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Black And White Morality / Live-Action Films

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  • The Box: Anyone who pushes the button is evil and must be used as statistics in supporting human extinction and anyone who doesn't push the button is good and must be enslaved. "Arlington Steward" even apologizes to the main couple, saying this is how it must be and it cannot be negotiated.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Captain America: The First Avenger is one of the few Marvel movies to follow this morality exactly (in fact, aversions include this movie's own sequels). This is justified in-story through the Super Serum that created both Captain America and his enemy the Red Skull, as it enhances people's true qualities—good becomes great, bad becomes worse. Steve Rogers is an idealistic, friendly guy who just wants to do his duty for his country by fighting bad guys, and becomes a capable war hero. Red Skull is a bullying Nazi extremist too evil even for Hitler, is so narcissistic as to have a god complex, and becomes an Omnicidal Maniac.
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    • Thor: The Dark World: Thor and his allies (with the exception of Loki and Odin) are heroic paragons, and their Dark Elf enemies just want to destroy the universe for no real reason.
  • Cats & Dogs: Dogs are good, and cats are evil.
  • Gladiator. Maximus is a brave, noble veteran who initially wants to make Rome a republic again and later wishes to avenge the murder of his wife and son. Commodus is an insane, patricidal megalomaniac with a Caligula complex and a creepy fixation on his own sister.
  • Ridley Scott's Legend (1985). The heroes are an innocent Princess Classic with Virgin Power and a group of forest inhabitants trying to protect the sacred unicorns who make life possible. The villain Darkness is a demonic Evil Overlord who rules over an army of evil goblins and cannibalistic pig-men executioners and wants to create an eternal night to bring about the end of the world.
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  • Deconstructed a bit in another Ridley Scott movie, Kingdom of Heaven; protagonist Balian's stubborn adherence to this philosophy, and the actions he takes as a consequence, end up causing much of the conflict after that point.
  • Schindler's List: It does not get much more blatantly evil than Amon Goeth and his Nazi buddies, and it definitely does not get more genuinely righteous than heroes like Stern and, eventually, Schindler. Played with in that the protagonist himself starts off as a knowing war profiteer and user of slave labor, but Schindler eventually becomes a better person when he truly realizes what is happening around him.
    • It does throw in some grey morality however by showing both Jews who try appeasing or collaborating with the Nazis (in particular the ones who join the Ghetto Police), as well as Nazis who do not approve of the Holocaust (such as one Nazi official who's almost breaking down in tears when he describes to Schindler what happened to boatloads of Jewish 'experimental subjects', or the Nazi soldier who loses his mind at the sight of the burning mountain of corpses).
  • Star Wars: The rebels are good, The Empire is evil. Black And White Morality is enforced by the Force in the case of the Jedi. If Jedi aren't committed 100% to the Light Side, it's only a matter of time before they become insanely evil. Star Wars is in many ways a fairy tale (IN SPACE!). Only in George Lucas's canon however. In Star Wars Legends things aren't so black or white.
    • This is enforced in the films to the point that anyone who actually tries to stay neutral like Lando, is eventually forced to pick a side.
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    • In the sequel trilogy, the believe of this black-and-white morality among the Jedi has what made Master Luke Skywalker lose faith in the Jedi, and himself believes that the Jedi deserves to be extinct. However, upon meeting Rey, training her in the ways of the Force, and later having a pep talk with Yoda's Force Spirit, saying that the original ways of the Jedi don't necessarily have to be returned, but rather turn into something better, Luke gets better.
  • Discussed in Vera Drake. When the truth comes out about Vera's secret profession (back-alley abortions) and Sid chides her for it, Stanley quietly accuses Sid of seeing the matter this way.
  • Pacific Rim: The protagonists are good, well-intentioned and noble, the kaiju are Chaotic Evil monsters that cause nothing but destruction and mayhem.
    • In fact, most of Guillermo del Toro’s work has a clear distinction on who’s good and bad.
  • Independence Day definitely counts, The humans are all good, while their alien adversaries are given no motivation aside from stealing resources.
  • Soldier of Orange: The Dutch resistance and their British allies are clearly heroic, the German occupiers and their fascist collaborators are clearly evil. Notably, this contrasts with Verhoeven's later film Zwartboek, which applies Black and Gray Morality to the same conflict.


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