Horses, military heroes and dead Muslim terrorists – what could be better? But according to Peter Maass of the far left The Intercept, “It’s time to wage war against war movies that “send harmful messages about masculinity and violence.”
Some of the biggest war movies of the post-9/11 era don’t just show violence in ways that are often gratuitous and occasionally racist. They model a cliched form of masculinity that veers from simplistic to monstrous.
For instance, you can see Rambo and John Wayne return to life in the latest war blockbuster, “12 Strong,” which was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, who also brought us “Black Hawk Down.” “12 Strong” is an extravaganza about a Special Forces team that fought the Taliban in Afghanistan in the weeks and months after 9/11.
During the movie’s pivotal scene, the leader of the Green Berets, played by Chris Hemsworth decimates a hive of Taliban fighters with his rifle ablaze as he gallops ahead on his fearless horse. In the same way that Hemsworth’s assault weapon goes rat-tat-tat and the bad guys fall like bulleted dominoes, the scene itself checks off one born-in-Hollywood cliché after another: of the rugged gunslinger, the warrior in camo, good versus evil, the modern vanquishing the profane, a man at his fullest.