As we lurch into the slow-motion hysteria of the summer election season, movies aren't serving up the pure escapist crack we depend on them for. Instead, almost every movie stars a tormented Gen-X or Baby Boomer white guy, who's trying to atone for using his power to make the world a worse place. Welcome to the summer of guilt.
Past year's big summer movies usually starred Luke Skywalker archetypes, straight out of Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey." The young hero discovers that he (or occasionally she) has a super-heroic destiny and amazing powers. And over the course of figuring out how to wield those powers and fulfill that destiny, the young hero has to confront some father figure (like daddy Anakin) who has crapped all over his world. Part of the hero's task is to redeem the fallen father figure. "Daddy, you bastard — it's all good," that sort of thing.