SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
According to "Man of Steel," Superman was born in an unconventional way. He was sent by his "heavenly" father to planet earth. He was sent to give people hope and give people an ideal. He was raised by a working class family. He stepped on the public stage at the age of 33. He accomplished wonders. He willingly gave himself up to evil men to save the human race. Sound like anyone you know?
Parallel's between Jesus Christ and Superman may have always been part of the Superman mythology, but they have never been portrayed so unashamedly.
True to his humble nature, Superman never claims to be a messiah. On the contrary, at one point he seeks spiritual counsel from a minister in a church. There is a stained-glass window behind him, lit by the sun. Over Superman's right shoulder is a stained-glass picture of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, seeking counsel from God, before his arrest.
Like Christ, Superman allows himself to then be arrested and turned over to evil men in order to save the people of earth.
After that, the parallels between Superman and Jesus fade and the action kicks up a notch.
The film was reminiscent of Christopher Reeves' portrayal as Superman, going off to a lonely place to receive knowledge of who he is and what his mission is from the recorded instructions of his dead father. At times, Henry Cavill bears a family-type resemblance of the late Reeves.
In this film, Superman doesn't save everyone. He is even faced with the moral dilemma of whether to take a life to save a life. And, though 9-11 was almost 12 years ago, the wanton destruction of Metropolis was still not easy to watch.
This version of Superman is different. It is not just an super-human action movie, although it is that. It is the psychological saga of the one who became the "Man of Steel," a messianic "Man of Steel".