Ultimately, many of today's movies deal with our feelings about work.
A surprising number of movies are actually about people doing their jobs.
Of course, these jobs are not entirely like the kinds of work most of us domore often they involve police detectives or special agents or special forces, and usually they include deeds of great and heroic import. But thats show biz, and it is only natural for this to be a bit glitzier than what we experience in our everyday lives.
There are more genuinely noteworthy features under the surface.
Among these is the way in which protagonists in such contemporary tales are increasingly likely to trust no one, except maybe an occasional buddy or perhaps a newly-met true love.
Our heroes today typically find themselves put upon from all sides, not only facing threats from clearly-defined external adversaries, but also coping with the unreliability of their own coworkers and higher-ups, who display everything from general fecklessness and grandstanding political irresponsibility through willful, deliberate intrigue and sabotage.
This is a significant change from the atmosphere of hearty camaraderie in which tales of adventure and derring-do were commonly set in days of yore. But is it all that different from the environments in which many of us ticket buyers now earn our living?
It could be that the main difference between our action-adventure heroes and ourselves is just that theyre able to take decisive action when they believe it needs to be taken, without requiring the buy-in of some organizational bureaucracy.
Is is possible that such heroes represent the last vestigial remnants of our traditional American expectations of individualism and self-reliance?
(c) COPYRIGHT 1998 ROBERT WINTER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.