Man, my fraternal juices were flowing when I saw this movie and knew this post was coming (shout out to my Ice Cold brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.).
Why? Because I get to harangue a Q-Dog. No, no, not the “Atomic Dog” brothers but rather Quetzalcoatl – the triune man, dog and lizard of the Mayans who is supposed to return to earth and create his “Age of Transition” on December 21, 2012. Yawn.
Apparently, director Roland Emmerich has decided this calendar snafu was yet another excuse to destroy the world.
You see, I’ve seen most of his post-apocalyptic flicks and whether his tool for global carnage has been a radioactive iguana (“Godzilla“), global warming gone terribly awry (“The Day After Tomorrow“) or hacked-off aliens (“Independence Day“), the scripts usually blow about as bad as a drunk in a breathalyzer test.
This – fancy effects and a cacophony of explosions aside – was no exception at all.
You would think with the star power this movie had, a decent script could have been in order. Danny Glover was the president, John Cusack was our hero and Woody Harrelson even makes a cameo as a radio host with the Mayan calendar on his studio wall.
But, not so much as seen by the one obvious sci-fi nerd who left the movie early in a flurry of disgust and cussing in Klingon, or something like that.
I had to stick it out. This 2.5 hour movie feels more like 6.5, and a brother had to pee. Can I say that?
So why the commitment? I heard the kerfuffle about Emmerich deciding to destroy every Christian faith-based artifact in the world and wanted to see that for myself. St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro were the first to go. Even a gaggle of priests gets smothered.
Poor St. Peter’s Basilica. First, the anti-matter bomb in “Angels & Demons” and now this disaster. Why do producers find Christians such an easy tag for their angst? And then it dawned on me… there’s nothing of Judaic, Hindu, Buddhist or Muslim relic being obliterated here. Why not?
(Spoiler alert) Even that cute Buddhist monk survives the flood over the Himalayas, but a priest can’t get any love!
Then I discovered why the protection over other relics, specifically Muslim. Fear.
“Well, I wanted to do that, I have to admit,” Emmerich says. “But my co-writer Harald said I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie. And he was right. … We have to all … in the Western world … think about this. You can actually … let … Christian symbols fall apart, but if you would do this with [an] Arab symbol, you would have … a fatwa, and that sounds a little bit like what the state of this world is. So it’s just something which I kind of didn’t [think] was [an] important element, anyway, in the film, so I kind of left it out.”
What the fatwa? Seriously? Muslims scare him so the Kaaba was off-limits but Christians are pansies so the Vatican was so getting crushed.
This is a man who makes no apologies for not being the biggest fan of organized religion; yet somehow Imams freak this dude out. Nice.
You would think an espoused atheist would show equality and express his vitriol for every religion, but no, once again it’s Christianity that gets the pass on etiquette. It’s okay to thrash what we love because there’s no fear of revolt. We just don’t do that.
Sure, it could be the whole “love thy neighbor” message, but I think it smacks more of apathy. It takes a lot to get Christians to unite under one banner. Call it abortion, politics or… well, that’s about it.
Do Christians as a whole picket abortion clinics? No, but the world thinks we do. Do Christians as a whole burn Harry Potter books like a scene from “Footloose”? No, but again we are lumped into that simpleton mentality as well. Many people claim to do these things in the name of Christianity, but really, it’s just their personal issues under the guise of their beliefs. And we all get blamed for it. Sigh.
I’m not calling for Christian extremism (there’s already enough of that). I’m just saying we need to learn what is worth begin disgusted about, and let God sort out the rest. So, allow this movie to be Hollywood existentialism and some sort of catharsis for Emmerich who needs to slay his own inner demons about Jesus.
As for me and my house, I would have rather put that $10 in the offering bucket where it will do some good than in this ballyhooed movie. I suggest you do the same. Bor. Ing.