If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Sylvester Stallone is an interesting guy. He's responsible for both classic action film characters as well as much mocked schlock. When you watch him in something like, say, 'Over the Top' or 'Demolition Man,' your estimation may be that he's dim-witted or generally beef-headed. However, I've heard many an interview with Stallone in which he came off as poised, eloquent, and even insightful. Recently, he turned that insight to the state of the modern action film. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Sly voiced his concerns that superheroes are overshadowing the kinds of films that made he and Arnie household names. Here's what he said...
"This genre unfortunately is becoming...let's just say it's fading away. You have the superheroes today which are possessed with all the extraordinary powers; they can blink and a fireball comes out of there. It's great. And then you have a bunch of us which is just your basic male-pattern badness...Kind of like hands-on action. The movie business has worked assiduously to discourage intelligent, discerning people, FROM the theater. They have worked hard to get rid of you, because you don't go and then buy toys and games."
Pretty stern words from Rambo/Rocky/Judge Dredd, but do you agree? Is this half-bitter-half-melancholy rant a realization that 'The Expendables 2' probably won't make as much money as 'The Avengers?' Or perhaps, does Sly have a point? Before superhero films became huge business, my cinematic heroes were guys like Snake Plissken, Indiana Jones, and Han Solo. These weren't guys with powers, other than the heightened ability to be utterly badass. When you look at modern action films, outside of comic book characters, who are our current heroes? How many Jason Statham characters are plastered on the walls of younger action fans? And let's face it, the iconic stars of 'The Fast and the Furious' franchise are the cars; so much so that they've alternated and interchanged cast members and the movies worked just as well commercially. I'm interested to know what your stance is on this issue. Are the macho, superpower-less action heroes a thing of the past? Is the genre in peril? Also, "male-pattern badness?" Awesome!
Sound off, Spillios!