Nov 242008

Format: TV broadcast with an ugly as hell station logo

IMDB entry: here.

This is your usual hollywood action movie; there isn’t enough plot to say anything about it. It is just a vehicle for a lot of special effects, explosions, car chases, and the like. If you want a film to make you think, then this would be a bad choice, but there is nothing wrong with a bit of mindless entertainment. And this is mindless entertainment in spades … which may sound like a criticism, but it is a fine film of its kind.

But it did make me think (so perhaps it wasn’t perfect). The storyline (without trying to give too much away) includes a whole bunch of policemen making a trip to a foreign country to “kick some ass” (or more correctly some arse). It occurred to me that this is a rather common theme in certain US films of the action variety – the evil villains are lurking in some foreign country and the heros just go after them without considering that what they are doing is effectively an act of war.

I am sure that US foreign policy is not controlled by US action films in any way, but the genre may lead the US population to be more accepting of more extreme forms of foreign policy and the belief that the US government is entitled to use practically any form of action against targets in foreign countries. This also implies a disrespect for international laws which leads to very little opposition when the US government ignores those laws.

The US is known (outside the US at least) as being more than a little gungho in certain foreign policy matters. Does the propoganda of actions fims let the US get away with this without as much criticism as it perhaps deserve ? Or even worse does being brainwashed by action films lead those who set US foreign policy act a little more gungho than is wise ?

There is nothing wrong with “carrying a big stick”, but those who do should remember the first part of the phrase “speak softly”. In the right circumstances, the more extreme forms of foreign policy are perfectly justified, but they also alienate the residents of those foreign parts. If you do not need to annoy people, why do so ?

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