Die Hard in Baghdad

I’ve written fairly often here about Hollywood film representations of war, arguing (following David Robb’s argument in Operation Hollywood) that because Hollywood studios depend on the military for equipment and expert advice, they rarely make explicitly anti-war (or, more precisely anti-military films). But, via TBogg, I see that the same tired arguments are being made about “Liberal Hollywood’s” opposition to the war.

TBogg offers a link to the news from the folks at Pajamas Media that Bruce Willis is planning “a pro-war feature film about United States involvement in Iraq.” The PJs Media folks add that “Willis is bucking a nearly unbroken skein of Tinseltown anti-war films that goes back to such Vietnam era favorites as Coming Home and Platoon.”

The PJs Media folks must have forgotten Saving Private Ryan, the made-for-TV series, Band of Brothers, Mel Gibson’s We Were Soldiers, the Rambo movies, or even Willis’ own Hart’s War and Tears of the Sun. And certainly the Top Gun genre is pro-military, even if the Tom Cruise grin-fest is not exactly a war film. I understand their forgetting, however, as I’ve tried to forget many of these films myself. The point here isn’t to suggest that Hollywod is “pro-war,” but to argue that studios are more interested in profits than politics. If the film gets made–and I wouldn’t be surprised either way–it will be because the film’s proposed budget seems like a good economic risk.

They also speculate that Willis’ project might never be produced despite his status as a “bankable star.” I’m tempted to make some smart comments about the folks at PJs Media calling Bruce Willis a “bankable star,” especially given the grosses of Hostage, The Whole Ten Yards and Tears of the Sun, to name three of Willis’s recent films. But I’ll let Willis’ recent box office speak for itself.

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