CATEGORIES Features, Movie News
Edge of DarknessRemember back in the day, when movie supervillains were, you know, actually supervillains? Lex Luthor, The Joker, Khan Noonien Singh, Michael Bay -- all were evil masterminds who would wreck havoc on the city or planet (or movie, in Bay's case) in which they threatened.

Recently, as with this weekend's new Mel Gibson thriller, 'Edge of Darkness,' we've noticed a trend in movies, in which our heroes are terrorized (usually, at first, behind the scenes) by defense corporations.

Which got us to thinking: Are defense corporations the new Legion of Doom? Let's take a look at some recent examples.


Edge of DarknessRemember back in the day, when movie supervillains were, you know, actually supervillains? Lex Luthor, The Joker, Khan Noonien Singh, Michael Bay -- all were evil masterminds who would wreck havoc on the city or planet (or movie, in Bay's case) in which they threatened.

Recently, as with this weekend's new Mel Gibson thriller, 'Edge of Darkness,' we've noticed a trend in movies, in which our heroes are terrorized (usually, at first, behind the scenes) by defense corporations.

Which got us to thinking: Are defense corporations the new Legion of Doom? Let's take a look at some recent examples.

'Edge of Darkness'


Mel Gibson stars as Thomas Craven, a Boston police officer who witnesses the murder of his daughter. Soon, Craven suspects that she was offed by her employer, Northshore, a nuclear research company that may-or-may-not be dabbling in illegal weapons trading, and who she may had been trying to blow the whistle on. Even a powerful defense corporation should know not to mess with a member of the Gibson family.

'State of Play'

Russell Crowe is a crusty old newspaper reporter following a news story about a series of deaths with a young -- and a bit reckless -- online blogger. The deaths lead Crowe to PointCorp, a -- wait for it! -- defense contractor trying to create a monopoly on U.S. security. Thankfully, this is fiction and could never happen in real life. Right.

'Iron Man'

Okay, fine. The hero of the film, Tony Stark, is the CEO of a defense contractor. Does this film buck the trend? Could a defense company be the protagonist? Well, no. What fun would that be? However, Stark's partner, Obadiah Stane, did illegally sell weapons to terrorists, which led to his immediate arrest on charges of treason. (Okay, that's what would have happened in the real world. In this world, the dispute was settled over an old fashion suit-of-armor-powered-by-a-small-nuclear-reactor street fight.)

'The International'

Clive Owen and Naomi Watts play an Interpol agent and a district attorney, respectively, who are fighting to stop a bank that is involved in arms dealing (Because, really, people, who isn't moving warheads on the side these days?). Banks are powerful. Defense contractors are also powerful. Combine the two and, like Owen and Watts, you probably won't stop much of anything.

'G.I. Joe'

It's France, circa 1641 (naturally), and a notorious arms dealer, nicknamed Destro, is captured and accused of selling arms to both sides of a conflict. Then, in our near future, a direct descendant of that same arms dealer, James McCullen (also nicknamed Destro), does pretty much the same thing. Only this time, it's a weapon based on nanotechnology -- ie, little robot bugs that can eat metal, as the Eiffel Tower unfortunately discovers. Eventually, Joe defies the odds (and some laws of physics), to prevail.