I had a lot of questions while watching Marshall: Why was Chadwick Boseman, playing Thurgood Marshall, splitting time in his own movie with Josh Gad? Why did the screenwriters alter the facts of The State of Connecticut v. Joseph Spell and the personalities of its real-life characters in such fundamental ways—to give Gad, of Olaf and Gaston fame, more screentime in a film that is, let me reiterate again, supposed to be about Boseman’s legendary Marshall? And Kate Hudson … well, Kate Hudson’s character Eleanor Strubing, an upper-crust white woman accusing a working-class black man of rape, would have definitely been a Trump voter in 2016, right?
It’s not that much of a stretch to imagine that Eleanor, with her expensive outfits, simpering delivery, and utter willingness to ruin another person’s life for her own ends, would of course continue her myopic, selfish racism decades into the future to jump on the Trump train. We all know by now that more than 50% of white woman in America who voted did so for Trump. We know that the pussy-grabbing, wall-building, Muslim-banning, and Hispanic-people-are-rapists arguments didn’t repel them, but ultimately appealed to these women, and to millions more.
In the months since Trump’s inauguration, every so often I find myself gazing at a stranger and wondering, “Did that person vote for Trump?” And because Marshall isn’t really the movie the groundbreaking Supreme Court justice deserved, my focus while watching it veered off into deciding that yes, of course, Eleanor would have been a Trump voter. It’s a question that keeps coming up for me this year in a variety of different movies, from animated family films to prestige art-house flicks. Here are some of this year’s movie characters who distracted and enraged me most, dragging down these films with their hypothetical Trump-supporting presence.
THAT DAMN BABY IN THE BOSS BABY
Alec Baldwin is collecting awards for stopping by Saturday Night Live every week, repeating every unbelievably stupid thing Trump says and tweets, and making us all laugh in despair, and his turn in The Boss Baby isn’t really that different. As a baby version of a relentless capitalist who only believes in profit, advancing up the corporate ladder, and cutting down anyone who stands in his way, Baldwin’s character is at first cute and then increasingly unsettling. Eventually he grows a conscience and gives up the suit-and-tie life to be a real boy, but not before he’s already wreaked havoc. Would a baby power-hungry version of Trump vote for an old man power-hungry version of Trump? Is that even a question?
THE “HERO” IN GOOD TIME
On the one hand, I don’t really think Robert Pattinson’s character in Good Time, Connie Nikas, WOULD vote. He seems too detached from the concept of “citizenship” for that. But on the other hand, he is a guy who pretends to be black to rob a bank; emotionally manipulates a woman and takes sexual advantage of a barely legal teenager; and frames a black security guard for a crime he committed. With so many immoral, self-serving, racially influenced choices made, one after another, how could he NOT vote for Trump? It’s the next step in a logical pattern.
EVERY EVIL WHITE GUY WHO WORKED AT TRANSIGEN IN LOGAN
Logan was the most low-key socially inclusive movie of 2017 so far, and it still kind of blows my mind that this franchise comic book movie was basically about Wolverine transporting a Spanish-speaking illegal immigrant across the ravaged United States to reach the safety and sanctuary of Canada. What else could be more in-tune with the social justice aspect of the X-Men? What else could be more apt for our current times?! And framed in that way, then of course every single person in power (all evil white guys, as I recall) at Transigen, the company who was using poor Mexican women to birth X-men clones, would have voted for Trump. There is no reality in which Trump would have ever protected mutant rights. Please! He probably would have opened up Transigen factories in the U.S. just to “bring back jobs to coal country” or whatever.
GARGAMEL IN THE SMURFS REBOOT NO ONE ASKED FOR
Readers, Smurfs: The Lost Village made more money at the box office than Blade Runner 2049 has made so far. HOW IS THIS REAL LIFE? This reboot once more told the exact same story about the Smurfs, with Smurfette again questioning her identity and with Gargamel again scheming to use Smurfette to destroy the Smurfs. An unhinged dude who abuses women and who wants to destroy his blue enemies—what else even needs to be said to underline how much Gargamel would vote for Trump?
CHARLIZE WITH DREADLOCKS IN F8: FATE OF THE FURIOUS
Does it feel like The Fast and the Furious bubble has popped? Yes, F8 was a commercial success. But the production was riddled with rumors about how much Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel hated each other, the absence of Paul Walker significantly affected the film’s narrative, and there’s been weird social media drama in the past few months with Tyrese and Johnson. And really, what was the point of Charlize Theron’s Cipher villain? She wanted to obtain the world’s nuclear arsenal … to bully them into international cooperation? She wanted more bombs … to avert violence? None of that logic makes sense, and her character didn’t even die at the end, so we’ll inevitably get more of this gobblygook with F9. Cipher was a villain whose entire plan was to create anarchy to create peace, and that sounds so much like Steve Bannon that I’m just gonna go ahead and peg her as a Trump voter and move on.
THE STORM KING, PR-HUNGRY WARLORD, IN MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE
Amid all the relentlessly cute, intensely pastel optimism of My Little Pony: The Movie, there is only one character who truly and aggressively pushes against that hopefulness: the Storm King, a warlord primarily obsessed with his own image. He forces minions to sell crappy, mass-produced merchandise with his face on them. He lies to female characters to steal their power and influence. He has a bombastic spokesperson who spins and fabricates to get his message across to those he wants to subjugate. And he has no problem with betraying his own followers when they stop approving of everything he does. For the Storm King, all PR is good PR, and it’s completely believable that he would see a kindred spirit in our 45th president.
TOM CRUISE, RUNNING AND DOING LITTLE ELSE, IN THE MUMMY
A defense contractor who double crosses women and foreign nationals he thinks are beneath him as a white American man, who can barely speak Arabic, and who looks ludicrous in a keffiyeh, and yet has made his entire career pillaging treasures from the Middle East even though he only has a vague idea of which country he is actually in when he’s doing it. He’s essentially Hobby Lobby in human form. Of course this guy voted for Trump.