Not Technically News, But Still: Transporter 2 is a Seriously Shitty Movie

I mean seriously shitty. Like, Jason Statham should time travel and prevent his agent from agreeing to allow him to do this film. And I’ve only seen 10 minutes so far.

However, I have come to a realization: Jason Statham is the Steven Seagal of the ’00s (aughts). He’s a white dude who knows kicking and punching skills (for no reason), he’s in terrible films that make no sense, and dumb storylines follow him around. It’s like Steven Seagal did a magic ritual and resurrected himself into Jason Statham’s body, even though he was still doing shitty DTV films, and they’d have to split time between their crappy film careers. In fact, this is probably the reason they weren’t in either of the “Expendables” movies together! They are the same person! My headline undersold this.

STEVEN SEAGAL AND JASON STATHAM ARE THE SAME PERSON!

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Critic’s Corner with Zod: “Man of Steel”

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This is Zod, and she is undoubtedly one of the most incisive film critics I’ve ever met. Thus, in an effort to share her genius with all of you, I’ve decided to publish recaps of our discussions about film and television. I figured that since Man of Steel is currently on HBO, and she’s named Zod, it would be apropos to start with her thoughts on last summer’s most controversial (well, controversial in a way that’s totally unimportant) film.

Undoubtedly, Man of Steel inspired quite a bit of nerd fury last summer when it hit the theaters. Why do you suppose this film created such a negative reaction?

(Stares silently)

I absolutely agree–the ending can definitely be seen as a complete betrayal of Superman’s core ethos, but it’s a revision that arguably suits modern tastes. I mean, we’re dealing with a post-9/11 Superman that’s not a love letter to the Donner films, so perhaps it’s to be expected that moral ambiguity might reign.

(Yawns)

I suppose that’s a valid point. In an age of morally ambiguous villains, and in a world where you don’t necessarily know who’s really bad, and who’s really good, maybe you want a hero like Superman to represent the questions we’re struggling with. Which I suppose brings us to the central villain, General Zod.

(Blinks)

I’m not quite certain what to make of General Zod either. Really, he’s presented as a victim of circumstance, which I think ultimately makes his death at the hands of Kal-El much worse, but I also think there’s a sense in which his goals of recreating Krypton on Earth make no fucking sense whatsoever. Do you think this sort of mischaracterization speaks to the overall flaws in the plot?

(Stretches)

I could not agree more; I also think the plot holes defeat the film’s integrity. I mean, first of all, once Zod realizes Earth is liveable, and would give him super-powers, why the hell wouldn’t he just start making new Kryptonians? Which raises an entirely new point, and one that’s worth addressing I think–and you and I have discussed this at length–Kryptonians are the fucking worst. Now, I know you have some sympathy for them, but I just can’t help but wonder how an advanced civilization such as theirs turned to shit so fast. Terraforming and space colonization leads to population control? I mean, if you’re building new worlds, why the hell would you need population control? And why would genetically engineering everyone for a job make sense? And how the hell would you even do that? Surely in the 100,000 years of their civilization someone did a study that showed a person’s environment has some influence on their psychological makeup. But now I’m ranting.

(Meows for a treat)

I know, I know–I’m being unfair. The movie is not about Krypton. But seeing as how that’s a central component to the mythos, I think it’s worth considering. Also, perhaps a bit off topic–why the fuck would anyone think it’s a good idea to create an artificial black hole on Earth to send about 4 Kryptonians to their doom? I mean, that just seems excessive. And don’t get me started as to why the Kryptonian High Council would send Zod to the Phantom Zone instead of letting him die on Krypton. I mean, what the fuck was that about?! I’m ranting again.

(Leaves the room)

I guess you’re right. Sometimes it’s not worth getting upset about these things. I mean, the film has definite positives: Superman does things Superman would do (like fly and punch aliens), and Henry Cavill looks pretty badass as Kal-El. Overall, the film is well-acted, and the score is superb. So, I guess I’ll just leave it at 50/50: it’s worth watching, but not really worth thinking about. Thanks, Zod!

There Is No Fate But What We Make For Ourselves

And on this point Sarah Connor nailed it. Because SkyNet was really her fault.

Now, I know this sounds pretty crazy, but let’s consider the facts, starting with The Terminator:

1) SkyNet exists and sends back a Terminator to kill Sarah Connor, the mother the successful human resistance fighter John Connor.

2) The resistance sends back Kyle Reese to protect her; he fathers John Connor.

So, the causal chain here might be interpreted that SkyNet is responsible for John Connor, because had SkyNet not threatened Sarah in the past, Kyle Reese would have been unnecessary; no Terminator, no Kyle; no Kyle, no John. That’s all well and good, and we might be inclined to just accept the traditional (and paradoxical) “SkyNet ensured its own existence by existing” argument.

But let’s not be so hasty. Remember the outcome of Sarah’s first confrontation with a Terminator? Kyle died to protect her, and she survived, ultimately killing the Terminator by crushing it. When she did this, and did not pick up the pieces, she guaranteed the existence of SkyNet. Had Sarah bothered to grab the detritus from the Terminator she crushed, Cyberdyne would never have received the microprocessor and skeletal hand from the T-800.

Undoubtedly, some of you might be questioning my sanity (for a variety of reasons). But I urge you to consider this: after Sarah defeated the first Terminator, we have the only possible moment in the trajectory toward August 29, 1997 (side note: hahahahaha!) where divergence was possible. Had Sarah made the correct choice here, SkyNet’s future would have been impossible. Imagine the following timelines, where a is the timeline envisioned by the films, and b is my hypothesized timeline where Sarah takes a minute to pick up some shit off the floor:

a) Sarah kills the Terminator and runs away —-> cops hand over weird shit to Cyberdyne, events of Terminator 2 —-> 8/29/1997

b) Sarah kills the Terminator and cleans up the mess —-> no evidence for Cyberdyne to use —-> boring future we live in now

Sarah Connor was responsible for the Apocalypse, and thus correct when she claimed that there is no fate but what we make for ourselves. Way to go, Sarah.

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