Summer blockbuster season has begun, and so has the flood of ham-fisted movie tie-in advertising. We have Star Trek into Darkness implying that we'll all be using Acer laptops in the far-flung future and Tony Stark test-driving Audis instead of drunkenly steering them off the side of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier.
But every now and then, a commercial you can actually respect comes along -- in this case, it's the National Guard's Man of Steel ad, which was directed by Zack Snyder and wins points in our book for depicting Superman as one big crazy jackass.
This minute-long spot begins with soldiers out of uniform, going about their mild-mannered lives. But just like Clark Kent, they ditch their civilian duds when it's time for action.
"It'd be nice if we didn't have to wear fake glasses whenever we aren't on duty."
But wait! Why exactly do they need their uniforms? The ad goes on to tell us just that.
Voila, Superman! And it looks like the friendly alien is walking out of a bit of rubble. No biggie -- he's always strutting out of an OSHA violation after a big rumble. So what did he smash?
"Child-Man, my old nemesis."
Oh! It's -- it's a child? At least that's what the ad cuts to in the very next scene, as the National Guard saves the young kid from an early, concrete-induced demise ...
Wait a minute -- is this not the same rubble Superman just waltzed out of? It sure looks like the same rubble from moments before, because they fucking cut from that rubble to this rubble, and your average commercial isn't long or complex enough to support a narrative with multiple piles of rubble. So did Superman just, like, smash a building and bounce? Where did he even go?
"Soldiers can handle the trapped children, I'm getting superlaid!"
Oh! OK, Superman was just saving Lois Lane! (The only reason we know this is because we paused the commercial, as it's some blurry camerawork.) Let's continue on to the next scene.
A disaster Aquaman would actually be good for, and the goldbricking National Guard snipes his save.
All right, the very next shot sees the National Guard rescuing a little girl. This confusing scene is supposed to reinforce the heroic parallels between Superman and the National Guard, but, courtesy of some incredibly dubious editing with the prior Lois Lane sequence, it looks like Supes dumped the poor kid on the roof in the middle of a flood and fucked off to the troposphere to do some sky yoga.
See? Sky yoga. Either that or he's mere moments away from turning his body into a human shadow puppet of a cock and balls to project onto the side of the United Nations or Lex Luthor's patio or something. In any case, let's analyze the next scene, which lends further credence to our theory that the National Guard's primary duty is to clean up Superman's manifold messes.
He can fill tall buildings with corpses in a single drunken mistake.
Behold, it's Superman, demonstrating to audiences that he is in fact faster than a speeding bullet. He's tearing across the Earth's surface, grimacing for reasons that are unexplained. Perhaps the G-forces loosen his bowels; perhaps they massage his Kryptonian physiology in ways that are inappropriate to discuss on a family website such as this. What is clear is that a caravan of National Guardsmen is following in Superman's wake.
Again, the commercial aims to imply that -- just like Superman -- the National Guard rushes toward disasters with heroic abandon. Instead, it looks like the National Guard is chasing the superhero down for shattering every window in the tri-state area.
And what's that fire in the distance? Did Superman smoke an entire tobacco field in a futile attempt to edgy up his character? Did he get drunk and have to fight his subconscious in a junkyard again? What wacky japes did the last son of Krypton get into now? One thing's for certain -- if the National Guard rebranded itself as "The Superman Revenge Squad," it'd see a huge uptick in applicants.
"Dear Mom: Today my drill sergeant told me that Superman is a fictional character. Thinking of suing the government."