Muscles, Fire, Guns, the New Frontier and Inner City Savages! The Mythology of Eighties’ Action Films

Missing In ActionJimi Thaule writes on Modern Mythology, a retrospective, reflecting on what is to come:

“We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won’t allow them to write “fuck” on their airplanes because it’s obscene!” —Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, Apocalypse Now

The eighties was the last decade of the Cold War, a decade dominated by the presidency of Ronald Reagan and his second term vice president George Bush – elected as Reagan’s successor in 1988. Another significant feature of the decade was the American action film, which had its golden age in the eighties and nearly died out once the Cold War ended.

As the nineties and the Clinton years progressed action films were reduced to action comedies, and only recently have we seen a resurgence of the type of action films we saw in the eighties – in particular with Stallone’s tribute film The Expendables and its anticipated sequel. There have been rumors that Expendables 2 would be rated PG13 to ensure Chuck Norris’ involvement. Chuck Norris of course is known for his right wing conservative Christian politics as well as his involvement in several classic action films – notably the Missing in Action series. While wholesale slaughter seems to be fine with conservatives, blasphemy is not …

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