Having braved throngs of small children and big adults to see the latest Marvel-Disney installment of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (Vol. 2), it occurred to me about halfway through the film that I was witnessing either a blatant and potentially offensive religious rip-off or a brilliant bit of parody, or possibly a prophetic satire aimed at simplistic Christian incarnationalism. (See what comes of too much education?)
Apart from kill-joy spoilerism, suffice it to say that the main plot, imbedded among a host of hyperkinetic subplots, focuses on the siring of a divine-human hybrid on an unsuspecting young woman in a rural backwater by what appears to be an all-powerful celestial and seemingly immortal if not exactly eternal Being who longs for a Son with Whom He can rule the universe. Said semi-divine Son doesn’t have a clue who He really is and in fact is taken to be a common thief and consort of rabble until His awakening. (It’s clear He’s awakened because His eyes go strange. A sure sign.) Happily for orthodox Christians, the theology is di-theistic, not Trinitarian. The Holy Spirit is nowhere to be found. Maybe…
As satire, willful or otherwise, the film powerfully puts down the notion of a humanesque divinity intent on ruling the universe by actually merging with it… a sort of crazy-eyed pantheism. In a possible glance toward Process theology, this is no omniscient, really almighty, infinite, actually eternal, and ubiquitous spiritual presence, but an evolving deity… and not a very nice one at that. But in a deft move borrowed from STAR WARS and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, the locus of divine power is luckily found, whacked, and all ends more or less well in a paean to true fatherhood (motherhood having been sacrificed to the needs of plot development).
All in all, it was not the most appropriate film to watch on a Mother’s Day afternoon, but it did transcend MOMMIE DEAREST. It was also a lot of hyperkinetic fun.