The “War” for 2024 and beyond

(Scene begins with a black screen and the following text: “The following review will have the most controversial thoughts, and the content of the review may be considered disturbing. Viewer Discretion is HEAVILY advised!” The scene cuts to James Faraci, The Last Of The Americans in his office.)

TLOTA: Ladies and Gentlemen, this review will likely be controversial and disturbing for many people. Very few jokes, if any, will be made in this review. This review is not for entertainment, as is the usual case in one of The Last Of The Americans reviews. There will be spoilers here because even with them, they’re essential and might encourage people to watch this movie more. For all intents and purposes, this movie is necessary to all the subjects of today that are currently being talked about, no matter where you stand on them. (Cut to recent events as James does a voiceover.)

TLOTA (V.O.): The last few years have been a nightmare for everyone; even I have seen my fair share of horrors that no one should see, and since the Pandemic hit, we have been at a tipping point, and it seems we are heading towards absolute chaos and anarchy. Witnessing the world’s downfall has been hard, especially when the intelligence of the average human is becoming lower than their shoe size. They have been making decisions that affect others, and everything they’ve done has further eroded all hope in our elected leaders, defenders, and our belief that we will rise together for a brighter future. It was these events that inspired writer Alex Garland, who wrote the movies “28 Days Later,””Dredd,” and “Ex-Machina,” to write and direct a parable similar to something just as powerful forty years earlier. (Cut to footage of “The Day After” as James does a voiceover)

TLOTA (V.O.): When Nicholas Meyer, the director of “Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan” signed on to work on a nuclear disaster made for tv movie called “The Day After,” he knew that he had to be realistic about what would happen if the nuclear arms of the 1980s between the Soviet Union and the United States were launched and what would happen if we continued the course and the end would be nothing but social decimation and mutually assured destruction. While most of the lessons we learned from that have begun to be unlearned, the mere fact we have chosen not to use the nuclear arsenal today means that we are choosing not to be completely incompetent, so there is SOME hope that we are doing good enough for now. (Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: However, it seems we’re on a course of Self-destruction and social collapse, and today I am going to talk about possibly the most important movie of 2024 that everyone MUST see. (Cut to clips of “Civil War” as James does a voiceover)

TLOTA (V.O.): “Civil War” is not an action-filled war movie about heroes fighting their fellow citizens to save the country’s soul, seeing our soldiers at the front lines having to make the hard decision to kill people who could be their family members; instead, it is more than that. (Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: Let’s not waste time and get right into “Civil War.” (Cut to “Civil War” as James does a voiceover.)

TLOTA (V.O.): The movie opens with us being introduced to the man who possibly started this war. Even though the movie doesn’t tell us how and what started this conflict, we’re led to believe he was the cause: The President Of The United States, played by Nick Offerman, as he prepares his jingoistic ramblings and rabble-rousing. We’re then introduced to a photographer named Lee, played by Kirsten Dunst, who we see on her face. She has seen a lot, including a massacre on ANTIFA. After the President’s Jingo, we find Lee in Manhattan, which has fallen due to a collapse in society and infrastructure. Lee and her reporter friend Joel, played by Wagner Moura, take photos and report how a few families are begging for just a few drops of water to get through the next few days. Lee and Joel are surprisingly joined by a junior reporter trying to emulate Lee, named Jessie, played by Cailee Spaeny. Lee notices her and tries to keep her out of harm’s way when a suicide bombing happens, killing many of the people just trying to get some supplies to survive. And here is something interesting to note. Lee’s photography is Digital, and in color, so we see the gore and destruction in its disgusting horror, while Jessie’s is an old-school analog where we see, in black and white, the people being destroyed. Back in the hotel, Lee sends her photos to her publisher. We see Lee and Joel tell their associate Sammy, played by Stephen McKinley Henderson, about their plans to hit the highways and byways to get to the president about this war. What horrors have occurred, what he himself has done to cause it, and what he planned to repair the damage he had done and return those that seceded from states back into the fold. We then see Lee soak in a bathtub, remember what she had seen at the start of the war, feel she had seen so much, and wonder how she could make it through yet another day. Sure enough, Lee and Joel begin their journey with Sammy and Jessie in tow, Lee not happy with either being on the trip. (Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: I would simply state the following to Lee in that situation, “Shut the fuck up, put on your big girl panties, and accept the rest of the team being there.” (Cut to “Civil War” as James does a voiceover.)

TLOTA (V.O.): At one stop for gas, Jessie sees a man hanging two looters as they’re being tortured. Lee steps in to save Jessie by taking the photo. Now shaken to her core, Jessie berates herself for not taking the photo herself and is given a chance to relax as Lee and Jessie take the picture of a downed helicopter. Jessie asks if she is going to die in this war. Would Lee take her final picture as she dies? Lee answers with a definitive “I might” answer. At an overnight stop, our gang decided to rest and relax further. Lee talks to Sammy, saying all the photos she posted were warnings that fell on blind eyes. The following day, Lee, Jessie, and Joel are thrown into the mix as they take photos. As Lee sees Jessie’s potential by the end of the skirmish, Jessie takes pictures of the prisoners being summarily executed. Something else to notice is that at no point do the characters talk about their own political differences; instead, they talk about their personal lives and how they got to this point in their lives, mainly when Jessie develops her photographs the old-school way and Lee wonders how and why Jessie looks up to Lee and Jessie basically tells how she has been so resilient in the face of the nightmare that we have been in the fourteen months before the war we’ve been in. (Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: Something else to note: While we don’t see Nick Offerman’s President, we occasionally hear his jingo. From what I knew from watching this movie, this President disbanded the FBI and was somehow given a chance at a third term, and he was so power-hungry that he struck down innocent citizens of his country in an air raid. If that doesn’t scare you, nothing will. (Cut to “Civil War” as James does a voiceover.)

TLOTA (V.O.): The following day, our heroes come upon a small town that seems oblivious to the fact that their country has gone to hell and is getting worse with every passing second; I would put a South Park joke in here; however, I am keeping the jokes to the bare minimum. While there, Lee and Jessie spend more time getting to know each other, as we see in the background that there are probably snipers on every building top to enforce martial law. Back on the road, our heroes are caught in a sniper shootout at a Christmas fair, and it is here that we see Jessie become less sensitized to the violence as the sniper that’s trying to keep them alive finishes the job as they kill the sniper that had pinned them down. Back on the road, we’re introduced to two Hong Kong reporters joining their journey. Jessie joins Hong Kong driver Bohai, and Tony, played by Nelson Lee and Evan Lai, joins Lee and Joel. Trying to keep up with Bohai, they soon find the two captured by extremist racists in terms of their beliefs that if you don’t look or speak like them, then you’re not American. By the way, the leader of this group, who is wearing blood-colored glasses, is Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst’s husband. And I don’t know if they have kids because if they have them, it must’ve been a whopper discussion about what was happening while working on this movie. As Tony, Lee, and Joel try to rescue their companions from winding up in a mass grave covered in lye, Bohai and Tony are killed by the racists. With little to no time left before seeing Jessie, Joel, and Lee join Bohai and Tony, Sammy rams two of the three extremists with their ride. Jessie gets out of the mass grave, and our heroes escape; however, missing one of the extremists causes Sammy to be fatally wounded and leaves Jessie traumatized. That night, as they go through a burning forest, our heroes contemplate how they got to this point, and the following day, Sammy dies from his gunshot wounds as the team makes it to a Western Forces encampment to bury Sammy and Lee in a sense of decorum deletes the last known photo of her friend. Grieving over their losses, they soon hear from two other reporters that the Western Forces have caused loyalists to surrender and leave DC undefended. With this knowledge, our team joins the Western Forces to get what may be their last chance to get to the President Of The United States. And then… (Show the battle as Lee has a nervous break in the middle of the fight, then makes their way into the White House, the Western Forces shooting everyone and killing a negotiator. Jessie goes into the line of fire to get the pictures, only for Lee to be killed in cold blood and Jessie to take Lee’s death picture. The sounds of The Western Forces saying they’ve got the President and Joel asking for one last quote. The President begs for them not to kill him.) And with that, the movie ends as The President takes two shots to the chest in center mass, killing him instantly; Jessie takes the pictures of that and a photo of the soldiers that killed The President propping the body in the same way a hunter props up their quarry being developed. (Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: And that was “Civil War,” the darkest movie of the year, the most violent movie of the year, the most important film of the year, and possibly one of the greatest movies you must see. (Cut to clips of “Civil War” as James does a voiceover)

TLOTA (V.O.): To dismiss this as yet another war or anti-American movie is folly. If the Government has become so corrupt that you feel the only way to save the country is by seceding from its Government, then you have a right to do so. To me, this is the movie that, believe it or not, reestablished the Fourth Estate or rather how Journalists must be unbiased in their political leanings, just like it was back in the days of Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, and Peter Jennings. The biggest negative complaint is that it is a political movie. However, this is not about politics. This is about our country torn apart by our own folly, how we had failed our forefathers, and how we must avoid this future. I, admittedly, a Conservative Republican, have seen this country come close to hitting the self-destruct button by people not only in my political party but also on the other side of the coin. The lack of information on how this event came to leave us to figure out how it happened, thus making us think and become journalists and research ourselves to see what we can do to stop the madness that seems right around the corner. Everyone acting in the movie does a great job, which is saying a lot, given the subject matter and how the movie’s events came to be, which shows what we are like. For me, War must become an obsolete idea before we become obsolete. Screw whatever we believe about people we think are our enemies; we must wake up and stop before it goes this far into the chaos. (Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: My suggestion is to take the story of this movie, think about it, and put yourself in the same position as those who are either someone like Lee or one of the people who are fighting for their own survival in this war who is NOT a soldier holding a gun at you while trying to force you to pick a side and hope that god save us all, no matter what happens in the future. If “Civil War” is anything to talk about, we must consider how to avoid calling ourselves the title I call myself. I’m James Faraci, The Last Of The Americans. (James walks away as an empty chair is shown for two seconds before fading to black)

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