Action Heros: More Killing, Less Chick Flick and Comedy BS
They say first impressions are ever lasting. The first time we see a kick ass, no nonsense, kill the bad guy, and save the world/empire/children/universe uber hero it leaves a fist print in our simple brains. We want to cheer. Men leave the theater juiced up and ready to get into drunken brawls, just because the movie’s hero tripled the amount of testosterone in our systems. Put simply, men get a violence boner from movies like Commando, Die Hard, and Blood Sport. We love the stars. OK, some don’t have a strong grasp on the English language. And it’s a sure bet few of them will be called to perform in Hamlet. But, man, we don’t care. They are just plain, unadulterated AWESOME!
But, what if after churning out a bunch of testosterone filled action flicks, the action hero we’ve looked up to so faithfully pulls a fast one on us? The first few times we see him it’s in ninety minutes of blood soaked explosion filled goodness. But the rules change. Whether it’s due to the need to show “range” or simply to be able to pay for their weekly hookers, a few action stars stab us loyal fans in the eyeball and do the unthinkable. They star in a scrotum shriveling comedy or (worse yet) a sappy, vomit educing, ovarian swelling chick flick. From experience, we know it feels like getting punched in the nuts.
I think it’s safe to assume that the first time most of us were introduced to Vin Diesel was in Saving Private Ryan. No, his part wasn’t super bad ass, but he had a gun and killed Nazis. That’s pretty much every young boy’s dream. Isn’t it? Wow. Awkward…..
Vin (not short for Vehicle Identification Number) started popping up in low plot, high action movies like Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick. Neither had a story line that made a ton of sense, but Diesel managed to pile up the bodies and use the same gruff tone of voice in every scene. That’s really all we ask for. Then he moved onto The Fast and the Furious. It had something to do with cars or thievery, or algae.. shit, I don’t know. But, there were a ton of fist fights, explosions and gunfire. XXX gave us, the U.S. action movie aficionado a poor man’s James Bond. Again, not a bit of believable or plausible plot, but lots of things went boom. And there were lots of barely clothed women. That always counts for something.
His Crime: The Pacifier
What the fuck happened here? Someone took our monotone senseless killing machine and put him in a shit eating Disney movie. We went from Riddick, slaughterer of eyeless flying monsters, to diaper changing wuss pansy. One minute he’s racing cars and punching the shit out of pseudo Russian mobsters. The next, he’s chasing around rugrats with goofy comedic music in the background. We call that role castration.
Chances of Recovery: Good
He hasn’t done another Disney movie since and, to our knowledge, he’s never done a chick flick. In fact, he somehow managed to squeeze another Fast and Furious installment into the franchise. I think we’re willing to give him another chance. But, that diaper shit smell doesn’t wash off so easily. He could fall plunge into the depths of straight to DVD releases if he’s not careful. Right, Jean-Claude Van Damme?
2: Hugh Jackman
This man needs no filmography recap. He’s fucking Wolverine! If we formed an international committee to define all the qualities an actor needs to possess to play our favorite feral, claw wielding maniac, Jackman would be at the top of the list in gigantic bold letters. Shit, he’s perfect. True, he’s taller than the actual character. But, come on, how many action stars out there can take and give spectacular beatings on screen and be just 5 feet 4 inches? Only fat pant loads who still live in their mother’s basement will obsess over this and every other friggin detail that didn’t make the transition from the comic to the film series. The rest of us are fine with the discrepancies. Oh yea, and we get laid.
Yes, he had some sort of film career in Australia. Who really gives two shits? It’s Australia. I defy you to name five movies he was in at that point in his career. Now do it without checking out Google. HA! You can’t do it! That’s what I thought. Fucking Australia. It was a prison colony, you know.
It wasn’t Sabertooth or Magneto that killed Wolverine. It was Hugh Jackman. I don’t know what passes as good action cinema in Australia, but here in the good ‘ol US of A we want our action stars killing, maiming, and growling incoherently. Watching Hugh tear through his enemies with Wolverine’s claws in the X-Men franchise makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside. But, oh no; he had to fucking ruin it with a romantic comedy almost right out of the gate. Why, Hugh, why? Ovaries across America buzzed as he filled the big screen with the brain hemorrhage that is Kate & Leopold. There shouldn’t be a soft side to an action star. Kill, mother fucker, kill! My God, man, you can’t go from spine crushing action to a fucking romance flick with Ashley Judd! It both confuses and enrages us. Especially now that he’s staring in the remake of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel in 2010. Why don’t you just do a pirouette on our testicles?
The worst offense to the action hero community was, WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT, that eye cancer at the 2008 Academy Awards. A part of us died inside that night. Hardcore action fans everywhere asked “Why is Wolverine singing and dancing?” It floods our nightmares to this day. The tuxedo, the prancing, the sheer horror of seeing him use jazz hands. It’s our Vietnam, man.
I still haven’t seen X-Men Origins: Wolverine yet. Jackman has traumatized me too much. The possibility of Wolverine breaking out into dance and song during a fight scene is just too great. Seeing the man who portrayed a comic icon strutting on stage and twirling around like a show tune singing ballerina puts a little extra umf in the punch.
Chances of Recovery: Good
Despite the atrocities Jackman has committed, the action fans will still flock to his movies. True, Van Helsing was on the retarded side, but Kate Beckinsale’s eye candy factor made it acceptable. He’s just too good of a Wolverine to miss. Still, the twirling….. the twirling…. the horror.
3: Gerard Butler
Gerard Butler must have had some movie roles before the face punching awesomeness that is 300. A quick look on Wikipedia confirms this. But, who cares? Anything that he did before 300 really doesn’t count. His status of brutal action hero was forged against a blue screen with a fuck load of Persians added in post production. He OWNED, the portrayal of Spartan King, Leonidas. He yelled at the top of his lungs, chucked people down a well, impaled soldier after soldier, and chopped off more heads than the French Revolution. He could not be stopped! And, as if he needed to further prove his raw manliness, he rocked Lena Heady’s world before he went out to certain death. He bitch slapped the politicians and gave Xeres a migraine the size of The Persian Empire. In short, he had balls the size of hot air balloons.
For our sake, we’ll ignore the homoerotic subtext that some say the film exuded. A bunch of shirtless men wearing banana hammocks is a disturbing thought. to many That shit keeps me off the beach (as well as my utter hatred for sand, sun, and people). But, give them spears, swords, shields, and an unquenchable thirst for blood, we can let it go. OK? Let that shit go NOW! No one was rubbing suntan lotion on his compatriot. There weren’t any deeply soulful discussions about Sex in the City. And, for fuck’s sake, there was no mincing or prancing (see Hugh Jackman, above). Even if every soldier of the 300 were gay, big fucking deal. It’s not about a person’s sexual orientation. It’s about how many people they can slaughter in the span of five minutes.
This is where the other shoe drops…. right on our throats. Most of us have cable. Most of us flip around during the commercials on TNA Impact, UFC, or some other manly show that makes men everywhere want to run through a brick wall and wrestle a Kodiak bear. A casual pass by shows one of the movie channels that’s having a love-a-thon. It’s showing the heart wrenching chick flick, PS, I Love You. Eh, that makes you no nevermind. Cable is like a mine field; the ground is strewn with chick flick mines that will blow your balls off, if you’re not careful. You’re about to keep channel surfing, but something is odd. That guy, the dead one that for some reason took the precaution of writing letters to his wife before he died or some shit. The voice over. The flash backs. Shit, that actor looks familiar. No. NO! I can’t be. FUCK! That’s Gerard Butler!
Nut Punch Factor 1 to 5: 4
The pain won’t go away just because Butler is a kick ass action hero. He was in Reign of Fire, perhaps the only manly movie about dragons ever produced. But, his involvement in movies about feelings and love will forever leave a bitter taste in the mouths of we action hero fanatics. I’m not talking a slight aftertaste like you would have after a Chinese meal. This is a full force mouthful of cow shit and okra taste. Go on. Keep brushing your teeth and rinsing. It’s never going to go away. NEVER!
Chances of Recovery: Fair
Butler is staring in the soon to be released movie, Gamer. It’s another thin on plausible plot, but lots of shit blows up action movie. That has a fair chance of helping us forget, or at least repress, his chick flick malevolence. But, in true Rochambeau fashion, the gonad withering movie The Ugly Truth comes out two months before Gamer. It’s like following a Mike Tyson caliber punch to the kidneys with with a York Peppermint Patty.
If you have to ask who Arnold Schwarzenegger is or what movies he has done, I want you to hit yourself in the stomach as hard as possible. Seriously. I’ll wait.
What can we say? Arnold has been THE action hero and occasional villain for over 20 years. He practically defined the damn genre single handedly. He IS action. For the love of Billy Mays, the man can kick the shit out of a the entire ancient Mongolian army and make it call him “daddy.” Arnold could have won both World Wars simultaneously, with enough time to put the finishing touches on his walk in humidor; which also doubles as the world’s most extensive gun cabinet and nuclear bunker. Why do you think Bigfoot hides in the forrest like a pussy? He’s afraid. Schwarzenegger could beat him over the head with his own ass.
Shit! This guy can do no wrong. Sure, he’s had some flops like Red Heat. But, what do you expect when someone teams up with Jim Belushi? It gets ugly from here. Even Arnold has kicked us between the uprights.
Not even Arnold is exempt from this shit list. Notice two of the movies above co-starred Danny DeVito. Detecting a trend? Don’t get me wrong, DeVito was great in Taxi and…. something else, I guess. But, I think it’s fair to put 50% of this shit sandwich squarely on his shoulders.
Nut Punch Factor 1 to 5: 3
Arnold comes in at a solid three. He has a great pedigree of skull shattering movies. No one can dispute that. But, for every three or four pancreas grabbing action flicks, there was at least one half assed romantic comedy. It’s equivalent to every third Hershey’s Kiss in the bag being a wrapped up rat turd.
Chances of Recovery: Excellent
The action flick fan will forever forgive Arnold. His action to lame comedic/romance movie ratio is, simply put, amazing. How can’t we forgive him? It’s just not possible. He’s Arnold. He’s the fucking cornerstone of all things action. Not to mention he is THE wellspring for history making one liners that would have made anyone else look and sound like a complete asshat. The Vatican is thinking about adding him to the Bible .
5: Dwayne Johnson (Formerly, The Rock)
It’s hard to want to defend someone who knowingly ditched a he- man studded nickname like “The Rock” in favor of his given name, “Dwayne.” Luckily, Dwayne has a pretty good list of neck snappingly good action movies under his belt.
This man does action well. We like to watch him fight for justice while Rock Bottoming someone’s ass through a pool table. He’s funny, articulate, and can beat the hell out of bad guys with a two by four like nobody’s business. We root for him to win in the most violent way possible.
The Rock/Dwayne outgrew the WWE. His magnificent kickassery couldn’t be contained in the wrestling ring. He moved on to adrenaline pumping movies like Walking Tall, The Rundown, and The Scorpion King. Shit blew up. People were thrown through plate glass windows. Did I mention that he beat the shit out of bad guys with a two by four? I did? Well, it’s important, damn it.
Then, it all went wrong around 2007/2008. So terribly, terribly wrong.
Did I miss something? When did Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson become such a pantywaist? He’s turned into a kids movie bitch. What’s the deal? Is there more money in family friendly films? Does he owe satan? Is their incriminating evidence of him being held over his head?
Nut Punch Factor 1 to 5: 5
The Rock used to be a professional wrestling world champion for fuck’s sake! His transition to super duper action star made a shit ton of sense. His plummet into child comedy movie hell hurts every die hard action fan’s essense. It happend before our very eyes. One day, he was blowing the shit out a South American gang to free its strangle hold on a poor, yet pathetic village. The next he’s playing with dolls and having a tea party with a 5 year old. This isn’t just a punch in the balls, it’s a complete and savage nut demolishion!
Chances of Recovery: Poor to fair
A look at Johnson’s entry at IMDB basically tells it all. In 2010, he’s going to star in the epic sissy kids movie Tooth Fairy. The plot? Let Wikipedia tell you. I sure as shit don’t have the strength.
When a pro hockey player (Johnson), nicknamed the Tooth Fairy for his ability to knock out other players’ teeth, dashes the hopes of his girlfriend’s daughter, he is ordered to serve two week’s hard labor as one of the real Tooth Fairies.
There you have it. Tooth Faries. Yep. Mother fucking Tooth Fairies.