I have to admit that I haven’t watched the new Indiana Jones movie yet since I rarely watch a movie without my fiancee (no rings yet, semantically, at least) but Iron Man, I watched twice. At least, I’ve seen the first three Indiana Jones movies unlike probably many of the kids who have watched/will be watching the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
My sister and Risha would probably attest to this – it’s awfully hard for me to appreciate a movie on the surface level. As a student of discourse and critical theory (mostly post-colonial thanks to Sir Neil Garcia), I am known to ramble on and on about how Hollywood propagates the notion that without the United States, we’d be ravaged by megalomaniacs from Asia or Eastern Europe. (Hey, has there been a megalomaniac villain who came from Southeast Asia or South America featured in a Hollywood blockbuster?).
Take the two recent blockbuster movies for example. Both of which, would surely annoy anyone who is (too) sensitive about these ideas.
First up, Iron Man. Disclaimer first, I loved it. I really did. Maybe I already have a man(?) crush with the armor or maybe it’s the idea that it’s Robert Downey Jr with hardened buns of steel (ahahahay, bumigay si manay!). Still, the film kicked ass, and as soon as I get my guitar back from Ron (who apparently sucks at being responsible for other people’s property), I will be learning that kick-ass Black Sabbath theme.
Okay, so I digress yet again. Iron Man. Remember these oh-so-witty and memorable lines “That’s how Dad did it, that’s how America does it, and it’s worked out pretty well so far.” And then the Jericho missile peppers the backdrop and everyones oohing and aahing. And then the movie goes on with Iron Man blowing up death squad soldiers, and Iron Man protecting both the homeless Afghan family and the all-white American family inside a gas-guzzling SUV, and the American villain outwitting the Asian villain through superior technology, and Iron Man eventually saving the day.
Yeah, that worked up pretty f*cking well… so far. And with rumors that it would be the Mandarin that’s going head to head with Iron Man in the sequel… ooooh. It’s the railroad man versus the coolie all over again. And pretty good reason to tell a story how the West was won and how the West will win.
Anyway, it’s not so different with the case of Indiana Jones. Check out this newsbit on how the latest film upset the Russian communist party. The whole franchise has been built upon political incorrectness anyway. Aside from perpetually battling Nazis, he’s battled tribes and groups from all over the world, always having some local to bitch around. And the world’s end is always staved off due to Dr. Jones’ unaccountable heroics.
A whole lot of ranting but my point still is that these Hollywood flicks continue to foster the idea that without these American heroes, the whole world will plunge into another dark age. That tomorrow, without them, you will wake up to the screams of your dog being raped by a death squad soldier or that the indigenous tribes will eat your brains. I just can’t wait how they’ll deal with that Captain America movie.
Made in the USA. It’s bound to be good. Makes me remember how, as a kids, we’d brag about having “stateside” stuff and mock everything that’s “lokal.” Like when a kid’s toy broke, the immediate tease phrase would be “Ah, lokal. Sira, kasi lokal.”
Am I anti-America? Not really. I mean, thinking about things, America’s government has made a lot of lousy decisions in the past. But aside from the fact that I have American friends (and boss :p) who are great people, I do remember what my old Kiwi mentor told me to the lines of – “If not America, there’s bound to be another superpower. Who’d you want to have post war? The Nazis? The Communists? If we’ve had either one of those, we won’t be having this conversation. Imagine having your own Auschwitz in Manila. Would you have it any other way?” Uhm, maybe. When my day for world domination comes… Hehehe.
Now just a thought, what if Steve Ballmer did an Obadiah Stane on Bill Gates…