Violence in the Media
Gina Marchetti, in her essay "Action-Adventure as Ideology," argues that action- adventure films implicitly convey complex cultural messages regarding American values and the "white American status quo." She continues to say that all action-adventure movies have the same basic structure, including plot, theme, characterization, and iconography. As ideology, this film genre tacitly expresses social norms, values, and morals of its time. Marchetti's essay, written in 1989, applies to films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark and Rambo: First Blood II. However, action-adventure films today seem to be straying farther away from her generalizations about structure, reflecting new and different cultural norms in
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Strangely enough, the villains of this particular film are also its heroes. Mickey and Malory Knox are two lovers who murder their parents, steal their car, and procede to kill 52 others in 3 weeks. They represent everything immoral in American society, and yet quotes by their screaming fans from the film such as "Mickey and Malory are the best thing to happen to mass murder since Manson," promote their actions as heroic. This movie is a perfect example of "evil" dominating "good," or what society perceives as good. The detective folowing Mickey and Malory would presumeably be the "good" hero, but he is depicted as totally corrupt, and in one scene rapes a woman. On the contrary, the two murderers are the heroes, the products of disfunctional families and society. They are outsiders, drifters, and lovers with no worries, all the freedom in the world, and a "natural" appetite for blood. In this sense they fit Marchetti's description of a hero as a loner; but rather than saving the society that molded them, they are destroying it. Their actions are justified by all elements of the film, and along with murder and savagery, they are idealized.
The plot of Natural Born Killers also contrasts traditional action-adventure plots. According to Gina Marchetti, there are three main action-adventure plots. The first involves a quest for a valuable object hidden in a third world country. The second involves invasion by a foreign