Masculine roles have effective power in recent movies. In the chapter, the author who is Kenneth Mackinnon talks about ‘masculinity in movies’ by variety ways. He not only considers about the different kinds of movie genres, individual movies and those male movie stars in general, but also introduces the hard body and soft body contrastively for audience. Moreover, Mackinnon mentions about the disadvantages of masculinity in the films and provides three recent illustrations in 2000 to answer the questions of masculinity clearly.
The evidence which author selected is widespread but all come from the main idea of masculinity such as technological advances, the homoeroticism and heterosexuals, the feminism and masculinity and even the culture and history about masculinity in movies. At the beginning of the chapter, Mackinnon introduces the different genres about masculinity in movies by using lots of examples. There are variety of movie types such as action genres, bond movies, westerns, war films, slasher movies, sports movies and something else. One of the most important types is action movie.
As Mackinnon said, action movie is ”a version of heroism was promoted in these movies that depended on visual evidence of physical strength and might. ”(P294) For this reason, the publishers pay much money to superstars in order to get the extraordinary effects in action films. For example, Sylvester Stallone in ‘make rampage’ movie. Similarly, bond movie, as an action series, depicted a new type of masculinity, which found in ”Gentleman Chivalry” from 1962 to the present. The kind of movie continues to execute the heroism, which is popular among audience. For instance, the famous identities of 007 are James Bond and his ‘bond girl’.
However, there is too much “technological excess” and special effects in recent years. That’s captured audience’s attention negatively. The author has also stated the westerns, which are “the supreme genre for the depiction of traditional, laconic, dominating masculinity. ” (P297)The protagonists are usually cowboys in Hollywood film. The consequence of those boys usually be alone. Moreover, western movie allows violence, homosociality and “evasion of domestication”. The author’s opinion of masculinity in sports movies is that they provide a kind of lifestyle, which is a pure physical machismo for audience.
In other words, it is “a highly stylized version of traditional masculinity”(P300) people have chance to watch a “natural” masculinity in sports movie. (i. e. Field of Dreams). Another genre has been mentioned is comedy. It’s a different side of masculinity. Comedy always shows audience the irony of traditional masculinity, especially in vulnerable side. They focused more on conflicts from fatherhood rather than motherhood. In order to understand the masculinity movie deeply, the author selected a few individual movies such as Born on the Fourth of July, Dead Ringers, The Crying Game and The Full Monty.
The protagonist of Born on the Fourth of July is Don Kunz who acts as a “heroic masculine ideal” in the movie. He thinks winning is the most important thing. “to win, others must be losers”(p304)make him full of physical strength. He is a typical figure of masculine in movie. Male stars are also an important factor for masculinity movie, because female audience, even some of male audience will follow the movie stars. In the chapter, Mackinnon introduce male stars such as Warren Beatty, Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson.