Not generally a movie I’d pick but, on impulse and out of some regard for it’s creators, I did. Oh man.
I’m not sure if I actually regret having watched it, there are parts that are genuinely amusing and well done. As when it imitates a scene from Saving Private Ryan, where half an Oreo is in shock and casually looking around for his other half, while chaos erupts around him, is especially well crafted.
What this movie is, first and foremost, is crass.
If you have ever seen the uncut version of Team America: World Police and were at all shocked… this seems Dora the Explorer, by comparison.
What it is secondly, is an absolute hit piece on religion.
Not exactly ground breaking, in that regard.
The story revolves around a grocery store where the contents of it’s shelves cleverly exist to be picked by random shoppers, before their shelve lives expire, to be whisked away to what is roundly adopted to be the “Great Beyond”.
Only a select group of pot smoking, enlightened, and spiritual “non-perishables” really know that the “Great Beyond” is myth, they having devised the notion without conceiving it would be so widely embraced.
A single jar of Honey Mustard, that was returned, has been outside the doors but is irreversibly traumatized by the experience and is dismissed as unreliable.
Our hero, Frank, in a quest to be united with the bun of his dreams, in carnal perpetuity, discovers the truth and in typical atheist fashion, tries desperately to warn the masses that the “Gods” are not real.
The most interesting angle, for me, is in asking this age old question, the producers end up (unwittingly, I think) making the argument FOR religion, instead of clearly undermining it.
What is the effect of shedding the bonds and constraints of religion, how does humanity react when no longer tied to any belief system and its moral restrictions.
Succinctly answered here, and at least for me, its not pretty.
Yet, Seth Rogen and Co. would insist the opposite is true. That the scenes that follow, having been freed of ignorance and superstition, are the predictable bounty and reward for living in a religion-free society.
Sure, I can get on board with the Arab Pita and Jewish Bagel (Edward Norton is amazing), once having discovered that they have a mutual Friend in Hummus, and realizing that they are not as different as traditional dictorials, can at last be… well, let’s just call them friends for now… until you see it.
I’m left with the greater question of… what do you do now. Now that the hope of something greater than ourselves, something that gives our trials and tribulations meaning, purpose, has been dispelled… where are you.
This movie, I think, would like us to believe you are better off with the knowledge that you mean nothing, that you are insignificant.
I’ve long argued with my more enlightened friends that without any belief system, humanity is left to its own devices and, if this film is any testament, with what represents enlightenment here, “frankly” I’d prefer superstition.