Ah the 80’s. The decade of the new romantics, of neon and outrageously bright fashion and of course the decade of the action hero.
Quickly think of an action hero – I’m guessing a large number will have picked either Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis or Sylvester Stallone. The big three. These three guys really grabbed the action movie genre and slapped the yellow off its teeth.
I love action films. They are never going to have the most intricate of plots, you don’t need to know all the names of the characters – all you need to know is that the main character is going to go on an absolute rampage and blow shit up.
Sometimes they have a female character – don’t worry you don’t need to know her name either, she’s just there because she’s got big tits.
The bad guy has a number of options available to him (and its nearly always a him) – he could be an ex-marine who has turned against the system, he could be a good old terrorist, he could be a previously thought dead ex-partner or perhaps a head of a corrupt arms company. It doesn’t matter. Once the hero has despatched his army of henchmen he’ll despatch the main bad guy in spectacular fashion, often coupled with a perfectly delivered one-liner.
How does the hero manage such an amazing feat? Well it’s because they are invincible. Have you seen ‘Commando’? It’s an Arnie film – before you read on, watch this.
Achievement Unlocked: Unlimited Ammo
Did you watch it? That’s right, he IS invincible. Arnie is shot at point-blank range, has a grenade thrown at him and STILL manages to take out the evil bad guys 50+ henchmen. Did you also spot that he has unlimited ammunition, as well as the ability to carry 4 different weapons with ease? It’s stupidly unrealistic but that’s what makes it brilliant. I WANT to see Arnie kick ass – you just don’t get that these days. Action films these days are ‘thinking’ action films – they have a plot, the hero gets hurt and its all about hand to hand, faster than the eye can see, combat.
Wheres my gun?
Explosions are few and far between, guns actually run out of ammunition and the females actually have dialogue. I’m talking about the likes of the Jason Bourne films – a good series of films, but it’s not the sort of film you throw on when you’ve got a spare hour or two. What about Jason Statham – he’s less action, more car chase. Others who spring to mind – Vin Diesel, Gerard Butler and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. They can all deliver the lines adequately but they just don’t have the charm of the big three from the 80’s.
Interestingly there is one actor who has shown himself to be a superb action hero – he’s still not up to the standard of the likes of Sly, Bruce & Arnie but he’s definitely got a bit of ‘old school’ about him. I am of course talking about the great Liam Neeson. Have you seen ‘Taken’? It’s just brilliant. It doesn’t have much in the way of explosions but the hero character is nigh on invincible and he delivers fantastic one liners particularly this one…
“… if you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money, but what I do have is a very particular set of skills.”
Watch the scene here.
Apparently Arnie has returned to films but let’s be honest, he’s a bit old now and can’t really be running around carrying machine guns taking out entire armies of men. I’m willing to bend reality so far but not snap it in two. So, we NEED some new, proper kick ass action heroes. Actors these days worry too much about getting an Oscar for playing a historic figure, a homosexual or a superhero. Instead, I say pick up some guns, grab some grenades and run at the bad guys head on – you are invincible.
Whos up next?