These days, we don't go for propaganda via posters or showy military parades. No, if you want the populace subdued, you'd better dress up your message with some high-wire kung fu and guys running in slow motion from fireballs.
Some fine examples of thought control via the kick-ass action movie:
On Deadly Ground
Steven Seagal IS Forrest Taft, an ex-CIA badass who puts out oil-well fires for a living. How does he put them out? He blows them the fuck up, that's how! But, when his Big Oil employer (Michael Caine) kills Forrest's best friend so that the company can keep letting faulty equipment start deadly oil fires and so they can rip off the local Eskimos in some complicated way, Forrest becomes slightly curious. So, his boss tries to blow him up too.
One Eskimo spirit journey later (he fights a fucking bear) ...
... Forrest is finally ready to kill some fuckers and blow up some shit for the environment.
Big Oil is Bad. Let's Kill the Fuckers.
Think of it as An Inconvenient Truth II: This Time It's Personal. Of course, Seagal is so ahead of his time that he had the idea more than a decade before Al Gore decided that a slideshow about global warming would be a cool thing to put in a movie. Seriously, the movie ends with our hero giving a 3.5-minute speech (we timed it) about the need for alternative-energy sources.
"How many of you out there have heard of alternative engines? Engines that can run on anything from alcohol to garbage or water. Or carburetors that can get hundreds of miles to the gallon. Or electric or magnetic engines, that can practically run forever. You don't know about them because if they were to come into use, they'd put the oil companies out of business... Big Business is primarily responsible for destroying the water we drink, the air we breathe and the food we eat. They have no care for the world they destroy, only for the money they make in the process." -Forrest Taft
Eskimos rock, even if we can't tell them apart from the Chinese.
Yeah, But Do They Still Blow Some Shit Up?
Motherfucker, they blow shit up in the first scene. And, the explosions just keep getting bigger from there. For somebody who cares so much about the environment, this Taft guy sure burns a lot of fossil fuels. Add in some solid fight scenes, excellent shoot-outs and enough blood to fill the dolphin tank at Sea World and kill all the fucking dolphins, and you've got one hell of a crazy, dumb action flick.
"Marky" Mark Wahlberg IS Bob Lee Swagger, a badass former Marine scout sniper who lives in a log cabin in the woods with his dog and his copy of the 9/11 Commission Report. But, when the government shows up at his door and asks Bob Lee to help them save the president's life, Bob Lee puts aside his burning hatred of the government and agrees to give them a hand.
Two bullet wounds later, Bob Lee is on the run from a conspiracy that involves the U.S. Senate, Big Oil, the FBI, the Philadelphia Police Department and just about everybody else. It's just too bad for all those conspiring bastards that they picked the baddest motherfucker on the planet to conspire against.
There's Only One Way to Deal with a Politician, and It Ain't Due Process.
You know those vigilante movies where some murdering scumbag is set free by the legal system and somebody has to take the law into his own hands to bring the bastard to justice? Well, Shooter takes the same stand on right-wing politics, as in: If the legal system can't bring right-wing politicians to justice, then it's time for every one of those money-grubbing bastards to get a lead injection.
Yeah, we're thinking the Secret Service has a list of everyone who has ever seen this movie.
"This is a country where the Secretary of Defense can go on TV and tell the American public, oh, that 'This is about Freedom, it's not about oil!' And, nobody questions him 'cause nobody wants to hear the answer, 'cause it's a lie! There's only so many places at the table, gunnie. Now, are you on the inside, or are you on the out?" -Senator Charles Meachum (He's the villain, in case that wasn't clear)
And, it's all because of those fucking oil pipelines. Where's Forrest Taft when you need the man?
Yeah, But Do They Still Blow Some Shit Up?
You better fucking believe it. And when shit blows up, shit blows up big. Plus, you get some kung fu and a nice combination of gunfire and gore that adds up to some of the awesomest bullet hits in movie history. One guy gets his arm shot off; his entire fucking arm!