I love going to the movies. I really do. I grew up in the suburbs with a movie theater within two miles and I used to walk there often alone. And I enjoy all sorts and manner of movie. Action, romantic comedy, Christmas movie, animated, independent, horror, even foreign films. I love how stories are told. I love good characters.


Come on. You knew there was a “but” coming, didn’t you? Recently, in watching action movies I find myself paying attention to the effects of the action. The body count in some of these movies is pretty awful. In so many movies you have police and/or military men and women getting killed or crashing in their helicopters into office buildings. You’ve got regular people in their cars getting turned over because the bad guys are chasing our hero.

And even though the scene follows our hero I find myself wondering about the people in the helicopter or the people on the sidewalk or in the turned over car.

I think the thing I don’t like is the casual nature of the violence in action movies.

Look. In a horror movie you’ll often see young good looking people in the prime of their lives essentially doing two things -getting naked and getting killed. And it’s often ridiculous. But you know what? At least it’s admitting the horrific nature of killing someone. It’s a big deal. So yeah, we get a killer who kills a dozen or so but in the end they pay the price for killing them. When the last standing heroine find the bodies of her friends she’s horrified and running and falling inexplicably but we’re left rooting for her to put a stop to the killing.

Action movies often have so much casual violence that it starts to bug me. How many times do we see a guy in a business suit get in the way of gunplay. The guy goes down and the gunplay continues and we never even bring up the death of the guy in the business suit.

Maybe I’m just getting old. Maybe I’ve seen too many movies. But I think I’ve always seen movies as an escape. And maybe when I see a movie deal so casually with death it reminds me too much of the real world.