I was disturbed to turn on the television this weekend and see trailers for two bid-budget-and extremely violent-films being released by Hollywood this month.
The first was for “Righteous Kill,” which stars Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino. The trailer certainly lives up to the film s name, glamorizing the use of handguns and assault weapons and implying that some forms of homicide are both moral and acceptable:
Unknown: “Somebody shot another bad guy.”
DeNiro: “We got to find out who did this.”
Pacino: “Give him a medal.”
In another segment, DeNiro quips, “Nothing wrong with a little shooting, as long as the right people get shot.”
The “Bangkok Dangerous” trailer with Nicolas Cage is every bit as audacious in glamorizing murder. In it, hitman Cage boasts that there is no right and wrong and is shown shooting multiple people.
These films follow closely on the heels of others that have glamorized vigilantism and murder, including “The Brave One” with Jodie Foster, “Shoot ‘Em Up” with Clive Owen, and “Wanted” with Angelina Jolie.
What is most baffling is that many of the same actors who are appearing in these movies have made strong statements about the need for tougher gun laws in the past. Cage was the lead in the thought-provoking film “Lord of War,” which catalogued the tragedy wrought by the illicit international trade in small arms. DeNiro has been vilified by the gun rights community for his support for sensible gun laws. Foster stated that she was absolutely for gun control after The Brave One was released. It s hard to see what is driving this apparent contradiction outside of a large paycheck.
One thing is for sure ¦when it comes to idolizing guns and glamorizing justifiable homicide, Hollywood can certainly give the gun lobby a run for its own money.