WWI action movies haven’t performed well so far – Cinelinx

War is often the setting for action and adventure films, but for some reason films set during World War I did not have as much of a lasting impact as films set during others. Conflicts. But that seems to be changing.

Kingsman is the latest in a long line of modern action-adventure films set during the tumultuous times of WWI. In the footsteps of Sam Mendes 1917 and Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, he brings a modern perspective to a conflict that arose over a century ago. While the two Kingsman and Wonder woman use conflict as motivation for a comic book-like origin story for their respective franchises, 1917 approached the war with more artistic intent. These two approaches are very different from the types of films that have attempted to use conflict as a setting in the past.

Unlike WWII, the Vietnam War, and even the Gulf War, WWI didn’t really see much success as a subject for epic / action / adventure movies. To consider The promise, Flyboys, The red baron, The trench, Where The great war. There have been some memorable dramas over the years, including romantic dramas and dramas based on books. Look at the years 1979 In the west, nothing is new, and 2004 A very long commitment. But compared to production based on other conflicts, WWI films are lacking in all areas, above all in action movies.

World War II was arguably the most important conflict of the 20th century and has significantly influenced modern life more than any other conflict in human history. For this reason, it’s understandable that there are many memorable films in almost every genre that uses WWII as the backdrop. I would even go so far as to say that WWII made the film industry what it is today. Without the social and economic implications of the conflict, the New Hollywood movement would not have emerged in the 1960s to change the face of cinema forever.

Likewise, influences from other conflicts have also had major influences on the course of modern cinema and pop culture itself. Movies like Apocalypse now, The deer hunter, Section, and Full Metal Jacket war films defined for an entire generation. In the 90s and 2000s, films like Courage under fire, Three kings, The Hurt Locker, and American sniper discussed modern conflicts in the Middle East and resonated well with the public. All of these films have been very influential in the industry in one way or another.

The films of the First World War do not have the same heritage. 1917 is an unforgettable film that will be remembered for a long time, and Wonder woman gave us the first blockbuster female superhero film. But before these two films, I have the impression that we should go back to Stanley Kubrick’s 1957 film. Paths to Glory to find a popular WWI movie. In fact, some of the top-rated WWI films came out in the 1940s or earlier, including Oscar winners like Sergeant York, Wings, and In the west, nothing is new. (I know movies like Laurence of Arabia and The african queen relate to WWI, but I don’t feel they represent the heart of the conflict).

I think there are a number of reasons for this lack of good WWI movies, especially the more action-oriented ones. First, World War I was a very shocking development. It was a bloody and merciless conflict because it was the first major conflict waged with “modern” technology. Due to its horror, all who lived during this time were negatively affected by it. It sounded like a loss of innocence, and indeed, we now refer to this generation as the “lost generation”. They became disillusioned with the world and its politics, and so the war was not much of a source of national pride, quite the contrary.

The filmmakers naturally did not want to glorify war for entertainment purposes. Movies like Wings showed the sacrifices many soldiers made and discussed the war from a more philosophical point of view. In other words, the movies were trying to make sense of it, not use the war itself to try to make a point. When the lost generation had children, those children reached adulthood during the Great Depression. Again, you have another generation that is facing terrible events of the present day, and the very last thing they would want is to go to the movies and see their personal life issues unfold on the big screen.

Second, when World War II broke out, it essentially wiped out any WWI interest from Hollywood. In fact, when the Hollywood Code fell in the 1960s, it was World War II that was still fresh on the minds of filmmakers, and so war movies took on that conflict. The fall of Hollywood codes would have opened the door to more action or adventure films about the First World War that were lacking in the 1930s-1940s. As the New Hollywood movement took hold in the ’60s, filmmakers looked for more immediacy in the types of movies they were making, and so by this time, WWI topics were old news.

Over the following decades, the Cold War and then 9/11 gained national attention, and Hollywood responded with films addressing aspects of these current events. You must also consider the nature of the audience for modern films. Big budget movies gradually became more geared towards young people and then towards older people – neither including the lost or silent generations that would have had a direct connection in their lives to the First War. global. During the 1960s there was a youth revolution and those sectors of society that were controlled by those born before WWII became controlled by those born after the conflict. All of this has led to a baby boomer-controlled film industry during the period in which it underwent the greatest changes.

So maybe WWI is just a forgotten time. There is so much gold to be mined in 20th century history that historically oriented films have chosen subjects more relevant to modern times. The lack of connection we have with our ancestors who lived during WWI is also to blame. Although those who lived through WWII died, many people living today still have a connection to that time and the people who lived through it. It gives a sort of nostalgic appeal that WWI never really had in relation to cinema.

The more recent rediscovery of the First World War by major film productions can therefore be attributed to two main events. First, the proliferation of films from the 60s to 2010 that dealt with topics from WWII and beyond caused modern filmmakers to seek something different. With today’s film market so saturated, filmmakers are looking for opportunities to show off their talent and that means avoiding areas where the cinema has already explored (think westerns, vampire films or movies. of World War II). The lack of WWI films makes this a great time to explore.

More importantly, the era of WWI is arguably more fascinating today than it was at any time in the past. Before WWII, WWI was something people wanted to forget. It was the deadliest, costliest and most politically damaging war in history. He ended the dynasties and prepared the world for an unstable and unpredictable future. Compare that to the outlook after WWII. The defeat of the Nazis was seen as a major victory for humanity and an opportunity for us to build a better world. Those who fought in WWII were seen as heroes, not unhappy souls.

Today, our lack of human connection with those who lived during World War I makes us less sympathetic to their plight. Hollywood can glorify conflict for the sake of remorseful entertainment. More importantly, as 1917 has shown, we have the technology to make the experience new. The harsh realities of World War I aren’t chilling reminders of human cruelty, but opportunities to demonstrate new kinds of thrills in ultra high definition with immersive three-dimensional sound.

I also feel like WWI works like a modern movie due to the fact that it was the first “modern” conflict. Before World War I, armies fought in formation with single-shot firearms. Calvary rode on horseback and there was no air support. The First World War presented elements that we associate with our modern understanding of violence and conflict. We are able to better understand what happens in a WWI action sequence than we would in something that took place earlier in history due to its use of modern technology. In other words, it provides the bare minimum of context for contemporary action-seeking audiences to identify with.

Yes Kingsman can prove successful in theaters like 1917 and Wonder woman, you can expect Hollywood to continue to give the go-ahead for other big budget movies to take place during the same time frame. With each release of a new film, audiences gain some understanding of the period and it becomes more familiar to them. As long as they have a positive experience watching these types of movies, you can assume that they will continue to appear to others who take a similar approach. Like superhero movies in the 2000s or disaster movies in the 1990s, the floodgates have opened for a modern overhaul of a once-forgotten genre.


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