I’m just shocked about how much debate I’ve seen going on around TV and the internet about one minor line change in Superman Returns. Perry White in his war room asks his staff about the return of Superman: “Does he still stand for truth, justice… all that stuff?”
Now as most of you know, the big line was usually “Truth, Justice and the American Way“.
So they changed that last little part in the film. No big deal right? Personally, I just thought they changed it because the line as a whole sound unbearably corny to me. But apparently there are other people who want to make a big political debate out of it. The debate rages stupid. As the folks over at Cinematical put it:
Angry Conservative Talk Show Host: Blah blah blah Hollywood hates America blah blah blah.
Movie Writers/Actors/Etc: Blah blah blah Political Correctness blah blah blah.
Angry Conservative Talk Show Host: Blah blah liberal pinko commies blah blah blah.
Movie Writers/Actors/Etc: Blah blah international hero blah blah blah.
Like I said, personally I just think they changed the line a little because it sounds corny as hell.
However, if you wanted to make an issue out of it… I think it makes sense that they changed it. Think about it in a couple of ways.
1) Superman’s adopted home (and this goes all the way back to Reeve’s first Superman flick) is not America, or Kansas or Smallville. It’s earth.
2) Some people try to say this is as bad of The Thing changing his battle cry from “It’s Clobberin Time” to “It’s punch you in the face time”, or Captain Marvel changing his power shout from “Shazaam!” to “Big Stonrg Man Time!”. They argue that you shouldn’t mess with a classic line. But the thing is… this was never Superman’s line. “This is a job for Superman” is a classic Superman line. “Up up and away” is a classic Superman line. The whole “Truth justice… blah blah blah” was never HIS line. So who cares?
3) The meaning of “The American Way” has changed over the last 50 years. Even the most conservative of pundits (and this may surprise you… but even though I have some strong “left” leaning beliefs, I’m actually a conservative at heart) agree with that. The international view of “The American Way” has also changed. So saying it today wouldn’t carry the same meaning it had 60 years ago. That’s not an Anti-American thing… that’s just a symantics.
Think of it this way. The word “gay” used to have a very different meaning right? It never used to be attached to a free alternative lifestyle. It just used to mean “happy”. Ok.. got that? Good. Now let’s say that back in the 50’s Spider-Man (I know I’m breaking lots of rules here) was known as the happy superhero and his big slogan was “It’s time to be Spidey-Gay!” Well… fast forward to 2006… and let’s say Raimi was just making the Spider-Man movie now. Do you think he would keep that line in there? No. Because it carries a different meaning now than it did then.
Would it have bothered me if they left “The American Way” in the line? Hell no… I just would have rolled my eyes and the corniness of it. Does it bother me that they took it out? Hell no. It’s totally understandable and fine.
Basically, this is a case of people who WANT to complain about something, just finding an excuse to complain about something.
But now I have to run… I think there is crime out on the streets and I must go fight it. IT’S TIME TO SHOW THOSE CRIMINALS THE POWERFUL JUSTICE OF SPIDEY-GAY!