Monday, March 10, 2014

What classifies as a guy movie

Steve McQueen in "Hell is for Heroes" (1962)
My Uncle Tony once said that if someone doesn't die within the first 60 seconds of a movie it's not worth watching.  I wouldn't go quite that far, although I see his point.

So, what are the qualifiers for a good guy movie?According to Filmsite's own Greatest 'Guy' Movies of All-Time, "the themes and content of... time-wasting, 'macho' or 'guy' films appeal mostly to male audiences." They generally include:
  • Contests (conflicts or games)
  • Hot cars and women
  • Road trips
  • Sexual initiations
  • Male bonding and buddies
  • Profanities and obscenities
  • Excessive action fight-explosion sequences. 
  • Lavish doses of brutality
  • Ultra- or cartoonish violence
  • Various vulgarities
  • Competitiveness
  • Races
  • Blunt humor
  • Trite dialogue
  • Scenes with naked males and females. 
They may also include:
  • A good plot: Sans a good plot no movie is worth watching.  In fact, a good plot can even make a G-Rated film acceptable to guys (see Old Yeller)
  • A powerful male protagonist:  An established tough guy or cool mail lead, such as Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, Al Pacino, Arnold, Sylvester Stalone, and Steve McQueen.  A powerful exception here is Uma Thurman in Kill Bill
  • Powerful protagonist:  A hero who speaks little and makes his few words mean a lot; such a protagonist may also be a bad guy that you learn to love
  • Vehicle chases: These are always nice
  • Vehicle crashes: Even better
  • Explosions: Better yet
  • Drinking: Hard alcohol shows toughness; beer shows meanness. 
  • A powerful antagonist: It some cases it may even be the good sheriff
  • A heartless, guiltless killing or massacre: Works especially well to gain attention at the beginning, and as a sendoff at the end. 
  • Dead bodies: It's not real, so don't worry
  • Great one liners: Like, "Go ahead, make my day!", or, "I'll be back!"
  • A powerful twist at the end: These keep you thinking long after the movie is over, and over force one to watch the movie a second time.
Movie genres most associated with guy movies are:
  • Action films
  • Crime films
  • Gangster films
  • Sports films
  • Westerns
  • Comedies
  • Raunchy teen films
Movies classified as "guy movies" are movies generally aimed at male audiences (obviously), so the main characters generally tend to be male, and the themes and plots are written as such so that the average guy would connect with them.  So while some of the movies on my list of best guy movies ever may be mainstream hits and box office successes, most are just guy movies.