Monday 22 August 2016
With a title like that, this post could go anywhere, right? If you know me well, you’ll probably be expecting some double entendre, some witty lil jibe, something utterly inappropriate. Well, bad luck for you because that’s not at all what this post is going to be about. Nope, not at all. The action that I’m referring to in the title is the action you’ll find in action movies. I like a good action movie, and to be honest, I don’t mind a bad action movie either.
As I write, I’m indulging in Casino Royale, the Daniel Craig version. Now, it’s fair to say that I wasn’t all that impressed with the choice of Daniel Craig as Bond. I liked him in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider but he’s too pouty for my liking and, sure as eggs, he’s got the duck face down pat in every movie in his reign as James Bond. Pout aside, I really quite enjoy his portrayal of Bond. Mind you, I enjoy all the Bond movies except for the one with George Lazenby. He’s not my kind of Bond.
Every Bond fan will try to convince you of the brilliance of their favourite portrayal of the man. Personally, I’m a Pierce Brosnan fan, and despite the pout, I’ve do enjoy Daniel Craig’s version of 007. There’s a sense of recklessness that Daniel brings to the role that allows his Bond to stand aside from Connery. Yes, even as a Brosnan and Craig fan, I can concede that Connery was the man where Bond’s concerned.
Aside from the actor portraying 007, the main drawcard of Bond flicks for me is the action. The stunts are well conceived and executed, the gadgets that Q gives to Bond are cool, and the action is generally full on. Explosions, car chases, gun fights, fist fights, boat chases, explosions, chases through the snow on skis and snowmobiles, sword fights, hanging from helicopters, sky diving, secret lairs, explosions. Oh, and I do love a Bond villain.
What’s not to love in an action movie? Actually, there is an answer to that question, but I won’t mention the name of that action actor because a) I don’t wanna get sued, and b) his early work is far superior to his later work so it may not be entirely fair to judge him on the later stuff.
Bourne flicks are also great action movies. Again, lots of gun fights, fist fights, explosions, car chases, espionage stuff make for good viewing. Matt Damon and Jeremy Renner don’t hurt the Bourne franchise either, with both being athletic, handsome, and understated in their portrayals of Jason Bourne and Aaron Cross respectively. Add Edward Norton into the mix as Eric Byer, a retired Colonel in the USAF, and there’s a fair bit of modern acting clout in the Bourne franchise. I suppose you could consider the Bourne movies as this generation’s Bond. The beauty of Jason Bourne is that he’s not afraid of playing dirty, whereas Bond has a reputation to uphold, and must always do ‘the right thing’.
I’m a bit of a fan of Bruce Willis too, so his Die Hard movies are always good ones to watch. I’ll also put my hand up to having a bit of a thing for Bruce. Let us not go into that right at this moment, but instead revel in the beauty that is the Die Hard franchise – explosions, shooting, planes, evil doers intent on world domination. There’s a pattern here with action flicks, and that pattern is what makes them work. Okay, the movies are formulaic but that’s what makes them fantastic ‘no-brainers’. In other words, viewers don’t need to think about what’s going on, they simply need to sit down, shut up, and watch the movie.
Whilst I’m here: not a fan of Tom Cruise at all, but I can put that dislike aside when a Mission: Impossible movie hits my screen, and although I was one of those people screaming loudly that he wasn’t the right guy to play Jack Reacher, I can concede that I did enjoy the movie despite his portrayal of Reacher. My big beef with Cruise as Reacher is that he’s just not tall enough. Reacher is a physically large man, and I find it hard to reconcile Cruise with the literary image of Jack Reacher. However, as I’ve mentioned, I did enjoy the Reacher movie, and I’m looking forward to seeing the next one.
My appreciation of action movies and men of action cover heaps of actors: Brandon Lee (all of his movies, even the really early ones where the scripts were pretty sh!t), Dolph Lundgren (because Dolph Lundgren!!!!!), Jean Claude Van Damme (his early work is better than the new stuff, partly because he was much better to look at before all that stuff happened with his face. ‘What stuff?’ you ask. ‘No idea what he’s had done, or what’s happened, but he looked better when he was younger’, I reply), Jet Li (martial arts action flicks are some of my favourite), Jason Statham (because Jason Statham!!!!!) . . . so, so many good – and bad – action actors and movies.
I could go on and on about action movies and actors, but I’ll give it a rest right about here, and implore you to comment on your favourite action actors and movies . . . or the really bad ones that you still enjoy watching anyway. I’m sure on one of the TV channels there’s a Bond movie tonight, and if I’m right it’s Quantum Of Solace, and Skyfall tomorrow night. Ah, Bond . . . James Bond.