Why the Droogs in ‘Space Jam 2’?
For the most part, the internet received the Space Jam 2 trailer appropriately: as an advertisement to get people to watch the movie. But devoted netizens quickly spotted all manner of Warner Brothers property cameos in the individual frames of the trailer, making Space Jam 2 an entry into the hyperactive SEO pop culture SEO Ready Player One style. It ranges from obvious choices, like King Kong, Wizard of Oz, and the various incarnations of DC Comics properties, to obscure ones, with likes like Jabberjaw, the Goonies, and Curious George. And then there’s probably the trailer’s most inexplicable cameo – the Droogs from A Clockwork Orange.
You will certainly recognize the images of Stanley Kubrick A 1971 classic, even if you’ve never seen the movie yourself. The Droogs wear quirky white jumpsuits, with flies that give the vague appearance of a superhero costume, with black bowler hats, canes and shoes that give off the vibe of the Hollywood musicals of the age. Golden. The costumes were a confusing mishmash of classic and futuristic style even when the movie was still new, and only accentuated by the bizarre demeanor of the Droogs themselves. Violent gang and drug addict, they speak in a fictitious dialect that evokes both Eastern European gangsters and English chimney sweeps. It allows for a sort of bizarre charm even in the film’s most vile scenes that involve graphic depictions of murder and rape alongside cheerful music sung in the character.
That the Droogs warrant an appearance in Space Jam 2 simply as an iconic Warner Brothers property makes sense. But the move takes a strange irony in the wake of the production’s highly controversial decision that famous Looney Tunes skunk Pepe LePew would not return, even in cameo form, due to the presumption that he is representative of the rape culture. Pepe LePew is largely an artifact from a very different era. Nonetheless, even when the character was still relevant, role reversals on Pepe LePew were quite common. Several Looney Tunes shorts actually make up reasons for Penelope, the poorly painted cat with affections that are too enamored with the French skunk, to be the one who chases and terrorizes in the name of an overly aggressive romantic pursuit.
You can’t make Droogs look heroic
Such a negative interpretation is nowhere near so obvious with the Droogs. Over time, critics and historians have interpreted A Clockwork Orange as a classic, seeing its disturbing X-rated presentation as artistic license. He joined the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress last year alone. But when Warner Brothers first released A Clockwork Orange to a wider audience, the response was much more hostile. Several countries banned the film amid a persistent source of outrage among social organizations that the film simply made the Droogs’ behavior glamorous and cool, with copy crimes becoming a sufficient public issue that Kubrick himself argued for. that the UK is banning. the film.
The apparent redemption of A Clockwork Orange has nothing to do with making the footage in the film less gruesome. The simple fact is, as a relegated classic, A Clockwork Orange is less and less of a movie that people have actually seen rather than a movie that they just heard about. The Droogs themselves aren’t even the most distinctive feature. This honor belongs to the oft-repeated and parodied scene in which Droog’s leader is strapped to a chair, drugged, eyes forcibly held open with the distinctive device that also replenishes the moisture in his eyes as he gazes at pictures. depraved images and associates them with intense physical pain. The fact that this scene, and indeed this whole plot point, seems to portray the monstrous main character in a sympathetic light didn’t help A Clockwork Orange in its controversial debut execution.
The whole background behind the Droogs and A Clockwork Orange mainly serves to highlight a pretty absurd point about the current reign of moral policing in the entertainment industry. What the content actually says matters a lot less than its hazy image. Pepe LePew is a French skunk rapist so he has to go. Never mind that the original cartoons portray him as a jester, a deliberate contrast to his overly fictionalized dialogue, and that he’s not a character no one would want to emulate.
Meanwhile, the Droogs are criminals, but they look cool, and they’re a reminder that Warner Brothers have produced a lot of culturally relevant films that you can’t just quantify as popcorn entertainment. Regardless of the fact that in the event that a teenager watched A Clockwork Orange based on that cameo, it’s easy enough to imagine that he would have thought the Droogs had some great ideas. Why not? Do you remember the Joker speech? The main difference is that the Droogs don’t have a real material basis for their beliefs, they just rape and kill for fun. But that hardly makes a significant difference when it comes to the motivations of violent criminals in real life.
The whole notion of moral discourse in entertainment is absurd. The contrast between Pepe LePew and The Droogs in Space Jam 2 demonstrates that even the people responsible for making these decisions don’t really believe them, or at least haven’t given them much thought. This is, as always, a question of money and arbitrary assumptions as to whether adding or removing a given rapist from a production will improve or decrease the results. We should always remember this whenever Hollywood claims to take a stand for moral reasons.