Today in my search for a hair salon I didn't have to travel far for, I went to a salon that my mother previously went to.Turns out that it was pretty much a salon in someone's house. As I was getting my hair done, the hairdresser was playing Olympus Has Fallen somehow on her computer hooked up to a larger screen (I didn't ask how she managed that).
Let me tell you folks:if I wasn't as socially conscious as I am now, this movie would have flown under my radar.However, I am very sensitive to coded racism, and boy were my racist senses tingling!
The story, from what I saw while trying to ignore the movie,was about South Korea taking over the white house.Literally every Asian person was trying to kill people, and the film literally ends with a speech from the president that could could be summed up as "America, Fuck Yeah". I don't know how these action movies usually work because I never watch them unless they're The Fifth Element, but the black and white set up of the "bad guys" versus the "good guys" was practically on WWII Propaganda Film levels from my perspective.
And apparently it works.
See, I was wary of this film from the beginning because on another blog I read for, ahem, personal reasons, they highlighted the anti-Asian sentiment riled up in a few idiots who decided to post their awful thoughts on twitter.This is why it's not okay to make things like this anymore. It brings us back decades when what we really need is to encourage understanding and openness.
A very telling thing happened that highlights the kind of mindset this movie creates. With a close-up shot of Rick Yune as he tried to kill the "hero" of the story, the hairdresser commented how he was a very attractive Chinese guy. I couldn't disagree with her on his attractiveness, but I mentioned that he was Korean. "Whatever" she said flippantly, and continued with my hair.Considering the fact that Koreans had been mowing down people on the screen for the past hour or so,I guess they could have easily been Chinese to the people who watch this movie and get inspired to hate. I bit my tongue through this experience and left the salon angry. Thankfully, I had the clarity not to be mad at Koreans or my hairdresser (who I won't see again for other reasons). I was angry at the people I imagined who let something like this go out in the world without hesitation.
Frankly, he only positive thing that came from that experience was writing down my thoughts about it.My hair didn't even come out nice.