As I mentioned previously, I was doing my dudely duty (happily, I might add) by taking my Supermodel Wife out to a romantic movie on Valentine's Day.
We sat in a packed theater munching on Twizzlers and Raisinets, watching the previews of upcoming movies before our feature film started. One movie in particular struck me as interesting -- from a sociological perspective if not an entertainment perspective.
The movie is The International -- a Hollywood retelling very loosely based on BCCI banking scandal of the 1980's.. Characters played by Clive Owen and Naomi Watts try to bring down an evil international bank that specializes in killing people and fomenting war.
It's not surprising that this movie should appear at this time. In the U.S. at least, we have always been able to rely on Hollywood to remind us of who are real enemies are.
In the 1940s, films like Casablanca and Sergeant York clarified that it was the Germans who were the evil race because they were trying to take over the world with their Nazism and sauerkraut.
My grandmother, who was as American as Eisenhower (who grew up a few miles down the road from where she now lives) said when she was a girl other parents wouldn't let their kids play with her because of her German surname, so the WWI and WWII propaganda was working.
Of course, when I was a kid it was the damn dirty commie bastard Russians and their evil empire that we had to defend against. Movies like Red Dawn, Top Gun and cinematic masterpiece Stripes showed the good guys going through trials but ultimately coming out victorious (of course).
How well I remember killing hundreds of Red devils in the woods behind my house as a boy thanks to the inspirational struggle of Patrick Swayze to defend the University of Michigan Wolverines.
The International seems to be keeping up the Hollywood tradition of training the young people of the nation who to hate. It's no longer the Russians or the Germans, nor the Chinese or Japanese, nor the Terrorists or Canadians.
No. Now the enemy is the bankers. The evil Harvard-educated bean counters who, through back-room shenanigans and covert operations, have brought our economy to its very knees.
Conspiracy, corruption and murder? Let's just say there is a substantial penalty for early withdrawal.
tagged: movies, Casablanca, Sergeant York, Top Gun, Red Dawn, Stripes, The International, pop culture