BY: Sonny Bunch
Can I bother you with a rant for a second? The street corners are quite hot this time of year and the good people of Rosslyn seem to get vaguely annoyed when I scream at them about movies.Read More
Can I bother you with a rant for a second? The street corners are quite hot this time of year and the good people of Rosslyn seem to get vaguely annoyed when I scream at them about movies.
Of all the Dumb Internet Things, the Dumb Internet Thing that annoys me the most (right now!) are fan theories about movies that are wholly unsubstantiated by the text of the film in question.
Two recent examples of this phenomenon:
- The fan “theory” that the kid from Jurassic Park‘s opening moments in the Montana Badlands—the one Dr. Grant torments with the raptor claw—grows up to be Chris Pratt’s character in Jurassic World. There’s literally nothing in the text of either film to suggest that this is even remotely accurate; the only “proof” is that Pratt’s character is about the same age as that annoying kid would be now.
- The fan “theory” that the Joker in the forthcoming Suicide Squad is actually the Jason Todd version of Robin. This theory is, at the very least, very slightly supported by bits and pieces of “evidence,” but it’s equally dumb, in that it’s cobbled together from two different trailers and, oh yes, grasping at the thinnest of straws like “J doesn’t mean ‘Joker,’ it means ‘Jason,’ as in ‘Jason Todd,’ as in ‘I am actually Jason Todd, who was killed by the Joker and then became the Joker or something.'” That don’t make no sense.*
If I found the phenomenon less frustrating, I could probably concoct a whole think piece about the ways in which media is now mutable and we all create our realities and viral marketing is king and blabbity blah blah. Instead, allow me to gently suggest that this is just a mild form of narcissism, a way for dot-connecting autists to feel as though they’re making a difference in the world and to demand that everyone pay attention to them.
That being said, I find well-done unexpected interpretations of films to be immensely entertaining. Consider, for instance, the recent viral video positing that the karate kid is the villain of The Karate Kid:
Sure, the above summary of The Karate Kid may sound a little nuts. But watch the video: the case is quite compelling! Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to find the true meaning of a work of art. Esoteric readings of popular art > dumb fan theories that make no sense.
Thanks for listening.
*So help me God, Warner Bros: if you make me look like an idiot by having the Joker actually be Jason Todd I will burn your mfing studio to the ground.Read Less