There seems to be a lot of confusion out there about what kind of war movies people will go out of their way to see. At least, confusion in the media, and confusion in Hollywood.
Hollywood keeps pumping out “anti-war” themed movies — are there actually any “pro-war” themed movies? — and people keep staying away in droves. The latest such movie is “Stop-Loss”, which spins itself as “pro-soldier” even while it portrays said soldier as one who is so committed to his fellow troops that he goes AWOL when confronted with a contractual obligation that he suddenly doesn’t like.
There have been plenty of others. But I, just like so many millions of others, have seen precisely none of them. Some of them have been poorly reviewed, some haven’t. But the reviews have nothing to do with it, for me; to focus on the reviews for a series of movies that celebrate the least likable characteristics of our military is to entirely miss the point.
I sure can’t speak for everybody that isn’t going to these movies, but I will speak for myself.
It isn’t about whether the movies are good or not. It isn’t about character development, or action, or special effects, or marketing.
It’s about Point of View.
This is the one thing in common among all these movies that are tanking: POV.
A POV that paints our troops as borderline psycho rather than brave and honorable. A POV that indicts all military leadership by using straw man arguments: “a few troops do something wrong, so the whole institution is corrut and venal”.
And, most incredibly, a POV that assigns nothing negative to our enemies. Beheading innocent people? Bah, we have no space in our story for that. Blowing up little kids running to American troops for the candy they know they’ll get? Nah, sorry. Using retarded people as human bombs? No thanks. Killing kids in front of their parents to intimidate entire communities? Sorry.
Here’s a question: why in the hell would I pay money to see big-screen treatments of bullshit stories that I refuse to read in the daily paper? It’s like the AP wrote these damn things.
No thanks, I’m trying to cut down.
Everybody has their reasons for doing what they do. Hollywood makes movies they think will strike a chord, and then when that doesn’t happen, Hollywood figures “it must be war fatigue”. They refuse to see — because they can’t see — that POV just might be a factor here.
They can’t see it because they don’t take seriously the idea that other POVs might be out there, and might even resonate. Or maybe, they’re scared that another POV will resonate, afraid that their own world view will be invalidated.
I think that’s probably closer to the truth. But the funny thing is, by only making movies — lots of them — that promote their own world view, and watching them all crash and burn at the box office, they have inadvertently accomplished that very thing.
And it couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of preening, self-serving buffoons.