It came to me as I sat in that theater that the culture of the West was most definitively returning to the model of the Greco-Roman. The movie had several themes running through it, echoing the same themes seen in seventy-five percent of the films pervading cinemas across the US.
There are two that encapsulate all others. The first is that of the demi-god. Whether it is Tony Stark or Peter Parker, these heros seemingly reflect the old legends of Hercules, Aeneas, Achilles, Hector, and other like demigods. In short, the heros of these films are people who come to find their inner god. They burgeon this inner god through technology (or magic) and intellect, and reach completion by acquiring such power as only God is supposed to have. This is then amalgamated with the same sinful nature that led to the ultimate death of the Greco-Roman hero, and likewise to the destruction of the Hollywood hero, though the film rarely ever confesses such a fate. They have not yet discovered that power without holiness kills.
The second theme is that of the family. These same Hollywood demigods are loners. They, like the old Greek gods, have given up the holy model of sacrifice: the father sacrificing himself for the mother and child, the mother sacrificing herself for the father and child, and the child rising up to call them both blessed. The Hollywood heros, however, still luxuriate in something that seems to be a sterile sexuality. They each have their Dido, and if they are lucky, their Helen, but their union never portrays the commitment of selfless love, and thus never brings forth the contentment that is birthed from giving, not receiving. Their supposed love does not bring forth the fruit of love, the child, and therefore it is not lovely.
These are the evidence of secular individualism. They are what characterized the culture of the Greeks and Romans once they deserted the hearth and the home for domination. Education became idolized above relationship. In this educational system men like Socrates taught a breaking up of the family in favor of the government. Thus the fertility of the home was replaced for the impersonal institution, the fruit of true loveliness superseded for the sterility of selfish passion, the holiness bound up in divinity exchanged for the Greek role models of vain conceit and corrupt power.
This culture self-destructed. So shall ours.