Most films are now power fantasies. Forget La Dolce Vita’s bitter-sweet and nuanced report on the effect of beauty on intelligence and time on beauty and dreams that turn bad or never happen, the NATO audience wants to identify with implausible characters who kick ass. With the advent of the technology capable of making almost any idiotic fantasy look almost (if you squint and drink whisky) real on-screen, super-hero films, based largely on characters from golden age comic books, are now a big part of the (infantilized) culture.
When I was a kid, comic books were for kids. The appeal was obvious: you’re nerdy, scrawny, squeaky-voiced, incapable of growing a mustache and barely four feet tall, so of course you’ll identify very strongly with a raging green cretin in gym pants who can throw tanks at people who irritate him. When puberty hits and you have all of the longings yet none of the tools to make your dreams of biology real, you will identify even more strongly with super-powered post-pubertals like Spider Man, who has his first real job to deal with and maybe a girl friend or two and uses the city like a jungle gym. And then you’ll grow up, come into your own, and put those quaint little fantasies behind you. Right?
No. It’s no longer a matter of healing desolate feelings of innocent helplessness. Popular culture seems to have stirred some new longings into the punch: the adult audience dreams, now, of total remorseless overkill. It wants a “realistic” Batman with pseudo-plausible problems and pseudo-plausible possessions and wealth, and it wants, it needs, to identify with his psychopathic ability to intimidate others with a Cookie Monster voice and then kill. Obviously, people out there are experiencing feelings of inadequacy about the pathetically low body-counts they can claim in their real lives.
The idiotic trailer embedded below is a psychotic super-power revenge fantasy for chicks. The premise is ridiculous because premises are, these days… unlike the prehistoric loser-premises of Hard Day’s Night, Women In Love, Satyricon, Nothing But a Man or Persona. And, of course, most films are also geopolitical propaganda, so watch our Super-Powered White Girl (after giving the boys in the audience an extreme date-rape and some torture porn to get off on) kill the fuck out of some Chinks, and even shoot a few for not speaking English (which takes it a notch further than Scarlett Johansson’s other film, Lost in Translation, which is content to mock the Japanese for speaking Japanese). Featuring a cameo from America’s favorite idealized, sexually-neutered, Negro-flavored Butler-figure… playing a dignified old scientist the psychopathic Super-Powered White Girl is a gazillion times smarter than.
The one redeeming feature of this trailer: the Super-Powered White Girl has herpes.