Wednesday, October 13, 2010
THE NEXT GREAT ACTION HERO
I have made it no secret how I feel there aren’t too many Action heroes today as we had always had in the past. We had Arnold Schwartzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson as the heavyweights of big screen action then we had Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, Jean Claude Van-Damme more for b-movie status films. Then we had people like Brian Bosworth, Michael Dudikoff, Jeff Speadman, Thomas ian Griffith, Billy Blanks, and a assorted roster of ex-sports stars to topline straight to home video and cable action films. Now while they all tried other genres and to be taken seriously as dramatic actors. Due to varying success they all found there way back to where they were big moneymakers and where there talent more or less was appreciated.
Today we Still have Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone but they are looking a little long in the tooth to play these roles and getting up there in age it is hard to sell the image of them with younger damsels in distress. Now while we still try to cast sports stars in action hero roles such as John Cena and Steve Austin. Other then them the studios try to import martial arts films and it’s stars as there action franchise players, Yet we still have none to really call our own or identify with. Knowing what type of film we are going to get since half the time the big-time actors who star in the occasional action film are either searching for a crowd pleasing hit (Adrien Brody, Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon) As they are accomplished actors but no one really knows how to cast them in other projects,. Or are just slumming. There are alo\so actors who have been around for awhile and go where the work is and are offered the chance to be stars in Video Game adaptations. Such as HITMAN and DOOM . Which proved to help Karl Urban and Timothy Olyphant find success.
Now while we have Jason Statham and at times Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and for the ladies Milla Jovovich they seem to be the only ones other then the actors mentioned above who stay in the genre. We have Jackie Chan and Jet Li. But like the big names previously mentioned they are getting a little old to be as fast and entertaining with there kung-fu also. We have Hugh Jackman but he seems more to jump genres and only attached to one franchise in the action genre (WOLVERINE) but it appears that actionis the genre where he finds the most success other then the stage. Ryan Reynolds seems like he is taking up the mantle most of his upcoming films are in the action genre after showing his talent in it with films like BLADE 3, WOLVERINE. Keanu reeves is also a viable candidate as shockingly one of the few actors of this generation who has become a star by mostly doing Sci-Fi movies. The films also have a good amount of action so after becoming a worldwide star with THE MATRIX series of films then CONSTANTINE. He has layed low in films sticking mainly to indie films. Hopefully when he comes back it will be In a film that is spectacular to distract us from his not entirely convincing acting.
I have decided to nominate a list of Actors who I would like to become the next great action stars.
He should have the career that The Rock had but somehow he decided he wanted to be a genre hopper and prove himself more as a character actor then as a action star though he more had the looks of the action hero. The wiser choice for him would have been to become the action star gain a reputation then try stabs at comedy and drama more to play off his personea as a Action star who is built like a tank. It’s a shame he has shown he is a capable actor. He is slowly making a return by doing sequels to FAST & THE FURIOUS but it maybe too late as he wants to make a sequel to CHRONICLES Of RIDDICK and XXX but the studios are on the fence as it maybe too much time to breath life into these franchises plus he isn’t as marketable as he once was. Considering for awhile he was a hot property but the studios banked on him more then it was proven at the time whether he could deliver a audience. Either way they are all better and more believable then Nicholas Cage.
He started off as a Heel. Then worked his way to best friend status then leading man that saw his films crash and burn. He then made a slow comeback preferring to stay behind the scenes and taking the odd starring role here and there. He is a competent actor who has done action before (PAYCHECK, REINDEER GAMES, ARMAGEDDON, THE SUM OF ALL FEARS). He has more of a happy go lucky look. But he does have the size and looks to be a warm presence on screen but dangerous if he has to. He doesn’t really fit into one particular genre. He even knows the genre as a noted writer and director. So he has the skills both onscreen and behind them. Plus he already has a oscar so he doesn’t have the same lust for one that may hamper other actors when thinking about career longevity.
He is the supposed hot new thing on screen yet in his first two films which were highly touted and action oriented. He came off well but not that deep he has a blandness to his acting. He has the looks and body to be a believable bad ass. But also the looks and body to be a normal man put into extraordinary circumstances who is forced to be the hero. He can be the meek guy who kicks ass after being underestimated. Or the bad ass who has a soft side.
MICHAEL JAI WHITE
He has the body which he likes to show off. Like Wesley Snipes he has martial arts training. He is a veteran of the film world playing Villians, heroes and henchmen alike in films like (SPAWN, EXIT WOUNDS, BLACK DYNAMITE, KILL BILL VOL. 2)
He is getting up there in years but he could be a new representative for African Americans in action films.
He is getting older and his films are not doing as well as they used to. While women love to see him with his shirt off the quality of the movies are going down. His films are beginning to resemble each other. He is also getting long in the tooth as the romantic leading man. As in FOOL’S GOLD which had it’s fair share of action he is adept at it. Action films also give him a reason to take off his shirt. He could be the crossover action hero as plenty of ladies would still come to see him shirtless as their husbands and boyfriends enjoy the action.
John Singleton has used him many times. While he has starred in plenty of action films as the co-lead his one starring role in the genre WAIST DEEP was slept on by critics and audiences alike. While in The TRANSFORMER movies and FOUR BROTHERS he proved perfectly capable of handling himself in action scenes and as a actor. Plus as a accomplished R & B singer he could also do the theme songs as part of his paycheck and is younger then Michael J. White.
He is making small strides but then decides to focus more on dramas and romance films. if he committed himself whole heartedly I think he could become a huge action star as films like G.I. JOE and FIGHTING have proven to be hits. He has the size and body to be a action star. Not a bad actor either and he is at just the right age.
A little older then the rest he resembles his father actor Wings Hauser and seems like he is doomed to repeat in the same type of career. He has the look size and body. Most audiences have a familiarity with him from the many films he has been in as a supporting player. He has been the villain 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS, PITCH BLACK and even played the heroic lead once in PAPARAZZI. The fact that he has played villains before give him a rouge quality to his characters. Not knowing whether he’s going to kill you or help you. But he isn’t getting any younger even if it was straight to home video I think he would be a good choice
He is already halfway in the series but for some reason chooses to do horrible Romantic Comedies that don’t look interesting and that he looks uncomfortable in. he needs to just go along with his fate and go full heartedly into his destiny. He really doesn’t fit in any other genre
Again has dipped his toe in the action pool and has starred in more straight to video films and the odd villain. But with the success of STAR TREK has ceased to star in anything since. If he doesn’t know where to go next he should stay with the genre that will welcome him with open arms.
He has been absent for screen as of late returning in TAKERS as more of a ensemble then a star. He hadn’t impressed me as a actor until the film RUNNING SCARED. Which proved to me not only he could act but has talent and charisma. He has the look to be apart of the genre he just has to be brave enough to step out of the FAST & THE FURIOUS genre.
Another actor I didn’t think much of at first but through his energetic and charismatic performances in THE FANTASTIC FOUR. He was shockingly deep in the all around great SUNSHINE. He is still young and Good looking he has the upcoming CAPTAIN AMERICA on his hands so why not getting into the genre all together.
She already has starred in a lot of action and Sci-Fi films as supporting characters and always comes off as tough. She has the looks to captivate a audience and the believability to kick ass. I think it is her time to shine. At this point she is a screen veteran. She has worked with a Big name (James Cameron). All she needs is the right script and a chance.
She has Two action movies behind her as a co-star and is headlining a Action oriented TV-show. Though she is small she has shown she can handle herself. Her beauty overpowers the audience to instantly root for her and surprise her foes on screen by how vicious she can be in a fight. She can seduce and protect if need be.
She fits into many genres but found her biggest success and stardom in the television series ALIAS. Which gave her the chance to be a action heroine a believable one. The only time after the show that she showed any bit of her former character was in the film THE KINGDOM. I think she should return to the genre as most would underestimate her as the hero because of her size
She is a multiple oscar winner. Who has found her greatest success in playing roles in which her sex was questionable. She has found box office winners to be in here and there. I think she could be a candidate in the one genre she has seen to stay away from. She could be a pioneer for the genre. As in Comedies she seems out of place (P.S. I Love You) and period pieces she seems ridiculous (AMELIA) and when she plays Femme Fatales it comes off as laughable (Black Dahlia) . This Is more of a wild card pick.
Sure she is small but is gaining a following with roles in AVATAR and THE LOSERS as a beauty who packs a wallop she is a warrior. Who is lean and can be mean. Beauty, Brains and a gun what more do you need.
We need a black action heroine. There hasn’t been one since Pam Grier. Her box-office as of late has been horrible ever since she won the oscar she had made bad decision after another. Yet the only time she seems to find financial success has been in films like SWORDFISH and THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH. There was even talk at one time of taking her character from that film JINX and giving her a spinoff film. Which I think would have been a success she is one of the world’s most beautiful women now if you add that with a sense of danger you have the formula for a hit.
She needs something to save her film career. She needs a director who can shape her. She can play a believable bad ass in such films as ENOUGH and OUT OF SIGHT. So why not expand on that talent. As she is getting played out of the romantic comedy genre.
She showed her mettle in PITCH BLACK. Has a masculine sexiness. Hasn’t been seen in too many movies that have gone outside the genre of drama. It would be interesting to see what she could do.
The loss of these action films and heroes has also left us with a hole that character actors usually fill as villains and henchmen. They end up having to do more work in dramas. There are hardly any actors you recognize as the villain from this or the asshole character from that film. Where are The Michael Ironside’s (Total Recall) the Clancy Brown’s (Pet Semmetary 2) The Rugter Hauer’s (Blade Runner). The Kurtwood Smith’s (Robocop). These actors showed there dramatic ranges allowing them more work in accomplished features plus gaining the experience to build a name in the industry, So that sometimes they could be the stars of other films or on stage. So it is a loss that really affects the industry by and large.