Does ‘Man of Steel’ Exploit Disasters Like 9/11?

Man of Steel

CRIX ON PIX: Variety reviewers sift through the wreckage of Zack Snyder's Superman reboot and other post-9/11 blockbusters.

SPOILER ALERT: This discussion reveals key plot details from “Man of Steel.”

JUSTIN CHANG: Several weeks ago, writing about “Iron Man 3” in the New York Times, Manohla Dargis noted that the film, with its bombastic explosions and references to terrorism, underscored “just how thoroughly Sept. 11 and its aftermath have been colonized by the movies.” A similar thought occurred to me repeatedly during the last hour or so of Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel,” which, as our colleague Scott Foundas pointed out in his review, strongly resembles the likes of “The Avengers” and “Transformers” in its cinematic shock-and-awe. I’d say Snyder goes even further than those movies in the way he channels the specific terror and chaos of 9/11; you see it in those brief scenes of small planes hitting skyscrapers, and in the lingering shots of ash-covered Metropolitans being pulled, traumatized but hopeful, from the rubble.

As I noted about two years ago, when we were reflecting on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, any contemporary American blockbuster offering up a spectacle of mass destruction is a 9/11 movie. Whether casually evocative or deliberately allusive, such imagery cannot help but bear the psychic residue of our greatest national catastrophe. This is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. Given that “Man of Steel” was produced by Christopher Nolan, I had hoped that it might have some of the integrity of his “Dark Knight” trilogy, which I find commendably grave and serious-minded in the way it dramatizes the impact of violence in the modern city.

Alas, no: The best that can be said of “Man of Steel’s” noisy but oddly inconsequential third act is that it feels less like annihilation porn than like a basic failure of imagination. It’s a failure that seeps into the rest of the picture as well, particularly the jerky flashback structure devised by screenwriter David S. Goyer as a means of fleshing out Clark/Kal-El’s early years; the key formative moments are conceived along such rotely traumatic lines, they don’t feel like revelations so much as setpieces. Watching them, you don’t get the sense that Snyder cares much for the human factor when it comes to his characters, whether it’s Superman or all those screaming, fleeing city-dwellers.

PETER DEBRUGE: I went back for a second viewing of “Man of Steel” this weekend, this time at the drive-in — not because I love the film, mind you, but because I was so bored by it the first time around that I actually dozed off several times, and I wanted to fill in the story gaps I thought I might have missed. Turns out, Zack Snyder actually made the movie that way.

Your 9/11 comment intrigues me, since I was also jarred by the way Snyder chose to depict destruction. There’s a sequence in which he cycles through a series of street-level closeups, showing the faces of random Metropolis citizens (whom we all read as New Yorkers, obviously) moments before a huge space laser starts destroying skyscrapers. In the montage that follows, Snyder observes as those same characters flee from the clouds of dust and rubble billowing down city streets. From the expressions on the extras’ faces to the ground-level view of such a cataclysm, these images directly reference/rip off the footage captured — and endlessly repeated on-air — by news crews following the collapse of the World Trade Center.

SEE ALSO: “Man of Steel” Box Office Climbs to $129 Million

That said, I’m not so sure Hollywood is making a conscious connection (“The Dark Knight Rises” being an obvious — and personally upsetting — exception). If anything, 9/11 seems to have been a real-world hiccup for Hollywood, temporarily interrupting studios’ insatiable appetite for destruction. Studios were on a roll before the World Trade Center disaster, harnessing the power of CG to blow stuff up real good in spectacle-driven movies like “Twister,” “Titanic” and “Armageddon.” Remember, audiences thrilled at the sight of the White House being destroyed in “Independence Day,” and now, a dozen years later, studios have evidently lifted the sensitivity ban, destroying the Oval Office again in both “Olympus Has Fallen” and the upcoming “White House Down.”

On a similar note, “Man of Steel” features a ridiculous scene in which Pa Kent (Kevin Costner) rushes back into a whirling CG twister, sacrificing himself to rescue the family dog. It’s designed as a pivotal moment in Clark’s life, in which his cry of agony represents both the loss of his adoptive father and the fact that he had to suppress the superpowers that would have allowed him to save dad.

I hate this scene and imagine that many are deeply traumatized by its appearance in a film so soon after the devastating Oklahoma tornado. Some filmmakers are quite savvy about what you referred to as our “psychic residue” — consider the way both Clint Eastwood and J.A. Bayona dealt with the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in their films “Hereafter” and “The Impossible,” respectively. They presented such powerful story moments anticipating the way we bring our own emotional reactions to everything from shared traumas (like 9/11 or May’s Moore tornado) to personal tragedies (many moviegoers have lost parents, so scenes like this play on our psychic residue as well). Others, such as Snyder, simply peddle mass destruction as the ultimate form of entertainment, reveling in how much more bang they can get for their CG buck these days.

CHANG: To your list of Eastwood and Bayona, I would add David Fincher for the exquisite way he handled Hurricane Katrina in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” — a beautifully understated gesture that transmuted a wondrous tall tale into something hauntingly immediate and specific. (Topicality need not always be heavy-handed.) Bringing the discussion back around to comicbook movies, I’d also single out Bryan Singer, less for 2006’s “Superman Returns” than for his terrific “X-Men” movies, in which he chose to evoke the Holocaust and was criticized in some quarters for doing so. Tasteless? Exploitative? Only if you dwell under the illusion that our global catastrophes haven’t irrevocably shaped our collective fantasies, or that genre cinema exists in an ahistorical vacuum devoid of racism, fascism and homophobia, to name a few issues that Singer was clearly and quite meaningfully addressing.

Peter, you wrote that you found “The Dark Knight Rises” personally upsetting. We know I’m much more of an admirer of Nolan’s work than you are, and for me, his willingness to touch on some of the fears and anxieties we associate with 9/11 is a credit to him as an artist. I’d say something similar of Steven Spielberg, whose grim, harrowing “War of the Worlds” remains one of the great apocalyptic thrillers of recent years. What I’m saying is that, in the right hands, I don’t mind being terrorized a little by a director who knows what he or she is doing, and that our reactions to this kind of emotional assault can and should be complicated; anger, awe, admiration and indignation are all valid and appropriate responses. Far better for an artist to inspire potent, even painful emotions than to leave you feeling cold and indifferent, which is essentially how I felt at the end of “Man of Steel.”

SEE ALSO: “Man of Steel” – Film Review

I’d like to draw a meaningful critical distinction between what Nolan did with his Batman trilogy and what Snyder fails to do here. The devastation in “The Dark Knight Rises” is cataclysmic but human-scaled; at no point are we invited to take an unseemly thrill in the siege of Gotham City (which is as much a surrogate Manhattan as Metropolis is). Nolan doesn’t deluge us with theater-rattling explosions and collapsing buildings; he doesn’t pitch the chaos at a level where all moral and dramatic meaning is effectively obliterated in favor of spectacle for its own sake. I get that there are aspects of his 9/11-style scenario that feel brazen and problematic, but there’s realism and soulfulness in it, too — qualities that are underscored by his refusal of CG excess in favor of old-school physical effects, actual mid-air stunts, etc. This is big-scale epic filmmaking in touch with its humanity as well as the spirit of classic Hollywood. The big-bang finish of “Man of Steel,” by contrast, seems very much part of the empty, business-as-usual paradigm in superhero cinema.

DEBRUGE: “The Dark Knight Rises” left me with a very different impression, and I think the fact that Nolan chose Bane’s terror attack on the football game as one of the sequences to shoot in theater-rattling Imax 3D (I admit to not devouring all the behind-the-scenes extras on that film, but it sure looked like a case of CG excess to me) demonstrates that he was selling the spectacle of devastation right alongside whatever commentary he may have been offering on our collective post-9/11 fears and anxieties. I found that sequence to be in very poor taste for the way it reveled in destruction and mass loss of life, for the way it used the device of a child singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” as a form of dramatic irony — foreplay, even — as giddy audiences anticipated the explosions in store.

Is Nolan a better filmmaker than Snyder? Absolutely. But I sense his fingerprints all over “Man of Steel,” which suffers from that same unearned self-importance as the recent Batman trilogy, that near-terminal lack of levity and the transparent strategy of over-compensating via sound effects and Hans Zimmer-orchestrated bombast what the films lack in substance. It doesn’t help that Superman ranks among the most vanilla of the major superheroes. Between his near invincibility and goody-goody personality, he simply doesn’t embody those qualities that make other comicbook characters (most of whom are fallible humans saddled with extraordinary responsibility) so relatable. There are many levels on which I reject Snyder’s approach to “Man of Steel,” but the most fundamental is the way he fails to foster identification with the character. His Superman is a god — more tortured than most, probably owing to Nolan’s influence, but ultimately an iconic figure who descends from above and must decide whether to reveal his true identity to mankind.

The strategy to humanizing a mass tragedy, whether it’s a natural disaster or a supernatural alien force attempting to alter earth’s atmosphere by positioning twin beams on opposite poles, is to relate the experience from the perspective of individuals on the ground. It’s not enough to insert shots of anonymous Metropolis citizens the way Snyder does (reminding me, more than anything, of those pseudo-Rockwellian shots of average folks watching Japanese Zeros fly over in Michael Bay’s “Pearl Harbor”). One must give audiences a vicarious experience, allow us to feel what those characters are going through — something that “War of the Worlds” and all those successful examples we mentioned do so well, framing the stories through an individual’s eyes. That’s how we know “Man of Steel” isn’t seriously engaged with the consequences of its own destruction.

Have you seen “Man of Steel”? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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  1. Divus Julius says:

    Not that I really care one way or the other as to whether they exploited the Sept 11 attack to make this movie, but I can see that you guys have obviously and totally missed the WTC debris on the left side of the screen to General Zod’s right when Zod explains to Kalel,

    Zod ” We could have built a new Krypton in this squalor, but you chose the humans over us.

    I exist only to protect Krypton. That is the sole purpose for which I was born. And every action I take, no matter how violent or how cruel, is for the greater good of my people.

    To me it sounded more like Vice Pres, Dick Chaney justifying his war in Iraq to the American Public, even if it’s a total lie.

    Hmmm? I wonder if Chaney was the “Wrong Doer” who did Sept 11, 2001?

    These scenes wew no accidents. Just like the image of Jesus in the Stain Glass window when Kalel goes to church. Or Kalel posing in Cruciform just before saving Louis Lane.

    I wonder who Dick Chaney thinks he is? Clark Kent – Kalel or General Zod. You decide!

  2. Daley James Francis says:

    Reblogged this on Daley James Francis and commented:
    The answer is ‘Yes’, and it has to stop…

  3. JJ says:

    This is a shame. Why are we comparing this hyper-reality FICTION to one of the most tragic events in US history? And WHEN will it be okay to show things blowing up again? I mean, come on. This is INSANE. Action movies have a nasty habit of including…what’s the word…ACTION in them. Sometimes that includes a building or two blowing up. Did you make the same comments about Spider Man, a movie that is actually set in NYC, for having chunks of building falling all over the streets from the tops of buildings? I bet not.

    I’m through reading reviews for Man of Steel. I saw the movie and “got it”. It sucks that you didn’t, but that doesn’t give you the right to compare the film making to a national tragedy.

  4. man1985 says:

    They two elitist are the prime example of why the is getting such bad reviews. Listen to them talk. The final sequence was awesome and if u were paying attention to the film youd know that the whole point of Zods attack (storytelling wise) was to provide Superman a reason to finally reveal himself to the world. If thr attack had not been so cataclismic then the world wouldnt have accepted a super powred alien “invader” as their savior. But i do agree with one thing. After a whileit got a bit much. 10 minutes of buildings callapsing gets boring. Perhaps the beam would have been better served stationed on the outskirts of Metropolis. That way thered be more tension as the city slowlly started geting destroyed and the gravity field could gradually work its way towards skyscrapers. Less would have been more

  5. Vaughan S says:

    I cant believe that we are picking apart movies based on 9/11. I think that all these superhero films that we see coming on the big screen are great. I think they are able to take classic and iconic heroes and give them to us in a way we have never seen before. Regardless of what real world events are going on, the events in these movies are events in comics. The fact that similar thing are happening in the real world just shows you how relatable these films can be. I also believe that CG is just another art form and a change in the way we do movies it isnt something to be pick apart. When it is used things that were once unable to be in films are now added in an amazing way. Whould you honestly say some of the films of old that used small scale buildings, clay figures, or even drawn effects are better? I think we have seen amazing developments in film and like most change there are those who oppose it. Man of Steel is a prime example of how far we have come.

    • MDB says:

      Vaughan S, I agree! Wow! These reviewers are reflecting their own fears, giving to much credit to these superhero movies. Ha! Ha! Fortunately, people like good movies and the numbers don’t lie! P.S. Some mislead reviewers in the sixties thought that “The Beatles” were brainwashing kids through their music. Wow!

  6. Bryan C says:

    Since 9/11, we are all very scared. The world is less secure and we need to be comforted by the thought that there is a superhero who will rescue us…and when one is not enough, we assemble a group of them (AVENGERS) or we have Tony make a battalion of Iron Man suits to fight his battle…or, in seeing the trailer to PACIFIC RIM that has the same city buildings being destroyed, we need to GO BIG with huge robots to fight our battles. The question is- will the “psychic residue” ever wear off? It’s obvious we need a savior for all of our anxiety and fears after 9/11 and the economic collapse. Our answer to this, according to MAN OF STEEL, is show self-restraint until finally we release all of our inner anger and snap our villain’s head.

  7. Frank W says:

    I don’t get the 9/11 comparison. Sure, I agree the city destruction at the end was mind numbing (and introduced LEXCORP for the sequel) and when the Planet employee emerged from the wreckage and said “He saved us!’ I couldn’t resist loudly whispering “…Captain Taggart has saved us!” to lighten the tone (and our deafness) from the carnage.

    If anything, your article made me realize Man of Steel is using the same script as “The Dark Knight Returns.” Bad guy comes into town and says, “Give me the hero or you all suffer.”

    The tornado, How can you blame the filmakers for being insensitive because of the tornados that have gone through Oklahoma? Should they have added a disclaimer, like at the beginning of the “Person of Interest” finale because there was a “terrorist” bombing in the episode just a couple of weeks after the Boston Bombings?

    In ALL of the superhero movies of late, they have done nothing except what has been done in the comics for years. The only difference is the realism and detail as the buildings crumble. Not exactly the same as a panel of a comic with some lines and colors showing a hero being shoved into a building and then flying out the other side. Maybe if we went back to practical effects where the set pieces were slower and the buildings were only 6 feet tall. “Superman II” spent a whole lot of time just having Zod send a model helicopter into a model barn and we were happy with that in that time. Now the kids of today have seen more detailed overload destruction and the filmakers can’t do less (even though they should).

    The only movie that remotely resembles 9/11 is Independence Day which unfortunately created scenes of destruction with a mix of practical and CG that emulated a then future reality.

    The Pa Kent scene isn’t that ridiculous. I can’t swim but I still ran to a sinking vehicle to see if people needed help.

  8. Denis says:

    What might an alien attack in a large metropolis like? War of the Worlds Spielberg’s not a problem?

    • Peter Debruge says:

      Thanks for your comments, Frank (and to all the others who have weighed in). Of course, some of Justin’s and my thoughts are triggered by the apparent lack of sensitivity toward real-world disasters on Hollywood’s part. (I lived in New York during 9/11 and remain hyper-sensitive to scenes that resemble those events, particularly when used as shorthand for comicbook mayhem.)

      As those who read our dialogue know, I’m not pretending that onscreen disaster is new in movies, but I’m alarmed by how casual such depictions have become. “Man of Steel’s” silly twister scene is a clear example, where this film imagines a selectively destructive tornado in which there are sidelines behind which the entire town of Smallville can safely hide, while one character (Pa Kent) runs back into the fray. Surely there’s another way to have dramatized the essence of this scene, which boils down to the idea that Pa Kent believes it’s OK to nobly sacrifice himself (to save a dog?) but thinks Clark must suppress his own powers (when he could have survived an identical gesture) — a clear turning point in the character’s “coming out” decision.

      I’m not saying that Warner Bros. should have yanked the twister scene because something like it happened in the real world (that’s the kind of reactionary “bad luck” attitude they presently exercise whenever headlines trample on their slate). Rather, I wonder whether they could have approached such an incident with a little more sensitivity in the first place, acknowledging that tornadoes — and other natural disasters — do happen in the real world and that recreating these calamities as hollow entertainment is a tacky thing to do, period.

      Saying “It’s a comic book movie” doesn’t cut it as an excuse. That said, Frank makes the (fair) point that comic books have been peddling mass destruction and natural disasters for decades. However, he also makes an important distinction: that it’s one thing to see sketches on paper and quite another to have hyper-realistic CGI used for the same purpose on the bigscreen.

      The prevailing trend in visual effects these days is to make things look realistic, but these scenes don’t actually serve a realistic context in the film — they exploit the imagery of disaster in order to heighten the stakes, without engaging with the trauma and impact of the events they depict. “War of the Worlds” (which Justin brought up) DOES attempt to imagine how individuals and the military alike might react to a real-world alien invasion. But in “Man of Steel,” these scenes of mass destruction are symbolic at best. A tornado is presented as a dynamic backdrop for a moral dilemma, while 9/11-quoting metropolitan destruction serves only to raise the stakes for a big supermano-a-supermano fist fight between two Kryptonians.

      • Frank W says:

        OK Peter, better understanding of your intentions of what you were trying to put across. Funny I got no notification of your comment even though I ticked the box.

        I can’t recall the exact movie I was watching, but there was a scene that I had lived through a similar experience and I was just brought down by it, so I get what you mean.

        I was going to add before I read your reply that the original Die Hard has another bit of 9/11 iconography, the falling papers from the sky. When I saw the video of the buildings coming down as the second tower fell on Live TV the debris and dust clouds coming through the building canyons, my first thought was of Independence Day’s alien fireballs doing the same. (I heard the first building come down on ABC Radio, the reporter just said it was “Gone”. What do you mean it’s gone?” My imagination just couldn’t handle it).

        Now I and my wife’s friend both bawled like babies when Costner went back to the car for the dog (though it reminded me of the similar scene in the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still enough to take me out of the movie). I think the purpose is because most people relate to saving their dog in a disaster, yes a cliché in movies, so it was a cheap shorthand (though never hide under an overpass, those that have and survived were extremely lucky).

        The lady who’s dog was missing and came out from beneath the wrecked house on camera was on CBS News again today and she said she preferred her dog over the house she lived in for 45 years. I’m sure everyone in the midwest got it. And just leave all the doors open next time, folks.

  9. Rafael says:

    You guys are ridiculous… You guys write this hot garbage, just to get attention.

    Anytime I see an article written by either of you, I will just delete it.

    By the way…. It’s a Comic Book Movie!!!!

    • Tom says:

      We ll said. Theses tools need to shut up and just enjoy all of the comic book mayhem. The CG looks fantastic and it’s stunning in this film! Hat’s off to Snyder!

  10. mac says:

    Does this exploit 9/11 . Are you seriously asking this as a serious journalistic question ?
    It’s a reboot of a FICTIONAL comic book hero – An all american hero , i might add . Not just giving the fans what they want , but giving them escapisim and yes also a bit of hope that , yes there have been some dark and terrible days but theres hope and if enough folk get that message who knows good things might just happen? its not impossible .
    Id like to add im not a huge fan of the superman movies but this was a brilliant movie .
    back to the question . Im going to put this as delicately as i can . 9/11 was horrific , and there have been some recent events which are on the same wave length horrific. Cinima portrays a representation of reality and occasionally a reflection of actual historical events see wall street 2 – representation of the final crash of 2008 onwards , see saving private ryan – representation of d-day and beyond . They have taken real subject matter and added a perspective which may not be 100% truth . Thats cinimas great gift it takes reality shows its dark side its light side , takes you on a journey , by the nature of the genre if your going to see an action adventure , then your gona get big action sequences which may have scenes of violence . If a film has violence in it its a manifestation of violence its ment to represent something bad so that something good can happen to combat it . If each time you choose to link this directly to and only to 9/11 id say thats a very narrow minded point of view and not what the majority of folks see

  11. Joroelcapo says:

    Is a movie yes. But what was happening in Snyder mind? Why put exactly the same images? It dont make sense. Is a family film. He can at least show superman saving someone in that building but no. I dont have problem with violence in film, but trying to mimic a real tragedy in a superman film is disrespectful. I am not american ( as my words shows) but when i was watching that scene it felt wrong very wrong. Take Tarantino for example in Django, he show violence in a real context but through the western genre rules. Totally stylized. Also you cant compare it to independece day which was realesed before 9/11. It was an inmature move no one is going to die but show how children snyder really is. I think he has talent though

  12. Mike says:

    These guys are just pathetic, I hope y’all getting paid big cash for that article because MOS’ cast is. I served in Iraq, Afghanistan, N.O katrina rescue teams these movies highlight the strength of nation when disasters rage amongst us and for the world to see there’s always hope wherever you can find it in something real, fiction or imagination. I also went to see it to see it to show respect to our servicemen. Plus the point of writing an article is not bore the reader while m not even a huge comic book fan that crap was so danm long and full of garbage I couldn’t even finish sooooo shove it foools.

  13. Boldy Locks says:

    I’m sorry guys, but you are WAY off and clearly very ignorant to comic book formula…or maybe just Superman comics in general.

    Comic books are ALWAYS full of over-the-top action. Superman is no different. This was common way before 9/11 (not everything is about this tragedy despite it constantly being brought up) and if you pick up a Superman comic of recent publication you will see him fighting villains that demolish buildings and city blocks on a regular basis. Have you ever read the 1992 story line, “The Death of Superman”?

    His fight with Doomsday wrecks Metropolis. In 1992. 21 years ago. Long before Sept. 11th 2001.

    This film is not exploiting 9/11.
    It’s praising standard comic book action and the epic Superman battles in them.
    They destroy whole WORLDS in comic books (see: Galactus, Anti Monitor).

    I actually think you are exploiting the tragedy for your article.
    Trying to tie an action film to a real live tragedy for exposure is pretty unfair and sad.
    This is just bad form.

  14. Rajesh Kumar Singh says:

    Filmmkaers have always been exploitative and the trend is on the rise now and there is something very competitive bordering on ‘irresponsible’ that is going on here. ‘Shock and awe’ is the new ‘mantra’ of box office as well as art house success and these are the easier ways to deliver it. However, the film uses ‘of the shelf’ CGI elements without any attempt to achieve artistic and technical breakthroughs. This is sad. You have nothing going for a story here and then compound the problem with familiar CGI effects.

  15. It made me uncomfortable. It was so similar in many ways. It will probably never be ‘okay’ to me to depict something so horrific, because it’s not ‘entertaining’ when it evokes pain in people. I compared to the devastation in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which brought none of those painful associations.

    • Boldy Locks says:

      I’m sorry the scenes hurt you, Helen. I understand that certain images can bring up painful memories and I wish you well.

      All I can say is that it honestly was not the intent of the filmmakers.

      This is Superman. In the comics and cartoons, there is and always has been massive destruction on Earth and abroad.

      We’re talking over-the-top fights with super villains and god-like heroes.

      That’s what MOST mainstream comics are. That’s what they represent. This is a comic book film and the only one to actually capture the level of destruction that takes place in Superman comics when he fights powerful villains (see: “The Death of Superman” 1992). This has been going on long before Sept. 11th 2001.

      Did you see “The Avengers”? What happened to the actual New York during an alien invasion?
      Did you know that Krypton was going to explode? An entire planet? Why didn’t that evoke the same sort of reaction? That’s a staple of Superman history and it’s a loss larger than what happened on 9/11.

      You were okay knowing that was in the film?

      If you don’t know anything about Superman, if you don’t know anything about comics, then I suggest you probably should stay away from comic book movies.

      It’s the only advice I can give you to avoid seeing this sort of thing.
      I can tell you that it is all over the Superman comics on a regular basis.

      It has never had anything to do with mimicking 9/11.

    • Crystal Moore says:

      I think then if subject matter such as what is frequently depicted in movies of this genre continuously bother certain people then it only stands to reason that they should stop watching these kinds of movies. I don’t like movies that are sad in nature so I don’t watch them. But I wouldn’t watch one and then complain about how sad it was. The super heroes sole mission in life is to rescue people in need, and not spend their days in a field of lilies or looking for love in all the wrong places. The greater the threat to the person in need of saving, the harder the hero must work to save them. That’s how it works. That’s how it has always worked. I’m wondering if the logic behind this inflammatory article is implying that all fireman, law enforcement, and first responders are exploiting the heroic efforts of their fallen comrades who gave their lives and continue to give their lives on behalf of those in need whenever they are equally answering the call for help.

  16. Crystal Moore says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more!

  17. Bill says:

    Oh please.

    Every scene of destruction is about 9/11?

    I never, not once, even thought about 9/11 when watching any of the films in the Transformers series or Man of Steel. Not even the Batman films.

  18. Daniel says:

    I really do not think that just because a movie has a tragedy means it’s reflecting 911 how does an alien visiting earth resembles 911 I think 311 it’s not been reflected on movies I think it’s been reflected on very close minded people and people who truly do not have any reason at all to be bringing it up just shut up and don’t talk about none since enjoy the movie for what it is a movieeeeeeeeee!

  19. Kal El says:

    how stupid and ridiculous to suggest the man of steel exploits disasters… its a film!! a work of fiction!! some people need to remember this when watching these films! if theyre too sensitive then they shouldnt watch! get a life and stop writing this crap…. i enjoyed the film, will enjoy countless more films with mass destruction… THEY ARE FICTION!!!!!

  20. harry georgatos says:

    I don’t see any problems with serious director’s referencing 9/11 in their films, from blockbuster tentpole pictures to indie films. Hollywood films have always reflected the current politics of their times in films with $200 million budget films to $10 million films. Snyder’s masterful WATCHMEN has references to 9/11 with the twin towers constantly on the horizon throughout his film. The cemetery scene where the Comedian is buried, played to the song THE SOUND OF SILENCE, has the twin towers in the background suggesting in an alternative timeline the victims of the twin towers will end up as corpses in that cemetery. As long as it’s not exploitative and has cheap sentiment it’s fine with me seeing these issues explored in mainstream popular culture, where these films can find a huge audience.

  21. Danny Boy says:

    So movies can exploit tragedies only if they do them in good taste, like ‘Schindlers List’. But when comic book movies do it, you find it too explosive and violent while insensitive to victims of recent tragedies.
    I think what is mostly forgotten is what these heroes are supposed to mean to their world. Iron Man was a national celebrity. Batman sacrificed himself, which instilled hope into a war-torn city. Superman is going for something much bigger than that, something much more inspiring.
    You brought up the Oklahoma tragedy which is horrific, and people felt very upset about it. But people also like to focus on the good that came after, the story of the teacher that made a last minute decision and saved her students lives. That’s the reason for Jonathon Kent’s scene (which by the way is one of the best emotional scene’s in any comic book movie), and that’s the purpose of Superman. And I’m sure victims of OK would rather watch Superman over ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ (I love) or ‘Hereafter’ (also great).
    Please guys, move out of the city life and get back to the real world.

  22. Isabel says:

    You do realize that there’s a very strong chance that the tornado scene was filmed before the recent tornadoes, right?

  23. Crystal Moore says:

    This is so irritating. Disasters both man made and natural have been going on for centuries. Everyone watches movies and movies about disasters were happening pre-9/11. I don’t think it is insensitive to make or watch these types of movies. But I find it ironic that people were told not to let those responsible for the tragic events of that awful day intimidate them or force them to change their lives out of fear. Yet whenever a movie is made that features a destructive power decimating a town or city, or whenever the earth is threatened, some journalist or incredibly and overly sensitive person likes to rewind us back to 9/11. I’m shocked that this is being brought up about Man Of Steel, yet no one so much as flinched when The Hunger Games made its debut. Gladiatorial fighting amongst young children?? If you are going to raise hell about the subject matter of certain movies at least get your priorities straight!!

  24. Aaron Kimes says:

    Sadly I couldn’t even finish the reading the story as it was just over flowing with nothing but ignorance. If you have read the comics (any of them, pic one) or watched the animated versions it has the same destruction & violence. People just want something to complain about & point fingers. America needs to toughen up & stop wearing their hearts on their sleeves & stop being pathetic whiners!

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