Originally Posted by ChrisBaleBatman
As far as what he did at the end, for me, Superman's reaction right after doing it....and his refusal to do so up until he felt he needed to...for me, those were enough for me to accept what he had done. It didn't ruin the movie for me, and I liked the theme that it basically delivered.
But, I feel like, ideally, there could have been a different approach to the message that was being conveyed. But, that's just ideological on my part, and would have meant reworking the film and not just changing that one moment.
What I'm saying is that, and just hear me out here, if you look at Star Trek Into Darkness and Man of Steel, they're both stories that have a strong message about how difficult, and morally torturing, it can be to face against an enemy that is relentless, and an extremist who WILL kill millions. It's relevant today, because we live in a world where an idealistic view on war, on extremism, on terrorism is basically laughed at. You're either called a coward, or an idiot if you are of the opinion that we shouldn't kill or fight back with intense force. Someone like Batman, who refuses to kill the Joker...would, by today's standard, probably be considered a coward.
Just think about the joy so many people, myself included, felt when Bin Laden had been killed. There was celebration, and genuine happiness over it. We could say what we want about why, or breakdown all of the emotional aspects of the what and why's. But, here where I live, in the U.S., that moment is essentially all you need to know about how we view the battle between good and evil in an ideological and practical way.
So, I think that Superman, in Man of Steel, is essentially an acceptance of that view. It's embracing what the modern state of how we view the battle between good and evil. That, sometimes you MUST kill to do good.
I brought up Star Trek Into Darkness, because thematically they're pretty much handling the same kind of subject. How do you deal with someone who does such horrible things? Your gut instinct is to seek vengeance, obviously. You want to go, get them, and kill them for the crimes they've committed. But, whereas Man of Steel is accepting the modern view on this, Star Trek (by the end) goes up against it and says it's wrong. It's morally wrong, and that we need to be better than that. We must be better. Now, yeah, it's an idealistic point to make. It's even controversial to, basically say, that a horrible mass murdering terrorist should not be killed for his crimes. That he should be tried, under the court of law, and imprisoned for his crimes...but not killed on a black ops assassination mission.
In today's world, that's an very unpopular message to convey.
So, while I accept and still enjoyed Man of Steel and the message they're conveying. I understand why people feel so strongly about what he did. I appreciate the notion that film could have been on the idealistic side on the argument, like Trek was.