Seung-hoon Jeong discusses in his paper global action thrillers about the war on terror. He highlights the biopolitical abjection of counterterrorist agents from their state agencies. This abjection ends up either self-reaffirming in the manner of a sovereign agent (the Bond series) or terrorizing their sovereign system (the Bourne series), while both are trapped in the vicious cycle of terror and counterterror. More notable is the “mind-game” sci-fi genre. Source Code, among others, stages a loop of a traumatic counterterrorist mission with retroactive causality, a closed circuit of neoliberal productivity and pathological abjection in a video-game narrative. The time-travel motif here, however, ultimately “undoes” sacrifice, problematically sacrificing the ethics of sacrifice. Finding no exit from the sovereign system, the abject agent against it embraces the perpetual present of actions including undoing traumas. This reinforced reaffirmation of sovereign agency underlies Hollywood’s new ideology as seen in many other post-Source Code films.
"A Thin Line between Sovereign and Abject Agents: Global Action Thrillers with the Sci-Fi Mind-Game War on Terror."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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