With would-be action blockbusters The Island and Stealth bombing in consecutive weeks, it's time for Hollywood's greatest minds to stroke their chins and offer their ruminations on Why The Action Genre Is Flailing. While lower-wattage intellects like Michael Bay burn off precious brain cells in the process of commanding their fingers to point in every direction but inward, deep thinker Rob "XXX/Fast the Furious" Cohen mines the collective unconscious to formulate a larger theory about why this summer's audiences are shunning the cutting edge offerings of the blowing-shit-up genre:
"You had Ridley Scott with 'Kingdom of Heaven', and Michael Bay ['The Island'] gave you cloning. I don't think this generation sources their heroes in this arena. Maybe they'll source their heroes as two guys who crash weddings so they can have sex with vulnerable girls, or maybe an heiress who does soft-core porn. Action films are usually about the male hero, and if you live in a time when you don't believe in heroes, it makes it difficult ... to make action films as they've been traditionally defined"
And thus we have an answer for Stealth's failure: Paris Hilton and Owen "The Butterscotch Stallion" Wilson are shitting all over Hollywood's dog-eared copy of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, then wiping with the chapter examining the "Male Fighter Pilots Chasing a Runaway Airplane Given Sentience by a Bolt of Lightning" archetype. The action movie as we know it can't possibly withstand this kind of radical paradigm shift.