The Life Lesson: Treat everyone you encounter with respect.
How It’s Taught: If only Sherriff Teasle were a bit more tolerant and a little less judgmental, he could have let John Rambo go about his business in peace, and he probably would have left town in a few days anyway.
Okay, so the guy looks a bit scruffy, but he wasn’t doing anyone any harm. Instead, Teasle treats him like shit, and all hell breaks loose. Nice one Sherriff.
The Life Lesson: Parenthood is all about sacrifice.
How It’s Taught: When Brucey decides to step up to the plate and save the earth, he does so in order to protect his little girl.
In fact, the idea that fatherhood includes the responsibility to sacrifice oneself can be extrapolated further to suggest that one generation has a responsibility to protect the next, family or otherwise.
Al Gore should take another look at Armageddon. It’s basically a Green propaganda piece. With explosions.
The Life Lesson: Fame isn’t always a bed of roses.
How It’s Taught: Kong was happy on Skull Island. Sure he had the odd T-Rex to fend off, but other than that, living a life of obscurity suited him just fine. It’s only when he becomes a celebrity back in New York City that things start to take a turn for the worse.
He might have enjoyed a better quality of banana there, but when the public turned, you can bet your life he’d have taken it all back to be an unknown again. A cautionary tale if ever there was one.
How It’s Taught: All the explodey mayhem that Dennis Hopper unleashes on the city of Los Angeles is a result of him feeling a bit put out by the way he left his job. And in the end, where does his bitterness get him?
An early exit off this mortal coil, courtesy of a low hanging tunnel light. Life will hand you plenty of bum cards, but it doesn’t do to dwell on it. It’ll drive you mad.
How It’s Taught: Uncle Ben was the one who told Spidey that “with great power comes great responsibility”, but he should probably also have mentioned that no-one will thank you for being a hero either.
Throughout the three films, Peter Parker largely finds himself suffering for the greater good, with nary a hint of thanks from those he cares about most.
Batman is the same over in Gotham. Virtue is its own reward, chaps, which is why not many people go in for it!
The Life Lesson: There is always someone you can trust.
How It’s Taught: Even when things are looking bleak, and it seems as though the whole world is out to get you, there’s always someone out there who’s willing to lend a hand.
In Bourne’s case he’s got the whole weight of Treadstone and Blackbriar coming down on him like a ton of bricks, but suddenly finds out that Joan Allen’s ice queen is actually backing him up. No man is an island etc...
The Life Lesson: Technology is fundamentally dangerous.
How It’s Taught: You might think the iPad is the future, but you’d be wrong. Sentient, power-hungry machines are the future, and if we let them carry on evolving, they’ll be using us as batteries in no time.
Neo thought he was a slave to the machines in his day job as a computer programmer, but that was just the start of it. THEY ARE OUT TO GET US!
Stop reading this and smash up your laptop immediately. But download our app first.
How It’s Taught: As director Paul Verhoeven points out, “war makes fascists of us all,” and so it proves in Starship Troopers as the good old US of A picks one fight too many and plunges the Earth headfirst into conflict with a race of giant bugs.
Breeding a generation of ultra-violent meatheads is not portrayed as the best way of achieving world (or in this case universal) peace.
The Life Lesson: Self-confidence beats experience.
How It’s Taught: Despite being a cocky, brash greenhorn, with no discernable qualifications other than a famous father, James Kirk manages to shrug off a disciplinary hearing and become captain of the Enterprise with the absolute minimum of fuss.
The message here kids is that hard-work, experience and common sense come a distant second to being able to talk the talk. See The Apprentice for further details.
The Life Lesson: Vengeance must be pursued at all costs.
How It’s Taught: Having seen his brother brutally paralysed at the hands (or rather feet) of Thai kickboxer Tong Po, Van Damme swears vengeance.
It soon becomes clear that Thai mobsters don’t want a rematch to happen, but JCVD ploughs ahead with it anyway, only becoming more determined when his trainer’s niece is beaten and raped in retaliation.
[A Teeny Tiny Spoiler Alert!!]
Still, he wins the fight, so we guess it was worth it…
The Life Lesson: When the world inevitably goes tits up, Christianity will show us how to fix it.
How It’s Taught: Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Denzel Washington’s drifter possesses a book in which can be found the secrets to rebuilding society. SPOILER ALERT…the book turns out to be the Bible.
It’s the last copy on Earth, and without it, civilisation is unable to flourish again.
So perhaps the real lesson here is to keep a spare copy at home, because you’ll need it when our way of life goes down the toilet.