11th July 2013: The Moral Worldviews of Man of Steel

I finally saw Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel on the weekend.


The film contrasts four moral worldviews: (1) Jor-El’s (Russell Crowe) imperative that Kal-El/Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) create a different, better future for Earth than Krypton; (2) Jonathan Kent’s (Kevin Costner) imperative that Clark Kent becomes a symbol for human potential and meta-ethical awareness; (3) General Zod’s (Michael Shannon) role to ensure the continuity and survival of Krypton’s civilization; and (4) Faora-Ul’s (Antje Traue) belief that “amorality has an evolutionary advantage.”


The meta-ethical clash is between Jonathan Kent’s servant leadership ideal and General Zod’s rigidity which prevents reaching a compromise for both civilisations to co-exist on Earth and to reach a social contract.


The supporting characters including Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and Perry White (Laurence Fishburne) have their own meta-ethical stances, namely about investigative journalism ethics and an institutional view of newspaper editing.


Man of Steel also addresses genocide prevention explored in Samantha Power’s book A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide (New York: Basic Books, 2002).