Why Christopher Reeve Will Always Be Our Superman
Far be it from me to get involved with comparing and contrasting the merits of the new movie "Man of Steel" and the 1978 "Superman." However, having just seen "Man of Steel," I am forced to agree with the commercials. It is epic.... an epic mess. The filmmakers put plenty of "Super" in Superman, they forgot the "human" element. For this reason alone, actor extraordinaire Christopher Reeve, for many of us, will always remain synonymous with Superman.
The 1978 Superman movie posters read, "You'll Believe A Man Can Fly," and we did. That dude flew. Why? Because, he was a living, breathing, very flawed, and very real character. When it was all said and done, his only real weakness was the fear that evil could somehow harm the very citizens he cared for and vowed to protect.
With "Man Of Steel," we finally see a Superman who actually looks like he can kick someones butt. Henry Cavill is a big, muscular guy, who really looks the part. He is also a great actor. Unfortunately, the writers of "Man Of Steel" gave him no where to go. Many a writer has said, "you're hero is only as good as your villain." With "Man Of Steel," as near as we can tell, General Zod has his panties in a bunch over this whole Krypton thing. Big Deal.
Audiences saw our hero Superman faced with an unsolvable dilemma with the 1978 Superman; the people of Earth were being threatened. Two missiles were heading to opposite locations, and even with his great speed, Superman only had the ability to stop one. Who would die, the people of New Jersey, or the citizens of California? If it were me, I'd say let California biff it. Even with his great powers, Superman couldn't save everyone on Earth, and he simply didn't know how to cope with it.
Superman, unlike most superhoroes, is not a human dealing with extraordinary circumstances which has altered their reality and their place in society. He is an outsider, making a home with the people of Earth. He is really Superman, with Clark Kent being his disguise. The irony here being Superman ultimately was the most human of us all.