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Shane Falco Superstar December 5, 2008

Posted by doctorolove in Uncategorized.
2 comments

Hollywood has always turned to us, the society en masse, as its litmus test. We shape their views. If we want to see more films about relationships that break apart and come together all to the strains of jazzy remakes of Etta James songs, POOF. If we clamor for explosions and slow motion whirring helicopters with talented actors in bad haircuts and sweaty stained wifebeaters, SHAZAM.  But often, they make a decision for us. And we don’t even realize it.

I noticed them doing a while ago, but that Hollywood, she’s a crafty. When it started in 1989, I was distracted by the most recent Super Mario Brothers game. And again in the mid 90’s, there was that whole teenage angst. And then in 2000, when it reached its’ full force, it was Y2K diverting my attention. But now, my mind is clear (Thank you Bikram Yoga, bubble tea and some stuff I bought from that guy behind the Circle K). And I cannot turn a blind eye to this once again. What do I mean?

Since 1989, Hollywood has decided that one man will be our savior. One man will be force-fed as the quintessential man to save the world. One actor and one actor only will play the roles which require the character to not only save us as a society, but often rail against the tyranny and cancers that plague us a people. Jim Caviezel? No, his Jesus was a missing loincloth away from looking like he could play lead guitar for a bad 80’s hair band. And besides did you see Frequency? There’s more plot holes in that one than a block of Jarlsberg. Is it Will Smith, you may ask? While he has quelled alien invasions, cured a worldwide vampire plague and won the heavyweight championship, once you share top billing with Alfonzo Ribiero, you cannot be considered for the role of Lord and Savior.

No, Hollywood has decided that the man who best encapsulates the societal ideal of the quintessential savior is none other than…

Keanu Reeves.

(Take a second. Breathe that in. Now pick yourself up)

With the upcoming release of The Day the Earth Stood Still where Keanu plays Klaatu, the alien sent to save our society from nuclear destruction, he has officially played “Society’s own Hope” in no less than 8…yes, that’s 8…films.

This is the man who butchered Shakespeare so immensely that I was counting the seconds until Paris Hilton’s turn as Lady Macbeth. This is the guy who made Patrick Swayze look downright Olivierian (Yes, that’s a word….) in Point Break. And even surrounded by children and dogs, film’s instant way of making you seem talented by comparison, he still manages to have this air of acting that is so terrible, he can actually suck the air from a room and blow it back in your face. Only now it smells like feet and wet dog.

Yes, this is whom Hollywood has decreed as Man’s savior. Don’t believe me. Look at his filmography.

First there were the Journeys and Excellent Adventures of one Bill and Ted. Sure, we never actually got to see how the dulcet tunes of Wyld Stallyns created world peace (something even Hollywood didn’t think the public would buy), we find that Keanu eventually sits atop a golden throne and cures all societal ills. Yes, the man wearing a red sweater vest and has hair that resembles a mushroom cap saves the world. No way? Yes way.

And as asinine as the premise may have sounded, Hollywood thought, “They’re buying it? Maybe this kid has something? Maybe just maybe we’re starting a revolution…or maybe they just like the fact that his triangular shaped head inspires people who also have odd shaped craniums”

So they tried again, seeing if maybe we were just distracted by Alex Winter’s curly hair. And this time, they set his savior self in a futuristic world in Johnny Mnemonic. And if the savior role wasn’t enough, his character hold secrets and formulas and programs that ruin the world…inside his head (Sometimes I don’t even have to make a joke to be funny. Savor it.) And again, we believed it. Maybe that’s why he always sounded two chromosomes away from being mentally retarded. He was holding too many secrets in his brain! My computer freezes when I try to update my Face book status, watch porn and listen to the latest Kanye CD all at once. Imagine if my brain was doing that…and it was world-altering secrets. He must be talented. He must be my leader. He must save me.

But the film didn’t do that well at the box office (again following the long standing Hollywood rule that the public is afraid of silent M’s in the titles of their films). So they thought, okay, let’s ramp up the realism a little bit. Let’s turn him into a slow talking lawyer with a conflict of conscience. And a hot wife, just to keep the q ratings up. Let’s have him be a small town lawyer and go to the big city. Yeah, this is all really making sense. Oh, and he’s the son of Satan.

Huh?

Yup, in The Devil’s Advocate, he again saves humanity by committing suicide instead of impregnating his sister (huh again?) and creating the Antichrist. All while escaping the ham fisted acting chops of Al Pacino who looks like Droopy Dawg with the voice of Kathleen Turner. While I don’t doubt Satan had something to do with Keanu’s success (I bet that soul for fame contract would fetch a pretty penny on EBay) the idea of him being a trial lawyer is actually a little harder to swallow than the whole spawn of Satan.

So, the religious savior thing didn’t work. And the futuristic thing didn’t take. Maybe if we combine the two, finally the world will accept Keanu as their future god. Oh, and we’ll add karate

Which brings us to the trilogy that is the Matrix. And this time they pulled out all the stops to make sure we accepted it this time. They gave him a not too subtle name (Neo) and back story (which is sort of like naming your lead character Jesus McChristypants). They explained away the unrealistic idea by having the whole thing set in a giant process savior. They even gave him a cool black jacket and wrap around sunglasses. And the karate. Never underestimate the power of highly crafted slow motion martial arts.

And we believed. We hailed the film as a new direction for Christ allegories choreographed by Taiwanese fight directors. We reveled in the new camera technologies the film presented. We even made Carrie Anne Moss, who joins Keanu on the awkward shaped head Hollywood Mt. Rushmore, into a sex symbol. Yet not once did anybody say, “Hey, wait, do I want to buy into a world where my hopes of surviving as a species is the hands of the guy who talked about masturbation in Parenthood?” Nope, Hollywood had succeeded. They had made us believe that this mumble mouthed sex symbol was the only man worthy enough of saving our collective lives.

Which brings us to his latest film. The original was Hollywood trying to make a statement about nuclear proliferation. It was thoughtful, engrossing and showed what the power of science fiction allegory could be. In these trying times, why not do it again? Only this time let’s bring back old Mumble Mouth. And we’ll surround him with A list actors who too have bought into this notion that Keanu is the key to our survival. Will it work? Well, Hollywood has a way of making us swallow the proverbial sugar they feed us. We all saw Spiderman 3, didn’t we?

So, it’s too late for me to do anything now. I have to simply accept the fact that years from now, my great grandchildren will be attending mass on Sundays at the Neo Futuristic Church of Keanu. Where each prayer is not answered with an Amen, but a well timed Whoa.