Monday, January 15, 2007

A small tribute to Schwarzenegger and the timeless joy of the 1980s action movie genre.

Ahh the 1980s. A time when male actors were real men, movies had explosions exploding out of explosions, and the scripts didn’t involve the main characters having polite tea parties in whimsical fields where they would kindly ask the terrorists to go away. Enter an Arnold Schwarzenegger film. You won’t find any patsies running around bumping into each other and flirting with boys. Instead you’ll be rewarded with an hour and a half of explosions, bodies littered about riddled with bullet holes, and general badassery as Arnold single-handedly takes down an entire force of trained men. It’s a one-two punch to the colon as he overthrows his enemies in nonstop and incredibly violent scenarios. One of the main things I like is that the characters he plays are always no-nonsense, angry assholes that refuse to negotiate with the enemy. It’s either his way or the dead way. There isn’t any pussyfooting around and discussing your feelings like a gathering of whiny women at the dinner table. The next thing you’ll notice about the typical Arnold movie is the hyperbole cheesiness factor. There’s enough cheese that I’d go so far as to say Kraft probably has a factory dedicated to him. The kind of cheese you find in his movies is unparalleled by anything else, and that’s what makes it great. For example, in Commando he rips a phone booth out of the ground with the ease of picking up a toddler, and then launches it to the ground with the ease of throwing a toddler. All while the enemy’s still inside. At the end of Commando he manages to wipe out the entire enemy base of operations with mines, assault rifles, and gardening tools, shoot some rockets at jeeps, throw an iron pipe through his backstabbing friend, and save his bratty kid’s life all while barely breaking a sweat. Oh, and you can’t forget about his one-liners, one word replies, and his neck snapping head twitch when he notices something awry (Commando is notorious for this).
Now fast-forward twenty years and look what kind of action movies you get. The so-called “action” movies we have today are bland, tasteless, and formulaic. You can guarantee that today’s action movie will be based around a New York cop with nothing to lose who gets caught up in a crime syndicate who aids in the delivery of illegal arms and/or has multiple run-ins with Asian drug lords. You get the typical car chase, a few pistol shots, and a slap to your judgment. These movies usually star some pansy flower girl like Ethan Hawke who always get shot in the leg just minutes before the bad guy dies in an anti-personnel mine explosion or a car explosion. The credits roll and you leave the theater wondering where your six dollars has gone and why your eyes are permanently chaffed. Not only do today’s action movies have limpwristed actors (Tom Cruise, the Uber bitch) but they have limpwristed scripts as well. Every scene and every line has to be meticulously engineered in a way that won’t upset anybody from any race or religion. Watching these movies is like watching real life, except more annoying because you have to pay to see it and the theater popcorn tastes like shit and they never put enough butter on. Why does everyone have to be so damn sensitive? In addition to today’s anti-climatic action movies, we get stuck having to watch shit fest “feel-good” movies like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Feel good movies don’t make me feel good; they make me feel like running over a child with a forklift. Matthew McConaughey is a pussy and his movies are for the typical menstruating woman who sits on her cat infested couch and gluttons out to a tub of ice cream while crying enough rivers to terraform celestial bodies with water because her boyfriend is being a heartless dick and she wants to break up with him for having a “guy’s night out” when in reality he’s out plotting to punch her in the tits for being a snobby cunt and leaving her with the medical bill. Fuck today’s movies. Action and good times died when Arnold quit making movies, and Hollywood degraded to a perpetual suck fest. All hail Arnold! Let Commando and Terminator live on forever.


Blogger Simon Hawk said...

"It’s either his way or the dead way." lol!

15/1/07 12:35  
Blogger Jack T Briggs said...

I have to give McConaughey this...he WAS a hardass in U571. But he slowly turned into a vagoo after that.

On a sidenote did you see The Rundown? It had explosions, people dying and the Rock being cheesy...and Walken. Does that count as badass? I think that might be as good as you're going to get now. What's the Spoonhouse think?

16/1/07 05:21  
Blogger Cohort Mandibles said...

I like The Rundown. One of my favorite parts is when The Rock let his clip slide out of his pistol and it went all the way across the room and that guy tripped on it. But it still doesn't have that Arnold 1980 feel to it. In my opinion, the last pretty good action movie we got was The Punisher. There probably won't be anything cool like that in awhile.

16/1/07 05:34  
Blogger Jack T Briggs said...

My favorite part is when he threw the turn table like a frisbee and hit that smart-mouthed, shitbag quarterback in the ribs.

16/1/07 05:48  
Blogger Jim Brannick said...

I doubt this will recharge to action movie genre, but I'm hoping it will be a breath of fresh air:
Live Free or Die Hard

As far as Cohort's post:
I think the campy action flick has gone the way of the dinosaur. Action movies have evolved into three types: 1) The gritty, retro-filmed bloodbath (e.g. Kill Bill); 2) The comic book movie; and 3) The psychological cop/robber suspense movie (e.g. The Inside Man).
With all due respect, such movies have their moments and are (generally) enjoyable. I just doubt we'll ever see the likes of Ah-nuld, Sly, or Van Damage any time again.

16/1/07 06:24  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home