So last night I was watching my newly acquired dvd of Straw Dogs with my girlfriend, and I came to realize something as Hoffman was beating that sleazy guy to death with a poker. Where have all the American action stars gone?
I know that Straw Dogs has nothing to do with action per se, and that Sumner is only driven to violence to protect his home and wife, but just the fact that it was Dustin Hoffman meting out this justice made me think about how in a different context he could have been an unlikely action hero.
Nowadays all of the big gruff manly action stars are mostly of European descent. Who do we look forward to in bashing in heads and yelling “CUNT!” at the top of his lungs? Jason Statham. He is the next big action star, which is getting certified with his role in The Expendables. That leads me to the next part. The aging action stars.
The major American action stars of the 80’s and 90’s were arguably Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis. Willis has never stopped, and Stallone has just gotten back into the fray with the excellent Rambo and forthcoming Expendables, but it makes me sad that there has yet to be another name that gets thrown around as the next action guy in the states.
Sam Worthington is another likely candidate, but he’s Australian.
Has America grown softer now? Is it nothing but pretty boys and Emo kids out there, so tinseltown gives us movies with actors who look and act like them? All of the big gruff American action stars are in their 50’s now. Some of the European and Asian counterparts are as well.
Van Damme is nearing the 50 mark, and Statham is in his 30’s so he’s still got a lot of time left, and Jet Li is nearing 50 as well.
I love that as far as action goes, there are still a lot of guys kicking ass, and a lot of them are in their 50’s or in the case of Stallone, 60’s, but it galls me that apparently America has not yet brought out a new name that will become synonymous with action.
Addenum: I’m not knocking on any of the other action stars. Statham is friggin’ awesome, and I love just about every one of his films.
Rene’s song of the day: “Theme from Taxi Driver” by Bernard Herrmann
Thanks for reading my blog and see you next time!