"Okay, here's the pitch."
"Cool. Cool. So, it's a movie..."
"Good, good. That's primarily what we make here."
"Nice. So, it's a movie, but - here's the hook: It's SUPER racist."
"Hm. Can you clarify, 'super?' Like, on a scale of zero to Nugent?"
"Um... I guess, Nugent - but at a no-press-allowed CPAC fundraiser with those Duck guys?"
"So... pretty darn racist."
"Yes. Yes it is."
"Hm........... ....... ... ...Well, shit - we DID just cross $470 million worldwide on 'Bradley Cooper Headshots Brown People For Two Hours.' You got yourself a green light!"
So, yeah. NO ESCAPE. Apparently, somebody decided that Zombies had become too subtle a metaphor for enroaching hordes of not-quite-humanity threatening the domestic civility of "normal" Americans, and that the only way to continue siphoning money from Caucasian suburbanite existential panic was to drop the veil entirely and spin the tale of Owen Wilson's fight to protect his postcard-perfect lily white wife and daughters from the entire population of an unidentified Southeast Asian country. Yellow Peril, much?
The idea is that they're recently-relocated immigrants who find themselves caught up in an escalating clash between the oppressive Police State government and a civilian uprising (it was shot in Thailand with THE COUP as a working title) which is a decent premise for an action/thriller (and for that money-shot of Wilson overhand-hurling his kid to his wife on the next roof - damn!) but holy shit. Did no one at any point think about how the scenario reads re: obvious xenophobia, dehumanization of The Other, etc? And if they did, did anybody think to calculate if the cash it'd stand to make from Sarah Palin's America is actually worth how insulting this looks to the increasingly more-vital overseas audience - several billion of whom might come to resent the makers and stars of a film depicting them as something between fire ants and Orcs?
NOTE: Did you enjoy this piece? Would you like to read more like it? Please consider supporting The MovieBob Patreon. Thanks!