When we watch movies, we learn lessons. Due to the music, sound effects, the dark theater, movies make a huge imprint on the mind which is why I very rarely go to the theater due to this overwhelming effect. The most popular movies for the last decade or three decades have been fantasy movies featuring battles and fights all the time: Star Wars, the Avenger/Marvel movies, Harry Potter, etc. All of these feature one main thing: ridiculous ‘battles’ of the most childish sort.
All of these pretend to show battle tactics but actually have fighting on the most primitive degree possible: a mob rushes towards the bad guys and then engage in one on one combat. In real life, a mob like this is usually easily defeated by any organized army, ask ancient Romans about this little detail. Formations of the Legion | Strategy & Tactics | The Roman Military
If a screaming mob of strong fighters do defeat say, the Romans, it would be due to an ambush or grossly outnumbering say, ten to one, the Romans. Then always, without fail, the Romans would retaliate with trained fighters who know how to fight in formation and use tools properly.
The fall of the Roman empire was due to the high overhead cost of running a strong military machine and it was overrun by a new fighting style: horsemen who could shoot arrows while riding at full tilt.
Even so, once a civilization built up a Roman-type military, they took over again. Modern movies lean heavily on the ‘hero’ trope: great heroes can win battles even with crummy tactics due to being heroes.
I grew up watching WWII movies. These showed us how tactics work. We then went into Vietnam with the North Vietnamese fighting with ‘Apache’ tactics: hit and run. Few sustained battles.
Apache tactics: my great grandfather was part of the Cavalry that went after Geronimo. Because of this, oddly enough, the Apaches were friendly with my family even to me, personally. They recognize warriors. And my family always considered them worther warriors, too.
The ancient Romans had a diplomatic tactic: they would lure in warriors into their system and use them to maintain the empire. This fell apart as looting the empire became the goal of the military hired by the State.
Now, the movies today have ‘bad guys’ and ‘good guys’ and these fight one on one battles to see which individual is ‘stronger’. This, to me, is very boring. To spice things up, they have the ‘hero’ like Harry Potter, ‘die’ and then suddenly, magically, resurrect.
How tedious! But what bothers me most is how the idea of an organized battlefield event has turned into running mobs who then break down into individuals sparring with each other.
I used to train young people in the art of medieval warfare. My specialty at the Society of Creative Anacronism battles was tactics. How to take down a shield wall or cut off leaders from their troops and take them down, how to mislead or trick people into entering traps: the fun was not one on one sparring for me, it was how to get the entire battle to shift due to clever use of tactics.
What people are learning from movies today is, you have to have magical Gandalf level powers and then when you manage to kill your opponent in one on one combat, everyone else just gives up and dies or flees.
This is very ancient going back to the beginning of the Bronze Age: David kills Goliath and everyone else gives up and all it took was a small stone to do the trick. Zero tactics. Just luck and the Gods at work here.
I will give Tolkien credit for the fact that he did use archers in his battles! Most ‘battles’ in movies leaves out stuff like archery that is not heroic. One of my own ancestors fought at the Battle of Hastings.
The Battle of Hastings 1066 AD – YouTube
He was an archer. Had zero status before the battle but since the archers killed the King of England, Harold, the new King, William (name change here!) gave the archers nobility and lands as a reward and thus, my Steele ancestors got to lord it over everyone else below himself.
Robinhood wasn’t a swordsman, for example, he was an archer. King Henry V himself, gave his archers credit for winning the battle at Agincourt. They kept their ranks formation and shot down the attackers who lost strength every step forward, eventually collapsing into each other due to this loss of energy.
At the Battle of Hastings, most of the archers were on the Norman side, the Brits stood behind a shieldwall which took hours to take down. If the English fighters ran downhill like in the Avenger movie above, they would have been destroyed in less than an hour.
The heroic stand they made was due to keeping ranks and forming a defensive shieldwall in a rising position which weakened attackers. I am just appalled at how silly movies are today, they make less and less military sense and are teaching young people silly tactical lessons and this is dangerous, not knowing basic tactics.
It is all about emotion and feeling ‘big’ and ‘victory is due to being a super hero’ rather than ‘little people can hold fast and stop attackers by following simple tactical strategies.’
The ‘armies’ in the latest hit movie, Infinity War look more like the Muslim male invasion of Europe: a mob rushing in, demanding to be fed and housed and given loot (with rape, of course). It is an out of control mob.
By the way, the topic of ‘fighting women’: kill a female fighter and you kill generations of fighters so all tactics in wars would focus on killing the females, first. Sperm is very cheap and eggs are evolutionary expensive items of great interest to all sperm.