Conservatives constantly complain about Hollywood … often for very good reasons.
The industry’s voice is almost uniformly liberal. Major stars (like Amy Schumer and Michael Shannon) talk down to Red State denizens in the ugliest ways possible. Films often mock or denigrate the U.S. Military (think Redacted for a glaring Exhibit A).
Liberal messages abound in many films and TV shows. Consider the “resistance” themes lurking within Supergirl and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Sites like NewsBusters cover this terrain aggressively. Tinsel Town gives the site’s writers plenty of fodder.
Hollywood also hasn’t captured the heroism displayed by U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Enter 12 Strong.
The Jan. 19 release tells the amazing true story of the Horse Soldiers. These brave Green Berets were the first U.S. boots on the ground in war-torn Afghanistan after terrorists killed 3,000-plus Americans on Sept 11, 2001.
Modern day heroes Major Mark Nutsch and Chief Warrant Officer Robert Pennington are played by Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon, respectively. Some of the facts have been changed for dramatic purposes (including the aforementioned heroes’ names). The thrust of the mission remains accurate and compelling.
The film should be red meat to conservatives. It’s patriotic and lacks the kind of pearl clutching seen in some war movies. The Taliban is depicted in the cruelest way possible, reflecting the truth behind the barbaric group. It’s also apolitical to the core.
This doesn’t mean conservatives will run out and see it, though.
The movie marketplace is as crowded as ever. Streaming options give people excuses to stay home and chill. Some conservatives, angered by 24/7 attacks against President Donald Trump by A-list stars, have all but given up on movie going.
Potential ticket buyers might remember what co-star Shannon said about Trump voters shortly after Election Day 2016.
Will all of the above impact 12 Strong? It might. If it does, then conservatives will hurt their own arguments against Hollywood’s liberal bias. If they can’t rally en masse to support a film that echoes their values, then why should studios make movies for them?
This is not an official film review. Hollywood in Toto will weigh in on the merits of 12 Strong later. This argument reflects something different, a cold reality that shouldn’t be ignored. The market always responds to positive feedback, even in an industry that leans decidedly to the left.
It’s why we’ve seen a flood of faith-based films in recent years following the breakout success of both The Passion of the Christ and Fireproof.
Audiences rallied in the past for movies that echoed 12 Strong. Both American Sniper ($350 million) and Lone Survivor ($125 million) rocked the box office.
If 12 Strong doesn’t duplicate those results conservatives will only have themselves to blame.
[Cross-posted from Hollywood in Toto.]