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We go to the movies for a lot of reasons: to laugh, to cry, to be scared, to escape. However, the best movies can enlighten and challenge us; by the time we leave the theater, if we're lucky, we may just learn something. With that in mind, we at RT compiled a list of things we took away from 2008's cinematic slate -- and don't worry, there won't be a quiz at the end.
According to the two biggest action movies of this summer, the most effective way for the disgustingly ultra-wealthy to exorcise their demons is to slap on an expensive, hi-tech suit of armor and beat up on bad guys. First it was Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), the former boy genius who came to lead (and improve) his father's industrial tech company in Iron Man. After a brief stint as a terrorist hostage brings about a moment of clarity, Tony shuts down the military arm of his company, builds himself a spiffy robosuit, and declares war on, well, war.
Just a couple months later, another young member of the "trust fund brigade" by the name of Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) returned to the public consciousness to remind us Tony Stark wasn't alone. Now Bruce, who also inherited his father's commercial empire, has previously had the nuances of his psyche explained, but his moral code was never challenged more than in The Dark Knight. And yet again, he turns to the R&D department of his father's company to gear up with goodies and gadgets, including a new suit of armor, to "work through" his issues by knocking out evildoers. The takeaway from all this, naturally, is that rich kids have issues, and vigilante justice is the best therapy.
There's been a lot of talk in recent years about the state of our planet and what effect we, as humans, may or may not have had on it. Since this is RT, and we obviously take all our cues in life from the movies, 2008 tells us we're in for a world of hurt, people. First of all, if there was ever any confusion about whether or not plants are sentient beings, The Happening cleared all of that up. When people in New York and Philadelphia mysteriously begin committing mass suicide, high school science teacher Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg) flees the big city with his wife and a couple of friends. Soon enough, they discover that the phenomenon was perpetrated by the surrounding flora in response to eons of human maltreatment. Airborne toxin-induced autogenocide was the obvious solution.
But let's say we nip that problem in the bud (no pun intended) somehow; unfortunately we're still not out of the woods (pun intended). As 2008's The Day the Earth Stood Still showed us, we are being carefully observed by an alien race that won't hesitate to exterminate us all in order to save Earth. It doesn't help our case much when their handsome ambassador Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) finally arrives and the first thing we do is put him in the hospital with a gunshot wound. If only one of their killer robots can decimate half our army, it's probably best to try not to tick them off. And even if we manage to avoid these outcomes, there's still the issue of trash buildup. If WALL-E is any indication, we may just end up abandoning the planet altogether, dooming ourselves to a life of hi-tech, spacebound supercomfort and effectively rendering our endoskeletons useless. Final conclusions: we must destroy all plant life pronto, detain Keanu Reeves until further notice, and drink more milk.