Sacrilege In Entertainment?

In the first ‘Gantz’ movie (see trailer below at around 46 seconds), a Vajrakumara (Dharma Protector guardian diety), a thousand arm Guanyin Bodhisattva and a Buddha statue in a museum were revealed to be aliens in disguise, who were disturbed by the Gantz corps, leading to a bloody battle to the death. Now this might be just for creative entertainment, but an adult Buddhist friend who saw the movie did leave a little shakened… especially when she saw similar images in temples later! It’s as if the images will never be as sacred any more?

As such, I don’t think the scenes featured were appropriate – in demonising what represents the most holy. In Singapore, due to the violent scenes, the movie is rated for those above 16. But look at what happened to my friend above 16! I dread how the anti-Buddhist image scenes will affect non-Buddhists, especially those who already habitually demonise them due to ‘religious’ reasons. And surely, it won’t do free-thinkers much good either. Would anyone ‘spoof’ other religious characters to such effect on the big screen without fear of stepping on sensitive toes? Unlikely. The tolerance of Buddhists is sometimes a good thing, but sometimes it means they are easily bullied too.

In case you are wondering if the movie is worth the ticket, it’s in a sense a mix of Ghostbusters, Men In Black and The Matrix, while not being as good or original as any of them. At least, clearly not to me!