ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth though you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Texas Rangers (2001), PG-13
Analysis Date: December 1, 2001
CAP Score: 41
CAP Influence Density: 1.22

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

TEXAS RANGERS (PG-13) -- a lot more than Ali Baba's 40 thieves.

Distributed by: Dimension Films, Miramax Films
Director(s): Steve Miner
Producer(s): David S. Cass Sr., Mary Church, Jessica Cunningham, Alan Greisman, Doug Metzger, Frank Price
Written by/Screenplay: George Durham, Scott Busby, Martin Copeland
Cinematography/Camera: Daryn Okada
Music: Trevor Rabin

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I wonder if the story is accurate to history. The story tells us the Texas Rangers were not established as the law enforcement agency they now are but were established to protect the land from bandits of the late 1800s. Still a police force, a state police force under the Governor, but more of a military operation. Apparently there was no law south of San Antonio, Texas and bandits were pillaging everything and everyone with impunity. And getting away with it. The quintessential villain was King Fisher (Alfred Molina) who leads a veritable army of bandits - a lot more than Ali Baba's 40 thieves, more like an hundred.

The story opens in a small Texas town as the townspeople go about their business. An auction is about to begin to sell 50 head of steer. King and his thieves have plans for the beef. As the auctioneer prepared to begin the auction, King plus two of his thieves stroll up to the auction block announcing he will be taking the beef, thank you. Of course, the town marshal denied the beef to the thief -- until his 'hundred' thieves flanked 'Ali Baba' King. And every one of them had guns, lots of them.

With a string of bandits just about as far as the eye could see, one of the townspeople developed an itchy trigger finger. It was the last itch he ever felt. When the anxious townsman drew his six-shooter, the entire rank of thieves opened fire on the town. No man was left standing. Indeed, no one was left alive except a kidnapped woman and Lincoln Rogers Dunnison (James Van Der Beek). With the Army committed to Indian affairs, there was no one to go to for help.

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Dunnison was an educated man. A multi linguist for example. Knowing of the Governor recruiting men to refit the Texas Rangers which had been absorbed by the war, Dunnison trekked on foot to sign up in an effort to have his revenge on the bandits. Along the way, Dunnison met up with a rather simple minded man, George Durham (Ashton Kutcher) who leveled a six-shooter at Dunnison. The King crew had just been to Durham's place and trashed it. Eventually convinced of Durham's peaceful intentions, Durham decided to join Dunnison on his trek to become a ranger. Arriving at the Ranger camp, Dunnison and Durham become Rangers.

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From what one could gather in this writing, Texas Rangers sounds like a fine bang-bang, shoot 'em up western of old. But it was more of a "waste-rn" than a western. While bloody gore was clearly left out, there is much killing and cold brutality to it. Indeed violence and foul language (though lesser than typical of PG-13 movies) are the two main issues in this 82 minutes of gunsmoke. The leaving out of bloody gore and the attempts to lessen the foul language [Prov. 8:13] were not enough to save Texas Rangers from R-13 .
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There were many, many deaths. Much gunfire to kill. Several murder hangings [Matt. 5:21-22]. A few stabbing deaths. Let me again remind you that movie deaths due to police action and war are incorporated into the Wanton Violence/ crime investigation area, not Murder/Suicide. If a character kills a character which is trying to kill him, the CAP model does not treat it as murder (unless it is a police officer killed in the line of duty). Regarding murder, consider John 10:10. In it, Jesus tells us that the evil one comes only to steal, kill and destroy. Whom, then, is it which is glorified and emulated by murder? [1John 3:12]


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  • Prov. 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
  • Matt. 5:21-22 "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I [Jesus Himself] tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca, ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. [So you see there is more to murder than just the killing -- attitude, which can infect a lot more than just inhibition against violence]
  • John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
  • 1John 3:12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous.

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.

    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: Texas Rangers (2001) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • many murders by gunfire
  • kidnapping of two women
  • street strewn with dead bodies
  • firearm threats
  • graphic gunfire deaths
  • knife deaths and stabbings
  • gun battles, many deaths each, some cold and exceptionally brutal
  • kidnappings

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 16 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • bandit intimidations
  • "Kill! Kill me!"

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • sexual insults, innuendo and talk
  • girl looking in on two men bathing
  • man looking in on woman bathing
  • flash rear male nudity
  • man and woman in bed together for sex

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • two uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and two without
  • calling God a foul name

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • multiple hangings
  • gunfire murder (unseen)
  • multiple murders of townspeople
  • multiple murder victims

    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our five-year study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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