February 11, 2011 / Mediation, Uncategorized
In 1991, the Academy Award for Best Picture went to the disturbing psycho thriller, The …
May 28, 2011
The ballyhooed and much anticipated comedy, The Hangover Part II, was released in theaters across the country this week. Just as the first film, the movie is backdropped with a pending wedding, which sets the constant tension in the film, as the frenzied (and exaggerated) situations of the “wolfpack” threaten to ruin the wedding.
This time, the unfortunate trio is caught in Bangkok, a place which proves unwelcoming to the three. They lose their friend, get involved in destructive riots, and one (Bradley Cooper‘s character) even gets shot. Surely it goes without saying, but this is one enduring “adventure” that few would willing endeavor.
This, however, is not a review (undoubtedly, there will be enough of those around the internet). Instead, we ask the question, what is the theological import of the film (i.e. if there is one)? Doubtless, there are many, but one that strikes most prominently is the film’s egregious disregard for repentance and proper judgment.
After a night of debauchery, and a day of crude events, the film concludes with the proverbial happy ending – marriage. Sure, the characters have their share of misfortunes, but, as most American films, the movie redeems all the frayed events with a joyous occasion.
As entertaining as the movie may be, it subtly (maybe not so subtly) suggests that base behavior goes without real, concrete consequence, and that people can have happy endings (e.g. a fabulous wedding) without due chastisement. This, of course, has no echo in Holy Writ.
No one will enjoy the marriage supper of the Lamb (per Revelation 19) apart from righteous deeds (v8). Jesus is bringing his “recompense” with him (Revelation 22:12), and those who have not been washed in the atoning blood of the Lamb will not gain “the right to the tree of life;” nor shall they “enter the [glorious] city through the gates.” Rather, “the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood” will remain “outside” the gate. Simply put, no wedding; no marriage; no happy ending.
Doubtless, the message of Revelation intersects The Hangover Part II at a crucial (and eternally relevant) crossroad. The final, heavenly wedding will be accompanied with deep and tragic judgment. This is an important message, which RELEVANT Magazine well observes, when it writes,
The Hangover Part II sets morals aside and both glamorizes and makes light of sin. Even if it’s just supposed to be silly entertainment, there’s no getting around that.