Bummer Summer: Why Are Action-Movie Heroes So Glum?

by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango LLC

It must suck to be powerful.

I’m planning what kind of image I should have of myself here on my site. Since I picture myself as an action star (in a Woody Allen way), I researched how Hollywood was depicting its leading studs this summer. What I saw wasn’t encouraging. Indeed, I didn’t know if I was looking at action-movie posters or mugshots from the Beverly Hills P.D. Apparently, the heroic pose du jour is full emo: look moody and gaze at your navel. If these are superheroes, who needs villains? See for yourself…

Captain America

Go ahead, run around a battlefield carrying a target and see how you feel.

Thor

Forget Valhalla — get me some Valium.

Conan the Barbarian

It just hit me that I'm going to be governor of California someday.

Cowboys and Aliens

I said we got an illegal alien problem in these here parts, but did anyone believe me? Nooo...

Puss In Boots

Of course I look inexplicably intense and grumpy. I'm a cat.

Pirates of the Caribbean

I know, I know, it's a Disney family movie based on a theme park ride and my character is supposed to be comedic, but I'm still thinking about my reviews in "The Tourist." At least I'm looking up.

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Freddy is the Founder & Creative Strategist of Atomic Tango. He also teaches at the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), watches too much football, and shoots pool somewhat adequately. He received his BA from Harvard and his MBA from USC.

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