Hello RetroFriends! Upon observing what I am about to share with you I began to feel a bit sad. Sad because certain action-heros of past no longer make the movies we lived, or should I say, died to go see. We know for a fact that Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Sylvester Stallone are passed their prime, so now what? Well, that is what I will be discussing in this article submitted to you good reader.
It was 1982 and the two biggest action stars to be burst onto the scene, Stallone with Rambo: First Blood and Schwarzeneggar with Conan The Barbarian. Never before had movies been so full of...muscle? These actors brought characters to the silver screen, and our hearts, that were bigger than life. Allow me to begin a list of movies (in no particular order) that are awesome and huge action-adventures that most of us own today:
Rambo: First Blood
Rambo: First Blood Part II
Rambo: First Blood Part III
Conan The Barbarian
Conan The Destroyer
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
I do not count the Rocky movies as they are not action-hero type movies, but great movies Stallone has done for sure. My point being that the majority of the movies listed above were almost exclusively 1980s with the exception of True Lies and Total Recall. Many more movies have been made by these two action stars however these are the ones I feel make the cut, indeed good enough to own. Yes a little, OK sometimes, very far fetched but we give them that fudge factor because the movies are so fun to watch be as over the top as they are.
I reflect fondly on these movies and have to wonder, where are our new generation of action-heros? I dare say that we do not have one! The closest person to try and fit the bill would be Dwayne The Rock Johnson. He undoubtedly has the charisma and muscle factor. In fact Arnold actually passed the proverbial action star torch to him in the beginning of The Rundown. If you watch that movie again, notice as Johnson walks down a hallway in the club and before he gets into the big room where the people he needs to get money from are, Arnold walks by him and says, HAVE FUN (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RhJK5fQ9w4 5 seconds in). This was a very sad moment as it was time to acknowledge that people get older and times change. Yes, Arnold was retiring as the best action-hero there was and was classy enough to let the genres lineage pass into someone that had/has(?) extreme potential.
Dwayne Johnson did a couple OK action movies to wet our appetite like The Rundown, Walking Tall, and Doom, however none of these films quite hit the nail on the head (especially Doom) as far as action-hero. When we think back to John Rambo in the woods or John Matrix carrying a tree on his shoulder these movies do not measure up. What makes things worse is that Dwayne Johnsons movies after the aforementioned, Race To Witch Mountain and The Tooth Fairy, these are not movies I want to see the only serious contender for action-hero in.
The other consideration for action-hero would be John Cena, from WWE. He has my respect as a former Marine but is laughable as a wrestler and horrible as an actor. If it is one thing Stallone and Schwarzeneggar have it is charisma, Cena has NONE. I would rather watch paint dry than any of his performances, horrible horrible horrible. Sigourney Weaver is more of an action-hero to me for her performances in the Alien movies than any of his. So where does that leave us now? Is there any hope? Possibly.
The reason I am cautiously optimistic is because Dwayne Johnson, in my humble opinion, is still the only true hopeful we all have for these movies to make a triumphant return. He is currently filming a movie called Faster and it is going to be a revenge driven plot...word up. He says he feels like a different actor these days in returning to this type of movie, of which I say thank God because The Scorpion King movies will not go down in history as anything but just BAD. We are going to have to keep our fingers crossed, really truly crossed.
Until that time I can actually say that Sylvester Stallone has been impressing me as of late, as he can only stay buff for so long now he is making last ditch efforts with the new Rocky and Rambo movies. In fact we can expect Rambo: The Savage hunt in 2011 and his new movie The Expendables stars Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lungren, Randy Couture, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Stallone and has a cameo of Arnold himself. This will be the first time we have these two actors in the same movie. This is the type of movie we are hungry for and deserve, I enjoy comic book movies but good shoot-em ups need a come back.
Will many movies of action-hero caliber be mentioned in the comments? I am sure of it, however if I did not mention them it is because they do not measure up to high bar I hold the genre to. A vacuum of awesome action-heros and their movies exists and it is there for the taking, I ask who will be the one to put the crown that is sitting on the action throne onto his head and wear it? A new actor that comes out of the new Conan, Predators, Expendables, Faster movie? It is time for us to want to go to a movie with a giddy expectation of awesomeness like when I did as a kid with Sylvester or Arnold. This person needs to come soon because the movie goer has gone far too many decades without.
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