Toxic masculinity and aging action heroes


6:00 PM - 7:30 PM


  • Time: 18:00-19:30
  • Date: Monday, 25 April 2022
  • Venue: Zhumu online (For off-campus students and staff, it is possible to book online attendance at A link to “Zhumu” will be sent via email. Booking requests will be accepted until 16:00 of the seminar’s day)


This talk examines the issues of toxic masculinity, action cinema, and aging action heroes. The aging action hero has become an important figure in post-millennial action cinema. Its significance can be seen in how aging heroes can be seen in such franchises like The Expendables (2009 – 2013), Taken (2008 – 2014), The Fast and the Furious (2001 – 2017), Mission Impossible (1995 – 2018), and James Bond (2006 – 2015).

This talk argues that the aging action hero and the aging male body are significant developments in modern cinema. That is because they provide an opportunity for filmmakers to rehabilitate the tropes of hegemonic masculinity and the indestructible male body by emphasizing the benefits of the aging male body. Indeed, the aging body redeems and replaces male toxicity and egocentricity with maturity and allocentrism. As a result, the presence of the aging hero shows that action cinema is not necessarily a fixed and static genre. Instead, its presence shows that action cinema is a dynamic and mobile genre capable of offering different and alternative visions of heroism and heroes.


Kelvin Ke Jinde is Assistant Professor in Communication Studies at the Department of Media and Communication at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. His research interests intersect the examination of cultural representations with issues of genre and gender in cinema. He is particularly interested in practice-based research, video storytelling, and cultural heritage as a practitioner-scholar.

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