The white male protagonist is effeminate and incompetent. No big deal, though, because it’s a buddy cop movie and they chose to make Jackie Chan the straight man. But Jackie normally does slapstick humor with his fighting, so why not make him the goofy one? Well, they did the same in “Rush Hour” so it’s not a white guy thing, per se. When you compare any American to the robotic / hierarchical Far East that generally focuses on saving face, it makes perfect sense.
There’s some Chinese railwork slave labor stuff in there but they didn’t make it all the white devil’s fault. Likewise, there were some savage native American tribes counterbalanced with peaceful and wise ones. For every aspect of the movie that could have been interpreted as a jab at conservatives, there was an equal and opposite scene following it.
Looking back from 2018, I can see how the film is stacked against white men. They make up the majority of the bad guys and the one white guy we are supposed to empathize with sides with other tribes. In the context of the movie, it makes perfect sense and I still root for Owen Wilson’s character. But you may be irked if you have the knowledge of how cinema has evolved from these subtle tones of cooperation and tolerance in 2000, into parading blatant traitors as heroes while fostering self hatred amongst the audience in 2018. We all know, that if the characters were based proportionately to crime statistics and average personality traits for their demographic then you’d have to be mental to cheer the protagonist on. But that’s why this agitprop is so effective. It is both subtle, (so anyone who calls it out is seen as a nutjob), and unrealistic, (so audience members internalize morals and pattern recognition divorced from truth).
Ann Coulter’s “¡Adios, America!: The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole” demonstrates this best:
A sixteen-year-old Hmong girl who was gang-raped and forced into prostitution by some Hmong men never told her parents about it, explaining that her mother would only say, “You deserved it.” Like I haven’t heard that before! This exact episode has appeared on Law & Order a dozen times, but the rapists were always preppie fraternity guys.
Overall, it was very heartwarming and worth sitting through.
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