With Last Action Hero and Destroyer, 1993 was the best year for action heroes.

Pictures of Warner Bros.

In the 1980s, an era of excess and bloat, in a country run by suit-wearing, money-hungry hustlers, Hollywood heroes were big and muscular, meaty hunks of alpha male masculinity with bulging biceps and armor-like abs, ridiculously big guns and huge legs. number of butts – you know, real American things. Two titans of the high-testosterone entertainment industry were Arnold Schwarzenegger (an all-time bodybuilder turned breakout star) and Sylvester Stallone (a serious indie actor and writer who put his body through hell to be shredded to become an action hero).

Their masculinity, their fat-free bodies, the bedlam they caused were at the other end of the masculine spectrum, like Don Johnson, with his bright cotton outfits and silky banter. (Funny coincidence: Don has a pet alligator. Miami Viceand Arnold kills the alligator in Erasers.) During Ronald Reagan’s presidency, Arnold stopped villains, human and non-human, from getting drunk with guns, knives, gardening tools, cars, explosives, arrows and his big bare hands; Sly triumphed in the ring (in the States and Russia), in the merciless chaos of green jungles and on the rocky beige desert horizon, fighting helicopters, tanks and hundreds of nameless, faceless soldiers who found themselves on the wrong side. democracy. These are people bleeding red, white and blue blood.

By the summer of 1993, Arnold reigned supreme at the box office. and Sly quickly recovered from Stop! Or my mom will shoot (a role he took on after being duped by Schwarzenegger as a joke) with a $255 million hit Cliffhanger, which featured the most expensive stunt ever: the performer crosses the gap between a huge chasm and a helicopter trembling in the flow on a wire rope. In the year that the first Bush administration gave way to the liberal elision of the Clinton ’90s, these two courageous middle-aged men released films that deconstructed their heroic personalities – Arnold with The Last Action Hero and Sly with Destroyer. The two barons of meat cinema ushered in a new era with big action and a few wry grins.

Last Action Hero is a love letter to and from Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Last Action – Trailer

The Last Action HeroThe film, directed by John McTiernan and written by Shane Black and David Arnott, is about a boy named Danny (Austin O’Brien) who has bruises on his arms and wears a varsity jacket for a sport he doesn’t play. He seeks solace, however short-lived, from the pain and pain of his mundane, melancholy life – sitting sadly in a noisy city classroom, convulsing from apathetic children throwing paper balls and chatting insolently; an apartment without any nice things (a very interesting scene for too many people in this country); some scoundrel breaks in and handcuffs a boy to a bathroom pipe while berating the kid for being too poor to have anything worth stealing – in the beautiful light of a movie screen.

For a while everything is fine. For a while the images dance and sing harmoniously, gunshots and explosions drowning out the screams and threats of the city and its many threats. His favorite actor is Arnold Schwarzenegger (and what movie-obsessed ’90s kid wasn’t a little fascinated by the man with baseball biceps and an endearingly persistent accent?), especially the Jack Slater films in which Arnold plays a demigod cop who’s running out of family members to look after. you can kill the bad guys. Nick (the great Robert Prosky, an incredibly talented genius after playing the most terrifying criminal of all time in his debut film by Michael Mann). thief), a kind old man who runs a dilapidated movie theater offers Danny the opportunity to see Jack Slater’s new film early.

Colombia Pictures

That night, dressed in an old-fashioned doorman’s outfit, he gives the boy a magical golden ticket purchased from Harry Houdini. The ticket comes to life during a chase scene set in AC/DC, and hurls Danny into the film – into the world of cinema, where the rules of studio escapism apply. Slater lives in Los Angeles, where every woman is a child and the sky is always blue and rows of palm trees rise, large and green, along streets free of traffic. This is a world in which he always wins.

“With every increase in the degree of consciousness,” Soren Kierkegaard wrote“And in proportion to this increase, the intensity of despair increases: the more consciousness, the more intense the despair.” Jack recognizes this despair. Arnold’s enduring image may be that of a phlegmatic, stoic man-machine with black glasses like Nietzschean voids and a blank face in James Cameron Terminators movie (Robert Patrick has a cameo appearance in The Last Action Hero like the T-1000), but his best results are here. (Remember allwhich, in its existential notions of identity and purpose, has something of a spiritual kinship with The Last Action Hero.)

Colombia Pictures

Schwarzenegger is truly moving as Slater, a character who, stripped of his autonomy, must come to terms with his own fictionality. At first he is cocky, charming, invincible, super cool, with a chiseled face, lightly covered with stubble, and awesome cowboy boots. He’s so confident that everything will work out (at one point he rattles off the full list of “courses” he took to become a cop: hostage negotiator, fingerprint analyst and psychological profiler), spitting out lame one-liners like a watermelon. seeds. Then, under the weight of self-awareness, he is overcome by a previously unimaginable boredom, the very real pain of knowing that the tragedies of his fictional life are being repeated endlessly for the amusement of others.

Moviegoers pay to see Tom Noonan’s axe-wielding psychopath kill his son over and over again, all the while shoving a few fingers of buttery-slick popcorn into their mouths between smiles. Charles Dance (who had a hell of a year and also appeared in David Fincher’s almost greatest film) Alien 3) brings a sinister suaveness to a one-eyed killer who finds a kingdom to conquer in a dirty real world where the bad guys can win. Oscar Wilde wrote in De Profundis“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are other people’s opinions, their lives are mimicry, their passions are a quotation.” But in the end, Jack takes control of his existence, saving Danny and defeating both villains before returning to his kingdom as a man comfortable in his celluloid existence.

Demolition Man is Sylvester Stallone’s best film.

Official trailer for “Destroyer” (1993) – action movie with Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes, HD

Destroyer It premiered three months later, sandwiched between the summer blockbuster slate and year-end awards contenders. In a fiery late-20th-century Los Angeles half-burned by fire, with the Hollywood sign adorning the lush shapes of flame-eaten hills and vast swaths of the city blackened and burned, John Spartan (Stallone) attempts to rescue hostages from an evil madman named Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes). , insane and dangerous to such an extent that you want him to play the Joker). Phoenix looks like Dennis Rodman would look like just a few years later, carrying coke in a room filled with gasoline.

Things go south and Spartan is found guilty of 30 counts of manslaughter. They freeze Spartan and then unfreeze him 36 years later when Phoenix escapes and begins terrorizing the antiseptic, demented future. Spartan, torn apart by Van Winkle, unravels the conspiracy and shows the future how to kick ass, 20th century style. Bob Gunton’s badass police chief calls Spartan a “muscular grotesque,” which is exactly what Stallone has wanted so badly to be for years. Here he is given the honor of being history’s most notorious muscular grotesque, a man so reliable a crook and brute that he is unfrozen so he can stop a blond madman against whom weak would-be cops with their brilliant innuendos and plastic smiles are useless. The only person who appreciates Spartan’s strong-arm tactics is Huxley (Sandra Bullock, delighting in her one-liners and bungled attempts at platitudes), a young cop caught up in the unrest of the 20th century.

Warner Bros.

Destroyer pays close, playful attention to the English language – MurderDeathKill, a car is a “vehicle”, a problem is a “bogey”. Vulgarity is a penal offense; a mechanical voice says, pleasant and authoritative, that Huxley broke the law.”whisper– as a very unpleasant alarm howls. Like The Last Action Hero, Destroyer has pre-Scream pop culture connoisseur. Huxley’s office is filled with 20th-century bric-a-brac (her wall is decorated with Lethal Weapon 3 poster – not the first or second film, but the third), wonderful relics of a vulgar era. And the characters have clever names: there’s Benjamin Bratt (who would later join Law and order as a conservative policeman) as Alfredo Garcia, a warden named William Smithers, Huxley, dissatisfied with the brave new world, Cocteau.

Some of the names have a Dickensian literalness: Spartan as a noble, unwavering warrior, and Phoenix, rising from the smoldering ashes of the city he burned into a beautiful and untouched future ready for destruction. Phoenix calls a mannequin made by a soldier “Rambo,” and Spartan is confused (you can sense Stallone’s genuine disappointment) to learn that there is a library named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, who he learns was president despite that he was not born in the United States. (Slater praises Stallone’s performance in Terminator 2making Schwarzenegger seem like a nicer guy is definitely a smart move.)

There is a quote from Jean Baudrillard, a much smarter man than me, that captures the essence of these two films: “So art is everywhere, because artificiality is at the very heart of reality. So art is dead not only because its critical transcendence is gone, but also because reality itself, completely imbued with an aesthetics inseparable from its own structure, has become confused with its own image. Reality no longer has time to assume the appearance of reality. It no longer even surpasses fiction: it captures every dream even before it takes on the appearance of a dream.” In 1993, after achieving box office success, Schwarzenegger and Stallone flexed another muscle: their brains, lending their macho personas to stories that would appeal to Charlie Kaufman – and they didn’t skimp on good old-fashioned action films.

Editor’s recommendations

Source link

Leave a Comment