My movie review protocol is hindered when it comes to monster movies, as my critical mind is temporarily overwhelmed by my reptilian hindbrain that loves to watch monsters tear various living things apart. For example, here’s my review, in its entirety, of 2005’s King Kong remake from my old Xanga blog:
OMG dinosaurs and giant gorillas and giant bugs and bats and they’re all fighting OMG so cool but then the gorilla died and I was sad.
Yesterday I saw Predators with a friend. I enjoyed the movie, don’t get me wrong, but somehow other things besides awesome monster fights leaked through. My slightly above kindergarten-level review is such:
There are aliens that hunt stuff called Predators. They dropped Adrian Brody on a planet, then he found other dudes and a chick and they all spazzed out and tried to kill each other. Then they all were obnoxious stereotypes. The Yakuza guy walked barefoot and was quiet because he was an exotic Japanese guy. The Mexican guy was a drug runner and he died first because he was old and not white. They walked around until they went like “oh hey we’re in space”. Then some alien dogs show up and they fought and then the dudes found the Predators and fought them and they killed the black guy. Then Laurence Fishburne was nutzoid and then the Predators made him explode and then the Predators chased the people some more. A Predator shot a Russian, but then he blew up the Predator so it was ok. A Predator ripped out a guy’s spine and that was cool. The Yakuza guy knew how to swordfight because he was Japanese and they all know martial arts. He fought a Predator and died. There was also a little Predator that was picked on by the big Predators and then Adrian Brody let it go. The little Predator and the big Predator fought and the little Predator lost. Then Topher Grace was nutzoid. Then Adrian Brody fights the Predator and it loses and I was sad. Then there was weird political subtext when the only survivors were the white Israeli chick and the white American dude. Then Little Richard started playing for some reason. The end. I like monsters.
You know you’re going to have trouble enjoying things when sociology bubbles around in your id. But I can’t help it really. Every day I see more evidence that Hollywood is really really freaking racist (along with sexist). You may have seen it too. The most blatant and newsworthy recent example is The Last Airbender.
If you haven’t heard about it: Avatar: The Last Airbender was a cartoon on Nickelodeon about this fantasy world of element themed nations. It managed to be insanely popular with critics and audiences despite having little to no white people in the cast (disclaimer: I haven’t watched the show). The show was such a hit that Hollywood decided to make a life action movie with M. Night Shyamalan directing. Airbender fans were happy (assuming they weren’t familiar with Shyamalan’s horrible work) until the casting info was released.
Turns out nearly all of the main characters, who were based on several Inuit and Asian cultures, were made white for the movie. Non-white roles were reserved for extras and bad guys. Post-racial society, you guys.
Hollywood seems to have bitten off more than it can chew in this case. Due to the efforts of the fanbase, nearly every critic was made aware of the casting choices and added it to the adaptation’s many offenses, such as being an M. Night Shyamalan movie. It’s at 8% at rottentomatoes.com, which is simply embarrassing.
Something tells me this won’t make studio execs think that making movies with white leads is too risky. Funny that.
Even if Paramount learns its lesson from this, it has a long way to go. On this racebending.com series of posts, the stats on race at Paramount pictures are stark:
This is probably similar to most Hollywood studios. Predators was made by Troublemaker Studios, which is certainly making better movies then Paramount. I need to see more Troublemaker movies and see if they fare worse or better in the Non-white dude rates.
Knock it off, Hollywood. We all equally deserve to zone out and enjoy monster-on-monster violence.