The Broken Neck: Yea or Nay? *SPOILERS*

Discussion in 'Man of Steel' started by EssayM, Apr 20, 2014.

?

What's your stance on Superman killing Zod?

  1. Hated it. Superman should never kill.

  2. Liked it, but it could have been handled better.

  3. Loved it. No problem with it whatsoever.

  4. Didn't care.

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. ares834

    ares834 Vader's Fist

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    Hated it. Yes, if Superman is put into such a position he would have done it but frankly, I don't think he should have been put in such a position in the first place. He is Superman; he should always find a way.
     
    #51 ares834, Apr 29, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  2. MrsKent26

    MrsKent26 Whatever.

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    I find this and "Snyder did this to be cool/edgy" to be the oddest things said about this scene. You acknowledge that in that situation, he would have to do it, but then say "He's superman; he should always find a way." A tad contradictory, no? If you realize that he had to in that situation, what way do you suggest he find? Or are you saying the environment should be unrealistically controlled and deus ex machinas supplied so that he doesn't end up in that situation?

    As for "Snyder did it because it's cool/edgy," I think that's unfair to the man. There's no evidence to support that. Every interview he did about that scene involved him (or Goyer) saying they did it because they wanted him to go through that. They wanted that opportunity for character development. People are just assuming he did it for edginess because of his style. It just comes off as people saying "I didn't like this scenario, so the film-maker's motives must have been questionable."
     
  3. Spider-Aziz

    Spider-Aziz Not the Voice You Know

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    What is the other way? To cause more damage to the city and endanger more people by flying fast carrying Zod up? That is the only other option he had, and it is worse than breaking the neck of the guy persistently planning to kill the entire population of Earth to replace them with Kryptonians to inhabit the Earth, based on it is the most suitable planet he found to inhabit
     
  4. hopefuldreamer

    hopefuldreamer Clark Kent > Superman

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    I think the point isn't that Superman should find another way in that situation... But that writers should find another way for Superman, because that's one of the great things about a Superman story (especially for me and others who feel the same affection towards that aspect)... That he DOES find another way. That there is always hope of a last minute option that means the worst doesn't have to happen.

    Superman's no kill rule isn't practical in the real world... But it's not the real world, it's a fantasy. And that particular fantasy represents an ESCAPE from realism...

    I mean, there are so many scenarios you could put Superman in where he'd have no other choice.

    You could have someone holding a gun to Lois and Martha and making him choose which one dies while he's de powered or something... That could happen, and in that situation, with no other options, what could he do?

    But why would you want to show that in a Superman film?

    People keep saying it's good to have seen Superman go through that harrowing experiance... But it doesn't feel good to me :(

    It's not an assumption, it's just my opinion :)

    Don't get me wrong, sometimes I actually like it and find it endearing. But dude likes things to be 'awesome'... That's a fact.

    And it's my opinion that has a part to play in a lot of the decisions made for that final fight.
     
    #54 hopefuldreamer, Apr 29, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  5. FeedOnATreeFrog

    FeedOnATreeFrog (A Metal Gear reference)

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    i get what you're saying, but putting down a rampaging maniac is not the same as that gun to the head scenario.

    Also theres nothing badass and 'awesome' about Superman crying.
     
  6. The Batman

    The Batman The Dark Knight

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    I think the scene itself was one of the better executed parts of the movie.

    However, I do agree with those who think Snyder did it to be cool.
     
  7. ares834

    ares834 Vader's Fist

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    What I'm saying is he shouldn't have been forced into such a situation in the first place. The "always find a way" means that writers should only put him into situations where he could find a way to, say, defeat Zod without killing him.
     
  8. AnneFan

    AnneFan Hathaway #1

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    Oh, no doubt about it being well executed. :oldrazz:

    I can see both sides of the argument. But I'm leaning on the side of not minding. The scene put Superman in a scenario where he had little choice. The portal had closed and Zod wasn't going to stop. I think it was a clear move to shake up the 'boy scout' perception and add more grief to his psyche. Whether that was right is in the eye of the beholder.
     
  9. Leenie

    Leenie Registered

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    I personally didn't mind the neck snap, but this is by far the best argument I've read against it. I totally understand where you're coming from, and now thinking about it, I'm inclined to agree with you!
     
  10. Spider-Aziz

    Spider-Aziz Not the Voice You Know

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    Whenever I see Superman, I see a symbol of hope, someone so strong and invulnerable he does not need to resort to violence in most situations, and especially avoids killing

    But, to every rule there is an exception, to every person there is a limit of how much he or she can endure, every time there is a person facing choices she or he does not want to sit through, but there is no alternative, or the situation demands fast action, and the person makes a regrettable choice, this is the case of Superman breaking Zod's neck
     
  11. I Am The Knight

    I Am The Knight Tonight's a good night.

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    You thought it was well executed? It felt a little over the top for me, the way Superman snaps Zod's neck with the shockwave effect. Maybe I would have liked it better if the camera had lingered on Superman's face while he killed Zod, instead of showing Superman doing a Mortal Kombat-ish fatality.

    I do think the scream after the neck snap was pretty great.
     
    #61 I Am The Knight, Apr 30, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  12. The Batman

    The Batman The Dark Knight

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    I thought the shockwave worked because it highlights that this is a struggle between two super powered beings.
     
  13. Fudgie

    Fudgie Registered

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    Liked it.

    Supes tried to stop Zod by non lethal force and he couldn't.
     
  14. Batmannerism

    Batmannerism Super-unknown

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    Hi folks, I apologize for this in advance, as it is a bit of a rant.
    However, at Law school we have a joke about the "Credible Hulk"
    so it is a rant very much in that spirit.

    [​IMG]

    This is a side-issue to the neck-snap, I've already said I agree with it, under the circumstances, and I'm okay with Superman killing in extreme circumstances.

    However, I have a massive pet peeve. I've seen taglines and comments from folks who say Superman "murdered Zod" or Superman is not a "murderer" (the implication being that MOS got something fundamentally wrong and that that mistake was having Superman murder Zod).

    I'm here to set the record straight on the use of MURDER, in respect of the
    end of MOS.

    Anyone who says that what Superman did was murder, is WRONG !

    Here's why:

    Simply put, murder is a legal construct, it involves one human intentionally killing another without legal justification (immediately it doesn't apply to Superman, but let's assume he and Zod could be considered as human for the purposes of the law).

    In every common law country homicide can be justified by self-defence, (and some countries also recognize necessity and duress of circumstances as common law defences). Self-defence is generally categorized in legislation, as use of force in defence of oneself or another.

    Whether you choose to see Zod as threatening the family in the train station, or the entire human race (which would probably validate the common law necessity defence) he's threatening to kill humans. Now assuming Metropolis is analogous to New York in terms of its laws, check out Article 35.15.2 in respect of use of deadly force as self-defence (remember that's in defence of oneself or others).

    S 35.15 Justification; use of physical force in defense of a person.
    1. A person may, subject to the provisions of subdivision two, use
    physical force upon another person when and to the extent he or she
    reasonably believes such to be necessary to defend himself, herself or a
    third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or
    imminent use of unlawful physical force by such other person, unless:

    (a) The latter's conduct was provoked by the actor with intent to
    cause physical injury to another person; or [ no, clearly Superman did not
    provoke Zod's actions with the relevant intention, so does not apply]

    (b) The actor was the initial aggressor; except that in such case the
    use of physical force is nevertheless justifiable if the actor has
    withdrawn from the encounter and effectively communicated such
    withdrawal to such other person but the latter persists in continuing
    the incident by the use or threatened imminent use of unlawful physical
    force; or
    [ no Zod was the initial aggressor, so does not apply]


    (c) The physical force involved is the product of a combat by
    agreement not specifically authorized by law.
    [ no, not a combat by agreement]

    2. A person may not use deadly physical force upon another person
    under circumstances specified in subdivision one unless:
    (a) The actor reasonably believes that such other person is using or
    about to use deadly physical force. Even in such case, however, the
    actor may not use deadly physical force if he or she knows that with
    complete personal safety, to oneself and others he or she may avoid the
    necessity of so doing by retreating


    What happens if Superman retreats ? Zod kills more humans.
    Ergo, you have justification for deadly force.

    Clearly Superman is justified in killing Zod, and no jury in the world could find him otherwise, if they apply the law (which juries often don't, but then that would be a point of appeal). As such, Superman did not murder Zod. He killed Zod, but there can be a world of difference between killing someone and being a murderer. Superman is not a murderer, he made a hard choice, and in the circumstances did the right thing. His actions would almost certainly be legally justified, and as such he cannot be called a murderer, nor what he did was murder.

    (ps- I'm an Honours Law student (and a fan of Superman) and it's a bit of a pet peeve when people describe what Supes did as murder. There are similar provisions in our own Crimes Act, down here in NZ, and under our law Superman would be able to rely on self-defence as a justification, but not necessity. )
     
    #64 Batmannerism, May 20, 2014
    Last edited: May 20, 2014
  15. Raelis Shae

    Raelis Shae Wayside Wanderer

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    ^ This.

    It's also something that irritates me when people make comments like "they turned Supes into a murderer". They did not and he was not. He made a choice, a painful one for the human race. That cry at the end of the movie made me almost cry too...I sort of felt how difficult it was for him to do what he did.

    It makes me wonder what people really felt when Bin Laden was killed. For me this was the equivalent of Zod and Superman's confrontation in the real world.
     
  16. elgaz

    elgaz Registered

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    The broken neck thing has obviously caused much heated discussion amongst hardcore fans and casual fans alike.

    Personally, I had no issue with it at all, and I would consider myself a lifelong fan of the Superman character in film and comics.

    I think just saying 'Superman doesn't kill, so they got MOS wrong' is too much of a sweeping statement. There is no ultimate definition of the character. Every writer in comics, radio, TV and film are free to craft their own interpretation, and all we can do as fans is hope that they'll retain the key characteristics and qualities that make the character who he is - the nobility, the determination, the heroism, the grace, the selflessness, and so on. If every writer took exactly the same approach, every version Superman would be 100% the same and the world would be bored with the character.

    MOS did not take the neck break lightly. Superman never killed anyone else outright in the film. He fought them to a standstill, almost gave his own life in the process, but he never attempted to murder any of them. That's not his character.

    It was only in the final few seconds of holding Zod in a chokehold that he realised Zod would never give up, and that the only way to save humanity (both the people in immediate danger from Zod's heat vision, and the rest of humanity in days to come) was to remove the threat of Zod. And there was only one way to do that.

    Let's remember, MOS is a product of the modern age of cinema. We as audiences crave realism in modern movies, or at least, as much reality as can be made to work in the film. Would anyone in this forum or anyone else watching really have bought an ending where Superman simply pushed Zod off into a deep abyss somewhere, like he did in Superman II? I don't believe we would have.

    The only other option would have been to have Zod banished again to the Phantom Zone, but that would have lacked the emotional and storytelling impact of what we actually got. Zod killed Superman's father, and ultimately Superman kills Zod : it comes full circle.

    This ending - and Superman's subsequent anguished outburst - served to show us that killing Zod did not come easy to him. It was a hard choice, and one which may (or may not) serve to strengthen his character and resolve and allow him to say that he will never kill again, thus becoming the version of the character we are used to.

    From a different perspective, the ending was also a cool reference to the similar chokehold Superman used on Zod in Superman II. The films obviously deviate down very routes then though, with the more comic/campy Superman II have Zod vanished forever into a dark hole, and MOS taking the more gritty and climatic approach of showing exactly what happens to Zod.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. NewYorkSpider

    NewYorkSpider EndGame

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    This is exactly how I feel. I wish I could have had a camera in front of my face when his necked snap. My jaw was probably down to the floor.
     
  18. KRYPTON INC.

    KRYPTON INC. Incorporated Kryptonian

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    I just wish there was this much debate and outcry over Batman's continual "my one rule" loop holes in TDKT.
     
  19. Steamteck

    Steamteck Registered

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    So many things just get a pass in that series which spawn stuff like this elsewhere, esp with MOS.
     
  20. DOBSON10

    DOBSON10 Custom User Title

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    Loved it, one of the best scenes in the movie. Wasn't shocked but definitely a bit surprised, an intense scene that really kind of made the movie for me. The Boy Scout routine gets old, I'm not saying he should kill every villain but I think it added to the urgency of the situation. Instead of him spending half the movie trying to figure out how to stop Zod without killing him, which has been very irritating at times in other mediums.
     
  21. Hypestyle

    Hypestyle Registered

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    This was a daring move that set it apart from previous interpretations. Obviously it shouldn't be a regular thing. But just like Jonathan gave him the option of "maybe" when it came to saving everyone on the bus, here he was faced with a no-second-chances option to end Zod's carnage or let more people die. Keep in mind, Kryptonite hasn't been "invented" yet, here. The fight could have easily gone on for weeks, or months with no definitive end. With both of them bolstered by the sun's rays, they could theoretically have kept recharging and continued the battle in one city after the next.
     
  22. Marvin

    Marvin Registered

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    Doing something new/interesting/unique and different with a character this known has it's obvious ups and it's obvious and subsequent downs apparently. I think had Returns not existed to argue the points it has to both the public and the studios, we'd have gotten more money invested in 'what people expect' when it comes to the ebbs and flows of it all.

    There have been a handful of films prior to MOS that have been accused of being small and forgettable. I'd point to Thor1 in particular. Scale and characters that are entitled to such things...
    I think the producers here didn't want to fall in to that trap and by all rights they didn't. To think there are fans that actually endorse smaller scales for the sake of it....Nolan himself suggests making films like you won't get a sequel. Something to think on I suppose.

    That being said, the 'scale' of action really isn't the mechanism hindering what it is you are asking for. Had superman fighting zod been 3 minutes instead of 5 or had all those blocks been destroyed or not, superman's dialogue being limited to so many words at a time would still be as it is, only in 'smaller' film if you will. Which would no doubt do even more damage when you consider the point above.

    Point being, the film could have been even bigger, even longer and still had time for more 'character stuff' had they only designed it that way. Such a thing doesn't require smaller action, much in the same way avengers doesn't require smaller action. Stuff just needs to be more clearly character driven and motivated.
    Zod utters his pre battle declarations, superman does something other than frown, mayhaps he even says something.

    [YT]_LuBXWIf9zA[/YT]:yay:

    The real tragedy here is just how much of that city damage people equate to superman vs the amount he's actually done by the movies end(the amount being next to nill).

    What a different world this would had had the producers had the foresight to stage this scene in the city and after zod's death.
     
    #72 Marvin, Sep 15, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  23. Marvin

    Marvin Registered

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    If you find that end the most depressing you've ever seen in a cbm, I'd be curious what you think of a hand full of other endings, particularly of the TDK and ASM2(and various others) variety(the crow).

    Also, superman did save them, when jor said 'all', I don't think he meant literally 7billion people and all the animals and life on earth, but perhaps the 99 percent or so, all of which would have been wiped out had he not 'saved them'...that being said, I figure it was a statement for the future, what it is superman can do(see superman prime) and the legion history books.

    Secondly, the S stands for hope indeed. Just imagine what zod would have done had the mysterious ghost lois has been investigating by way of the people he'd saved hadn't intervened. I mean literally ask Jenny what her actual thoughts are on the matter and in that you might see some of that 'hope' stuff come to light. I suppose we all have different standards.

    This has always bothered me. Sure people/characters can just be what they are due to 'up bringing', even what it comes to stringent policies, but that somewhat goes against the cause and effect dramatization inherent in this sort of material. For example, is it enough that Peter Parker does what he does as spiderman because he was raised by the most responsible people on the East Coast?
    What if any, are the possible benefits of 'the night Ben Parker died' as it pertains to what they add to a story and the audiences experience with the leads characterization. Sure, I get that spiderman could literally be spiderman without any of this(motto and all) but that people will fervently argue the latter the better direction...

    No, I think it was a valid and interesting direction to approach the superman material in such a way. The more tangible reasons you can give as to why a character is who they are and do what they do, the deconstruction if you will, the better in my book.
     
    #73 Marvin, Sep 15, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  24. Dr.

    Dr. Unknown Toronto member

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    This is the crux of the issue.

    According to MOS’s narrative, Superman had to kill Zod in order to save innocent lives. That is, he acted morally. And there’s no use in impugning this morality by concocting hypothetical options that don’t exist within the narrative. Thus, the only criticism available is to condemn the writers for placing Supes in such a dire dilemma. :word:
     
  25. Zionite1

    Zionite1 Registered

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    Well according to hopeful A Superman story shuld never do that.
     

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