Black Mirror : Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

Seriously, it was a very cool twist. Not that predictable as in Nosedive and San Junipero... and the rest of the eps really. Damn "15 million merits" gotta be its counterpart, so overrated and basic to my liking. Such a great metaphor for these crude times we're living right now with the refugees and race supremacy and what not.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

No one really understood the ending there.

So yes, the metaphor was nice, but they didn't "bring it home".


Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?


No one really understood the ending there.


I thought that the ending was that he still decided to keep his memory and go against a renewal of brainwashing.
The end basically shows that even his girlfriend was just an illusion and he gets home to a miserable place that he chose over the killing of people without a conscious.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

He was told that if he didn't have his memory wiped, he would be incarcerated. The fact that he's not in a prison shows us that he did not choose to rebel. We're shown the reality of the home that he's going to, but also how he sees it. So he accepted the renewed brainwashing, because being shown what he'd really done again and again was intolerable. I just watched this episode.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

i think most people dont understand the metaphor.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

Both because of the metaphor not being so obvious aaand the fact that this has been done to hell. I know the movie was terrible, but The Fifth Wave with Chloe Moretz just did something like this where they were lied to due to some implant thing if I'm remembering right. Ignoring the fact it was aliens turning humans against humans instead of humans turning humans against humans, it's still very familiar. And in every season of a show there's bound to be an episode where people just say "it wasn't the best, so it falls to the last spot on my list." I personally didn't care for it because it's overdone and the episode generally just wasn't that great. Fifteen Million Merits is one of my favorite Black Mirror episodes of all time, though.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

Yeah. I predicted what was happening early on. I'd seen the same twist in The Fifth Wave, Star Trek: TNG, and a few other things. So it was bland to me because of that predictability.

The best part of the episode for me was the fact that he went back to the fake perception. I've never seen a story where someone ate the blue pill after being woken up to reality. Usually they become gung-ho about fighting against the system. The fact that he didn't go that route was a nice twist. It was actually the one I was rooting for once I knew where the story was going, but didn't think I'd get.

Clever things make people feel stupid and unexpected things make them feel scared

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

there's also 1984. slightly different, though, in that he wanted to fight the system but in the end he was defeated, not caught and locked up or killed, but corrupted and set free again as an advocate of the system.

Re: Why is 'Men against fire' so underrated!?

I thought it was the best of the "Netflix" season, for sure! I was so surprised that the San Junipero episode was so much more highly rated. I thought that this episode was thought provoking and meaningful. I liked Stripe, and the "roaches" -and even the so called villains. The San Junipero one was not nearly as good- at least to me.

Re: Why is 'Men against fire' so underrated!?

Agree. I liked San Junipero just because it was so emotional and nostalgic but that's it.

Re: Why is 'Men against fire' so underrated!?

Agreed. There were things I liked about San Junipero, and it ranks higher for me than Man Against Fire, because it was better handled...but I'm still confused about the praise. I don't think it was that emotionally hard-hitting, and I don't think the "Black Mirror" commentary was tacked on that well. It almost felt like a meaningless episode after I watched, because I don't think the commentary on technology/eternity etc was handled that well in the conclusion. It almost felt like a cop-out to have a happily every after without exploring the dark side to spending an eternity in San Junipero could mean.

A rose is just a rose.

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Re: Why is 'Men against fire' so underrated!?

For me the darkest part about SJ was that this was a great ending as opposed to death. Guess which one we're getting?

Re: Why is 'Men against fire' so underrated!?

The people in charge are worse than Hitler. This was a Eugencis war. People who think are racially pure (no such thing BTW) are trying to destroy the "impure". Their enemy is the human race.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

also: boooooooooooooobs

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

It was a pretty good episode, but I think this show isn't very good at endings. This episode, Playtest, Hate in the Nation, etc all have pretty crappy end scenes. Like others have mentioned, other shows/movies have had similar twists, including The Outer Limits.


I never saved anything for the swim back.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

I thought Playtest had a satisfying ending. So many M. Night Shenanigan-esque twists. I thought I knew how it would end. Then, when the twist happeed, I guessed again. Then, I had to guess again. Then, the ending happened and it was over! What a twist!

Hated In The Nation had a great ending, too. The joke's on the players.

The joke's always on the players. :)

-kat

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

I don't like "it was all a dream" twists as far as Playtest goes. For Hate in the Nation I was talking about the cop following the guy down the street and it going off without a conclusion. I was okay with the players died twist.


I never saved anything for the swim back.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

I thought the twist in Men Against Fire was very predictable, given that at this point in the series we've already seen the idea of perception altered by technology in White Christmas and Playtest. Same with the twist in Nosedive; the title alone gives away the plot of the episode. San Junipero though.. I didn't see that coming.

Re: Why is 'Men against fire' so underrated!?

Wow... Interesting. It happened to you with SJ and to me with MAF lol

I knew what was going on in San Junipero by the first quarter hour mostly because the suspicious lack of technology. My first thought was... "Oh this gotta be a hideaway, an escape, a playpretend where they go all hedonistic and forget about technology for a while."

Re: Why is 'Men against fire' so underrated!?

I saw both twists for SJ and MAF within their first act, but it was still an enjoyable ride. The writing team still have fun with the endings. The hour length really lends well to those twisted/dark end frames; it makes you want more!

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

Yeah, I'm confused by the outright hate for it. I don't think the twist was that unpredictable but I loved the commentary about military. I'm wondering if the large majority of haters are American or something.

I think it's a pretty flawed episode..the reason for making the roaches into monsters wasn't that great of a twist, it felt very heavy-handed and was almost unnecessary. The simple commentary about turning out 'enemies', whoever these enemies may be, into monsters was deep enough. Having an argument about creating the perfect race was a layer they didn't adeptly handle and made the episode a bit too manipulative.

The ending needed work, of course, but I can forgive it because I loved what they were trying to do on a basic level with the anti-military message.

A rose is just a rose.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

sadly, in reality throughout history, people don't even need such mods. they knowingly kill each other. sorry if thats depressing.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?


sadly, in reality throughout history, people don't even need such mods. they knowingly kill each other. sorry if thats depressing.


you're wrong. there's at least one huge mod called religion.

soldiers in most cases have to be convinced that what they're doing is morally superior or that the enemy is somehow subhuman. and even still you still have people coming back with PTSD.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

The depressing part is that SOME people indeed do kill each other, although some of those people are also brainwashed, albeit not by technological means. Less depressingly, however, is the fact that the figures mentioned in this episode, the percentages of soldiers intentionally missing or not firing at all, are not made up, but based on facts.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

I think Men against fire had a deeper twist past the first act. There is a chance he choose to have his memory intact. Some people argue that he is crying because of repressed emotions, but here is a theory circulating on this board:

The main character is a convict who is offered a second chance by joining the military and implementing MASS after killing his wife / girlfriend. We see this when he has a dream of her in bed, but all of sudden, it's marred by blood when his MASS is glitching out (why would it be marred by blood unless she died?).

After military training, we get the present day main character in the beginning of the episode. He goes through a complete character change and has a better sense of morality.

As someone else mentioned in a different post, Stripe is reliving his series of murders over and over again, starting with the murder of his girlfriend / wife. We see when the doctor is hitting the replay button on the device, his eyes goes into the clear white state, which is what is happening in the end.

If this is in-fact the second twist, the story is quite more chilling and well-crafted.
This theory is pretty good, but only weird that he is in his uniform. If he is relieving his experiences, he shouldn't have been in the military before his girlfriend died, so this is the only part that can break the theory.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

You hit the nail on the head. The large majority of haters are AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE (mostly religious) Trump voters, who believe in WINNING and KILLING THE ENEMY to make America great again.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

It was a cool twist, but my problem was with the military unit. Something about them just felt off, like a direct to DVD Starship Trooper movie. The dialogue and interactions within the unit were very cliche and didn't feel fresh to me at all.

The message was great, but the rest was so-so.

You are what you choose to be. You choose. Choose.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

i thought it was very predictable. It was an ok idea, pretty simple, but they dragged it on without doing anything that amazing with it.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

The reason I personally rated it as the weakest Black Mirror of the season and 2nd weakest of all time is like many people - the twist was too obvious too early on.

It's not about being smart - perhaps I just watch/read a LOT of scifi/psych thrillers, but they gave too many hints too early and then drew out the twists for too long a time. For instance in 'Hated By The Nation' it was obvious to me very early on who/what was causing the deaths but they didn't string me a long very long.

I figured it out early, felt clever for a few minutes and then they revealed it to anyone who didn't catch on shortly after. That's is how you do a solvable twist in fiction. You have to ensure you didn't give too many clues too early on. This one did not do that properly. They left way too long of a gap between figuring out the twist and revealing it - making me bored of the plot and giving me too much time to flesh out all of the related details. I wasn't engaged at all for most of it.

If you are going to make a big twist, don't give too many breadcrumbs too early on - you have to keep all viewers guessing and I agree it isn't an easy balance because different people figure out things at different speeds (Sometimes I am totally behind the curve too, don't worry) - you have to find a happy middleground to keep all viwers engaged. This episode failed miserably at it.

Outside of that I have other issues - the 2nd last scene was too drawn out with a kind of silly scooby doo exposition that made me roll my eyes too many times.

As far as the main theme goes - I liked it. Definitely Black Mirror standard, I'm with you there. Too bad the episode failed me on too many other fronts, and I know I'm not alone.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

Sometimes you're behind the curve too?? Wow, that's pretty amazing for a smart guy like you. I feel a lot better about myself now though, thanks :)

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

I never said I was smart. In fact I specifically stated being smart had nothing to do with figuring out the episode. Looks like we are both smart guys, because you know you never said you were smart just like I didn't, but I will claim you did.

Now we can both be smart.

And to further explain my post - if you were referring to the 'behind the curve' remark, I simply meant that the curve was figuring out the plot early on and not figuring out at all until it was revealed on the other extreme. If it came off as arrogant I do apologize. I liked the person's post and never would have remarked otherwise. I have definitely watched lame James Bond films and have been totally lost while everyone around me is not only completely on top of the plot but also bored of it. Our brains simply work in different ways, it has nothing to do with being "smart" or "stupid".

Anyhow that was my thought process when making the reply.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

Good analysis.

The best twists, though, are executed less by just the right amount of bread crumbs or clues, but by making your audience think you're going one way, then - POW!

Maybe this won't be up your alley at all, but Neil LaBute is a genius at this. He's a playwright, though.

If you want to dive into some absolutely brilliant contemporary writing that does a good job of keeping you guessing, read LaBute's Bash. (Actually a lot of his stuff is like that - I'm particularly thinking of The Shape of Things. But others do this masterfully as well.)

"What else do you like? Lazy? Ugly? Horny? I got 'em all."
"You don't look lazy."

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

Nosedive and San Junipero weren't MEANT to be unpredictable (San Junipero maybe a little), but it's all about the message of the story.


___________________
In Nolan I Trust.
Favorite TV shows: www.imdb.com/list/ls002906535

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

I wondered that too since it's among one of my favorite episodes.

Re: Why is 'Men against fire' so underrated!?

^ This ^. Perfectly said

Re: Why is 'Men against fire' so underrated!?

Kinda of reminded me of the show Utopia

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?


Not that predictable as in Nosedive and San Junipero...


LOL! Okay...

--
There's no such thing as the establishment. Everyone knows that!

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

It's not a cool twist, it's a rehash of an Outer Limits episode called "Hearts and Minds". Also, the ending is bloody bizarre. So many directions that could've went in, but they ended up with this...

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

Honestly I thought the creepiest part was that they still continue the brainwashing AFTER he leaves the service and goes home. That's what was so freaky to me. Shows they will could use the MASS system outside the army as well. Like an upgraded version of the tech in The Entire History of You.

Re: Why is "Men against fire" so underrated!?

My guess at the low rating? There are a lot of sick, twisted *beep* here on these boards. And likely they saw the parallels to how right-wing Fox-bots demonize "others"...particularly Muslims.

They don't like being told Muslims are human beings. They don't like anything that suggests otherwise, or anything that suggests that it's wrong to demonize and "other"-ize the way that they do, so...they give a low rating.

You're right. This was a FANTASTIC episode.

"What else do you like? Lazy? Ugly? Horny? I got 'em all."
"You don't look lazy."
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