Sylvester Stallone Says Superhero Movies Are Making The Action Genre Fade Away
Stallone is definitely correct regarding the fact that not many action movies are made today in the vein of the 80's films which starred himself, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. But is this evolution or regression?
Speaking to ET about The Tomb (2013) alongside Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone pseudo-lamented the fact that the action movie genre is seemingly being replaced by superheroes. Have the likes of John McClane, Rocky Balboa and The Terminator indeed been replaced by Batman, Captain America and The Hulk? Said Stallone on the prospect---
"This genre unfortunately is becoming… let's just say it's fading away. "You have the superheroes today which are possessed with all extraordinary powers; they can blink and a fireball comes out of there. It's great. And then you have a bunch of us which is just your basic male-pattern badness. … Kind of like hands-on action."
While Stallone, Willis and Arnold are still making movies today, they aren't making them the same way they did once upon a time. Even when they're continuations of the same film series, it's obvious that Live Free or Die Hard (2007) is not the same type of movie as the original Die Hard (1988. Even Rocky Balboa (2006) tried and failed to capture the same aesthetics and tone of Rocky (1976) and I'm sure the same will probably occur with Total Recall (2012). By no means am I saying this shift is evil but the action films of the past had a certain ability to get the testosterone flowing that just isn't matched today. It's part of an industry-wide trend that I feel was summed up quite succinctly by Meryl Streep recently --- [Source: CBS viaFilmDrunk]
Oh I don’t see those (comic book movies). That’s called the narrowing of the audience. The movie business has worked assiduously to discourage intelligent, discerning people, FROM the theater. They have worked hard to get rid of you, because you don’t go and then buy toys and games.
Be honest, there's far more Ghost Riders(2007) and Fantastic Fours (2005) out there than there are Avengers (2012) or Batman Begins (2005). And while all of the past action movies were far from cinematic masterpieces I'd take the worst 80's action flick over the worst superhero movie any day. Obviously I don't have to prove that I'm a major supporter of comic book movies but if you've watched movies for the last 20+ years like me, you'd have to be blind to not notice the shift in who and what the movie industry targets. Often times it appears that the movie is merely a speed-bump on the way to merchandising. There are no Cobras (1986) or Predators (1987) being made today. The closest we've come in recent memory was Drive (2011) from Nicolas Winding Refn and while that's a fantastic film, even that had the synthesized feel of the 21st century. Unfortunately, it's hard to pinpoint one moment or aspect of film-making which led to the current state of the action genre. All I can say is that it's not the same and while that's not necessarily a bad thing, I sure do miss the old days.
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