Why War Movies Suck

I recently came across an older piece by Andrew Klavan, “The Lost Art of War,” that explains why Hollywood has been producing such politically confused box office catastrophes. Essentially, producers are infected with a cosmopolitanism that refuses to acknowledge the reality of the nation as the principle unit of human organization; the universal metaphysical values of their worldview do not involve the defense of territory, hence the incessant depiction of the U.S. military – which does have to defend territory – as a collection of murderous thugs and PTSD-plagued simpletons. Also has some interesting comments on the politicization of art and the implication this has on public discourse. Definitely worth a read. The last couple paragraphs deserve to be quoted:

Locked in an echo chamber of fashionable leftism, our filmmakers have lost the ability to question discredited assumptions. Only in fantasy war films – films like Spielberg’s undervalued War of the Worlds, Michael Bay’s amusing Transformers, or Peter Jackson’s wonderful Lord of the Rings trilogy – does the truth of our present situation emerge. Here filmmakers don’t have to confront the deathblow that radical Islam deals to the logic of leftist ideology. They can portray evil without giving it a human face and affirm our values without paying too particular a tribute to the nation in which those values become flesh. The warrior’s sacrifices makes sense again, martial virtues can be openly honored, and those who protect us are given back their glory.

That glory, however, is not the stuff of fantasy alone. The threat of global jihad is all too real, and¬† the stakes are all too high. Liberty, tolerance, the harmony of conflicting voices – these things didn’t materialize suddenly out of the glowing heart of human decency. People thought of them, fought and died to establish them, not in the ether, but on solid ground. That ground has to be defended or the values themselves will die.


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