Greg Rucka, who's written Superman and Batman comics, says that Warner Bros.' and Legendary's re-imagining of the classic American tale may lose the character's heart by going too gritty. He explains:
Superman is precisely what we should be teaching our children. Superman inspires us to our best. I haven't seen Man of Steel, haven't read the script, and I've assiduously avoided spoilers. I genuinely don't know if this reality will be
present or not. I want it to be brilliant. I want it to be glorious. I want it to be inspiring. I am keeping the faith.
But that PG-13 on Man of Steel is making me nervous. I don't know what it means. I don't know if it's a warning that there's another k-shiv coming for the kidneys, or if it's just the cost-of-doing-business, or even if it's an MPAA-bias against
all superhero violence. I don't know if this is a genuine caution to parents, or a marketing decision aimed at a demographic too-cool for Superman's brand of hope and idealism, yet embracing of Batman's self-loathing rough justice, to assure
them their ticket will be money well-spent. I don't know if that PG-13 is there out of sincerity or cynicism or politics.
I just know that if you make a Superman movie you can't take kids to, you've done something wrong.
Perhaps Greg Rucka hasn't noticed that all action movies are now at least PG-13 rated (or higher). Movies need a PG-13 to get a little street cred, even from kids. The PG is now used only for Disney style children's films and as such it has
become the mark of a children's only film. Certainly not what the marketeers want for a movie that is being sold to a wider audience.
Can you point to any decent action in a recent big-budget American movie? Action that isn't edited to ribbons so that it looks like a bunch of fuzzy arms and legs flying across the screen in a spasmodic flurry of movement?