Arnold’s latest movie didn’t do so well this past weekend. $6.2 million puts it at #62 on the Worst Wide Openings list, and I don’t really understand why. The first trailer I ever saw for the movie made me want to see it, and no following trailers changed my mind. I knew exactly what I was going to get, and that’s exactly what I wanted.
Well, I sorta got what I expected. It was an action movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger that had Johnny Knoxville as a wacky sidekick, Luiz Guzmán as a slightly-less-wacky sidekick, Forest Whitaker as a sort-of-jerky FBI agent, and Jaimie Alexander (you know her better as Sif) as another local cop. Throw in Arnold’s reunion with Predator buddy Sonny Landham and you’ve really got something, I figure.
For the most part the movie was fairly standard action fare, but they threw in something I wasn’t expecting: a subdued version of Arnold. He was more John McClane than John Matrix, an everyman rather than a supercop. Arnold is 65 now, so it’s a good move, and I think it works really well. Don’t get me a wrong, I love the Expendables movies and want to see more of them, but as his “official” return to movies, I think Arnold made a good choice playing a cop who used to work L.A. and moved to Arizona for quieter times, only to have to step up when a situation calls for it. I’m a big fan of actors I like finding more/different kind of work as they get older, and while this isn’t a huge departure for Arnold, it was enough of a change that I could see him carving out similar roles… if the movie had performed better, at least. Who knows what will happen now?
I’m fascinated by what makes a movie do well or not. This one looked like a no-brainer success to me, but I guess my perspective needs glasses. Perhaps people didn’t like Arnold’s politics or the personal fiascos he’s been involved in or something, I don’t know. For the most part I can separate out the actor from the role, though I will admit that the more some actors go on about certain things, the less likely I am to want to see their movies.
Arnold is a big enough name that there will be several more attempts to get him going (including The Tomb with Sylvester Stallone, another movie I plan to see opening weekend), so I’m not too worried about him. I’ll even enjoy whatever part he has in Terminator 5, and I don’t even care if that makes you roll your eyes!
And while we’re on the subject, how about a movie with Arnold and The Rock together? Maybe Arnold could play The Rock’s dad or something? I don’t know, I just want to see them in a movie together with more shared screen time than they had in The Rundown. Somebody make this happen.
Written by: Mark