Last post, I briefly mentioned how great Stupid Action Movies are. They were staples of late-80s/90s cinema, and have sadly disappeared behind realistic, overly serious, grimdark, shaky-cam action movies. Remember, there is a huge different between Stupid Action Movies and stupid, Action Movies.
The Holy Trinity of Stupid Action Movies consists of The Rock, True Lies, and Air Force One. Despite what I said yesterday, I have to say Air Force One is the quintessential SAM, but all three of those tend to rotate in and out the top spot. Then after the Holy Trinity, you have the father of SAMs, Die Hard. And then you have the grandfather of the entire genre, James Bond.
To be a tried and true Stupid Action Movie, you need several things.
First, you need one person up against impossible odds. I left this step out yesterday since The Rock doesn't really follow this, but judging by some of your comments, most of you guys don't feel Nic Cage is a person. In Air Force One, President Ford becomes Han Solo once his family is kidnapped, and he takes on AK wielding bad guys inside a pressure-concealed area with his bare hands.
Next, you need a stupid terrorist organization. They still have to be very menacing, but they can't make any sense whatsoever. Again in Air Force One, the terrorist kidnap the American president so he can tell the Russian president to let their guy out of a Russian jail. Why didn't they just kidnap the Russian president? Wouldn't that save some time and effort.
Third, explosions and more explosions. That jet that flew in front of that missile heading towards Air Force One instead of shooting it down, he wasn't sacrificing himself for his country, he was sacrificing himself for his cinema.
Here's an optional step, there should be a betrayal somewhere. This used to be a key feature of SAMs, but every movie made the last 20 years has had double, triple, even hextuple crossers. I mean everything from low-brow comedies to Pixar films have atleast one backstabber.
Last, and most importantly, the hero needs a catchy kill-phrase. The single best definitely belongs to Ford's "Get Off My Plane", but the all time legend without a doubt is Arnold Schwarzenegger. After throwing a pipe through a guy in Commando, "Let off some steam". Stabbing a guy into a wall in Predator "Stick around". Shooting Sharon Stone in Total Recall, "Consider that a divorce". About to launch a missile with some creep hanging on it in True Lies, "You're fired". After ruining a franchise in Batman and Robin, "You know what killed the dinosaurs? The Ice Age". When he revealed his secret child in Real Life, "I Shrive for a better woman". And of course in every single one of his movies when he fires a gun, "ARRGGGGRGRGRGGRWRBWRBWRRR!".
So go out and grab some great Stupid Action Movies. And if you can't, atleast watch this video after the jump of all of Arnold's greatest lines as Mr. Freeze. Have an Ice Day.