One option for a Hollywood actor who's past his prime but can't stand the thought of staying at home and mowing the lawn is to direct movies instead.
Before I watched the movie The Last Stand, I thought Arnold was near the
end of his career, surely being older, his body couldn't handle the
action any more. Now, having seen the movie I have changed my mind. When
Arnold takes the machine gun and mercilessly shoots down the bad guy -
at that moment I knew Hercules was back and would continue to rule. That
feeling continued through this film and Escape Plan (aka The Tomb).
Mention Arnold Schwarzenegger, there is no doubt about his fame as The Terminator. T-800 a role that fans favor, the worst and the best character at the same time. "You are terminated" is at the heart of this classic. T-800 is a legend.
Another action star Sylvester Stallone, is another favorite of Chinese movie fans as John Rambo in First Blood and Rocky Balboa in the classic film series, Rocky. Recently, he returned to the big screen starring in The Expendables. With Jason Statham, Jet Li and Bruce Willis also starring in the Expendables, much of Stallone's thunder was stolen. But in Escape Plan, Stallone and Schwarzenegger, two legendary tough guys, combine forces with a tacit understanding, each produce outstanding performances. Once again, in The Last Stand, fans all over the world will enjoy a visual fiesta.
It worked wonders for Clint Eastwood and now 64-year-old Sylvester Stallone is having another go at it, as well as starring in the impossible mission that is The Expendables.
A squad of freelance killers, led by Stallone head to a Caribbean island nation, where they are paid to rescue the locals from the tyranny of a puppet government controlled by a former CIA agent.
As you might expect, the plot relies on a hefty dose of brutal killings to raise your testosterone level. It starts with a machine gun sweeping a hijacked ship and speeds along breathlessly with a succession of explosions until it climaxes with the biggest bang of all. If you know how it feels to be outdoors for an hour on the eve of Spring Festival in Beijing, imagine having your nerves tested to the max for an hour and three quarters – and you've got an idea of what it's like to sit through The Expendables.
If the cast don't show much of their personalities it's probably because they are too busy fighting and setting time bombs.
It's also because "Rambo" is this time joined by another 8 like-minded warriors, reportedly averaging the age of 50 (unwarranted).
Chinese hero Jet Li is onboard as well but appears almost wimpish as Stallone's ego expands to such an infinite level that the supporting cast often seem to be there for no other reason than to smile admiringly at him, as if to say "Gee, you look good, Sly." It often descends into farce and makes you wonder whether Stallone has decided to spend the rest of his career reliving his glory days.
But don't be fooled. The Expendables is not just about maximizing the bloody body count. It's more of a comedy full of self-mockery and witty lines, the best coming when Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger meet up with CIA agent Bruce Willis to bid for a contract.
"Give this job to my friend here, says Schwarzenegger in his best immigrant English. "He loffs playing in the jungle." and then walks away.
"What's his problem?" Bruce asks as Arnie disappears.
"He wants to be president," Stallone replies.
Yes, Stallone kindly reminds us of another career path a retired movie star might take.
Be a politician, inability to solve the budget deficit no handicap!
On my 1 to 10 movie scale, I give this 6.5.