Archive for September, 2012

05
Sep
12

Modern Superhero Movies and their Political Statements

Being an all-things-Batman mega-fan, since I was a child, I attended the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. When I walked out of the theater, I remember feeling angry, extremely disappointed and even a little betrayed.

In my personal opinion, The Dark Knight Rises wasn’t much of a Batman movie; it was just another cop/Homeland Security movie, with a little bit of Batman sprinkled in, just so they could call it a Batman movie. They could have called the movie a different police-sounding name, and substituted a kickboxing cop for Batman, and they wouldn’t have had to modify it very much. Disgusting!

The movie was just conditioning to get you to believe that cops and Homeland Security will always be a part of your life. The Powers That Be want you to get used to it and obey–and give them even more power over your life. It was also a gross mischaracterization of, and smear against, anarchy and revolutions against tyrannical government.

After taking some time to reflect, I’ve looked back over some of the more recent “superhero” movies, and thought long and hard about the messages they seem to send–and I’m not happy about most of them.

The previous Batman movie, The Dark Knight, seemed to send this message: “Your privacy must be compromised, so the ‘good guys’ can keep you safe.”

Sorry, but that’s not a compromise I’m willing to make–and “good guys” is a very subjective term. Personally, I don’t consider anything having to do with government to be “good”–especially police.

I got this message from Iron Man 2: “You cannot be trusted with powerful weapons. Such things must be turned over to government. If you do not comply, government will take them from you.”

Sorry, Uncle Sam. In the words of Tony Stark (Iron Man), “You can’t have them!”

On the other hand, there have been some movies with a positive political message.

In the movie, The Matrix, the “Matrix” was a system run by machines that have taken over the world. Humans were kept asleep and connected to the “Matrix” system (a metaphor for government) that gave them a false reality and used their bodies as human batteries to power the machines.

A group of rebels that had been literally “unplugged” from the Matrix, and who saw the world as it truly was, were covertly attempting to free other minds from the system of control while avoiding being killed by the machines’ virtual “agents.”

If you’ve ever heard a freedom activist talk about being “unplugged from the Matrix,” or “taking the red pill” (the red pill allowed the main character, “Neo,” to wake up and sever his connection to the Matrix).

The message in The Matrix was that freedom was something worth putting your life on the line to restore.

The same message could be found in V For Vendetta.

In V For Vendetta, the lead character, “V,” was the disfigured product of evil, government experiments. Having survived, he vowed revenge against those who had experimented on him, and against the government who now ruled over the citizens with an iron fist–complete with a dictator, curfews, corrupt officials, a fabricating news organization and raping police officers.

“V” helped to transform the People from cowering citizens into folks who flooded the streets in a united rebellion against tyranny.

In the future, as you’re watching movies, be sure and look for hidden messages and meanings. Some films are nothing more than political propaganda and conditioning, while others can be very inspiring.

Pass on those that send a negative message.

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