Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Hancock's And Hellboy's Mixed Marriages

So, maybe it's going to be the superhero movies or the animation flicks that finally make it acceptable to be married to someone with a different skin color than yours. This past week, I attended two (count 'em!) press screenings where the theme of mixed-race couples was couched inside of a larger story, but, nevertheless, pretty obvious for anyone with a functioning brain.

First, there was Hancock. (WARNING: Spoiler ahead!) In this flick, Will Smith plays an anti-hero superhero who, in spite of his heroic deeds, is disliked by the public because of his nasty temper and funky attitude. But guess what? He has a REASON to be so mean. You see, his wife...(well, he doesn't know she's his wife yet because he had this nasty little concussion which led to amnesia so he forgot that he was married to Charlize Theron who, like Hancock it turns out, possesses some superhero powers herself, but who)...had to leave him because together their powers were too potent that it caused others to try to get rid of them (hmmm, is that a hint about race-mixing there?).

So, Theron's character marries a Caucasian mortal as Hancock saves the city while destroying himself with beer and a three-day growth of beard. With some of the swearing that goes on in that movie, I can't believe it's supposed to be a kids' flick. But as far as mixed-race coupling goes, that's a good thing for all kids to see--and everyone else, too, for that matter. If all the people all over the world were exposed to interracial couples constantly as if it were perfectly normal, we might just get past our race issues.

Watching Theron, a white South African, play opposite Smith, an African American, made me wonder what Steven Biko would think were he alive today. That he sacrificed his life for just this type of acceptance for blacks doesn't take the sting away from his death.

In any case, one mixed-marriage in a single movie was something to behold, but two in two movies in one week? That's exactly what happened when Mr. Hellboy with his red skin, horns and tail paired up with Selma Blair aka Liz Sherman, his pyrotechnic sidekick. Even though both actors are white, their characters are a devil and a human who creates fire with her body. And, although the two were just shacking up and not technically married, the fire girl was pregnant with the devil boy's baby which means this film, in addition to encouraging interracial couples, is also promoting biracial children!

If my thoughts appear to be a stretch to you, just take a closer look at both movies. We already know that animated films can be subversive as heck. Sit down with the kids on some Saturday morning and listen to what those cartoon characters are actually saying. Or, watch South Park or The Simpsons. That's the trick, right? If you make it come out of the mouth of something not quote unquote real, then it doesn't really count. So, that's why you can have a chicken spouting socialist philosophy in a capitalistic mainstream cartoon and get away with it. And, that's why superheros can have relationships with beings outside of their own race and it flies with Hollywood.

Just think about it. On that note, I wish you bon nuit in Hapawood.

Your Hip Hapa,

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