Redline and The Straight Cougar Corollary

With the blu ray version of Redline dropping in a few days I thought I’d share my thoughts after recollecting them from my first viewing. Obviously, I noticed the unique and top notch animation, and I certainly appreciated the fan service, even if the story was a bit simple. Some would say making the animation eye candy was its only goal. I reject that line of thinking. Just because a story is simple, does not mean there isn’t a message or theme. Yi (at Listless Ink) suggests that the movie is a metaphor for oral sex, and she makes a convincing argument. However, I’m more inclined to think that the fan service in this movie was included just for the sake of fan service. Instead, I think the movie gives off a more pull yourself up by your bootstraps, overcome all obstacles, and hard work overcomes all type of message. But in the grand scheme of things, my opinion is only one of many, and that is what makes Redline work.

I’m not really going to get into my theories too much as that isn’t the point of the post, but for those of you who have seen the movie, JP’s rise to the top involved a little luck, overcoming a litany of foes, one of the galaxy’s best armies, biochemical weapons, corruption, internal sabotage, all while trying to find the love of his life. While most of these circumstances and obstacles aren’t likely to be encountered in the real world, isn’t this type of struggle many of us face. Think about the modern workplace. All these workers are trying to move up in the world, while competing against each other, while facing possible backstabbing, while still trying to balance their work life with their personal lives. It is by no means easy, but Redline seems to suggest that it is possible to have it all, despite what those OWS protesters might say. As they say, there is no crying in death defying intergalactic races to the death. Man up.

This doesn’t mean that I think other interpretations are wrong. To some, Redline is nothing more than a visual delight. To others, like Yi, it’s a metaphor for sex. But maybe that’s the point. Why would people pour seven years of their life into making a good looking movie with no purpose? That would be a very difficult project to get excited about, and would ultimately be dull and dry.

Instead, isn’t it more likely that X number of guys in a studio over the first few years of the project would inevitably come up with multiple layers of story (some likely improvised over the course of some sake, given the movie’s nature). As Straight Cougar used to say, anyone could write a bestselling novel if they had twenty years to do it  These guys had a comparable amount of time. Wouldn’t the corollary to this piece of wisdom be that if you spend a lot of time on a story, it would have to be good (assuming you don’t have a moron at the wheel). That doesn’t mean that everyone understands or sees every layer of the story, but they are there. Thus, Redline, in a way, is like a kid’s movie with adult jokes and political references in them. It works for everyone.

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