Now that Hollywood has successfully launched the “Reboots that decimated, demolished and annihilated your favorite childhood franchises” they have recently been playing around with a new genre “Old Dude Action Movie”. I’m not sure who started it, although I’m very suspicious of Liam Neeson, but I’m not going to point fingers, I hear he has a very particular set of skills. As if seeing your childhood Michealbay-ed wasn’t bad enough (yeah I made it a verb, whatcha going to do about it?), now we get to see all of our action heroes age less than gracefully.
Sean Penn – Action Hero Extraordinaire?
Sean Penn has had a long and I’d argue eclectic career. Playing powerfully emotional roles such as Harvey Milk (the first openly gay politician to be elected to office in the U.S.A.) and Willie Stark in ‘All the Kings Men’ (a conflicted guilt-ridden idealist, small town lawyer). However, at this point in his career he decided to jump onto a relatively large budget action flick, which wasn’t even that successful compared to his other films. Maybe it’s because Penn carries a gravitas that really isn’t appropriate for lighter popcorn munching action flicks?
Mickey Rourke is that you?
Look everyone loves a comeback story, especially if that come-back story involves an 80s-90s badass like Mickey Rourke. He was awesome in Sin City, the Wrestler and even in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, movies which he actually played an active role in. In Expendables, he just kind of did nothing except maybe awkwardly interact with Stallone after sitting behind him in a very bromantic scene.
With few exceptions, this movie’s cast consists of dad-aged action heroes. Testament to this is the Chuck Norris joke wedged violently into the second film that they thought was relevant, about a decade too late. Chuck Norris is so strong that he dad-joked Himself. Not only did they make one of these movies they made three of them, with the dad-tacular cast expanding each time and according to IMBD they’re making a fourth one. I’m going to be unapologetically catty and assume that the sets of all four films were heavily littered with used up testosterone syringes. And dude why does Wesley Snipes look like a sassy elderly black woman?
Even the age-less Tom Cruise is cashing in
Ok, Tom Cruise isn’t a spring chicken sure, but he does seem a little bit more put together (and was younger at his peak of popularity in the 80s) than his contemporary ageing action stars. This doesn’t make him immune to the effects of the ‘Old Dude Action Movie’ syndrome. It’s still a little creepy when he has the inevitable ‘will they won’t they’ scene with his much younger co-star. Speaking of which…
Old dudes creepily mackin’ on young co-stars
Yeah, I went there! The thing with is if you’re making an action movie you have to follow some tropes. First: Explosions and unending ammo, second: a muscly star with very little torso coverage and third: an attractive female co-star. Don’t call me a sexist, I’m just calling them how I see them. But after the age gap between macho action movie lead and bodacious attractive second fiddle goes north of 10-15 years I start to wonder if the movie is just an elaborate ruse to get aging stars young co-stars to date them. For example in the first Expendables Stallone’s 68 and Giselle’s 32, In the Edge of Tomorrow Tom Cruise’s 52 while Emily Blunt’s 31. There’s just too much of a creepy uncle vibe going on throughout the whole movie, and maybe I’m just not a big enough person, but it really bugs and distracts me.
Oh! and Van Damme
That’s all; just Van Damme still making movies and painful looking air-splits. And then sometimes does them on Volvo Trucks too.
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