How Come A Brother Always Has To Mess Things Up?
Photo Credit: S & A

How Come A Brother Always Has To Mess Things Up?

This a little tale about how we… you know we meaning us… meaning black folks… perceive things so differently than them… you know, those people… you know white folks.

Take for example X Men: First Class. So far almost all reviews and pieces about the film in newspapers and on blogs have failed to mention the annoying problem of the movie killing off the only brother in the film. Even more bizarre, since, from what I gather Darwin is a well established character in the X Men comic books. And since he has the special power to adapt to anything, you would think that he’ll be a real survivor, still alive by the end of the film, standing tall. Nope. Ain’t gonna happen.

He’s barely in the damn film for ten minutes before he gets offed. With the exception of E Film critic Erik Childress, it’s funny how no one seems to have mentioned that very obvious point. Well… maybe obvious to us but not to them. And what about Angel, Zoe Kravitz’s character. The only woman of color in the film and she’s a stripper/hooker. I mean really? Like it would have killed them if she was, say, a college student? Evidently so. But not a peep from the critics or blogs about this either. But here on S & A and a few other black sites, you betcha there has been talk about how the black characters have been ill-treated in the film.

Pretty ironic since the X Men story, from what I understand, not being a comic book follower, is supposed be a metaphor for racism and tolerance. Well the film sure has plenty of the first, and none of the second.

Which brings us to Super 8.

Now for those of you who don’t like plot spoilers, cover your eyes!

You know the premise of the film is that it’s a blatant homage to Steven Spielberg’s 70’s and 80’s movies like ET and Jaws, and a huge side serving of The Goonies, Poltergeist, and every other Amblin Entertainment film from the period.

There’s this big train wreck outside a small town which unleashes an alien monster that wreaks a path of death and destruction in the town. Now, what you may not know is that the accident was caused deliberately by Glynn Turman who, aside form Richard T. Jones, is the only black person in the entire film, who at least who has lines, that is. Turman’s character intentionally crashes into the train to cause the derailment, in an effort to free the alien.

Now wait…why would he do that? Well, as revealed later in the film, he feels sorry for the poor little bugger, since he’s been locked away by the U.S. military for 20 years. But that doesn’t make sense. The alien is definitely no ET, but a vicious, evil monster that destroys everything. Why would anyone want to free anything like that?

Maybe, I guess, since Turman is black, he feels the oppression of aliens either from another county or another world? Beats me.

And why have a brother, the only one with more then 10 lines in the entire movie, be the guy to cause all the problems that happen in the film? Just like black men in real life. Always screwing up something. I suppose. Couldn’t the accident happened by itself and Turman instead be a guy who helps to defeat the alien? You know be one of the heroes, and one who LIVES at the end. No, that would have been too much. You want to give the audience heart attacks or something?

Now, I suppose there are those who are going to say, “why do I look at this in a racial light. Lighten up (Ha Ha Get it?)…it’s just a movie…why do you have to be so serious… blah blah blah.

Well sorry. You can keep talking, but I’m not listening, and I’m not gonna stop either. I know what I see and I don’t like it.

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

© 2023 Shadow & Act. All rights reserved.