real life national pain...but they’re all mentioned in passing in a hypocritical way:
- There’s a brief mention that the monsters are drawn to Earth because of our environmental devastation: “Depleted oxygen? We terraformed it for them!”
- Government assholes are building a futile wall to keep aliens out.
- We briefly glimpse a religion whose members blame themselves for the attacks.
- There’s lots of 9/11 imagery.
- There’s lots of World War 2 imagery.
- And the whole thing is very reminiscent of the Deepwater Horizon spill.
You get the feeling that they came up with the idea, brainstormed a million different possible meanings for it, and then, instead of choosing one, they just used that brainstorm list as their script. This is equally true for both the plot and the theme: Sound and fury signifying nothing.
But wait, isn’t that the definition of the summer action movie? No, it isn’t. Action movies are supposed to feel like pure spectacle, but the good ones subtly use thematic resonance to make us care more, without forcing us to actively think about it on a conscious level. That’s the beauty of the form…when it’s done right.