Comedy movies headed up by action stars was still a mysterious, uncharted land back in the 80’s. Eventually Schwarzenegger would dispel the myth that muscle-bound killing machines couldn’t do funny with Twins, pile-driving the box office for the sum of over $200 million. Macho badasses juxtaposed into hilarious scenarios has now become a bit of a sub-genre unto itself. The Pacifier finds Navy SEAL Vin Diesel looking after some kids, is just one example. Dwayne Johnson’s entire back catalogue is pretty much the same. So why can’t it be done the other way around? Why can’t comedians become badasses?
South of OK, North of Cancer
In the 90’s you could actually go to the cinema not knowing what you were going to see. You didn’t have to take out a small mortgage to pay back then, so you could risk taking a punt on things. The Negotiator was one such punt. A tight action thriller, starring two stars at the peaks of their power, it somehow failed to capture the credit it deserved. So let’s revisit this little beauty, nearly twenty years on. And that’s not a request. It’s a demand…
Let’s see how you negotiate your way out of this one…
You have to give Nicolas Cage (Face/Off) a fair shake. Just because he’s the direct-to-video ying to Steven Seagal’s yang, it doesn’t detract from his Oscar win or the balls out classics in his back catalogue. It doesn’t matter if most of his recent work is a bit trashy. You never for one moment get the impression he isn’t enjoying himself, and how many of us can say that about our day jobs? So stop clenching your anus the moment you see his balding head on the cover and start appreciating. Plus it’s a nice surprise when you actually find him in something that turns out to be good. Now is that what you gonna find in his 2016 adventure, The Trust? Well we’re gonna find out…
Trust Me, I’m a Doctor
Two thousand years from now we’re gonna be living in space and watching aliens, robots and cyborgs kicking the shit out of each other. But not humans. In fact, there’s been no humie combatants in the Arena for nearly 50 years. Mainly because we suck compared to the rest of the universes’ badass warriors. Enter Steve Armstrong to change everything.
Deep Space Nine Meets Best of the Best
I kind of felt that Jason Bourne, the most recent in the Bourne franchise, really didn’t explore anything new. It was treading the same old ground. Director Paul Greengrass should have changed it up. How about switch the location (how about China?), the era (AD 1000 sounds good), and instead of fighting corrupt CIA goons, why not pitch him against space aliens. Sounds like we’re on to a winner.
Chinese Starship Troopers featuring Matt Damon
Gary Oldman finally got his Oscar. And a much deserved one at that. His turn as the plucky politician Winston Churchill in The Darkest Hour has finally netted him cinema’s most recognized award. But I don’t think it’s his most memorable role. Nor his best. Admit it – Oldman does his best work as the bad guy. And he’s played some of the baddest. Dracula, that dude who killed JFK, a rasta psychopath in True Romance, some crocked tycoon in Fifth Element, a crazy billionaire with a fucked up face trying to gain revenge on Hannibal Lecter. The list goes on. Yet he was at his most crazed, his most brilliant, in 1994’s Léon: The Professional.
Death is Whimsical Today
Following the success of La Femma Nikita in 1990, “renegade” (as labelled by HBO) French director Luc Besson (Lucy) finally had the opportunity to bring Fifth Element, a film he’d been dreaming up on-and-off since he was a teenager, to the big screen. Hollywood studios were paying attention to the hot young talent, offering to back him up with fat wads of greasy green cash. Even genuine A-lister Bruce Willis (Die Hard) was saying he wanted to star. The only snag was Willis was knee-deep in one of the most productive periods of his career; he was booked up until 95′. So Besson decided to wait and in the meantime made a small scale “passion project” he’d thought up whilst shooting Nikita. Léon was born.
No Women No Kids