I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

In Her Line of Fire

tn_inherlineoffireThis is another one of these random movies I came across in the action section at the video store. It stars Mariel Hemingway as a Secret Service agent who has to rescue the Vice President from guerillas after Air Force 2 crash lands on a remote island. You don’t usually see a woman playing that type of action hero, but what really caught my eye was a logo from the Here! cable network, which I believe is all gay-themed programming.

A gay action movie? That’s something I’ve never come across before, and I like coming across things I’ve never come across before. But it’s a made-for-cable movie, so I hesitated. My instincts to give it a shot only won out because the director is Brian Trenchard-Smith, the sometimes-great director of DEAD END DRIVE-IN, THE MAN FROM HONG KONG and DEATH CHEATERS. And, uh, LEPRECHAUN 4: IN SPACE.

Well, let’s just say it’s not Trenchard-Smith’s best work. This is partly just because of the low TV production values. In the old days low budget meant he couldn’t do as many explosions as he wanted in TURKEY SHOOT, now he has all the explosions he wants but they’re extremely fake looking CGI ones.

mp_inherlineoffireThe worst part is trying to fake Presidential shit on a low budget. At no point do you believe these people are really in Air Force 2. (God forbid if they had to fake Air Force 1!) They’re sitting around playing cards when the shit goes down, and there’s so little protocol that it was a while before I figured out David Keith was supposed to be the VP. Later when there’s some dude sitting in a room with a general I assumed I guess this guy must be the president but it turned out he was the secretary of defense or something.

I guess they haven’t yet invented that escape pod the president gets into in ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, or at least they don’t have two of them. When the plane’s going down they all just hold onto the card table.

There are four survivors: Vice President Walker (Keith), head of security Sergeant Major Lynn Delaney (Mariel Hemingway), Press Secretary Sharon Serrano (Jill Bennett), and a fat guy. They start getting shot at as soon as they hit the beach, so they run off into the trees, where they’ll spend most of the movie sneaking around and camping out. It turns out there’s a military camp here where a sadistic American mercenary named Armstrong (David Millbern) is helping train rebels to overthrow a dictatorial government.

Of course they get into some trouble with this Armstrong guy, who sees an opportunity to ransom them off. So Delaney and Walker bust out their Rambo skills and you get your usual showing-civilians-how-to-use-a-gun, civilian-being-traumatized-by-having-to-kill-somebody, all the usual stuff you’d expect. And then also you get sexual tension between Delaney and the press secretary lady, that’s the novel part. They fight all the time but it turns out it’s because they like each other.

Although mostly generic and poorly done the stuff on the island is not as bad as you expect while watching the ridiculously crappy opening on the plane. They do film out in some woods and everything, they got actual locations. I was worried it was gonna be some greenscreened studio shit.

But you’re still gonna need to suspend the shit out of your disbelief. It’s pretty much always demanding that you overlook some hugely unbelievable story point. I’m not saying our government works like a Swiss watch, but this thing makes them look completely incompetent, it’s almost offensive. I don’t think they’re trying to make a point about it, they just rushed through and didn’t put much thought into the screenplay. The vice president’s plane goes down and they have no way to track it – no mention of the black box or GPS or satellites or anything. They just lost communication so they get nervous and sit around waiting for a phone call. Hours later, when they finally find out where it went down, the secretary of defense asks the general to have a search team ready to go… first thing in the morning! I’d figure they’d already have been searching when the fucking VP was missing, but they were waiting for a lead like this before they even told everybody to put their boots on. Now he says it’s too dark to search so they gotta wait for sunlight.

On the island, where everybody should be trying to protect the VP, the first thing they do is let him swim out in the water by himself to try to rescue somebody. And throughout the ordeal nobody seems protective of him at all. They constantly split up, he carries the gun and often goes out in front. Later we find out he and Delaney were in Kuwait together, so I guess that’s why she trusts him to do that kind of stuff. But she oughta be taking her job as a Secret Service agent more seriously. Maybe she’s one of those agents that mostly does the counterfeit money stuff.

Meanwhile, the acting is not so hot. Bennett is the weakest link, she might be okay for guest spots on TV shows but sure isn’t believable as a press secretary. Not that they give her convincing dialogue either. But she’s whiny and annoying and when Delaney threatens to leave her behind if she doesn’t shut the fuck up it seems like the best idea anybody’s had in the movie.

Hemingway is the best thing about the movie, but she definitely didn’t get enough training to be a great action hero. When she infiltrates the enemy camp to plant bombs she should be moving with supreme grace and confidence, like a ninja. She’s got a little of that and a little of the teenage-girl-trying-to-sneak-out-without-waking-her-parents type of feel. But acting-wise I think she’s convincing as a tough professional and given better material (way better) I think she could be really good in this type of role.

The title is kind of funny. Since she’s protecting the vice president I assume it’s a reference to IN THE LINE OF FIRE, where Clint was in the secret service and trying to stop a wannabe assassin. But of course in Clint’s movie the title means that he’s in the line of fire, putting himself in the path of bullets to defend the president. So a true feminized version of the title would be SHE’S IN THE LINE OF FIRE. This title says nothing about protection. In fact, it doesn’t make it clear who’s in her line of fire. It might mean she’s gonna accidentally shoot the vice president.

This is a bad movie and I don’t recommend it at all, but what little charm it does have is from seeing people try to make this type of ’80s post-Rambo throwback movie from a more liberal world view. It’s funny to hear the phony news reports at the beginning and end talking about universal health care being passed and the U.S. being able to help the rebels non violently through the U.N. In the ’80s the rebels would’ve all been evil rapists, I kinda like how in this one most of them are fairly honorable but stuck in an unwise alliance with this asshole mercenary. And it’s kind of sweet that the girls feel okay kissing and embracing openly at the end. I’m all for it. Consenting adults should be able to love each other openly, they should be able to marry each other legally, and they should be able to embrace at the end of action movies after the bad guys have been killed, everybody’s catching their breath and the camera is pulling away to show the aftermath. Maybe some day it’ll happen in a movie that doesn’t suck.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 12th, 2011 at 12:14 pm and is filed under Action, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

48 Responses to “In Her Line of Fire”

  1. Well, I googled “here cable.” I did a little clicking, and, though for selfish libidinous reasons I wish there were more lesbians featured, I think Vern has no choice now but to review this:

    http://www.heretv.com/hellbent/about

    All their films look really bad, judging by the blurbs & stills, but it’d be interesting if some sympathetic, prominent gay figure or group suddenly finances better filmatism for them. There’d be a good, new, fresh audience for their product, and god knows the sadly political cause of gay rights still needs support any way it comes.

  2. I give them credit for one thing. I’ve always been pro-Lesbian action hero. It just seems like a logical next step type of thing.

  3. This was on the Spanish channel the other day, and I had to stop and watch for a while despite speaking little Spanish due to the bizarre nature of the movie. Normally they play decent American action flicks, but I could not figure this one out given the random cast and shoddy special effects.

  4. This isn’t the first time Mariel Hemingway has played a Secret Service agent. In fact I thought this was a sequel to First Daughter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Daughter_(1999_film) . First Target was the sequel to that but they replaced Hemingway with Daryl Hannah. The character name is different in this film so they’re likely unrelated.

  5. “The vice president’s plane goes down and they have no way to track it – no mention of the black box or GPS or satellites or anything. They just lost communication so they get nervous and sit around waiting for a phone call. Hours later, when they finally find out where it went down, the secretary of defense asks the general to have a search team ready to go… first thing in the morning! I’d figure they’d already have been searching when the fucking VP was missing, but they were waiting for a lead like this before they even told everybody to put their boots on. Now he says it’s too dark to search so they gotta wait for sunlight.”
    Maybe they were trying to make a point about how important the Vice President is to day to day politics? To be honest, even after you said David Keith was playing him, I was picturing Joe Biden. It sounds way more entertaining that way.

  6. The Coen Brother’s wrote a script called Drive-Away Dykes for Allison Anders to direct that could be just that film. Somehow I don’t think it’ll ever get funding, however. She’s been sitting on it for ages.

  7. Stu, my guess is that if Joe Biden played himself as the VP it would be a much more entertaining film. The moment he found out he was trapped with a couple of lesbians, you know that old dog would make his play for a threesome.

  8. To be fair, I wonder if the White House was quietly happy that they get to have the VP left behind on some island somewhere and get a new guy for the #2.

    ~You know Obama wouldn’t really mind that for Biden. Neither would Hillary. (wink wink)

  9. I’m now trying to remember an openly lesbian heroine of an action movie (a character, not actors, which rules out a certain Hispanic actress, ahem) (and bisexual women like Angelina Jolie, Amber Heard, Jodie Foster, Australian Femme Nikita, ect). Hmmmm….

    Well, Vasquez is just too ambiguous; her and Drake COULD be lovers, and she’s never explicitly portrayed as a lesbian, although honestly, if I had to pick a most likely candidate…Warrior Woman in Road Warrior seems to have feelings for Max, so count her out too….Boy, y’know, I really can’t think of a single one. There are endless lesbian villains, and plenty of bisexual female action characters, but exclusively lesbian heroes of action movies…nope. Drawing a blank. Tara on Buffy The Vampire Slayer?

  10. Michael Henry Grant

    May 12th, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    I was thinking Amy Madigan in STREETS OF FIRE was gay, but I’m not sure. That might have been speculation in some online trivia section, or just based on it being a part originally written for a man, etc. One more reason I’d better rewatch that one soon.

  11. shucks, looks like someone beat to me to the “action movie starring lesbian characters” idea, well at least almost no one has seen this

    for anyone wanting any more action starring women who may be into other women check out the anime Read or Die

  12. of course some may say Sucker Punch beat me to the….punch as well

  13. Griff – I like how SUCKER PUNCH gets mentioned off-topic and I absolutely had nothing to do with that.

  14. The more I think about it, the more ridiculous it is that there have been so few non-comical, non-exaggerated, non-shock value type gay characters portrayed in the movies. Liberal Hollywood, huh?

  15. Nah, there’s no way whats-her-name from STREETS OF FIRE was gay. She goes so far as say her last boyfriend was a dick. Maybe she’s bi though. Or just a tomboy that never grew out of it.

  16. I think there used to be a show on Showtime, or maybe HBO or something, that was pretty upfront & nonchalant about having homosexuals among the lead characters. What was it called again? It had cops & dealers and teachers & longshoremen, I think, and a mysterious, conflicted badass who whistled and carried .45s like me. I don’t know. I doubt anyone here remembers it. Forget I posted this, Vern — it’s not like it was a seminal, constantly gripping crime drama tv series that appealed to literate hip hop culture fans and to any coastal American citizen with a soul or anything.

  17. was it The Cord?

  18. Mouth – Yeah no kidding, but not surprising when you think about it for as “liberal” Hollywood can be, its still remarkably very conservative.

    Yes some guys will pony up money to make a biopic about Harvey Milk, get decent reviews, win an Oscar or two. But an action movie where the hero is a flamming ass kicker? Ohh hell no chief.

    Then again, how long before Hollywood was willing to be “progressive” regarding blacks and women? Or especially willing to pony up the big bucks to produce vehicles around them? I mean I thought SALT was lackluster dull as dishwater, but I suppose its progress that Jolie can star in a blockbuster actioneer and make a profit. And nobody blinks an eye.

    Or put it another way, we’ve had countless movies made about Batman and Superman. But Wonder Woman?* ZERO. Even though she was around from that same time period and with Bats/Supes basically was the DC Comics foundation into the Golden Age of comics.

    Nerds will give theories regarding that gap, and I’ll provide Hollywood’s accounting excuse. ELEKTA? Flop. CATWOMAN? Flop. They’re not willing to invest in a superheroine picture.

    Back to the topic on hand, there is progress. Look at KISS KISS BANG BANG. The queer is the badass of the movie. Give Shane Black an award, not Sean Penn.

    Casey – Or she’s just a tough chick. Personally whatever flaws I have with SOF, and dammit it has a few, but I loved how Madigan IMO steals the show in selling the part. Good call by Hill on that casting.

    *=Plus the origins are most fascinating. Her creator invented the lie detector and was a polygamist. But the whole wacky S&M subtext, I like how he squeezed w/o flack his fetish kick into children around the globe. Good job dude.

  19. You’re way off, Griff. I’m pretty sure it was The Vine.

    RRA — But George Clooney told us that Hollywood is on the cutting edge of progressive social issues decades ahead of time.

  20. I totally agree that Hollywood is not as liberal as it seems, actors and actresses may be primarily liberal, but that doesn’t mean the people running the studios or even all the directors or producers are

    the so called ivory tower liberal Hollywood is mostly an invention of conservative blowhards or impressions gained from independent films or independent documentaries (think Michael Moore)

    for example, look at the whitewashing of the upcoming Akira movie, the studio refuses to let a film based on an anime and manga star only Japanese leads and be set in Japan

  21. or even look at that terrible Last Airbender movie

  22. Griff – Pretty much, and unfortunately as Mouth alluded to, even some liberals in that town buy into that nonsense, applauding themselves as Progressive Guardians.

    I mean I love Clooney, I respect his overall film track record and willingness to throw the dice here and there. I’m admirer of his and Soderbergh’s SOLARIS remake. Hell I even enjoyed his LEATHERHEADS that alot of folks fucking hated.

    But South Park picked on him for a very good reason. Still did you all know he owns his own satellite? Yeah its apparently for Sudan to keep an eye on that negotiated ceasefire.

    (Plus he has a sense of humor. Unlike Sean Penn. )

  23. I have a theory that Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer are secretly conservative

  24. Yeah, I remember seeing that on CNN not too long ago. Clooney was saying it costs something like $2 million to take a good photo from space, or to operate satellite imagery equipment for a day or for one orbit or something, and he was willing to put up a bunch of the money himself to keep an eye in the upper atmosphere out for large gatherings or sudden acts of genocide. There’s no flippant comment to be made here. That’s fucking awesome.

    On the less serious side of things, that leads me to voice my general disdain for parts of movies, like the super-hi-tech parts of an otherwise very good movie BODY OF LIES, for example, that show that the US’s secretive federal agencies have all these ridiculous, instantaneous/real-time imagery capabilities. Yeah, it looks cool, and maybe it’s [dis]comforting to believe that stuff is abundantly in use among NSA & CIA guys, but. . . I’ve operated & worked with data we get from some of the best UAVs & observation helos, too, and that’s stuff that flies fairly low to the ground, day or night, giving real-time feeds & data, yet I’ve probably never seen something even so clear as that scene in PATRIOT GAMES with the heat-detecting imagery. And how old is PATRIOT GAMES now?

  25. The Transporter is a gay hero.

    Hollywood is very, very, very conservative. Consider that almost every third movie made (and every single superhero film made, almost without exception) tells a Christ allegory. For all of “Jewish” Hollywood and “Liberal” Hollywood, “The Passion of the Christ” is a much better example of the values espoused within the films than is “Fight Club,” “Natural Born Killers,” or “Brokeback Mountain.”

    Almost every movie ever made reaffirms the exclusive domain of heterosexual, monogamous love as the key to personal happiness.

    Almost every film of the modern era involves conspicuous consumption by the characters. As is the model for comedy and sitcoms since the Honeymooners, the basic solution to every problem is some new form of consumption.

    Almost every single war film ever made is unquestionably pro-American Militarism and pro-Military Industrial Complex. Even the films with messages like “War is hell” there is a simultaneous support of the idea of militarism itself and the inherent heroism of soldiers. (I am not saying this is bad, but very rarely do you see a film about heroic Germans in WWI or WWII.) Furthermore, almost 100% of films involving war are made with the active participation of the US government which gets script approval and has a representative on set and in the editing room.

    The core of most of the successful filmmakers of the last several generations is to pander to the values of the bourgeois class. case in point: Spielberg.

    While premarital sex is very often depicted, films love to punish women for this. With death in horror films, with pregnancies in romances and dramas, and with a great many miscarriages in films of all genres. When was the last time you saw a movie where abortion was depicted as a hard choice, but ultimately the right decision for a young woman?

    When was the last time you saw a movie where the Asian guy got the white girl?
    A black man was with a white women, without the story dealing with miscegenation on a textual level?
    A White man with a black woman?
    A queer character who wasn’t reduced to a sidekick status in a non LGBTQ themed film?
    A female character with an active sex drive who is not denigrated for it?
    Actual anti-corporate themes?
    A Muslim protagonist in non-political role?
    A blind/deaf/wheelchair bound person with a sex life?

    I mean, how liberal can a town be when it lives and dies off of sequels, remakes, and reboots.

  26. Joe Lansdale (Bubba Hotep) has written a great series of novels about a couple of characters called Hap Collins (white, straight) and Leonard Pine (black, gay). Both are no-nonsense taking bad-asses. I always pictured Viggo Mortensen as Hap and a slightly younger Samuel L Jackson as Leonard.

  27. Asian guys and white girls – it happens rarely in movies, and the girl is always punished for it – Carla Guigino in The One, Johnny Hallyday’s daughter in Vengeance…

  28. And, paradoxically, the one major Hollywood bigshot who often features & equally treats badass female leads is constantly profiled or attacked for being something of an egotistical prick. Also, his initials are the same as those of Jesus Christ.

    Hey, there may be a lot more to this! Where’s my Glenn Beck conspiracy blackboard?

  29. triple AAA post Tawdry Hepburn, I love the irony of supposedly “Jewish controlled” Hollywood making so many movies with Christ allegories, even Spielberg did it with E.T.

    and Mouth, don’t forget that that same JC also made a movie that seemed pretty anti-corporate to me, you might have heard of it

  30. I never got the “The Jews run Hollywood” bullshit, when it seems pretty obvious that even Scientology seems to have more power.

    Also the last time I saw a wheelchair bound character with a sexlife in a movie, was in FREDDY GOT FINGERED. That was a pretty nice touch in that otherwise nonsensical movie. In it Tom Green started flirting with a woman who was sitting behind a counter and after he made a date with her, he noticed that she was sitting in a wheelchair. And he didn’t even mind! He dated her throughout the movie, without thinking about her disability. The only thing that got on his nerves, was that he wanted a romantic date, but she desperately wanted to suck his dick.

    And for the writers among you: Have you ever tried to introduce a gay character in a way, that might not be considered as “shocking revelation” or even worse, as joke? It might be easy in theory, but you have to explain it to the audience too. I once wrote a script, in which one of the characters was gay, but it wasn’t a big deal. His homosexuality was never part of the story, nor meant to be a quirk, to make him more interesting. My plan was to let him say, 2/3 within the script, something like: “He is hot.”, while he was talking with his friends about another man. And that was all. His friends had just accepted that remark, without any further comments on it, because they knew he was gay and I didn’t want to make a huge fuzz about it. But it doesn’t matter how I wrote it, I always imagined the audience bursting out in laughter after that “shocking revelation”, which was neither meant to be funny or shocking. Another idea was to show him arm in arm with another man, right when we see him the first time, but that felt too much like: “OMG CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? HE IS GAAAAAAY!!!”
    I’m sure that there are writers who are either better than me or less analytical when they think of possible audience reactions, who might come up with a good way to introduce gay characters without making it a big thing, but I have no fucking idea.

  31. If you want to go there, the Christ/resurrection allegory stuff goes way back through centuries of literature, anthropology, the foundations of religion & culturally accepted superstition, and apparently innate human nature during humanity’s early rationalizations of the cycles of the seasons and how crops start to grow each year in what we now call spring.  

    I say “innate” because I’m not sure anyone’s logical assessment, no matter how detached, of the eons-long phenomenon will successfully demonstrate that people even today are able to decouple their understanding from their long-established link with the soil & water based functions of the revolution & orbit of the earth.  Thus, it’s easier to argue that we are all genetically imbued with or unconsciously taught from birth the belief in the merits of death & rebirth in some form.  Earth.  And water.  With the advent of bookkeeping and the rise of centralized populations, people eventually twisted this intrinsically earthy connection and anthropomorphized its most easily communicated & revered qualities.  This may sound like a stretch, and there are other factors of course, but I suspect that this in turn supported & perpetuated the belief systems that idolize Jesus/Allah/Zeus.  

    Unfortunately, the same kind of string of logical leaps tends to become fodder for bigots who selectively apply seemingly scientific & historical analysis to point to the unnatural (or anti-Natural Selection) aspects of homosexuality.  

    So anyway, that might partially explain the many examples of Hollywood products that reflect, often subconsciously, what we call the Christ narrative and what Sir James George Frazer, author of THE GOLDEN BOUGH, found a thousand different names for from as many different cultures.  

  32. the “The Jews run Hollywood” motif is an old stereotype and old stereotypes die hard

    I mean people still joke about black people loving watermelon and that stereotype is over a century old (it also doesn’t make sense, who doesn’t love watermelon?)

  33. Allah and Zeus didn’t die and come back to life though

  34. I don’t like Watermelons.

  35. Well, Griff, depending on which sect you consult, you’ll find that Allah’s messenger (Peace be upon him, of fucking course) had various followers & family members who are celebrated martyrs, so that sort of counts.  

    And as for more ancient mythologies like the one featuring Zeus?  The ancient Greeks were an intriguing anomaly.  Democracy.  Philosophy.  Art.  Imagination.  Sporting competition.  Communal leisure.  An attempted balance between war & diplomacy.  The only aspects of their culture that haven’t aged well arguably have been their religion and their acceptance & practice of gay manlove.  

    Watermelon is delicious.  CJ is wrong and possibly an android.  

  36. Mouth, Ridley Scott’s initials are RS.

  37. anything gay in the movies can be played with a wink and a nod. for example, “G.I. Jane.” You don’t have to even mention her sexuality, the lesbians will love this movie due to it’s overt symbolism. Of course, it’s completely in the closet, but the nice thing is you can play it, ehem, straight, and the homophobes don’t even notice they have a window on gay fantasy life.

  38. Good lord…

    So for all the individuals either making snide remarks or loud declarations as to how Hollywood is really conservative and right wing and so called showbiz liberals are all full of shit hypocrites, I would like to just offer a few thoughts, as someone who works in the film industry and has yes, lived in Hollywood. And perhaps actually knows what they’re talking about:

    -Since the silent era, women have dominated the field of editing, one of the most important departments in a film production;

    -The film industry gave an Oscar to a black woman in 1938;

    -Disney was granting partnership benefits to gay employees years before anybody else was;

    -The fiercest opposition to HUAC and Senator Joseph McCarthy came from, yes, the film industry: some of the biggest stars in the world, like Humphrey Bogart, put their careers on the line to stand up to the committee.

    Sure, Hollywood is not this monolithic fortress of progressive liberalism, that’s the stereotype right-wingers want to use against us and it’s obviously not true. It’s as untrue as left-wingers saying that everybody in the Army is a straight white male right-wing homophobic war-loving redneck. That’s a simplistic stereotype as well. There have been and will be plenty of conservative filmmakers and films and it’s how it should be; if the film industry stops making movies that express a variety of viewpoints and perspectives, then we’re in trouble.

    But it’s still a hell of a lot more liberal and progressive overall then say, the NFL, some sectors of law enforcement, or, yes, the Military. I remember, on the first big movie I worked on, looking around at lunch one day and suddenly being struck by the realization that here you had the entirety of America–men and women, black and white, gay and straight, young and old, left and right, North and South, native and immigrant–all working together to create something, in a profession they had chosen and been called too. It wasn’t this paradise of joyful cooperation and unity, but it was free of a lot of the class / race / sex / gender divisions that scar so much of American life.

  39. -Taraji P. Henson’s character in SMOKIN’ ACES was gay, but not openly so.
    -Michael Fassbender’s character and that younger recruit in 300 were totally flirting with each other during that one fight scene(“Somebody’s got to watch your back” “Not now, I’m a little busy!”)
    -Carla Gugino played a lesbian in SIN CITY, who bounced back from getting her hand eaten pretty quick and was one of the good guys…though was killed.
    -Tom Hardy in INCEPTION? Hardy says he based the personality off of Nolan, as a real luvvie type, but that doesn’t mean Eames isn’t gay. He was comfortable posing as a woman and flirting with the mark. And he was one of the most capable guys in the whole thing when it came to asskicking.

    As for race casting and asians in particular, they are pretty rare. Black and Hispanic seems to be more of the default. In the new HAWAII FIVE-O however, there’s oddly more asians than actual Hawaiians in the main cast. Even the two who are meant to be Hawaiian are played by koreans…one of whom is from Canada!
    Also I’m going to declare THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS movies the most diverse series of recent years so far with it’s casting. In FAST FIVE alone: Vin Diesel (ambiguous “Italian and lots of other stuff”), The Rock (Half Black, Half Samoan), Jordana Brewster (Brazillian), Tyrese and Ludacris (Black), Sung Kang (Asian), Tego Calderon and Don Omar (Puerto Rican), Gal Gadot (Israeli), all the Rio native characters, and a couple of token white people. And a few of them die.

  40. JD, with all due respect, I hardly think the Internet is the place for informed opinions. I know you were just trying to be helpful but in the future can you please try not to compromise the purity of the Internet? It’s the one place I know that I can consistently turn to for people talking out of their ass. I’d hate to lose that. (I kid, of course. I know that I can also consistently turn to real life for a constant stream of uninformed opinions.)

  41. It’s not really an action movie, but Laurie Metcalf was a good guy cop lesbian in Internal Affairs, playing Andy Garcia’s partner. I remember thinking how progressive that was when I was a kid, but in reality it actually added to the plot, since Garcia’s wife (Nancy Travis) didn’t know she was a lesbian and thought they were sleeping together. Speaking of which, remember when Nancy Travis was in everything? What happened to her?

  42. She might have been cursed by Terry Farrell’s fan, when she replaced her in BECKER. At least that’s what I did back then. I guess it worked.

  43. ThomasCrown442

    May 13th, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    My two favorite Nancy Travis movies: So I Married An Axe Murderer (with Mike Myers) and Greedy (with Michael J. Fox). She was great back in the day.

  44. Hollywood is more capitalist than they are liberal or conservative. They’re more worried about making a profit than they are about politics. I recently read that when white people see too many of one minority in the cast of a film, then they assume that it is a film that was not intended for them and stay away. This means that in recently years there has been a slight decline in how many African-Americans have been cast in lead roles. Although I happen to think art can help us understand other cultures, most Americans tend to want to see their own particular culture reflected on the big screen. With the exception of cheaply made niche films, Hollywood avoids putting minorities in larger roles simply because they’re worried that the American public might stay away.

  45. I have to say that as much as I think it’s nice to have a straightforward lesbian action hero, I don’t know that it’s exactly progressive. If anything, the stereotype is that female action heros are lesbians, so it’s not too much of a stretch to make it explicit. It would be more progessive to break the stereotype with a gay action hero. Heck, I think even a more feminine straight female action hero might be more transgressive. Just depicting a member of an oppressed group on film in a positive light isn’t always necessarily a risk, if our ideas about what this group represents and how we treat them are not challenged.

    Not to diminish the fact that its nice to have a out lesbian action movie, even a shitty one, without it coming off as a gimmick or a joke. But I think sometimes these things get more political credit than they may deserve.

  46. Rembrandt from ‘the Warriors’ was gay…or at least I seem to recall thinking that when I first saw the movie. Also, in that particular film ‘the Lizzies’ (that girl gang who ambush our heroes) seemed to be pretty open with each other.

    Not that Rembrandt and the Lizzies is a great example of gay characters being featured in action movies…

  47. Speaking of lesbian themed movies, here’s one: A Marine Story. Apparently it’s been making the festival rounds and according to wikipedia, was originally meant for the Here channel but the budget for it was cancelled. Anyone seen this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixk192SX9es

  48. Back in the VHS days, I remember seeing a box for a movie called RAISING HEROES at the local Blockbuster. It featured two guys in a John Woo-esque pose and the tagline “This time, the gay guy’s got the gun!” It practically begged for me to rent it, but I guess I was a homophobic teenager who was too scared to get infected by the gay radiation that would emit from the screen while watching it, so I never did.

    Anyway, I just looked it up, and here’s the link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117435/

    Might have to check it out this time, now that my homophobia has dwindled down to merely getting a tad uncomfortable by some guy’s arm brushing against mine in a crowded movie theater. No, not a porn theater.

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