It’s the Holiday Season. Merry Christmas, by the way! That means some down time, movies, reading, writing (in my case) and stuff like that.
As you may know, I loudly skipped Rogue One to make a point to Hollywood about its hostility toward right wing Americans (you can read that here). Of note about that, I’ve heard reports that Rogue One wasn’t too in your face with its politics, yet that’s exactly when a movie is working hardest to persuade you. This brings me to this post about movies with “no politics” in them.
On Christmas Eve, I went to see Passengers with my family. Passengers, starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence (she hates Trump in real life), was billed as a thriller set in outer space with next to no politics baked into the story. This won’t be a movie review and there are some spoilers below. Stop reading now if you have unbreakable plans to see it.
This’ll be a very brief, not a comprehensive analysis of what jumped out at me. Let’s go…
Denver native Jim Preston (Chris Pratt’s character) isn’t a gold level passenger, so he doesn’t have nice quarters, a nice cafeteria meal beyond an oat brick or anything better to drink than drip coffee (I love drip coffee! It sucks in the future?) in the cafeteria. He runs up debts he’ll never pay back at the ship’s one bar/multiple culturally-themed restaurants and basically sinks into indentured servitude via a discounted one-way ticket giving the company 20% of his earnings for life, etc. For what it’s worth, 20% doesn’t seem so bad compared to current year America. He gets this discount because of his in-demand trade skills as a builder on the new world. Also, any emergency message back to Earth, like one Jim Preston sends, costs like $6k. In reality, that would probably be free or much cheaper. Gimme a break.
New Yorker Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence’s character) is a gold level passenger, the daughter of a famous, wealthy novelist. Her quarters are gorgeous, she eats well, doesn’t worry about debt and is even planning a return trip so she can tell her story in a book she’s writing to people on Earth. She’d be the first person in history to make a round trip journey back to Earth and there are many other colonies out there, this is not on a maiden voyage. She’s so rich she can afford the history-making round trip debt free.
The cruising altitude message here is that the company is bad and oppresses all except the rich passengers. Gasp! It makes money colonizing other planets. How dare they do this!
The oppressor-oppressed trope of Cultural Marxism is here in plain sight if your commie radar works. What’s funny is that communism is the system that oppresses/enslaves people. Communist elites running the government own your labor and just about everything else.
Jim Preston freely trades a portion of his labor to offset the enormous cost of the 120 year journey traveling at half the speed of light to the new planet for a chance to build stuff in wide open spaces. So what if there are different classes of passengers on the ship? It’s what he knowingly signed up for. The film also assumes his wages on the new planet will be stagnant and that he won’t build a wildly successful business of his own and be upwardly mobile enough to court a rich girl like Aurora. Once again, this is just more clumsy commie crap leveled against capitalism.
Meanwhile, like a true out-of-touch elite, Aurora Lane expresses guilt about her nicer set up, obsesses over what the homesteading company earns on voyages, but doesn’t complete the thought in the same sentence about how much it costs the company to pull off these amazing missions. Instead, Jim Preston submissively completes her thought in passing…here and there.
The company is also portrayed as an arrogant entity that NEVER makes mistakes. Hypersleep pods NEVER malfunction, right? This is repeated throughout the movie ad nauseam.
So, why even prepare for that vital plot-centric eventuality on a ship that has a back up for just about everything else? That’s a major logic hole in the plot. When in reality, it’s typically governments who make huge mistakes and seldom own up to them. A company like the one in the movie would always have a back up plan for malfunctioning hypersleep pods; otherwise, people might be too scared to take the trip in the first place. Hypersleep pods are mission critical machines. But don’t worry, the ship has plenty of wrenches & whisky, etc. Jim and Aurora go on and on about the ship’s back up inventory minus the few things that will force them to live out the rest of their lives on the ship. They both woke up about 90 years too early.
Guest starring in Passengers is the familiar trope of an overcrowded, overpriced Earth. Shockingly, there was no explicit climate change propaganda in this movie that I could find. Earth is just overdeveloped, costly and meh because it’s such an advanced, nice place to live.
Once the movie was over, no one seemed to pick up on these observations until I brought them up. It’s just accepted and, in my opinion, persuasive because you end up just accepting the subtle Marxist premises without any effective pushback on screen.
If you must see a movie, always…ALWAYS keep your guard up. Hollywood bakes Marxism into virtually everything it does. My vision is one day we’ll rid ourselves of this mind poison or, at least, have more right wing content to bring balance to our theaters, living rooms, concerts, bookstores, art galleries, etc.