Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Wyatt Earp in Tibet in 2012

2012 – 2009

Some films are patchworks. This is one. And it starts with the Mayan apocalypse prevision in 2012 of course

The apocalypse is coming. We know that. But we have to make it realistic and use the good old Christian myths again without saying so, at least not too obviously. So there is an explosion at the surface of the sun bigger than what has ever been witnessed before. That has the effect of making the core of the earth, or at least a greater proportion of the inner mass go up in temperature at a great speed, making this mass more fluid, hence liberating the tectonic plates and the continents.

That means earthquakes, tsunamis and so on. Our news are full of such events. Just make them bigger, more gigantic. Waves that are nearly 2,000 meters high and you have it.

Add to that Tibet and the Chinese. Noah can be repeated again: a remake of the arch and there we are. There will be three arks at the end, after the catastrophe, because we need a trinity somewhere. Without the Chinese nothing could have been done, and what’s more they provided the work force, probably cheap, and the security forces to build the arks first and then to make sure only the people who have the proper passes can go on them. The world without the Chinese could not go through the apocalypse without any comfort.

The US president is black of course because in 2009 it was obvious he was.

A little bit of Buddhism does not harm but at the same time the only surviving Buddhist monk actually cheated the system with his brother, a lay person, to save their own parents, and end up saving a few more as stowaways.

Add to that a family situation and you have it all: parents divorced, the ex-wife has a new boy friend. The children of the broken marriage, a boy and a girl, are the perfect American reconstructed or recomposed family.

The catastrophe itself is nothing but special effects. They are funny, maybe impressive but certainly not frightening. So banal after all. We can imagine catastrophes of this type every day and some happen every other week.

The funny part is the end. The arks find out that only Africa has survived, with a pun on the Cape of Good Hope. Humanity started in Africa and it will start again in Africa. Marvelous. But rather simple minded.

Now and then some ethical questions are brought up, but they are so easy and the answer is so banal. In such a catastrophe those ethical questions would certainly not be the main questions. The main question would be to keep people from panicking or just plain hurting if not killing one another. It is nice to think that in such an extreme situation people would think of saving their neighbors. We can always dream.



A true story mind you. So it has to be good. It is well filmed, well presented, suspenseful enough. But the general frame of the western and life on the frontier is not disrupted in any way by any unforeseeable element. A few original points yet.

To become the sheriff of a city like Tombstone, or any other of the type, is banal for a horse thief who is running away from justice and the recollection of his first wife who died of diphtheria when pregnant. One deserves a second chance.

To have two brothers as his deputies is a lot more original.

To get into a rivalry with a gang of bad boys is also banal. But to get through without one wound of any sort while one of his brothers is killed and the other one nearly loses his right arm and will be handicapped if not crippled all his life, is rather more interesting.

Then to swear vengeance and to just go away and make sure the gang is destroyed one at a time after the first confrontation that killed a few is banal, but to be married happily on the west coast and to be seen last going to Alaska to take part in a gold rush while the gang members are getting killed is probably less common place.

What’s left at the end? The vision of an original character, of a man of honor in a situation where honor is rather cheap, of a judge who is honest and of a county sheriff or marshal who is crooked, of a second “wife” who is more a fair arrangement to be able to go incognito in the Far West, for both the man and the woman, and finally of the third and last wife who is brought into this western situation as a potential shady lady by a dishonorable male character.

What’s the most important element is the fact that the three brothers are like one and for them family, and in fact blood is everything that counts, and we could add friendship between a couple of men that makes them absolutely loyal to each other. That’s probably what Walt Whitman called the “manly love of comrades.”

Entertaining though slightly long, but a decent intensity all along.


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