Kent was so convinced of this, and loved his son so much, that he chose to die to protect his son’s secret. He made the ultimate sacrifice.
Before Krypton is destroyed, the planet’s military leader, General Zod, tries to lead an overthrow of the government. He believes that Krypton’s caste system contributed to the downfall and destruction of the planet. He is stopped and sent to a prison of sorts called the phantom zone.
In his fight with Zod, Jor-El says, “What if a child dreamed of becoming something other than what society had intended. What if a child is inspired to something greater? Every person can be a force for good–free to forge his own destiny.”
Kal-El’s ship takes off, and Jor-El tells Zod: “My son is a better man then you.”
Then, via the interactive holograph Jor-El tells his son: “You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But, in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.”
Even though he will never see his son grow up, Jor-El had hope (and faith) that his son would become great. I think, every father wants that for their chid(ren).