The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that terrorism is making a comeback in Hollywood films after a dozen post-9/11 years in which they shied away from dealing with a topic that studios deemed too sensitive. The report credits this new trend to filmmakers attempting to bring to their fictional films some "real-world relevance." There's just one problem: Hollywood's terrorism is still devoid of real-world terrorists.
The Times article points out that the filmmakers of several of the summer's blockbusters feel safe again to depict acts of terrorism: "collapsing skyscrapers, spaceships flying into densely populated cities and bombers run amok… With the terror attacks more than a decade in the past, they say they no longer have to worry about alienating audiences."
First of all, terror attacks are not "more than a decade in the past." Sure, they aren't on the scale of 9/11, but America has continued to endure attempted and successful terror attacks since then, all the way up to the recent Boston bombing. As for alienating audiences, did it ever occur to those filmmakers that movies in which America proudly and unapologetically kicked Islamic terrorist butt might provide audiences with that tremendous collective catharsis that Aristotle noted was the aim of good drama? That movies which affirmed our freedoms and our superior cultural values – that's right, I said superior –might have united, inspired and empowered those audiences? That such movies might have sent a message to the world that we are unbowed by barbarism?