Slice of Life: Day 13
“You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind.” ~ Morpheus (The Matrix, 1999)
Freedom of the mind. Relinquishing fear, doubt, and disbelief; all for a small fee at the local theater. This is what draws me in to the action film genre. Heroism on loan, at least for a couple hours on a weekend. To assimilate with the hero, insuring that truth prevails; and that honor, wins.
A good action movie is akin to entering the matrix to experience the pseudo-reality. To walk in a dream so vividly, you’re no longer sure it is a dream. It’s as if, you stopped at the theater’s concession stand and had to decide between two Mike & Ike’s, each of which promised a very different future: “This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” ~ Morpheus (The Matrix, 1999)
Romantic movies are about being touched. Action movies, on the other hand, are so enticing because they are about being untouchable. I love knowing that within the walls of the film, my heart will be un-scathed. That I will be getting lost in the heat of the moment, adrenaline rushing, totally focused on victory. “I ain’t got time to bleed.” ~ Blain (Predator, 1987)
Romantic movies are about being moved. Action films are wildly successful because they show me that I can be unmovable. That no matter how overwhelming the odds may be stacked against me, I can resist. I can stand my ground. I can hold the line. “…That they may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom!.” ~ William Wallace, (Braveheart, 1995)
Romantic movies are focused on being pursued. I prefer the action movie, where I can be the pursuer (even if it is clumsy, brutish, and inarticulate). “Yo, Adrian!” ~ (Rocky, 1976)
Romantic movies tell the story of being accepted in full visibility; loved for who we are. Conversely, I enjoy the safety and machismo of an action flick, where I can step in the shoes of the protagonist, cloaked in invincibility.
Neo: “What are you trying to tell me? That I can dodge bullets?”
Morpheus: “No, Neo. I’m trying to tell you that when you’re ready, you won’t have to.” ~ (The Matrix, 1999)
Romantic movies allow you to enjoy the illusion of being embraced in a beautiful love story. The enjoyment of action movie is the illusion of being embroiled in a battle for honor and truth.
“You want answers?”
“I think I’m entitled.”
“You want answers?”
“I want the truth!”
“You can’t handle the truth!”
~ (A Few Good Men, 1992)
Romantic movies promise that when you boil everything down, love wins. That’s too fluffy for me. I need more grit. More gusto. An action movie says that at the end of the day, honor wins. Truth prevails. “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” ~ Maximus (The Gladiator, 2000)
Go enjoy your romantic flick in the theater on the left. Let Cupid take his diapered tushie and aim his arrows elsewhere. The romantic movie won’t get to this heart. I’ll be in the theater on the right, dodging bullets.
To read the other half of this duel by my friend, Dr. Kim Parker, go here.