It seems that times are changing, and it’s not looking good for one the greatest action stars of all time – Arnold Schwarzenegger.
His latest movie, Sabotage, was recently released in theatres, but it drew critically scathing reviews and was a box office failure (it made only a seventh of its $35 million budget). His two films, The Last Stand and Escape Plan, made most of their money in the foreign markets, but were dismal failures in their home country, with The Last Stand making only $12 million in America, and Escape Plan, where he teamed up with Sylvester Stallone, made only $25 million in America.
It seems that in America, times have changed. Back in the 80’s, people used to root for the action heroes with big guns. What happened? How are the great action stars of old going to ride their fame in a world that seems to have abandoned them?
Then again, Schwarzenegger is not a quitter. He’s still got plenty of films under his belt coming out soon. He’s working on The Expendables 3 (I don’t predict much success), a low-budget zombie horror film called Maggie, and the long-awaited Terminator: Genesis. I’m not here to bash these projects, but given the trend shown by Schwarzenegger’s latest films, I highly doubt that they’ll be very successful, and even if Terminator: Genesis does prove to be a more lucrative turn for his career, it will never capture the spirit of the original Terminator films.
I really like Arnie as an action hero, but I have to be honest. The main reason that Schwarzenegger’s career is still afloat is because his name is so synonymous with action movies of the 80’s and 90’s, in much the same way as Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis still are. To put it simply, his very name and celebrity status is all he needs at this point, but I doubt it will change the fact that many audiences are getting tired of every action movie seemingly following the Schwarzenegger formula that has been firmly established since the 80’s.
In America, it’s no longer Schwarzenegger’s heyday, but in the foreign markets, it seems the Schwarzenegger name still has plenty of clout. I’m still wondering why we no longer root for the guys who flex their arms on the big screen. What would we rather have anyway? What would we do if all the action heroes suddenly disappeared?
I suppose everything’s wrong in the era where we just callously toss aside everyone who was great in the 80’s and 90’s like yesterday’s garbage.