Action Movie Veterans Take on Retirement
While dodging bullets, Arnold Schwarzenegger jumps into a diner, shattering the glass door. The owner asks him “How’re you feeling Sheriff?” to which Schwarzenegger replies “old”. It sure is an end of era. The action star openly states he’s growing old and is unable to take on the New Age of Hollywood cinema where action movies come with well-written back stories. The one-line plot is nearly extinct and it’s time for these Golden Age cowboys to hang their boots.
In comparison to Schwarzenegger who’s returning to the lead role after a very long time. his fellow action movie buddy, Sylvester Stallone is yet to find luck and has to pair up with the current roster to make a movie. Bullet To The Head has Stallone sharing screen space with Sung Kang, best known for his credible performance in the Fast and Furious franchise, especially Tokyo Drift and Furious 6.
In The Last Stand, Schwarzenegger teams up with a horde of current gen stars, which include Jackass star Johnny Knoxville and Thor’s Jaimie Alexander among others. There are notable stars in both films: Christian Slater and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in Bullet To The Head, Forest Whitaker and Harry Dean Stanton in The Last Stand. But, their contributions never really help. That’s because they are there to attract naive filmgoers who think the filmmakers are gonna let these stars prove their credibility in at least one scene. Sadly, the filmgoers get fooled. Again.
What Bullet To The Head promises, The Last Stand delivers – unabashed violence throughout. But, that doesn’t make The Last Stand an effective action film. Both films try to evoke nostalgia but that doesn’t help much. Both films have a well-choreographed action scene. And yes, it’s just one scene out of a movie full of potential action scenes.
Stallone and Schwarzenegger have had their successes as a One Man Army back in the 80s, but to keep up with the market, multi-starrers are the way. A lesson learnt with The Expendables films. I love Predator and Terminator: Judgement Day as much as I love Demolition Man and First Blood, and it would be a fairy tale for me to expect the same today.