The Russian-villain-stereotype is back.
I’m sure Michael Bay is furiously penning a script for Red Dawn 3: Better Dead than Red (2023) as we speak. Demonising persons of Middle Eastern appearance was getting old, so it is serendipitous to see the Red Menace back in action.
It’s like Putin wants to be the bad guy.
So, how many franchises will Hollywood dust off to make Americans feel better, I wonder?
Sylvester Stallone’s roid-shrivelled testicles may not be capable of another punch in the ring from Ivan Drago Mk 2, but he could definitely re-write his rumoured Rocky Balboa (2006) sequel by introducing another zero-to-hero contender to steady America’s quaking heart.
Take that, Ivan!
Stallon, at the same time could carve another notch in the Rambo franchise and bring John J. out of retirement. Stallone doesn’t need to work on his vascularity for this sequel, he just needs guns and an excuse.
“Unfinished business” maybe.
We won’t get a remake of Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) until it’s over, but while Putin is murdering Ukrainians the new Bond (whoever she is) can get out there and spank some Commie ass.
Unfortunately, in real life the Russians aren’t the “bumbling, incompetent foils” depicted in American pop culture.
For example, while the Red Army learned a hard lesson from the Winter War of 1939 (that it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog), the Russians still won. Finland lost a third of it’s landmass, and a quarter of it’s adult male population.
Does anyone really think Putin will stop at Ukraine?
Finland’s stunningly attractive Prime Minister Sanna Marin doesn’t think so.
She knows her country shares the longest land border with Russia of any country in the EU. Her country’s population is eight times less than Ukraine’s, their defence force vastly smaller. She knows, despite much public hand-wringing, that no help came when half a million Russians invaded her country in 1939.
In January 1940, Winston Churchill impotently said, “We cannot tell what the fate of Finland may be, but no more mournful spectacle could be presented…than that this splendid northern race should be at last worn down and reduced to servitude worse than death by the dull brutish force of overwhelming numbers.“
Platitudes, Winston. What’s worse than death, you idiot?
Why didn’t you help?
All I can hope for is that a Ukrainian version of Finland’s Simo Hayha (aka ‘The White Death’) emerges from this conflict, just to give the Russians pause. For fear of prodding the Soviet bear, the cavalry is not riding to the rescue, and nowhere except Hollywood is it better to be dead than red.