Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bodybuilder. Actor. Politician. Environmentalist. I doubt anyone watching Conan the Barbarian or The Terminator ever thought that our Austrian friend would ever reach the heights that he did, particularly when there was actual discussion to change the naturalised citizen clause to allow him to run for President (I am pretty sure Obama would have had a whole lot less hassle as well.
He is very much the Liam Neeson of the 1980’s; it doesn’t matter where his character is from or what background he has, the thick Austrian accent is still there ( much as dear Liam can forever be Irish, regardless if he is playing a terrorist from Chechnya or an Australian). His star may have faded since the maid scandal and his acrimonious divorce but I can’t be the only one who got a slight shiver when the Expendables 2 trailer came out with gun in hand? Arnie makes films like these one’s his own.
How many actors could play a movie character and an exaggerated version of themselves whilst visibly taking pot shots at their own business ventures?That’s what our man Arnie did in ‘Last Action Hero’, which sadly bombed due to a torrid time in promotion and being released around the same time as some dinosaur film directed by some guy called Spielberger- im not particularly sure.
Even the films that have been critically lambasted have some pretty amusing parts to them:
Jingle All The Way: Arnie goes searching for a Turboman doll for his child for Christmas, the latest craze on the market. When he phones home, his neighbour answers the phone and all hell breaks loose.
Junior: Arnie in drag and crying like a baby. He used to be Mr-Freaking-Olympia. Have that in the back of your mind when watching this.
Around the World in 80 Days: Another large cinema bomb. Arnie is seen as a Prince and takes Mr Steve Coogan’s good lady away from him until Jackie Chan threatens him with a statue.. Of himself.
Batman and Robin: Continuous Freeze related puns and he is one of the only ones who comes out of the film not looking atrocious- need I say more?
The Expendables: Critically blasted but it has to be one of my favourite films of the past 10 years- Stallone, Arnie and Willis in the same room, testosterone heaven
And there is hope in the future too. With him doing an action packed version of Hamlet (see Last Action Hero for details), filling in for Shia Labeouf in the next Transformers film and taking down Megatron singlehanded as well as Love Actually 2, where he becomes the new PM after Hugh Grant goes mad.*
Thank god he is heading backing to Hollywood- the world needs an Austrian heavyweight in its midst..
*some or all of this may or may not be true. You can dream though!