One thing you’ll notice while watching The Expendables is yes these dudes are old as hell but you’ll also notice those are the guys who are the last of a dying breed. The action star is no longer in demand so there really isn’t any new blood. The opening scene in JCVD, a good movie in my mind by the way, where Jean Claude goes through a long ass one take fight scene just to have one of the baddies knock down the prop wall, Jean Claude then informs he’s young director he’s up in age and can no longer just do those one take sequences over and over again. Later in the movie he says he lost a role in some action movie to Stephen Segal who for the role cuts his ponytail. That part alone shows that there are no new guys to take on the role of action star. For awhile we as movie fans and fans of action movies thought maybe Dwayne ”The Rock” Johnson would have been that dude but he somehow turned into a very buff family film guy. Then there was Vin Diesel whose name insists he should be an action movie star, really just say his name to yourself and tell me you won’t think of a flick with a lot of ass kicking in it. He too for a minute also went on some family movie trip. In any event both men did not carry on the tradition of action stars.
Think about it most of the movies those stars starred in we have nothing but the name of the movie. Does anyone really remember what Commando was about? You know who was in it you even know the movie when you see while channel surfing but the plot is so lame and meaningless yet Schwarzenegger is a star. There are those Chuck Norris films and GOD if every Stephen Segal movie doesn’t just suck, not just the ones in the late 90’s and early part of the Decade that went straight to DVD, ALL OF HIS MOVIES SUCKED. But the guy is a house hold name bad movie or not and you know the names of those movies too. The action movie was fun to watch you had, shootouts, chase scenes, fight scenes, odd corny ass dialogue and happy endings.
Now with the lack men who are action stars we still have had the Bourne trilogy and that name Bourne over the last few years has been the one name we call out when some ass kicking in evolved. But as much as I like Matt Damon and trust me after those Bourne movies I really think he might be able to kick mines and many other people ass in real life, but in an unfair way he doesn’t need a to Bourne part four to generate interest his career or an Oceans 17, that goes for Clooney too. I say that because before the last Rambo and Rocky flick Stallone would be asked if he would do a film as those two characters, hell even 16 Blocks didn’t satisfy some people when it comes to Bruce Willis back in action man mode it just made people want to see him in another Die Hard flick that much more. Now being fair those films even when they are bad still do well at the box office most times in their opening week, mostly for nostalgia purpose but they do well at the box office. But the action star is no longer needed for action movies just look at who we have in our comic book movies Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Ed Norton (The Hulk), Christian bale (Batman) and Toby McGuire (Spider-Man), none of those guys would really be people you’d want to see in another action film outside of those comic book heroes at all. There is or maybe could be Tatum who was in G.I. Joe but he was also in one of those lame ass dance movies so people may not be able to get over that at all, I know I can’t because I brought it up. I know Jason Statham could be that guy but he too is getting up in age and I could do without another Transporter and Crank movie, Jet Li is also up in age and then there whoever is the newest WWE star that wants a crack in Hollywood. Outside of The Rock no one not even Hulk Hogan has really had a real career in Hollywood that came from professional wresting which is one reason I think Dwayne Johnson chose to be in films using his charisma and stage presence as opposed to his muscles and physical ability.
One thing is plan to see when watching The Expendables that type of star is no longer a part of Hollywood. Don’t get it twisted even though the 80’s was height of action films and horror films too, both were around decades ago. I mean Steve McQueen was an action star and way before Dirty Harry and the feeling lucky punk quote Clint Eastwood was one of the go to guys for a good western movie. Matter of fact most of our action stars back in the day were in westerns because that was where you saw the shootouts and fist fights the most. Go even further back and in a less physical way Humphrey Bogart was an action star. I mean he really didn’t do much in the form of action but the perception was there that he was a man of action. Many of those detective and gangster movies in the black and white days are the forefathers of we had in the 80’s and 90’s they even had things blowing up . Today technology is the action star, anyone could have played the guy in Transformers and the movie would have still been there. Those Aliens vs. Predator films can come out every year with a different cast no one would care the aliens are the stars. It’s not that we aren’t seeing action movies, we are, but we’re seeing more CGI and well put together fight scenes being the star of those movies then an actual person now. That is the main reason why, again no disrespect to Matt Damon, I feel Bourne movies opened the door for so many actors who wouldn’t have been able to play the action hero roll at all in the 80’s and 90’s, I mean That McAvoy guy staring in Wanted and Don Cheadle in Traitor kicking ass on some secret agent shit, really??? The last dependable action stars really were females Angela Jolie who showed us that again with her latest movie Salt and the Mila Jovovich. Again no disrespect those actors at all because I liked most of those movies but I would like to know there is a go to guy or guys when it comes to certain roles that call for a man of heavy action.
What once was niche in Hollywood that had its own who’s who of action stars and stars who became house hold names because the A list guys like Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Bruce Wills (funny how just saying Willis does nothing but make you think of Gary Coleman R.I.P) passed on films is now just vacant. And trust me I don’t mean the guys have to be buff to be action guys but there is something about these guys, you see it in Jet Li, Stallone, Segal even Kiefer Sutherland has it, it’s why 24 worked, because he owned the role and all the action that came with it. We might not see that kind of actor again for awhile. Maybe when they do find new blood they’ll also find better dialogue, I get that they’re action movies but people still have to speak, include writers in the budget please. So while Hollywood falls all over its self looking for the flavor of the month heartthrob I’ll be waiting for the next major league first rate ass kicker to bring back the glory of action films because I’m still pissed about the Miami Vice movie even in 2010 I’m pissed that was a wasted idea for a good ass action movie.