HOLLYWOOD, YOU HAVE a problem. I’m loath to admit it since I benefit from its existence, but with the casting of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as American icon Jack Burton in the forthcoming remake of John Carpenter’s cult masterpiece Big Trouble In Little China I can no longer stay quiet.
And before you say it: This isn’t about remakes. Those are a part of our reality now, so just get over it. Movie apocalypse death of originality soulless studio heads big budget bullshit blah blah blah. That battle is lost and everything old is new again, just like mustache wax and weekend pickling projects.
The reimagining of Jack Burton as The Rock is only the latest development in a much more insidious plot devised by Hollywood to brainwash us all. It is the problem of The Impossible Man. Average dudes looking for hope, you can shout “Dad Bod!” all you want, but once Chris Pratt whipped his Andy-the-everyman physique into certified hero-body shape, your argument blew away like a handful of creatine powder.
On one hand, I’m loving this trend with everything my reptile brain can muster. Knowing that I can go to the movies and select from a dessert table offering up the Tom Hardy, Henry Cavill, Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, and Chrises Pratt/Hemsworth/Evans is wonderful. Each of them in 2015 is a human specimen carved from stone and misted just enough to optimal sheen. They’re living monuments to anatomical design at its highest levels—but just as they lack diversity in skin tone, so too do they lack diversity in appeal. There’s only room for one type of hero at the Tinseltown Table, and making Jack Burton into a human mountain is perhaps the greatest act of hostility so far in this aesthetic Cold War.