Even Superman Can’t Save the Health Care System

Superman Returns, released last week, is an average super hero saga, not even the summer’s best so far, and certainly not the equal of the genre’s best. Its most annoying characteristic is its transparent religious symbolism, which plays like pandering to a recently discovered Christian fundamentalist audience. Superman, it seems, was sent to earth by his all-knowing father (played by the recycled Marlon Brando) to redeem mankind.

Apparently we have potential.

In the process of saving the world, he dies and is reborn, metaphorically speaking. Actually, he’s hospitalized. After three days, a nurse on her rounds is surprised to discover that he’s missing from his hospital bed, apparently recovered.

One would think that if anyone deserves a private nurse or at least a functioning monitor, it would be Superman, especially in light of the fact that he was injured saving everyone on the planet.

Even in a big budget fantasy film, we can’t conceive of a responsive health care system. That’s the message.

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