As I’ve hinted at before, I’m at odds with a lot of what Hollywood is doing these days with movies. They’re making them cheap, fast, and simple with the formula of “blow stuff up and put a pretty girl on the screen.” They skimp on story and cover it up with CGI and shaky cameras. One thing I do like however, is that some of our long time favorite action movie stars are still creating work in the genre they founded. Guys like: Willis, Stallone, Eastwood, Schwarzenegger and Ford continue to pop up these days and they’re still pack’n a pretty good punch.
I’ve always liked the concept of the old guy coming out of retirement to do battle one more time on behalf of the little guy. One of the quintessential movies for this is The Rock, where an aged British MI6 agent and SAS soldier (Sean Connery) dusts off the old skills to save the day. It’s not too far a stretch of the imagination to take the character of John Mason (Connery) and switch it with James Bond (also played by Connery). Mason’s fate could have easily been Bond’s in Fleming’s world of 007. And what a cool idea to have Bond keeping his secrets, locked up and biding his time till he gets one more chance to not only save the day, but escape to freedom and live his life.
Well, that’s a “what-if” that will probably never be made. But lucky for us we do get guys like Liam Neeson age 59 making The Grey; Bruce Willis age 56 coming out with G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Expendable 2; Stallone, 65 also in Expendable 2 and Denzel Washington age 57 in Safe House. Now, these day, 50 is the new 40 and I really shouldn’t be calling these guys old, because they are still obviously able to tow their own line. In the opinion of Hazardpublishing.com, the latest Indiana Jones movie pretty much stunk; but I’ve got to admit, Harrison Ford still looked pretty good, ringing it at 65 years old at the time. And had the story, directing, acting, and producing been better, I would have gladly accepted the movie into the canon. And how about a 79 year old Eastwood playing a retired tough-as-nails auto worker cleaning up his neighborhood of crime in Gran Torino? He totally pulled it off! If only we could all be as tough as Walt Kowalski when we reach that age.
In a town like Hollywood where youth and beauty are coveted above all else, it’s good to see these guys still making action movies. These are the men we grew up watching on screen; emulating in our backyards with squirt guns and pinecone grenades. These are the guys that maybe inspired something in you when you were young that lead you to be the person you are today. For that, and the hours of entertainment they’ve provided, I’m grateful and will continue to watch these actors do their work till they finally hang up their spurs and ride off into the sunset.