EDITORIAL - 9/5/2013: GO BIG OR GO EXTINCT: THE HOLLYWOOD MANTRA
By Andrew L. Urban
You know why Iím looking forward to The Lone Ranger, kemosabe? And itís not just because itís a Western, a genre I think needs to be revived. And itís not just because Johnny Deppís birdheadgear signals a subversive sensibility. And itís not just because Iím a nostalgic movie throwback. Itís because thereís no chance that even Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski can come up with a scenario in which The Lone Ranger saves the planet from alien/monster/nuclear catastrophe.†
Iíve had it with the apocalyptic likes of Oblivion, Iron Man 3, G.I. Joe Retaliation, Star Trek Into Darkness (this week, May 9, 2013), World War Z
(June 2013), Man of Steel (also June) Pacific Rim (July) and even Olympus Has Fallen (April) in which itís Ďonlyí the White House that gets destroyed. (As it is again in White House Down, in August.) And thatís just the first half of this year. They are on an endless loop it seems, the same old, loud, turbocharged and overstated stories of Earth/humanity in deadly danger - saved by a superhero Ö as if there werenít enough real problems in the world as it is. Hollywood feels the need to invent even more gargantuan threats.†
The two taglines for Pacific Rim ĎTo fight monsters we created monstersí and ĎGo Big or Go Extinctí are symptomatic of the mindset in which blockbusters have to find ever bigger wars of ever more aggressive worlds, ever greater threats to the planet, ever badder baddies intent on blowing us all up or poisoning us, all in the name of escapism and entertainment. Go Big or Go Extinct is exactly how Hollywood sees itself these days.
And then there is After Earth (also June 2013), set 1,000 years after events forced humanity's escape. But this one doesnít count as a genuine pre or post apocalyptic movie, as itís an M. Night Shayamalan film.
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The Lone Ranger