From Mary Burgan
There is a type of movie that I think of as male soap opera. There have to be car chases, fabulous crashes, and explosions in these films. Apocalypse usually has to threaten, and there has to be a girlfriend who doesn’t understand the danger — unless she is secretly in league with the evil forces.
And in recent years all the action has had to involve an alternate reality that the hero is trying to understand or save the world from. That alternate reality labels the film “serious.”
I named this category years ago when I went to see Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) at a Cineplex in a Midwest campus town and noticed all the guys being fully satisfied when the blond scientist falls into the void, though Harrison Ford has tried to keep hold of her hand. As we walked out, the guys were in a state of ultimate enjoyment while their female dates seemed bemused rather than entertained.