Film review #370
Director: Mike Norris
SYNOPSIS: In the near future, where the president of the United States has signed over much of the country’s power to the United Nations, the governing body secretly launches an E.M.P. at the country to disable all electronics and use the attack as an excuse to declare martial law and to confiscate everyone’s guns. A group of people band together and decide to fight against the ‘tyranny’ of the United Nations occupying forces, and defend their second amendment rights.
THOUGHTS/ANALYSIS: Amerigeddon is a 2016 film and clearly meant to be a ‘warning’ about the dangers of Americans having their guns taken away n order for them to protect themselves against an overreaching government. The film starts off with a dire warning about the the dangers of an all powerful government, which will possess the ability to remove it’s citizen’s rights and sign them away to the “new world order”. This phrase is the typical boogeyman of the right-wing for which this film was obviously intended for to fulfil their fantasies of fighting back against their government, and it is constantly throwing the phrase out to try and make it sound as evil as possible. Using some out of context clips of politicians using this phrase (including the right wing’s other boogeyman, Barack Obama) to again create this all encompassing enemy of the people. Let’s be completely clear why this film was made: to scaremonger people about the possibility of the evil government coming to steal their guns (not that it is going to convince anyone other than those who hold those beliefs), and to fulfil the fantasies of those who think that they will one day be American heroes by using their guns to fight the oppressive regime of the new world order, or something equally implausible.
The story is set in the near-future, where the government and successive presidents have signed over most of their powers to the United Nations, who also see American citizens with guns as domestic terrorists. An E.M.P. is launched at the country and knocks out all of the power, giving the government an excuse to declare martial law and confiscate all of the citizen’s guns. Society descends into chaos as the characters find their way to each other to form some sort of resistance. It is quite apparent that this whole plot makes no sense…basically because the whole fantasy of rising up against the tyrannical new world order also makes no sense. Firstly, characterising the U.N. as an evil organisation intent on world domination is ridiculous and has no basis in reality. Secondly, what possible benefit would there be to destroying all the electronic devices in the U.S.? Given that a lot of global companies and assets are there, it doesn’t make any sense to wipe them all out. Thirdly, why would the new world order, if it really had control over all the governments in the world, feel so threatened by a bunch of ill-trained civilians in the middle of nowhere they would need to send in their army to wipe them out? Fourthly, the story is a direct copy of the film Red Dawn, while also managing to strip out anything interesting. Trying to understand the plot of this film is like trying to decipher the conspiracy theories that fuel it: it’s not possible, because they don’t make sense in the first place. They are hypothetical scenarios (fantasies) used to justify owning weapons and funding the organisations which relies on the fantasies peddled by this film.
The characters are themselves a bland cast of politicians, soldiers, and families who you would typically associate with the idea in this film: “real Americans” like people who own ranches in the middle of nowhere. The cast is not in any way diverse, and any elements that pretend to diversify or offer alternate view points are acts of tokenism, or just turn out to be the wrong path, such as Penny’s going to a ‘liberal arts college’, only to come back home to the safety of her gun-wielding family fighting against the world’s most powerful army (seriously…). The acting is all pretty bland and stale, and there’s no originality or interesting aspects to them. This is probably intentional so that viewers can fantasise about themselves being in such a position instead, allowing them to project their fantasies into the ‘story’ with ease.
The production and special effects throughout are pretty bad. The finale is by far the worst part though, as the U.N. apparently sends a whole squad of personnel to the ranch, which consists of a few men, three vehicles and a helicopter. Again, if the world’s most powerful organisation really wanted these citizens, they would certainly overwhelm them with much more force, so again it holds no basis in reality. Also, the U.N. soldiers mostly wear blue caps with a crude U.N. logo stuck to them, and quite frankly it is ridiculous how non-threatening they look. The final fight consists of the U.N. helicopter, which clearly is just a normal civilian helicopter, against the citizen’s gyro-copter, which again in reality would stand so little chance it is hilarious. The film ends with the proclamation that they have “won the battle, but not the war…”, ominously setting up some sort of sequel, but thankfully one can hope that none shall emerge: this film is bad, in almost every aspect. I have used the term ‘fantasy’ a lot through this review, and that’s precisely what it is: a fantasy for those who think that they are patriotic heroes by amassing firearms to fight back against an oppressive government. It is a fantasy that holds no basis or credibility in reality. I would label this film as dangerous propaganda if it wasn’t so bad and unbelievably inept at getting its point across. No one is going to be convinced by the arguments in this film if you weren’t before, and for those that were it is just another hollow fantasy to indulge themselves and their bankrupt ideologies in. Terrible film about terrible ideas that can’t convey any reasonable arguments or facts.