Should Schwarzenegger Return To Action Movies?
We don’t always agree on the happenings in the entertainment community, and we like to make our beefs public. Earlier this week, Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that he's actively searching for his next starring role, but should he consider an action-packed film? Fight!
Get To Da Choppa!
Arnold Schwarzenegger is accepting film offers for the first time in seven years, and the question on everyone’s mind is “what’s next?” Will the Terminator spurn his action roots, taking a more dignified, Eastwood-esque approach to choosing roles, or will he return to the genre that made him the most recognized movie star in the world? While the actor himself has hinted at the former, turning his back on action films would be a huge mistake.
I know the arguments against. He’s too old to be an action star. He’s been gone too long. Returning now will come across as a pathetic attempt to relive his glory years. And I while I completely agree that they are all legitimate concerns, these outcomes are not set in stone. If Schwarzenegger takes the right approach, he’ll be back on top of his game in no time.
First of all, is Schwarzenegger too old to be an action star? Has he been gone to long? Considering the popularity of The Expendables, I think that’s completely debatable. If anything, moviegoers are feeling nostalgic for the action stars of yesterday. The Expendables was a crap movie, but it still killed at the box office. Why? Because audiences want to see familiar faces in familiar roles. Is a 60-year-old man running around fighting ninjas entirely unbelievable? Yes. But so is a 20-year-old man hanging off the side of an airplane shooting a handgun. With these movies, it’s not about believability. It’s about fun.
Besides, an action role doesn’t necessarily require Arnie to be running around with his shirt off, round-house kicking everyone in sight. Hypothetically, if he were to do another Terminator film, all you really need to see is his face, and special effects would do the rest. That said, another Terminator film would be a horrible move, and would play into the “trying to relive the past” argument. But how much of a stretch would it be to see Schwarzenegger piloting a robotic exoskeleton in the next Avatar film? Considering his previous work with James Cameron, it could totally happen.
But all other arguments aside, those who argue that Schwarzenegger needs to move away from the action genre are forgetting one important fact: he can’t act! Unlike Eastwood, Arnold doesn’t have the chops to pull off anything besides action, with the possible exception of comedy. And even his attempts at humor have been hit or miss. Sure, you’ve got Twins and Kindergarten Cop, but you’ve also got Junior and Jingle All The Way. He may be a star, but he’s not an actor. Somehow, I can’t see him working in the next Tom Hooper period piece.
Of course, if Schwarzenegger wants to try his hand at other types of projects, I can’t fault him for that. But he has to remember that action is his bread and butter. After all, the name Schwarzenegger is synonyms with action. Branching out is one thing, but turning your back the films that made you is another.
Hasta La Vista
Let me start by saying I love Arnold Schwarzenegger action movies more than life itself. And it is for this very reason that I don’t wish to see a new one. Arnold is an icon for testosterone-fueled cinema. His roles and films are legendary, and we could repeat his many memorable lines of dialogue ad nauseam. So isn’t that how we want him to remain in our memory?
You can say Arnie isn’t too old to pull of his usual tricks, but the fact is, he’s kinda old. Not one foot in the grave old, but limited mobility and achy joints old. There’s no way in hell he could execute the stunts he used to, nor should he. At 63 I’m just glad to see him looking as fit as he does. Let’s not push it. The man still puffs on Cubans like they’re going out of style. Tar filled lungs don’t make it any easier to catch your breath after sprinting a few city blocks. Nor does it make your 63-year-old heart pump any stronger. Also, did you check out his face in The Expendables? He looked tired, and not up for any missions that required more energy than strutting in and out of a church.
I’d like to bring up Harrison Ford at this time. I think we all saw the last Indiana Jones movie, and we were all deeply saddened by it. Not only was the movie a pile of hackneyed crap, but Harrison Ford just felt too…OLD. I love Ford too, and my intention isn’t to badmouth him, but damn if he didn’t look exhausted in that movie. There were times I wanted to climb into the screen, pull him up a chair, and attach an oxygen mask to his face. I don’t want this to happen to our dear, dear Arnie. I don’t want to sit in a darkened theater and feel sorry for the man. It would be such a tremendous let down, especially after psyching myself up for a new action flick starring the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger.
You say Arnie can’t act, but I don’t believe that’s entirely true. Sure, he’s not going to win an Oscar, but James Cameron could alway extract a believable performance from him. Granted, playing an emotionless robot helped. But even in True Lies, he delivers laughs and drama. Perhaps he could find a role that isn’t as demanding physically, but tests Arnie’s acting skills. Of course a scene or two of action would be warranted for old time’s sake. Let’s just not have him handling a gatling gun or hanging off of a helicopter if he’s going to look pale and sweaty afterwards.