Reviving our old movie heroes to the big screen has become a trend in Hollywood these days. Arnie flexed his ‘acting skills’ for Terminator 3 before becoming the governor, Bruce crashed a car against a helicopter, Stallone did double duty with Rocky & Rambo and Ford is back for more treasure hunting. Let’s take a look at how our action heroes have performed and see whether their effort did justice to their respective franchise.
Arnold Schwarzenegger – Terminator
Highlights: Sent from the future to kill the mother of a future leader of the human resistance movement; battle against a superior shape shifting killing machine; “Hasta La Vista, Baby”
Recent effort – Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
The Terminator goes up against an indestructible sexy female terminator.
Justice to the franchise?: Action packed with lots of CGI, this movie was entertaining but not as memorable as Cameron’s T2.
Bruce Willis – John McClane
Highlights: defeat a group of European faux terrorist in the Nakatomi building on Christmas, stop terrorist that hijacked an airport, partnered with Samuel ‘Muthaf***ing’ Jackson to stop bad guys, Yippee Kay Yeah Muthaf***er!!
Recent effort – Live Free or Die Hard
Partnered with Justin “I’m Mac” Long to stop cyberterrorists from crippling the infrastructure of USA. Action packed movie
Justice to the Franchise?:A really good action movie that keeps on getting over top (the McClane vs Jet fighter). The downside is that McClane needs to say F*** more.
Sylverster Stallone – Rocky Balboa
Highlights: two times heavyweight champion, defeated Mr.T and a cold blooded Soviet boxer (in those days all Russians were cold blooded LOL), suffered a really bad sequel (Rocky 5)
Recent effort – Rocky Balboa
Coming out of retirement to fight an arrogant young boxer in a promotional match.
Justice to the Franchise?: A slow movie but overall gave the character a fitting end. One of the best entry to the franchise.
Sylvester Stallone – John Rambo
Highlights: Gave not one but two emotional speech about the treatment of Vietnam veterans by their home country, rescue American POWs while blowing up enemy village, assisted the Afghans against the Soviets (the irony).
Recent effort – Rambo
Rescue a group of Christian missionaries from the sadistic Burmese army.
Justice to the Franchise?: Brutal action sequences gave Rambo a competitive edge against recent bloody movies like Hostel and Saw. The ending was fitting to the character too.
Harrison Ford – Indiana Jones
First release: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981),
Last release: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989),
Revival release: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Highlights: Fought against the Nazis for the Ark of Covenant and the Holy Grail, battle against an evil Indian cult group, has a funny relationship with his father.
Recent effort: Fight with the Soviets for the powerful Crystal skulls.
Justice to the Franchise?: Don’t know. It hasn’t been released yet. But Spielberg has stated that he’s going ‘film’ instead of digital with this film to retain that retro Indy feeling.
That’s it for now. I will do the second part later where I would suggest which movie heroes should take one final shot on the big screen (eg. Eddie Murphy’s Axel Foley of Beverly Hills Cop fame and Kurt Russell’s Snake Plissken).
Here’s one of my favourite scene from Terminator 2: Judgement Day