Baby Boomers Stole the American Dream, but Young People Can Take It Back – Fast Company, Mar 22, 2018
The Widest Generation Gap In History is Between Baby Boomers and Millennials (“Baby Boomers were set up to succeed; so, why do they love complaining about millennials so much?”) – The Outline, Mar 17, 2018
Six Ways Millennials Will Clean Up The Mess Baby Boomers Left Them – Chicago Sun-Times, Mar 14, 2018
It’s Ludicrous To Blame Baby Boomers Like Me For The Troubles Faced By Millennials – The Telegraph, Mar 6, 2018
7 Ways Life Is Harder For Millennials Than It Was For Their Parents – Business Insider, Mar 19, 2018
Millennials May Have It Easier Than Their Parents Or Grandparents Did – Business Insider, Mar 24, 2018
Since the dawn of the new millennium, as Baby Boomers realized that their time clocks were counting down, a gigantic wave of a midlife crisis descended upon Western Civilization and it hasn’t stopped for nearly 20 years. Ever since I came of age as a Millennial cuspy, I’ve been subjected to article after article of yellow journalists posting long frothing rants about Baby Boomers going to war with Millennials (completely ignoring Gen X), and Millennials having to undo all the damage done by the Baby Boomers. The ferocity of these articles overdramatically increased in the wake of America’s real world demonstration of the generation gap illustrated by 2015’s Rise of Bernie Youth and 2016’s Downfall of Hillary. To wit, all six of the articles I posted at the start of this review were posted in the past 25 days, and I found them through a Google News search of “Baby Boomers.”
That generation gap – the sheer desperation exhibited by Baby Boomers clinging to their Reaganite and Clintonian political climate – comes to a vicious violent head in Brian Taylor’s new horror-comedy Mom and Dad. Brent Ryan (Nicolas Cage in a bravura Balls-to-the-Wall performance) is yet another white male middle class baby boomer going through another midlife crisis. His career took a tumble (going from $145k to $45k) while one of his two kids is gearing up for college. While Brian mentally checks out of life, his wife Kendall (Selma Blair, being fearlessly awesome as usual) is trying to hold everything together while still keeping up with the Joneses by going to yoga classes and getting Starbucks with her best mom friends.
One day, it all breaks.
Out of nowhere, every parent in this thoroughly midwestern suburb is suddenly driven to kill their kids. Not any other kids; just their own. In the cold open, a mom leaves her infant in an SUV on a railroad track just moments before a train plows through. That’s just the beginning of a murderous plague that takes over the minds of a whole generation, driving them to murder the next generations in a fit of mass filicide. Families wait outside the high school fence for the final bell to ring before they destroy their young like a pack of wild animals. Fathers glare impatiently outside the maternity ward’s nursery waiting to rip their newborn children to pieces.
Why are all of the adults seemingly hellbent on destroying their own youth, the generation set to replace them? Is it a case of knowing they’re about to be replaced by newer and better models? Is it the television and radio sending messages that the new generation is the enemy? Or is it a midlife crisis as Brent longingly remembers doing donuts in a parking lot as a topless woman strides his lap in his Firebird?
Unlike The Happening, to which this film is deeply indebted, Mom and Dad is less interested about why people are suddenly committing acts of horrific violence than it is in the gonzo what the fuckness of it all. Directed by Brian Taylor, one half of the team that brought us Crank, Mom and Dad never abandons the rampant ridiculousness of its concept. Whether Nicolas Cage is destroying a pool table to while screaming that constant wedding song The Hokey Pokey, or Selma Blair is yelling at Brian about his mid-life crisis, Taylor always remembers that what we’re watching is as horrifying as it is absurd.
What does drive a generation to eradicate or destroy its children? Why would a generation want to leave the world in a worse place than they received it? What are the driving factors in this society gone insane? Instead of killing their youth with bad policy, crippling debt, soaring living costs and condescension, these parents are using knives, baseball bats, and gas lines to do their bidding. Mom and Dad is the zeitgeistiest black comedy since Cheap Thrills, putting a murderous metaphor on everything going wrong with society.
Or, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this film is just an apolitical good time at the movies literalizing generational warfare. Either way, Mom and Dad is non-stop psychotic ownage.