Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

They Live! – My reaction

Posted by cliffordpaulparsoniiiesq on November 27, 2016

They Live is the rare action movie that manages to overcome its bizarre premise to be an absolute blast. The film takes itself seriously as an action flick, and it might have been better if it were presented with more of a comedic angle. Still, it’s hard to say that They Live takes itself TOO seriously (Look no further than the film critic giving John Carpenter a shout out at the very end). Plus, the movie is loaded with enough thrills to make it a perfect popcorn-munching classic.

I very much liked the main character in They Live. He exhibits a humanity that so many ‘80s action heroes seem to lack. He doesn’t strike me as an ultra-tough action hero a la Chuck Norris, but rather an ordinary guy who gets into a bad situation. He reminds me a lot of another of my favorite action heroes of 1988, John McClane (Bruce Willis) from Die Hard. He’s the kind of hero Hollywood needs a lot more of!

The film is famous for its fight scene between Frank and out hero. The scene drags on for a while, prompting more than a couple scoffs from some classmates. However, I think this scene serves as an excellent microcosm for the movie, once you add a bit of context. Frank and Rowdy Roddy had such bigger issues to deal with; such a bigger enemy than each other. If Frank had just put on the glasses like Roddy said, he would have seen the bigger threat and put aside his own petty disagreement. He would have saved some of that punching energy for the aliens!


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