We Comment : Planet Hollywood Reunion – Bring a gun party and Die Hardby Asha
We Comment : Planet Hollywood Reunion – Bring a gun party….
It looks like Hollywood has turned its back on diplomacy, instead opting for the send the army in, and ask questions later, kind of gun ho politics, that saw the rise of the 80s action hero.
Let me explain! –
The 1980s action hero is back – this month see’s Bruce Willis return in Die Hard 5, or to give it its proper title ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ (a bad day at the office) ,
Sly Stallone (who has given much resurgence to the 80s action genre, Via Rambo re-boots and Expendables franchise) is back with ‘ Bullet to the Head’
which has the tagline Stallone back to his best’ , I take this as meaning, giving us his trademark snarl, upper lift grimace while holding some kind of massive gun, unremorsefully mowing down elite special forces, and then lighting a cigarette without breaking sweat.
And then the Governor himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger returns for his big screen leading man return in ‘Last Stand’ as Sheriff of a small town America – taking on the bad guys one by one.
This is one hell of a Planet Hollywood reunion, bring out the body bags.
But why the resurgence in 80s style action movies – one guy against the world, has to save the day, the girl and himself, why are we seeing this trend now.
For the past decade we have seen the ‘smart’ action movie, Jason Bourne in the Bourne series typifies this, and the re-booted Daniel Craig James Bond, is the smart guys action hero – quiet, unsure, lost, but somehow the best trained killer in the land.
Of course, having a male character that is vulnerable and insecure, allows for more story, which was lacking in 80s action flicks, although Die Hard re-invented the action movie genre in the late 80s giving us a whole load of back story to John McClain while ramping up the action – the more we find out about McClain, the more action set pieces he must survive – this then became the template for the 90s action movie,
Die hard on a bus = Speed
Die Hard on a Boat = Speed 2 : cruise control
Die Hard on a plane = Passenger 57
The more floored the character, the more a female audience can ‘get on board’ with the plot and therefore the action – which is why Die Hard ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ is being released on Valentines Day Feb 14th 2013, – Girls now trust action movies, and are happy to pump money into the box office –
action films can now be deep, meaningful and have an emotional arc – well judging by the new Die Hard trailer, this might be a false fallacy, as its seems Bad Guys are given there just desserts left , right and centre, and it seems a battle between Father and Son to see who has the biggest Gun, and therefore the biggest balls.
The ladies might be disappointed – not your typical date movie.
When Hollywood has been on form, it has always been a great reflector of the cultural zeitgeist, sometimes these ideas need to be smuggled in, and not the ideas you pitch to hedge fund managers for your 100 million dollar budget.
The Matrix is another landmark in action cinema, pitched as a kung fu hackers film, with guns and Ted from Bill and Ted, but really it’s a film about ‘Control’ the MATRIX is everywhere, its all seeing, all knowing and will always consume you, that’s why Agent Smith looks like your typical CIA agent, and Neo takes the Gandhi / Jesus role to fight against all that.
So what I’m saying is that for the past 20 years, and especially the last 10 years, Hollywood has tried to deal with world cultural issues in the same way that diplomats and governments the world over have been trying to deal with things, via diplomacy.
Jason Bourne, or the Bourne operatives, where invented by some shadowy USA government agency to sort out issues abroad, quietly, before breakfast and with no fuss, the re-booted James Bond does the same for UK PLC, sharply dressed, Bond is sent into action to, well in his first outing, to play cards in Casino Royle!!!!!!
But it seems, that America and indeed Hollywood, now an ailing world power is giving up on diplomacy altogether.
You see, in politics, you have the upper hand, and the most sway, only if you have the military and economic might, other countries don’t want to mess with your shit, as you can do all kind of things to them, such as an embargo (slow death) or invade your ass (a quick death) – but what we have seen in a post 9/11 country is that Hollywood and indeed the USA has slowly found itself in a weaker position.
The past couple of years have shown this, at a more accelerated pace in US home affairs, the revolutions in the middle east, saw puppet US backed governments fall like evil henchman in a Stallone movie, at home, the US is seeing about 2 major high school massacres a year,
and the economy is in free fall, and the country is divided over what ‘colour’ a president should be, and not if they are the right person for the job –
we also see the rise of the tea party in America, which is only a few blocks back from being a watered down version of Hitler’s SS (yes that’s a bit strong, but I’m making a point)
If diplomacy fails, send in the Army,
and when Hollywood is at its best, it reflects the times, even if you don’t want it to be like that.
What America and indeed the rest of the world (governments) wants, is for America to send in the army, to sort out Syria, to sort out and then pull out of Afghanistan, and to give China, Russia and North Korea a good spanking.
But, America can’t do that, so instead they do it through the movies, through popular culture.
So we have Bruce Willis travel to Russia to sort out the Russians, Stallone via the expendables is willing to sort anyone, if you have enough money, no questions asked, and Arnold is still playing the politics card, by guarding small town America from the hidden threat.
Planet Hollywood is back, to police the world, and make sure your all safe tonight, or at least for a couple of hours on the big screen.
Diplomacy is dead, its time to ‘Die Hard’
Written by Mark Ashmore Director / producer of Http://www.projectlostgeneration.co.uk
(Released Summer 2013)