Not a tirade about nuclear weapons, before you ask.
Since I apparently live in a vacuum, I only just saw a trailer for the new GI Joe movie today, and only because it kept showing up when I was trying to read articles on Mass Effect wiki. I can't lie, it doesn't much appeal to me - it seems to be trying to be more 'realistic' then the last, when what I liked about the first one was that is was quite stupid and therefore amusing. So yeah, no Bruce Willis for me.
One thing that caught my eye, however, was a certain scene. Specifically, the destruction of London to some kind of improbable Earthquake missile thing.
Being the nationalist sod I am, my first reaction was to tut and shake my head and say 'those blasted colonials, why can't they blow up their own cities, what?' But then I started thinking. The original movie got some flak from the French for destroying the Eiffel Tower, an event which is basically used to wow the audience and introduce a plot element the characters and audience already knew about - after this, it and the hundreds of presumably dead French citizens are never mentioned again. A similiar thing happens in Modern Warfare 3 (with the unfortunate implication that the French and Germans need America to do 90% of the heavy lifting, but that's not what we're here to talk about.)
So, why did the French complain?
The answer is simple - in both examples, the Tower was destroyed and Paris made a war zone, with absolutely no bearing to the wider plot. It could have been any other city in earth and it wouldn't have made any difference. It could have been Chicago. It could have Seattle. It could have been Nashville.
The complaint is not that it's destruction - it's that it's pointless destruction. It's simply there to fill up the trailer and entice the viewing public.
Is there anything wrong with that? I don't know. I object to London's destruction because I feel attachment to it and because I know people who live there. If it is to be destroyed in a work of fiction, then the destruction must mean something to the overall story.
And as I say this, I bat not an eyelash to the Eiffel Tower falling down.
Anyway, what do you think?