Legends of Action

November 28, 2012

Legends of Action: Samuel L. Jackson

BirthDate: December 21, 1948

I don’t think there’s anyone alive who doesn’t think Samuel L. Jackson is awesome; not only is he an excellent actor but he’s also the highest grossing actor of all time. The combined grosses of all his movies is a whopping $7.2 billion. I could buy a nice new house with that… and my own droid army.

Samuel L. Jackson had small roles in movies and plays in the 70’s and 80’s, including Together for Days,The Piano Lesson and Two Trains Running. He also had roles in Coming to America, School Daze and Do the Right Thing. Working with Spike Lee opened several doors for Jackson including a role in Martin Scorcese’s classic 1990 gangster movie Goodfellas.

He would have a large part in one of the greatest movies of all time: Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park as park technician Ray Arnold, who lends a hand to the dinosaurs (ho ho).

It would be Tarantino’s gangster classic Pulp Fiction that would make Jackson a household name and one of the most quoted characters in cinema history. No one will ever forget Ezekiel 25:17:

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.”

In terms of the action genre it’s almost impossible to choose a select few favourites: The Long Kiss Goodnight, SWAT, True Romance, Patriot Games, A Time to Kill (more of a courtroom drama, but it’s excellent), Deep Blue Sea, The Negotiator, Star Wars and Shaft to name but a few.

Shaft is one of my favourite roles of Jackson’s; he just embodied everything about the character and has rarely been cooler. You may recognise the villain in the movie as one Christian Bale.

My all-time favourite role is in Die Hard with a Vengeance opposite Bruce Willis. The banter between the two characters is arguably the best of the series and has me in tears of laughter every time. For me, it is easily the best Die Hard sequel.

Jackson would also star in the two XXX movies and he was easily the best thing about them. Word round the campfire is a new XXX movie is in development with Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) making a return.

Arguably his most successful role is in the Marvel movies as Nick Fury, the head of SHIELD. He’s had small roles in Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, Iron Man 1 & 2 and then a major role in The Avengers. With Phase 2 in development it doesn’t look like Jackson is about to let up any time soon and that’s just fine by me.

One thing Samuel L. Jackson does better than anyone else in the entire world is shout. The only person who comes close is Al Pacino but Sam is the all time greatest. Seeing someone angry shouldn’t be thrilling and awesome and yet when Samuel L. Jackson shouts, you damn well listen.

Jackson has appeared in well over 100 films so it’s real tough to recommend only a few but here are some of my personal recommendations : Die Hard with a Vengeance, Pulp Fiction, True Romance, Jackie Brown, Unbreakable, The Incredibles, Black Snake Moan, Shaft, Snakes on a Plane, Jurassic Park and I suppose the Star Wars prequels.

So there you have it, another action legend and one of the all time great actors. So let’s raise a glass to the shoutiest man of all time: SAMUEL L. JACKSON.

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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