This is not to say Zizek provides a clear or easy message, and to my lay understanding he appears to jump around quite a bit without and easy roadmap. Strangely this neither interfered with my simple enjoyment of his amusing subjects for deep analysis, his perhaps unintentional sense of comic timing, or his truly engaging constructions of the subtle cues in superficial trends of society.
No, this wasn't an epiphany of the sort you can easily explain to others. But where Zizek shines for me is in each individual example. Most of them ring true in a way that you can feel broadening your perspective on THAT particular example. And while his examples didn't really add up to a big WOW for me at the end of the film, I'm not sure critical theorists even aim for that, as their "answer" could be taken for propaganda and clutched as"truth" like any other message of propaganda.
Maybe I'm too dim to see the big picture behind critical theorists like Zizek, Benjamin, and Derrida, but I feel delightfully challenged by their efforts, one by one, and feel that this movie reminded me to look beneath the obvious message of pop culture iconography and idealism for more subtle dynamics of control and subversion.
Don't be scared off by any of this as the opening segment praises the 1988 John Carpenter movie, "THEY LIVE" for it's astute critique on consumer culture. And he's right! I can't wait to dig up this old film as it appears to be excellent social satire made palatable with a monster movie approach.
Look, if you're a PhD student this might be too remedial or lightweight for you to use for your thesis, but as a layman who seeks out new philosophical ideas to expand my perception of the world, I loved it.
I don't want the answer Zizek doesn't provide; I want new tools to peel the onion of existence back a layer or two and figure out more from there. I was not let down.