Arnold Schwarzeneggar is returning to acting. Now, I know you might think, Well, he never really quit acting. But all of those small roles and cameos weren’t really characters. They were “Hey look. It’s Arnold Schwarzeneggar in a movie, taking a break from being Governor. This is weird and special and probably shouldn’t be happening.” Arnold is returning to being an actual actor. This can only mean good things.
I’m of the opinion that Arnold should start his revitalized career in punching faces and battering the English language by helping out a few of the franchises that he helped to make famous.
I know this is a given, since it was announced that Arnold was returning to the series a few days ago. People on the internet went the lukewarm kind of crazy with this news, stating that he was far too old to be playing Conan anymore, as if anyone actually cares about what Conan does or looks like in a Conan movie. The Conan “reboot” from last year was a box office flop in the sense that it probably would’ve made more of a profit if it hadn’t been released at all.
If people gave a damn about a Conan movie, they would’ve gone to see the last Conan movie. Arnold’s name will boost the upcoming film, regardless of how weird his grey, drooping pectorals look. And as long as he bites the neck of another vulture, I’m totally okay with as many Conan sequels as Arnold wants to make, as long as it’s somewhere between one and three.
The last Predator movie, Predators, wasn’t that bad. People mocked it for being too filled with action for an action movie that’s supposed to be too filled with action, because we live in the age where we criticize Transformers movies for being too much about robots. In short, we’re all idiots.
Arnold being in another Predator movie is good for a few reasons. First, obviously, he brings name value. Second, he’d give the series some legitimacy. Seeing Predators fight Aliens and Danny Glover was fun, but a Predator movie hasn’t really been taken with any sort of seriousness since the first Predator, and even then, that movie was 50% Arnold fighting a humanoid space monster and 50% people quoting Jesse Ventura’s line “I aint got time to bleed.”
It would be cool to see Arnold take on some Predators again, especially if you gave him a bad ass cast and a little backstory. Maybe the Predators somehow identify him as the guy who killed one of their own. Or maybe Arnold fights Predators again for little to no reason. Either way, it wouldn’t hurt to have him in the movie.
Remember the first sentence of the last paragraph? The one about badass casts? Well, speaking of that….
The Expendables is going to need a shot in the arm with every sequel in the series. Expendables 2, as awesome as it was, was just Jean Claude Van Damme weirdness and old actors referencing movies that you could watch on TNT when you got back from the theatre. It’s going to need a hook for each one. The first had that weird sentimentality and Mickey Rourke monologues. The second had the references and goofiness. I think the third should retain that goofiness, but not make it so self-aware.
It needs to be a fun action flick, but in a way that doesn’t have the characters come so close to blatantly saying “Hey! Remember that ‘80’s movie? Man, that was a good one. You liked that one! Okay, back to the kicking.” A series can’t sustain itself on the general public’s love for Terminator 2 alone.
And that’s where Arnold comes in. He’s a perfect mix of seriousness and comic attitude that he can’t really help. His accent makes it sound like he misread the “spit out marbles” instruction as “make bear sounds,” and with his increasing age, every punch is going to look less like a fighting maneuver and more like rigor mortis with a poor sense of timing. He’s the best choice to be partnered with guys like Stallone and Statham on a regular basis.
I don’t know anyone who wasn’t disappointed in some way by Terminator: Salvation. It had Batman in it. And in the trailer, there was a snake robot. What could go wrong? The answer to that would be “most things.” I’m convinced that Terminator: Salvation found entirely new ways to classify things as failures. It’s story and characters were about as compelling as the word I’m about to write (bread) and the action was lackluster too.
It was like the screenwriter found out that he was going to be making a Terminator film instead of the passion project that he’d been promised for years, and the script was his retaliation. McG, the director who also did such things as the Charlie’s Angels movies, took one look at the script and said, under his breath, “Fucking…rad.”
However, I’m an easily pleased geek, so, when the not-Arnold robot that looked like Arnold came out and started to beat some people up, I was giddy. It looked enough like memories of the Terminator films that I enjoyed that I managed to will myself into getting some kind of fulfillment out of it. I know that Arnold is more “Let’s stop the take so that Schwarzeneggar can catch his breath” than nearly indestructible human weapon these days, but if I can get an inkling of that feeling back, and have it be expanded over the course of a whole movie, I see no reason as to why the Terminator series shouldn’t continue.
Pumping Iron 2: Still Coming.
This shit writes itself.