The young man who is our protagonist lived a life of parties: fast women, loud music, & strong booze. His father despised him for squandering wealth & status in this way, but perhaps the old man, busy with political scandals in his media empire, never really loved women… When the old man dies, his boy suddenly realizes that the good times are gone.
Failure to take over his father’s business & to manage it properly would humiliate him too much. Now there are no more excuses for his laziness. The energy he put into debauchery has to translate into something more serious. But he was annoyed by his father’s preaching, who apparently ran his newspapers as attacks in speeches on the political corruption of the city, so he is going to start his campaign by deeds, not speeches, & by embracing corruption, not by avoiding it.
The father’s failure as a moralist will be replaced by the son’s success as an immoralist. The son has such respect for the laws that he only kills criminals, whom the laws profess to hate, & he does it secretly, so the laws are not forced to destroy him. In short, he proposes to become the biggest criminal. He does not do it for the money, proving that power beats money every time.
The enemies of this new kind of hero are all criminals, but the most powerful is the most important. This criminal learns that it is not enough to be an efficient criminal, you also need a fearsome reputation, otherwise other criminals will not respect you. Especially the threat of ruthlessness, backed by well-timed exemplary executions, makes this reputation. When once lesser criminals fear you mean murder, they will think you merciful & generous for sparing their lives.
Our hero learns that you come up in the world not by telling people you are better than they are & that you want to take power, but by promising them relief from those who oppress them. Crime oppresses law-abiding citizens, for they fear violent death, & so a hero as bad as the worst criminal can give them the security they so desperately want. But also politicians oppress the people, because they want to make the laws & run people’s lives.
Conspiracy is the political name for the hero’s private life. Secrecy is required in order to break the laws effectively, even if for the public good. People would be outraged to have their savior accused of crimes & that would destroy any chance of glory. When the hero learns to unravel enemy conspiracies, he learns from them to create his own conspiracy, to win himself glory by hiding the truth about himself.
More comedy than action, this is a film recommended only for fans of Seth Rogen