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ACTION HERO

With the ACTION HERO, so much of the movie’s success rests on their ability to be that hero, it’s hard to separate them from the role afterward. Not enough credit is given because they are in such great shape, as if being in great shape is too much credit already, and the ‘action’—the performance of such magnificent physical feats is equally under appreciated.

Too often dismissed and not considered serious acting roles, action movie heroes should instead be doubly awarded. Not only are they talking the talk, they’re walking the walk!

Still, selling it is a smaller part of the game because when you look this good, we’re already buying. There’s a “holy crap” factor to the ACTION FIGURE physique. They look like they could really get the job done, and nothing is more convincing than real strength. These guys don’t need rubber suits with fake muscles. Hey now!

 

Carl Weathers and Arnold. This is how the Action Figure shakes hands!

 

Sylvester Stallone

He’s Rocky, he’s Rambo.  Sly absolutely sells it.  He not only sells it, he pushes it past the limit all the time. The bad ass’s bad ass, he’s my personal favorite, and he’s still got it and still making great movies. I loved the latest Rambo and the latest Rocky, and The Expendables. He’s got the Hero market cornered. Every time you see him, you think DAMN!  But it’s not just how strong he is, it’s what he does with it that counts. When Rocky won, we all won. The underdog action movie of all time: A hero so unassuming, so likeable. From the brutal alternate one-arm push-ups to the cross-city runs, to punching sides of beef, Rocky brought out the inner champion in all of us—Some raw eggs, a grey sweat suit, a little early morning determination, and we think we could all walk the walk. Everyone identifies with his desire to be somebody. The workouts in Rocky IV made me realize I don’t need to pay for a gym, I can drag a log, or lift rocks.  He’s so Abs, he doesn’t even need equipment to work out.

SYLVESTER STALLONE as Rocky Balboa . . . and women everywhere swooned!

Nobody beats Stallone but Stallone. As Rambo, he takes the fighter to another level. He’s our American ninja. The hero’s hero. Competent and fearless to the nth degree. He can make do with whatever he has. By the time you realize he snuck up on you, you’re already dead. When he emerged from that wall of mud in Rambo: First Blood Part II, he cemented his place in action movie Freakdom!  Where others have failed, he gets the job done by himself.  He’s the soldier every man would like to be: strong, resourceful, brave, loyal, honest, and vicious. He set his own wound on fire in Rambo III.  If you saw it, I don’t need to say anything more.  But I want to. In Get Carter when he says “You’re a big man, but you’re in bad shape. With me it’s a full-time job.” It’s scary. Truer words were never spoken.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

The former undisputed KING of action movies: Mr. Universe,  Mr. Olympia,  Mr. Action Movie! He chose to retire into politics. Now he’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. So dominant in the genre Saturday Night Live coined the phrase “non-Arnold movies”. With a body like this, it must be hard to find a stunt double, but who needs one? The comic book super hero come to life. He embodies our collective desire to be invincible, and he’s what we wanted to be when we grew up. His belief in himself, evidenced by his achievements, his determination to succeed, and success in attaining ‘The American Dream’, are all part and parcel of his charm, along with the Austrian accent that makes his characters all the more likeable and memorable.

ARNOLD as Conan The Barbarian Maybe the beefcake movie of all time! Still a great Saturday afternoon matinee movie. Leather bikini and superabs.

Dolph Lundgren

Glowering his way as “Venz” through A View To A Kill, for me, he brought the movie to a halt. Who was that?! He’s too pretty to be taken seriously, but with a body like that, don’t tell him that to his face. He vill break you. Rocky IV was only his second movie!

Despite his amazing good looks, he’s amassed an impressive Action Movie career. Masters of The Universe, The Punisher, I Come In Peace (with Dar Robinson!), Cover Up, Universal Soldier. I haven’t seen all his movies but I am impressed that he stuck mainly with Action and was nearly always the main character. The Action, however, in too many of them is too loose and fake, but that was a sign of the times. Compare his The Punisher (1989) to Thomas Jane’s The Punisher (2004). While the earlier movies might have great action scenes like the men shooting while sliding down the amusement park multi-slide, it loses its appeal if it’s too fake. Thankfully, movie makers either figured this out or were forced to get ‘real’ with their Action (perfect example: the change in James Bond movies).

 

As good as he looked in this get up from Masters of the Universe, he still looked good in The Expendables. When you got it, you got it.  At right, Dolph topping the leather bikini category in every woman’s fantasy.

Carl Weathers

Best known for his role as Apollo Creed in all four Rocky movies, Carl Weathers was also great in Force 10 From Navarone, The Defiant Ones, Predator, and Action Jackson. I think he should have won an award for best supporting actor for Rocky, and has been underappreciated.

He made an instant Action Movie classic with Action Jackson.  A movie with everything Action Movie Freaks love. A little tongue-in-cheek ’80s fun with a great cast and Weathers at the top of his game. His physique is so perfect, he almost doesn’t seem real.

 

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