The Male Warrior in Film: How America Shapes Its Men


The United States of America is a developed nation with different and unique forms of entertainment. Film or movies are the major forms of entertainment in the US especially during leisure time.

The film industry is special in the US, and this aspect led to the establishment of Hollywood, a famous acting industry. Besides holding the best actors and actresses, Hollywood provides permanent employment for some of the Americans and to other people around the globe. The films may be romantic, horror, or war oriented thus shaping the American men.

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Most of the films are a reflection of the American history especially during the fight for independence, freedom from oppression and revolution. There are very many American films produced by the Hollywood but the following article will discuss only two the braveheart and the rock. Braveheart is among the likeable or famous film directed by Mel Gibson, while The Rock is a popular film directed by Michael Bay.

Besides, being forms of entertainment, the above movies have a great impact on the mind, lifestyle, leadership, and daily routine of the American people. The films motivate young stars to venture into acting industry thus shaping the young men of the American society.

The content or plot of the films, may carry vices like hatred, revenge or fighting among others and virtues like patriotism, love and bravery, which are the attributes of the male warriors in the film whence shaping the American men. Therefore, the American films assist the nation to mould/shape its generations, especially men, into patriotic citizens, good leaders, warriors or soldiers, and humanitarians among others.

Reflection or reviews of the films

The aforementioned films are action movies that focus on a single actor man who ends up being a warrior. Nevertheless, some people criticize the movies despite the great publicity accorded to them from different quarters of the society. For instance, in the film The Rock, most of the Americans with positive reflections comment expansively on the unique and sophisticated machinery used in the films. The flashy moving/ racing cars with the application of unique scientific methods are major centers of attraction.

Moreover, the well-trained military experts with attractive fighting tactics are also likeable, as they possess attributes of a warrior therefore shaping/molding the men in America.

On the other hand, critics of the film are against the exposure of the young boys to weapons and fights, which may eventually determine their character when they attain adulthood. The second film with mixed reactions is the Braveheart, which the Americans positively describe as inspirational because of the motivational speech given by Wallace as the warrior.

On the contrary, other Americans claim that, although the film is a retell or reflection of the American history, some parts/episodes did not occur in reality. The main example is the romantic relationship between princess Isabella of France and Wallace. Nevertheless, the main aim of the film is to offer entertainment through the activities of the Warrior Wallace who may eventually determine the behavioral change in the American men.

Impact of the films to the American men

As aforementioned, the above-mentioned films are action movies based on war. In addition, the movies originate from the US because the casting occurs in Hollywood while the directors are American citizens. All the directors are males, which show the impact of the film industry to the male gender. Creativity is one of the properties that the directors possess in the warriors (main actors). Through the action of the warriors, the films prepare the male gender to be ready in the event of war in their country therefore shaping the American men.

In combination, the two films, being action movies, are a reflection of the mind of an adult American man who may influence a teenager or children. The warriors in the film may shape the American men positively, negatively or have no effect at all depending on which direction an individual decides to follow. The warrior in the film may become the choice role model for the American boy and in the event shapes him as man.

Furthermore, the films mould the Americans into different career experts, which underscore the reason why America is not only the world’s super power, but also produces smart people in the society. Medical experts (doctors, biochemists, chemical experts) or scientists, instructors, engineers and soldiers among others are among the careers children may practice after exposure to some of the actors (warrior) through the cinemas.

Additionally, each of the films contains heroic actor (warrior) possessing good leadership qualities thus molding future leaders in the process of watching. Through the character of the warrior in the film, he compels the American men to fall in his footsteps. On the other hand, the film discourage the American men from venturing into war because of the dire consequences of war like mass death, property destruction, and loss of families among other uncertainties of war.

Finally, the American films promote unity among the citizens because, before any of the two warring sides win, more than two people have to unite or support each other. Usually, the warrior in the film calls for unity among his supporters or people therefore the film compels the American men to adopt the virtues of unity and love, which shape their character.

Children, especially little boys, who watch the films have the temptation of practicing whatever they have seen in the cinemas while at school or in playgrounds. According to Craig et al “A range of attitudes and beliefs are evident in public discourse about the effects of media exposure” (93) without proper guidance, some of the above films may turn a society or a child into a violent person.

Despite the fact that the main role of films is to offer leisure, the film warriors shape, mould, and determine the character, behavior, and the way of life of its men especially the young boys. The films may also “shape the moral aspect and daily life of the people in America” (Ruppel 15).

The previously mentioned films used the events in the American history to inform the Americans of their past which moulds their character. The first film is Brave Heart by Mel Gibson, which concentrates on the invasion of Scotland due to the reigning political instability.

An English King, Edward I, conquers Scotland; unfortunately, he applies ruthless leadership tactics that lead to the oppression of the indigenous people. In the fight for freedom, the natives, led by Wallace, who is the warrior, launch an attack to drive out the English ruler.

The selfless, courageous, and patriotic character of Wallace as the warrior shapes the American man. He fights for human rights thus encouraging fellow American men to fight against the oppression. On the contrary, the film may create hatred or enmity between Americans and the Britons.

The film is a reflection of the evil deeds of the British to the Scottish; thus, any American who takes sides when watching the film may end up in an emotional turmoil. Finally, Wallace dies as a hero and, even though he is no more, his fellow Scottish men and women chant his name: “Wallace! Wallace! Wallace!”when carrying out the revenge against the English for killing their warrior (Gibson). Finally, as a heroic or epic film, Wallace motivates or shapes the American society into a super power.

The film Brave Heart also promotes humanitarian activities among the American. Besides protesting against inhuman activities like murders, the soldiers, led by Wallace, were also against rape and torture of women.

Thusly, Wallace, as a warrior who is against violation of human rights, imparts the virtue of love and respect for human life therefore shaping the American men. Americans who watch the film may decide to fight against any activities that harm human beings, physically or emotionally.

The films also motivate the Americans to be alert to events that may happen in their country. Generations born after a major historical event, have the chance to discover, learn, appreciate, and promote their culture after watching the films.

According to Marsden, “School going children learn the history, religion, and culture of their country by watching the films” (45). Therefore, young men or Americans are able to balance religion and cultural dynamism through watching movies. In the book, Celluloid Dreams, how films shape Americans brings out “the family and political issues in the society” (Ramos, Mayeda, and Pasko 5).

Thusly, the films promote crucial socio-economic aspects not only in the American society, but also across the world. According to Ross, “Hollywood’s engagement in politics has been longer, deeper, and more varied than most people would imagine” (Para.4) and if the warriors or actors in the films in real politics of their countries, they may control the leadership in their states. Thusly, American men follow suit, therefore, shaping the political aspects in their vicinity.

According to the Americans who have watched the film, Braveheart, besides being entertaining, the film also promotes the aspect of patriotism and love for one’s country. Wallace, the heroic figure or warrior in the film, gives up his life while fighting for freedom.

Through the film, or the warrior, the American men might learn the aspect of bravery, thus, shaping their lifetime behaviors in their social, economic, and political struggles. Although Wallace undergoes torture, he declines to beg the Scottish leaders and shouts the word “freedom” before succumbing to death. Therefore, the warrior (Wallace), in the film shapes the American men to love and protect their country especially during crises.

Moreover, the warriors in the film shape the political system in their country because they portray the behavior of the politicians. To the political elites, power and industrial development in a nation may be secretive; nevertheless, the films openly reveal to the public the events that take place in their nation. On the other hand, the torture and death of the warriors like Wallace, who were fighting for their country, may brew up enmity between the American men and the Scottish, eventually shaping the men into hateful people.

Although the movie is a historical event, the American men may dislike the Scottish people because of their ruthless and cruel character in the film, which might strain the diplomacy and friendship that prevails between the two states. Furthermore, some Americans may attempt to revenge against Scotland, which may disintegrate into a hate war.

Communication is a crucial factor when watching films; nevertheless, the choice of words really matters in this area. Young American men might apply any word said by their favorite character in the films. Moreover, there is so much vulgar language like ‘fuck you’ and ‘motherfucker’ among others in the film, which most Americans adopt (Lucifera Para. 16).

Sadly, the vulgar words may end up in the ears of a growing child who will probably apply them. For instance, in the film the rock one of the warriors uses dirty language when he says, “I’m fed up saving your ass. I am amazed you ever got past puberty” (Bay). Although he is addressing his enemy, general Hummel, he openly reveals disrespect as one of his attributes.

Therefore, any American citizen, especially boys or young men, who watches the movie will definitely apply Mason’s character whence shaping them. According to Lucifera, “although there have been many occurrences throughout history; the media portrays this ‘act of self-destruction’ as a unique and outstanding event” (par.4). The films are some of the channels that use warriors to promote negatively destruction in the American men therefore shaping them.

The Rock is the third film, which is about ex-military officers’ conflict with the government. Although General Francis Xavier Hummel worked as a government marine soldier, the government refuses to pay for damages incurred during a war.

The loss of his wife is the main source of his anger, which compels him to take hostage some tourists and threaten to release biological weapons if he does not get a ransom of $100 millions. Cruelty, ruthlessness, and inhumanity are the negative features portrayed by warriors in the film while love, patriotism, and defense are the positive attributes.

When the American citizens watch the above film, some may adapt the fighting tactics exhibited by the warriors in the film thus shaping them. The use of biological weapons by one of the warriors in the film may give insights to American men on how to destroy their enemies. Furthermore, the unborn generation may be born with deformities especially of the extremities, which may render a nation’s economy stagnant.

Nevertheless, if an American citizen realizes the danger of the biological weapons, through the film, he or she may vow to protect/keep away from the chemicals. When Jason Mason says, “Patriotism is a virtue of the vicious” (Bay), Hummel becomes angry and hit; nevertheless, any American watching the film will probably take in the virtue incase the need arises. Therefore, the American films provide a learning/education platform for its citizens.

Therefore, through the warriors in the film, the American men may acquaint themselves with the emerging technology, which may be helpful in many production industries. Additionally, the warriors use different ammunitions and fighting machinery like missiles, rockets to execute some bombs using the computer, which exposes the American men to technology therefore, shaping them in a fast changing world.

The films also expose the citizens to the world through a screen, which is cheap rather than travelling around the globe. Finally, according to Thompson et al “films as one source of media extensively determines the society’s character” (4) and therefore, the social well being of the American men mainly originates from the media or cinemas.


In summary, the two movies discussed above, the Braveheart and the Rock shape the American men especially through the actors or warriors.

The warriors or the actors in the films shape or determine the character of the American men in the US. Leadership attributes, humanitarian activities, political virtues, and good relationship qualities like love, patience, and mercy prevail in the films. The films also inspire and motivate the younger generation or men to venture into different careers like medicine, engineering, and other scientific careers.

From the views of the people who have watched, the films offer entertainment to the Americans and other people in the world. Actors act as role models to young stars with the hope of venturing into the industry in the future. Culture and major historical issues in the films promote the cultural heritage of not only Americans, but also other countries like the Britain and Scotland, which features in the films.

Technology and machinery attracts people to watch the Hollywood movies. In the action movies, unfortunately, the films may portray other communities or a certain gender to be evil and inhuman, which may strain the relationship between different states or people. The religious and cultural practices of most of the American men may be because of watching films. Finally, the American films lead to the improvement of socio-economic status of the society.

Works cited

Bay, Michael, dir. The rock. Hollywood Pictures, 1996. Film.

Craig, Anderson, Berkowitz, Leonard, Donnerstein, Edward, Huesmann, Rowell, Johnson, James, Linz, Daniel, Malamuth, Neil, and Wartella. Elle. The influence of media Violence on youth. Psychological Science in the Public Interest 4.3 (2003): 81–110.

Gibson, Mel, dir. Braveheart. USA: Twentieth Century Fox, 1995. Film

Lucifera, Diana. Mass Media Shapes Apocalyptic Cultures in America; A look at Magazines, Movies, and the Internet, n.d. Web. 05 Aug. 2011.

Marsden, George. Religion and American Culture. Orlando: Harcourt Brace, 1990.

Ramos, Chris, Mayeda, David, and Pasko, Lisa. Celluloid Dreams: How Film Shapes America. USA: Kendall Hunt Publishing Co, 2010.

Ross, Steven. Hollywood Left and Right: How movie stars shaped American Politics, 2011. Web. 05 Aug. 2011.

Ruppel, Shell. Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture. New York: Penguin Press, 2009.

Thompson, William, and Hickey, Joseph. Society in Focus. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2005.


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