Monumental, as far as I can tell after watching the trailer, is a film about Kirk Cameron looking confused:
He is so confused! Why won't you help him?!
But, according to its YouTube page, Monumental is a "high-energy patriotic event [that] will unite audiences in a celebration of America's unique story of faith and freedom." SOUNDS PERFECT! If there's anyone who can prove ONCE AND FOR ALL that the Founding Fathers were totes Christians—and make all of us who actually know that they largely were not, in fact, Christians just STFU already—it's Kirk Cameron. TRUE FACT! Roll the video!
Ominous music. Text Onscreen: KIRK CAMERON PRESENTS
In voiceover, from an old address, Ronald Reagan (YAY!) says (over images of US flags national monuments—subtle!—with engraved words like MORALITY and LIBERTY and TYRANNY): "There are those who would have us believe that the United States has reached the zenith of its power, that we're weak and fearful, reduced to bickering with each other I don't agree that our nation must resign itself to inevitable decline."
This is an unintentionally perfect quote for which to start the trailer for this film, because, just like Reagan would invoke all kinds of threats to imply national weakness and engender individual fear, only to then be the reassuring savior figure who told people they didn't have to feel that way, Kirk Cameron is playing a naive, troubled, and confused (VERY CONFUSED!!! SO CONFUSED!!!) rube to appeal to ignorance, only to then go on "an adventure" on which he'll find the answers to viewers' questions. Reagan had an agenda; Cameron has an agenda. The only difference is that while Reagan was a masterful practitioner at the art of deceit, Cameron stinks at it.
That's right, Kirk Cameron! I just said Ronald fuckin' Reagan is a better actor than you are! HOW SAD FOR YOU!
Anyway! Back to the ominous music and insufferable, paper-thin ruse of consternation to justify the fake journey of fake enlightenment.
Kirk Cameron says in voiceover (over video of himself walking down a path—subtle!—and looking confused): "America is the richest, freest nation the world has ever seen. But, as a father of six, I look around and all signs tell me something is sick in the soul of our country. And history tells me that we're headed for disaster if we don't change our course now."
Video of monument engraved with FREEDOM ISN'T FREE. Subtle!
Cameron talks to an unidentified white dude who tells him: "The set of ideas that is being implemented and advanced in this Capitol, at this time, is terribly frightening to people who are students of history."
Cameron talks to another unidentified white dude who tells him: "If you look at the seventeen superpowers in history, every single one of them has called themselves 'exceptional'."
Cameron talks to an unidentified black dude who tells him: "When you look at the Roman Empire, the parallels to what is going on in America are absolutely frightening."
I'm going to guess that rather than, say, the endless war or the profound institutional corruption or the profligate wealth at the exploitation of a permanent underclass, he means all the terrible, terrible cocksucking.
Cameron talks to a third unidentified white dude who tells him: "And the question is whether we're going to go the right path ourselves, or are we going to continue down the wrong path that so many nations have fallen into?"
The premise thus having been established, the OMINOUS MUSIC is replaced by ADVENTURESOME ROCK GUITAR JOURNEYING MUSIC! Yay! Video of a plane taking off and flying past the Washington Monument—subtle!
Traveling montage. In voiceover, Cameron says: "I went on a journey to retrace the footsteps of our forefathers, to see if they left us some kind of a map that would guide us back to the foundation of America's success." Video of Cameron visiting historical sites and, I dunno, a library or some shit? Just imagine The Da Vinci Code meets National Treasure meets barf.
Cameron talks to an unidentified blond woman, telling her: "When I think of pilgrims, I think of what I was taught in history class." (On the set of a network sitcom. He fails to mention. Probably because it would undermine the image we're supposed to have of him languishing in an overcrowded public school class being taught fake history by a radical hippie.) "I think of pilgrims coming over in these funny black-and-white suits with big hats and belt buckles on their shoes." It is painfully evident he is making this up, for the benefit of his ignorant audience. ("Stupidity makes me relatable!"—Kirk Cameron. Give him all your money, social conservatives!) The woman puts her head in her hands right on cue and gives a wry grin, as if to say, oh dear, that nefarious free public school system for every US child strikes again.
Blah blah blah more of the same. Over and over. Kirk Cameron says he can "smell the history" by visiting these places. Not for nothing, but it isn't a liberal conspiracy that's keeping USians from visiting the historical sites of the nation's founding. Aside from "lack of personal interest," the biggest inhibitor to the sort of journey of discovery he's taking is conservative-supported corporate policies that leave US workers with the least vacation time in the industrialized world, most of which is eaten up by family emergencies and sick time, because we don't have paid sick leave, either, since that would be too fucking French or whatever.
Back to ominous music. Cameron says in voiceover (over video of him walking on a path by a monument—seriously): "What I discovered is that our history has not just been forgotten; it's been rewritten." HOLY SHIT! He then says, as he looks at some garbagey book: "I'm stunned. Just what's on this table. I mean, this alone would change everyone's perspective about what made America such a great nation."
Definitely. I'm sure it would totally change my perspective. It's a book about how George Washington was actually a WIZARD and Paul Revere was really riding a UNICORN, right? My mind is blown.
Praying. Children. Urgency. Standing in the driveway drinking coffee under a flag because THE TIME IS NOW BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. Trite bullshit. Crumbling monument. (Subtle!) There is GOOD NEWS! Now Kirk Cameron looks happy. Yay! WHAT IS THE GOOD NEWS?! Well, you'll just have to buy a goddamn ticket to find out.
[H/T to Shaker MMC.]