Too Old for Action

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star Bruce Willis does not appear to be laying off the action roles.
While on one level we completely respect that, on another we just
can’t help but think he should be leaving the butt-kicking to the
younger guys.

Aside from
the occasional low-energy part in such films as Barry Levinson’s
Just Happened
, Bruce is still keeping things amped up in
movies like 2007’s Live
Free or Die Hard
and the upcoming Red. How does the
54-year-old actor pull off these high-octane performances? Maybe
he’s using a surrogate.

Willis’ new
film brings to mind a whole bunch of aging stars who we think are
simply too old for action.

gallery: See the actors who are too old to be action movie stars.

Steven Seagal,

Steven Seagal
hasn’t made a good action movie that anyone has gone to see since
1994’s On
Deadly Ground
. You might ask yourself what the former action
star has been up to for the last 15 years. Seagal has, in fact,
been making movies – more than 25 since ODG came out.
If that surprises you, then clearly you haven’t been trolling the
action aisles of your local video store (if you still have one).
Over half of those films have gone straight to video. If that isn’t
a sad enough thought, the 58-year-old Seagal will take one more
major step toward putting his foot in his action hero grave when
his reality show, Steven Seagal: Lawman, premieres later
this year.

Arnold Schwarzenegger,

When he took
office in 2003, it looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger was hanging
up his loin cloth and leaving his action hero past behind him. But
somehow, the 62-year-old megastar/politician has managed to find
the time for an appearance in Sly Stone’s latest action extravaganza,
The Expendables. We wonder if he used one of his standard
California employee two unpaid days a month to shoot his scenes.
Regardless, Arnie may still be buff, but he’s better off in a suit,
leaving the action roles to younger men.

Clint Eastwood,

Clint Eastwood
clearly started to lay out his post-action hero plan B very early
on. With his 1971 directorial debut, The
Beguiled: The Storytell
, Dirty Harry began to establish
himself behind the scenes as a director. Sure, Clint still acts
in some of his films. But he’s smart enough to take on the roles
of low-key, gruff sage who’s pushing all the young whipper-snappers
around. And he knows when to stay off camera all together, too.
The 79-year-old Academy Award winning director will not be appearing
in his next two films, Invictus and Hereafter.

Ford, 67

It makes us
cringe to even say this, but here we go: Harrison Ford is 67 years
old. Han Solo, our first childhood crush, is well into his AARP
years, and yet he refuses to slow down. We just can’t help but think
he’s a little long in the tooth to be chasing Nazis or, worse yet,
space aliens. But despite a sometimes creaky performance in 2008’s
Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
, Harrison’s announced
he’s ready to go with Indy 5. Sure, Shia LaBeouf will be
back to do more of the heavy lifting, but it will still be hard
to watch Ford huff and puff his way alongside his much younger co-star.

Stallone, 63

Sylvester Stallone
is clearly not willing to accept that he’s a 63-year-old former
action star, and he won’t let go. Quite the contrary. In his next
film, The Expendables, he’s pulling together a who’s who
of fading action heroes, from Dolph Lundgren to Mickey Rourke. Sly
explained, "I wanted to do a film that was more about men and
just doing things that we did back in the ’80s and ’90s with films
that were a little bit more men on men, and actual physical stunts,
and also a story that isn’t super-gigantic." Thank goodness
someone’s perpetuating the Hollywood legacy of overblown action
films with no story line.

the rest of the article

28, 2009

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