Legends of Action

March 19, 2013

Legends of Action: Gary Busey

Laugh if you will. (And… ok, I will a little too.) But like it or not, Gary Busey would have to be considered an Action Legend. Want a little proof? Coming right up!

It all began in 1987, with an ambitious action film that would change the face of buddy cop movies forever and spawn a franchise that we all secretly are still hoping for a fifth installment. That movie of course is Lethal Weapon. We can all agree that what made the movie and its 3 sequels so spectacular would first and foremost be our heroes Riggs and Murtaugh. But, an action film only becomes that little extra when it receives a worthy villain to our worthy hero. Gary Busey’s performance as the quiet yet intimidating Mr. Joshuain the original film is second to none. He broods in the background throughout a good portion of his screen time. But, when it is time for Mr. Joshua to take control of the situation, we are treated to one of actions greatest villains and one of actions greatest fight scenes as a cherry on top. The scene is shot in a perfect sequence that has us on the edge of our seat the entire time. We never get a sense that Riggs is actually gonna win until right at the very end. (Oh, did I ruin the film for you?)

Busey took the momentum of Lethal Weapon’s success and did what any blossoming action star would do. He… made Bulletproof. OK, I think it’s fair to say that if he could take that move back in his career he would. Bulletproof is so over the top (even by 80’s standards) that it ALMOST seems on purpose. Busey gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “one man army”. It is truly so awful that it is a delight. I highly recommend it.

After that misfire, Busey has since become very comfortable with his role in the action genre, playing the often comedic side kick. But, it’s because of his brilliant choices in the films that he has done, that he should be placed on the “icon mantle”. Point Break, Under Siege, Predator 2, Surviving the Game, Drop Zone, Soldier… the resume is actually very impressive and it can’t really be argued that his part in these films didn’t actually add to the enjoyment of them in my opinion.

In the last decade or so Busey has become quite a parody of himself. But in his defense, he seems to be very comfortable with that, and THAT may only make him more of an icon when all is said and done.

About the Author

Brian M
Movies have been a big part of my life since the creation of the VCR. They have always been a way for me to escape. The action genre allowed that feeling more than any other, because the heroes in these films were living in an ordinary world, but were doing extraordinary things. Watching action movies encourages my imagination to explore while I am doing even the most mundane thing and make it exciting. Don't be afraid to use your imagination and keep action alive, no matter how old you get.



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