I’m starting to get kind of annoyed with the tendency of Hollywood to use the “arms dealer” or “weapons manufacturer” as a stock villain character. It’s one thing to introduce a villainous or antiheroic character like Nicholas Cage played in “Lord of War,” who clearly operated outside any kind of legal or ethical boundaries, but my complaint is that I am increasingly seeing characters who are automatically presumed to be evil just because they are involved in the arms trade. This is especially glaring when it comes from military or law enforcement characters whose job depends on access to weapons. In real life, companies like Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and countless small arms manufacturers provide an essential service that people kind of rely on.
The best example I can come up with is “Iron Man.” The whole story is that Tony Stark’s business manufacturers a lot of weapons. And this is bad, because as we find out in this and later movies, these weapons get sold to insurgent groups and other badguys. So instead of imposing some supply-chain discipline or resolving to only sell to reputable governments, Tony decides his company will no longer manufacture any weapons at all…
…and then he spends the next half of the movie building awesome weapons, blowing up tanks, and shooting people in the head.
Am I the only one who has noticed this? Or who finds this trope really obnoxious?