July 29, 2012

The Death of the Action Hero

I wrote this over a year ago, before The Expendables came out but thought it was still relevant.


So I was flicking through the channels there and Dirty Harry was on. Eastwood chews the scenery in that movie; he takes no prisoners and has more one-liners than Arnie. Which brings me to the point of my impending rant: What the hell has happened to cinema and the bad ass action hero?

I discussed this with The Arrow recently and how movies are all aiming for the PG-13 audience and how most actors these days are candy asses. The movies that make money are cartoons, superheroes and films about sparkly Vampires.

I think since 9/11, Hollywood has lost its confidence with the action genre. Because people saw explosions in real life they realized that you don’t walk away in slow motion and that people actually DO get hurt. I totally understand that as I knew people who died on that awful day.  But, it wasn’t just Hollywood, America lost its confidence in itself too; the sleeping giant became a scared child. I’m hoping soon, we get our groove back and believe in ourselves again. USA USA USA!

Movies had to change as people’s mind sets have changed. During the 2000’s everyone was looking inward and wanted darker, grittier movies showing fallible and vulnerable anti-heroes. Unfortunately there were no more heroes; there was no point over the past 10 years when I thought wow, I wish I was that guy. It was all inner conflict and torment and there really wasn’t much FUN.

I guess you could say Superheroes took over the mantle but only a select few of those movies actually work.

The time is right for a return of action movies and more adult related fare. Just wait and see, people will get bored of superheroes soon enough.

Movies like Commando, Die Hard et al are the movies I grew up with, as they were harmless fun. I don’t want movies to make me feel bad and depressed; that’s what real life is for, I got enough things to be depressed about.

Arnie retired, Bruce Willis just played the same character who is world weary and depressed, and everyone else kinda just… disappeared. The only true bankable action stars left are Stallone and Statham. I wanna see The Rock do a bit more hardcore action and see what Vin Diesel can do outside of the (admittedly awesome) Fast/Furious Franchise.

The Expendables lived up to the hype for me as it was a return to form for a once beleaguered genre. I’d still love to see Clint Eastwood in a sequel as he could still show them all how its done.

So not really sure what the point of this rant was but I think it’s time for Hollywood and America to regain its confidence and make entertaining R-Rated movies again. I also want the public to actually grow a pair & pay to go see them. Enough PG-13 crap and make something for grown-ups to enjoy.

About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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