I’ve been comparing Vin Diesel to Stallone over at The Federalist. That’s my beat, manliness and American culture. But I have more things to say about Vin Diesel than fit into that piece. He is successful, neglected, and misunderstood all at once. And he has made the relationship between the promise of success in America and the anguish of manliness a big subject in movies. At the same time, this has become a subject in politics, too, so let’s look at its clearest, most vulgar statement on the matter. Having already written about his major franchise, the Fast and Furious, I want to talk about his minor franchise, Triple X, which had another success earlier this year.
The American audience ignored it, because it’s so obviously a B picture. The worldwide audience liked it much better for much the same reason–the film made $300 million, half in China. The story shows something lots of people want to see: An anti-liberal, anti-globalization ideology. Vin Diesel starts by presenting himself as the champion of third-world kids who love soccer–the game of globalized democracy. He ends up the successful, defiant enemy of the government-tech oligarchy. The antagonist you could call the establishment–evil, treacherous, but undeniably powerful and sophisticated people that secretly run American foreign policy. Vin Diesel’s against the evils of espionage, war, and the surveillance state. How could you not admire him, nay, even love!More