Tuesday, 19 April 2011

I Need A Hero

Hollywood is trying to find new action stars to begin a wave of films.

There was Newman and McQueen in the 1960s. Then, in the 1970s, Clint Eastwood was Mr Action. Then, they hit a golden age in the 1980s and 1990s with Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean Claude van Damme, Dolph Lundgren and Bruce Willis, who ruled the 1980s and 1990s. One could argue that whimpy Keannu Reeves took over with The Matrix in 1999 but what is clear is that macho action men were weak in the 2000s or the films they were in were just pure rubbish.

Jason Statham and wrestlers Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock were badly used in many films in that decade. Statham was only any good in Snatch - not a gungho action film and true story, The Bank Job. The Transporter's sequels and Crank I and II were poor but maybe I expected too much of them. Steve Austin was solid in The Condemned but the material he had to work with was ridiculous. Good action movies like the Die Hard series had strong performances from Bruce Willis playing John McClaine.

They also had good plots and exciting stunts. Good action films like all good films require actors who can act.

So, what has the current decade offered us so far?

Channing Tatum? GI Joe was junk. The Rock recently told the interviewer Piers Morgan that he would focus on acting for now. Does Bradley Cooper count as an action star? The A-Team was rather awful. Sly Stallone may have felt the same way as me and made the Expendables (see picture at top) with a host of action maniacs. Released last year, it was quite entertaining. Even the ending was very action 1980s.

Perhaps Hugh Jackman is the only real action hunk left? Ryan "I love to act in comic book films" Reynolds may be trying. Well, there are about 9,5 years to go for this decade so I am giving Hollywood a chance.

Alistair Anderson

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