Not For Small Children

 

“The Nephilim were on the earth in those days---and also afterward---when the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans, who bore children to them.  These were the heroes that were of old, warriors of renown.”  (Genesis 6:4)

 

“Hancock” is about a Superhero with an attitude.  Will Smith plays John Hancock, a drunken bum on a park bench by night, and a clumsy, destructive, insulting, unrepentant, swaggering hero by day.  It takes a P.R. guy (Jason Bateman) whom he rescued to finally start to straighten him out, but his wife (Charlize Theron) seems instantly hostile to the whole idea.  It turns out she has good reason.  Even Hancock’s penitential time in the penitentiary doesn’t quite earn him the respect and affection he craves, but then, who counted on a Nephilim amnesiac?

“Hancock” is an offbeat, irreverent, decidedly different treatment of the usual superhero action flick.  Not designed for small children.

 

“The Love Guru” isn’t designed for small children, either.  Mike Myers utilizes his own peculiar brand of adolescent humor to poke fun at self-important self-help gurus, as well as make some wry social commentary:  a black superstar hockey player, an innocent young female sports team executive, a cross-eyed learned monk, and a belligerent dwarf as a head coach.  Well, it’s all visual and superficial, more to be experienced than explained, the kind of jokes that are more chuckles than belly laughs, but a sort of innocent juvenile comedy that is more farce than fiction.

 

“Hellboy” is another superhero with an attitude.  Ron Perlman reprises his wise-cracking, cigar-chomping, devil-on-steroids comic-book character, but his save-the-humans exploits are somehow not appreciated by a fickle populace (see “Hancock”).  When a highbrow art auction results in a mysterious ancient crown being stolen for its mythical power to call forth an invincible army, our reluctant hero must save the helpless, ungrateful populace from certain destruction, but he creates plenty of his own havoc in the process.  Inventive and fanciful but not sappy or silly.  Though he’s gentle enough for a love interest (Selma Blair), “Hellboy 2” is still too violent for small children.

 

Questions For Discussion:

1)      Do you have any theories on what is meant by “The Nephilim” in Genesis 6?

2)      Is it irreverent to make a hero figure out a red demon with horns and tail?

3)      Is it sacrilegious to make a superhero figure who claims divine origin?

 

Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Greenville , Texas