Chapter

Action men

Lisa Purse

in Contemporary Action Cinema

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780748638178
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670857 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638178.003.0006
Action men

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The chapter introduces and historicises the key debates about the male action hero, before offering an extended investigation of the representation of the male action hero in contemporary action cinema, making reference to a wide range of films including Gladiator, The Transporter, Superman Returns, Transformers, Live Free or Die Hard, and Shoot 'Em Up. The ‘playful masculinities’, uncertain masculinities, youth action heroes, ageing action heroes and hypermasculinities evident in the 2000s action cinema are analysed and contextualized in relation to socio-cultural developments and action cinema history through a series of case study films.

Keywords: Male action hero; Male representation; Playful masculinity; Uncertain masculinity; Hypermasculinity; Youth; Ageing

Chapter.  7856 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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