A middle-aged Anglo-Saxon man in a tight blue stretch suit that barely holds his saggy flub wields his weapon against a bald Chinese man. — Dramatic background music chimes in as the white man starts to clobber the Chinese. American audiences become raucous as if they witnessed the return of Captain America or Han Solo, while the audiences from other countries, eyes glazed, glance at the agitated Chinese audiences leaving the theatre.
This American film from which this scene is taken, "The Axis of Evil: Huawei — Attack of the non-Caucasian" is, unlike the American producer's hope, flopping drastically at box offices throughout the world except in America just like its prequel, "The Axis of Evil: 9/11 — Attack of the Middle East". To avoid failure, first off, it should have starred a young, burly blonde actor whose first name is either Henry or Chris — this would have made the audience like the macho protagonist "Donald" better. Second, it should have built up a better storyline to have clarified that the antagonist "Xi" is a real villain: Hitherto, every audience except Chinese and American deems both characters unlikeable and cannot define who the real antagonist is.
In the beginning of the movie, U.S. officials, at U.S. President Trump's behest, announces charges against Chinese tech giant Huawei, accusing it of breaching sanctions against Iran and of being potential cyber-security threat to the U.S. due to its close tie with the Communist Party of China and hidden backdoors in its products. Eventually, in the middle of the movie, Trump declares — The Trade War — against "a competitor that is not Caucasian." in the name of justice and American national security.
Ironically, throughout the entire movie, Trump does not prove whether Huawei's phone has a backdoor to spy on Americans or Huawei does business with Iran. Unsurprisingly, the producer of the movie erred on the prequel as well.
In the prequel, in his State of the Union Address, "...States like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world," U.S. president Bush firmly states, designating North Korea, Iran, and Iraq as the Axis of Evil. And later on, the U.S-led alliance invades Iraq, accusing it of harboring weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and a close tie with Al-Qaeda; The Iraq War leads to tens of thousands of death. Again, the protagonist does not prove Iraq's harboring WMDs or connection with Al-Qaeda.
Furthermore, the U.S. is not also entirely immune to the blames when it comes to espionage activity against China. In the movie, before the age of XI, China claims to have found 30 surveillance bugs on a Boeing 767 that is delivered from the U.S. to serve as then-President Jiang Zemin's official aircraft. Beijing accuses the CIA of its involvement while the CIA denies its claim. Not fishy at all.
My analysis of the movie so far might seem to be leaning toward antagonist's side and being critical of the protagonist's unlikeable features. However, what makes this movie very boring and confusing is that the Chinese character, supposedly an antagonist, shares the same unlikeable traits as the American character does.
China, ranked 177th out of 179 countries on the World Press Freedom Index according to Reporting Without Border (RSF), bullies small neighboring countries such as South Korea, Hong Kong, Xin Jiang, Tibet, etc.
For Instance, a few years before The Trade War starts, the South Korean government strikes a deal with Washington to deploy a U.S. missile defense system, Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD). Beijing gets a little grouchy and claims the radar could be used by the U.S. to spy on China and consequently levies sanctions against Seoul. The sanctions unofficially ban Chinese tour agencies from providing group tours to Korea and call on consumers to boycott Hyundai and Lotte - giant Korean conglomerates.
As a result, the Korean government raises a white flag. Such a tactic is defined as doghouse diplomacy in a diplomatic term while it is "being an ass" in modern parlance. Frankly, the U.S. is also not shy about using this strategy throughout the movie, which makes it either a clever strategist or simply an ass.
Rising tensions in the global market, a stranglehold on weak countries, and fierce division between people on who is right or wrong; the movie ends with those scenes showing up respectively on the screen. The producer leaves the audiences to decide the real winner of the Trade War with an open ending. Beforehand, the real question should be answered — whichever character is The Good, the Bad or the Ugly again?
Dylan Yang; firstname.lastname@example.org