Lately, I've been trying to catch up on movies. When I was growing up, my parents didn't expose me to a lot that was out at the time. It wasn't that I didn't see anything worth while. But as I started getting older, I realized how much I missed. I made some new friends through my girlfriend, and through them, I've been exposed to a variety of action films, and I'm so glad for it. I finally saw all of the Die Hard movies (awesome!), Predator (some of the best lines I've ever heard in a movie), and I recently got some more movies with Steven Seagal, Arnold Shwarzenegger, and Jean Claude Van Damme. The Van Damme movies came in a box set, and looking at them, I realized something. The man only has one look. It's not quite a "Blue Steel," but it's like a "I Just Ate Your Baby- Do Something About It" look. The only thing that changes in the posters for his movies is the background and the angle he's facing the camera. In two of the posters (The Quest and Timecop), I'm 100% positive that they used the same picture.
I guess that was the thing about action stars back then. Give the audience a few snapped necks and a one or two fancy karate moves (Seagal, Van Damme), or just show a lot of muscle and shoot a lot of guns (Arnie), and to hell with a story, you had a film. Now things aren't so easy. Today, people demand plausible plots, character development, realistic action sequences. While this has undoubtedly led to some really good films, to me it feels like the fun is missing. I love movies that make me think, but sometimes it's just fun to be entertained. I guess we still have people like Michael Bay for things like that, but now it's saturated with product placement and actors who don't belong (Transformers, Pearl Harbor). Maybe some audiences still like to laugh at how ridiculous it is for a gun to fall down stairs and somehow shoot and kill every bad guy in the area (True Lies). Maybe sometimes things are fun because they don't make sense. Yeah, a van isn't going to blow up if it falls 10 feet into water. But isn't it more fun if it does? There must be someplace in our hearts still for an actor like Jean Claude Van Damme. Sure he couldn't act, but how much fun did people have watching his movies? There has to be a way we can put the fun back in the movies, and put the "I Just Ate Your Baby- Do Something About It" back on the big screen where it belongs.