[21 July 2010]
PopMatters Associate Multimedia Editor
Of all the video game avatars that provide ample space for the adolescent male psyche to project into, perhaps none is better suited than Kratos from the God of War series. While Darksiders borrows heavily from the classic Warhammer style of hulking armor or Solid Snake nails the perfect soldier, Kratos is just pure seething id. Interrupted only by the occasional sex romp, he does nothing except smash, kill, and destroy anything that crosses him. The character works nicely because underneath all that are a lot of awkward emotions and guilt because Kratos accidentally killed his wife and child mid-kill-a-thon. Every teenager feels a lot of frustration and anger growing up and sometimes it feels good to express those feelings by tearing something ’s head off.
That’s what makes this particular spoof a bit sharper than your average gamer satire. Borrowing from a long list of sad-bastard man films like Garden State, Rushmore, and The Royal Tenenbaums, it takes that basic film formula and mixes it with the characters from God of War. The weird thing is that it works, mostly because both Kratos and the broken males starring in those types of films have a lot in common underneath the surface. Max Fischer might start clubs instead of killing Gods, but there’s still that same basic archetype at work. Joining in with the trailer’s spirit of coming across as a pretentious prick, perhaps there’s a little bit of Kratos in all of us?
The song in the video is ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.