Well there is no moral -- he is the moral. He's a super ... man. This Metropolis Marvel is pretty much the poster boy for goodness, right? And not just any goodness -- Truth, Justice and the Mahfuckin' American Way! He ignores personal gain; the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, and all that.
It's really the whole point of Superman -- he's there to show us that you can be both powerful and good, unlike Lex Luthor, who has let what power he has corrupt him into a search for personal gain. Superman is selfless, the son of a powerful father who was brought onto this Earth to show human beings their potential for love and kindness.
And to build wicked snow forts.
Well, he lies ... he lets criminals get away ... he's not helping the country at all. Seriously, how is that not evident?
OK, these are big accusations -- so let's take them one by one.
So he is for truth, huh? Like, truth as in not lying, right? So who is this guy then?
Spoiler: The guy in the middle is actually Superman.
That would be Clark Kent, the normal guy that Superman lies about being every day of his life. OK, it's a little nitpicky -- after all, he has to protect himself and his loved ones and all that, right? However, since he can't tell people he's Superman, he must at least level the playing field and refrain from abusing his powers while in Clark Kent mode. You wouldn't play poker with the guy you knew could see through shit, so surely if Superman isn't going to fess, he has to make sure not to abuse his anonymity ... right?
Wait, wouldn't his X-ray vision just show him bones? We admit, we don't know how X-rays work.
See, that's when things get a little ... well, scumbaggy. It would be one thing if he used his powers every now and then to stop a vase from falling or something like that, but he uses his powers ALL THE FUCKING TIME as Clark. He abuses the fuck out of his powers, and not just for your everyday looking at tits, either; he does it to literally stalk Lois Lane. In the first film, he actually looks through Lois' purse using his X-ray vision. She calls him on it and he says he made a lucky guess like the liar that he is. He watches her in elevators and listens in on her conversations in the newest film. It's fucked.
Oh, and check him out floating over her house watching her family have supper, the dream of every ambitious stalker everywhere:
Nothing says "I love you" like rape eyes through a locked window.
So, truth aside ... what else are we left with? Justice, right?
This seems like a no-brainer. Superman catches the bad guys and puts them in jail. Justice is served!
But here's the thing -- as revealed in the last film, Lex Luthor gets out of prison not by escaping ... no, he gets out of jail because Superman isn't so great at the little things, like "Miranda rights," "due process" and "making your court date." Yeah, turns out you just can't fly up to a jail and toss a bad guy in like he does to Lex in the first movie. And from the sounds of it, Superman does none of that. In fact, he isn't really legally allowed to arrest anyone, is he? In the eyes of the law he must just be a vigilante, so anyone who gets caught by him can easily wiggle their way out, which makes you wonder if anyone actually goes to jail because of Superman.
"Sorry, Mr. Luthor. Enjoy your lawsuit settlement."
There is a lot to be taken from this series. Doc and Marty's adventures taught a whole generation that while you can't let people walk all over you, you need to know when to back down from a taunt. It taught that the future isn't written yet. It taught that the power of love is tougher than diamonds and rich like cream, stronger and harder than a bad girl's dream. We could actually go on and on about the power of love, however the strongest moral no doubt taught by these films is rather simple: Don't fuck around with time travel.
Seriously don't do it.
While Doc himself may be rather eccentric, this moral is certainly not missed on him, as throughout the series he frequently reminds himself of this -- saying shit like, "I wish I'd never invented that infernal time machine. It's caused nothing but disaster."
"If only there were a way to go back and not invent it ..."
This regret becomes especially evident in the third film when Doc and Marty save a woman from falling into a ravine. This woman, Clara, they learn, was supposed to die in that fall, meaning that they have just saved a life that wasn't supposed to be saved, which is a bit of a no-no when it comes to time travel.
Luckily Clara has a vagina open for business, and she and Doc end up in love, hanging behind in the Wild West, quietly trying to stay out of time's way. Marty makes it back to 1985, destroying the DeLorean in the process. The film closes with Marty standing over the wreckage saying, "Well Doc ... it's destroyed ... just like you wanted."
The end. Right?
WAAAH? AHHHH! Is that a flying train?
GAH! He built flying children, too?!
So ... OK ... what? Doc returns back to 1985 dressed like he's Willy Wonka to give Marty a little hello, in broad daylight in a giant flying train. Huh. He now has kids with his wife who technically shouldn't even exist in the first place, and he's somehow harnessed the power of the steam engine to once again bend space-time.
After a brief and surprisingly not-awkward visit, the Brown family prepares to depart, but not before Marty asks Doc where he is going next, speculating that he must be going to the future. Doc happily dismisses this, saying, "Nope, already been there!"
The train blasts off, leaving Marty and his girlfriend no doubt thrilled that Doc has decided to take his bizarro steampunk family-train roaring into the past to do GOD KNOWS WHAT.
Jesus shit, Doc! You had two directions -- forward in time and back in time. One of those directions already has flying machines in it, and the other direction has your great-grandfather and the great-grandfathers of everyone you know -- and you choose going in the direction that could kill everybody? Thanks, Doc! Surely Marty will have no problem sleeping at night knowing that you're hovering over the pilgrims or Abe Lincoln with your giant prototype flying snake, perpetually gambling the possibility of paradoxing the world into oblivion.
... of the universe!
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David is a freelance writer and aspiring screenwriter who spends most days moderating in the Cracked Comedy Workshop and watching movies. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or check him out over at Film School Rejects, where he is a weekly contributor.
For more films that left us scratching our heads, check out The 5 Most Easily Avoidable Movie Deaths and The 7 Most Ridiculous Movie Character Overreactions.
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