Acts of Violence (2018)

Acts of Violence (2018) looks like a formulaic, sh*t B-movie and I have no intentions of seeing it. Bruce Willis, who these days will accept any film role offer, then phone it in and collect his paycheck, is apparently in this movie for all of about 10 minutes. Acts of Violence currently has a 0% rating on RT (not that I put much weight in film critics.)

Nonetheless, I would add this film to a growing list of movies geared towards working class white men (e.g., Taken) which depict white men rescuing white women abducted into sexual slavery (or other harm) by brown or black criminal elements. Such films act as a stress-release outlet for anxiety over ‘refugee’ migration into the West. The Jungian collective unconscious seems to be strong on this theme.  (See my review in Counter-Currents of the film Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017) for more on this theme.)

In the case of Acts of Violence, we have the MacGregor brothers, essentially a Midwestern white Scots clan, two of whom are ex-military (one with PTSD and anger issues) going all Rambo on a sex trafficking gang run by a black guy.

One reviewer writes:

In the worldview of Acts of Violence, there is nothing good or decent or right, except for force. It depends, of course, upon who’s yielding that force and against whom the person is yielding it. It’s a movie of supposed moral certainty, although that certainty comes by heavily tipping the scales in the favor of its “good guys.” When coupled with that view of violence, it’s easy to see this as a politically, philosophically, and morally corrupt movie.

It’s cheap and lazy, too, which makes it more difficult to see much of anything beyond the movie’s belief system. Here, the good guys are a trio of brothers, two of them Army veterans, and the bad guys are a gang of sex slavers and drug dealers. The police are seen as a burden, until a cop or two figure out that, under the story’s extreme circumstances, the law is meaningless. The only right response is to take justice into one’s own hands.

People in this movie’s world are either men of action or victims. There’s no in between. The only variation is whether the men of action—and they’re always men in this movie—are doing good or evil.

If the men of action are always men here, it should come as little surprise that all of the victims in Nicolas Aaron Mezzanatto’s screenplay are women. One supposes that an attitude of misogyny means little compared to the movie’s fascistic outlook, but it’s worth mentioning, if only because the two ideas seem inextricably linked within this story.

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