Some 80s action heroes seem to go on forever. Almost 20 years after Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull brought Indy back to the big screen in 2008. Live Free or Die Hard in 2007 brought John McClane out of semi-retirement after a gap of more than 10 years since 1995’s Die Hard With a Vengeance. Rocky and Rambo are returning for another belated visit and we’re still waiting for the Terminator to live up to his ‘I’ll be back’ promise once again, not knowing which side he will be on next time. But can we expect more from other 1980s action heroes? And just how many sequels could there be to some of the most enduring action franchises?
Dirty Harry and More
Dirty Harry Callaghan gave us a stream of great movies between 1971 and 1986. Is there still time for Clint Eastwood to come back one more time? You can just imagine him in his eighties asking the bad guy to go ahead and make his day.
Two ‘Escape from’ movies in 1981 and 1986 (New York & LA) gave us Kurt Russell playing Snake Plissken, a one eyed patch wearing criminal. He could go back to assisting the Special Forces and choose from a long list of unused cities – Philly; Detroit; Miami – okay you get the picture. Could John Carpenter be tempted just one more time?
Action with comedy is a great combination. Who doesn’t want to see Axel Foley assisting the Beverly Hills police to clean up their zone again? After all, Eddie Murphy is still only 50, so he might have time for another whole trilogy. His character was just too likeable for the LA police to really want him out of their town. His (almost) one man army and unusual methods kept audiences captivated. We’d have him back any day even if he moved to another city!
Mel Gibson’s Choices
Mel Gibson is still a few years away from his 60th birthday, so the return of Martin Riggs would be welcome, if only to get the disaster that was Lethal Weapon 4 out of our minds. The first movies were almost serious crime fighting while the last turned into a comedy farce of the worst kind. LW5 would give the characters the badly needed chance to redeem themselves.
Talking of Mel Gibson, he gave us the Mad Max movies between 1987 and 1998, so another is due soon. After his recent poor press (although, if you didn’t see it, The Beaver with Jodie Foster was quite brilliant) he might need the few million he would get from resurrecting Max. The rest of us might finally get the chance to understand what the movies were all about, although Anna Mae Bullock (Tina Turner) would probably refuse to bring back Aunty Entity. Maybe Angela Bassett would stand in?
Not Really An Update, But…
In the original GI Joe, Sylvester Stallone wreaked havoc as though he were still in the Rambo franchise. GI Joe, the Rise of Cobra revived memories of the 1986 Cobra movie, except this time you saw Sienna Miller sauntering around in tight black leathers for two hours while trying to forget that Christopher Eccleston is not Dr Who. One plus, though: the sophistications of movie magic brought the action sequences into the 21st century in the updated version.
After wondering if there would be another James Bond excursion, Skyfall has been announced for late 2012, proving that 007 is still popular.
Daniel Craig gets to play Bond again, so here’s hoping for a return to his natural character and not the dark knight he played in the 2008 movie, Quantum of Solace. With Sam Mendes directing, Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney head the top line cast list which also brings back ‘M’ – Judi Dench. The new Bond girls look the part so the four year gap might not feel so bad, after all.
Let’s hope that the Bond team don’t keep us waiting another four years, as Beverley Hills Cops 8 and Mad Max 12 might appear on the screens in the meanwhile.
Izzy Woods is a freelance writer and avid cinema buff. She writes for a number of movie sites and publications, as well as for a sectional sofas retailer (who also specialize in home theatre seating).