As the title says what films do you (unintentionally on the makers part) find yourself cheering for, or at least sympathising with, the so-called bad guys?
Inspired by that masterwork of cinema I recently watched, 2012. Very silly film but entertaining enough in a brainless over-the-top way. However as the film progressed I became increasingly disillusioned with the apparent hero of the piece, Dr Helmsley played by Chiwetel Ejiofor and rooting for the supposed nasty character Carl Anheuser played by Oliver Platt.
Lets review, our hero does bring the danger to his bosses attention but from that point on makes nothing but mistakes, massively overestimating the timeline they have available. When it is all quite literally falling apart around their ears he gets bent out of shape when his boss, Anheuser, takes over the reigns of command. What he’d rather sit back and discuss the finer nature of US presidential succession as another chunk of the Midwest disappears into a faultline? And Anheuser makes clear on more than one occassion that he’s only assuming temporary command until the correct successor pops onto the radar or a democratic process is put in place, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Then our goodie-two-shoes hero again gets all worked up when he finds out that its the billionairres and their families who are going to be saved and not all the Chinese workers and others who’ve helped prepare the Arks, OK he has a point, thats not very nice but at least the movie provides something of an explanation, said billionairres helped pay for it after all, and as Anheuser points out he can always give his and his girlfriends tickets to one of those workers if they care so much…do they? Do they buggery, hypocritical as well as incompetent.
And then having failed in his epic task of being the biggest tosser who ever lived he makes one final attempt to wipe out humanity under the crusing weight of his bleeding heart by insisting that at the last moment all the Arks open their loading bays to enable the teeming masses to pile onboard and use up the carefully stocked resources and mess up their future plans. Sure, it sucks that their Ark was faulty but they had a plan for a reason, frigging stick to it!
I’m not a violent or unreasonable guy but if I was Anheusser I would have used some of that supposedly dictatorial power to have Dr Hemmsely taken out and shot before he did manage to wipe humanity out.
A sidenote, am I missing something but in the ‘happy ending’ of 2012 wasn’t the African continent mostly untouched and therefore there would be several tens of millions of African survivors, or do they not count? And was landing the Arks on the South African coast a cunning and subtle indictment of racism and colonialism or was it not something the producers even considered? I’m not sure when somethings intentionally ironic or not any more.
Also…don’t bring all the Arks together! Are you people frigging nuts?!? Keep them far enough apart that one disaster or problem can’t wipe everyone out but close enough for mutual advice and support.
Just to show that there is more than one movie on my list I also propose Contact, now while I love that film and find it eminently rewatchable on my second viewing I released something, the slippery, weasely National Security Advisor is right! Humanity shouldn’t be building the machine if we don’t know what it does, I want to meet benevolent aliens as much as the next ruggedly-handsome Irishman but working from someone elses blueprints is just asking for trouble…