Where’s Jack Bauer when you need him?
Maybe we should be calling Samuel L Jackson instead.
The US television show, 24, which aired suspiciously quickly after the events of September 11 2001 is a thrilling, yet shallow cover up of blatant pro-america, pro-freedom propaganda. In the article, ‘Where’s Jack Bauer when you need him’ many Politicians use the scenarios shown in 24 to justify the use of torture in exchange for protecting freedom, democracy and the flag.
24, however, was not the first time Hollywood made a movie to justify American military action, or to get the population behind the troops. Just look at Casablanca, one of the most celebrated films of all time. It was paid for by the US military as an attempt to sway the population to a pro-war stance; it worked.
The year 2000 saw Hollywood A-lister, Samuel L. Jackson star in the thrilling war/court drama, ‘Rules of engagement’.
In this film Jackson plays a Vietnam War veteran and Marine commander, Colonel Childers, who gives the order for his troops to open fire on a crowded square of angry protesters in the Yemen. The crowd was trying to invade the US embassy. From that point on the film is set in and around a court hearing for Jackson’s character, as the US military try to make him a scape goat and save their own skin. Special attention is shown to Col. Childers service record, his deeds in Vietnam and the scene where he takes down the American flag to protect it before sending it away in a helicopter. Noam Chomsky uses this film in his Documentary ‘Real Bad Arabs’ to highlight a way in which the people of Yemen were portrayed as terrorists.
2010 saw Jackson in another role, special agent H of the FBI in the terrorism thriller ‘Unthinkable’.
The title itself is left open to two possible yet different interpretations; would you do the unthinkable to protect your country? Or what if the unthinkable were to happen to your country? Amid the graphic torture scenes, moral struggles and serious acting cheesy lines such as: If this bomb goes off there won’t be a constitution” serve to reinforce the implications which surround the film.
The whole story could be a way for Hollywood to justify the homeland defence laws of the USA which allow indefinite detention of a citizen suspected of terrorist activity. Or it cold just as easily be a film to remind the western world of the way it felt following September 11.