Some big names in cinema today are rebelling against superhero films, viewed by some as simple blockbusters that do not honor the 7th art, and this controversy is not new. In fact, just look at the biggest box office hits of the 80’s and 90’s to see that a large number of them were already very saucy and somewhat unremarkable action films. Three of the stars of this type of films have a common point that few people know.
The uninhibited action of the 80’s-90’s
Starting from an objective observation, we cannot deny that the big blockbusters that crush the competition and the sometimes more intimate and original proposals are not from yesterday. But why then does a non-negligible section of the public continue to claim that cinema “was better in the old days”? And most importantly, is it true? Of course, everyone will have their own opinion on this topic, but we have to admit that the action films of the 80s and 90s had their very own charm, between unrestrained action and punchlines, often as beautiful as it was efficient.
Everything was done so naturally and accepted that many productions, even bad ones, are still cult today. To give just one example, who doesn’t know the scene from “Philippe! I know where you’re hiding!” in the very Nanardesque hitman le Cobra?
But the films of those years were also and above all characterized by emblematic characters such as Mel Gibson, Chuck Norris or even those that interest us here: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis.
Three men, one victim
Aside from becoming true legends of action cinema, Schwarzenegger, Stallone and Willis have one rather weird thing in common that the general public hardly knows. As ScreenRant recently reminded us, they’re actually all the executioners of the same man, Robert Patrick, who has an unfortunate tendency to alienate dangerous men. Among film fans, actor Sean Bean’s many deaths in his films have become a running gag. But in the ’80s and ’90s, it was actor Robert Patrick who seemed unlikely to survive once he hit the big screen.
When the 63-year-old actor wasn’t having the most fulfilling career, he quickly specialized in action films after being revealed in 1991’s second part of Terminator, The Last Judgment, in which he embodies the fearsome and (almost) indestructible T-1000. Despite the threat he poses, he is eliminated by Schwarzenegger’s t-800, who shoots him with a grenade launcher and knocks him into a vat of molten lava.
Last year, in a lesser-known role, Robert Patrick played O’Reilly, a low-life mercenary who was lead-filled by Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2.
Patrick and Sylvester Stallone finally crossed paths in Copland in 1997. Rocky and Rambo’s interpreter interprets Sheriff Freddy Heflin this time. In the final shootout to eliminate the big bad Ray Donlan, he must eliminate his many minions. Among them is corrupt cop Jack “Jackie” Rucker, played by Robert Patrick, one of the first to fall victim to Stallone’s gunshots. Getting killed by three of the biggest stars of Hollywood cinema of the 80’s and 90’s isn’t for everyone!