Here we are, back at it for another day of bad ass bracketing. If you’ve missed any of the other writeups, you can find them here, here, or here. And as always, make sure you are following Carl, myself and The Sportcodex on Twitter to keep up with all of the action. Now, on with the matchups.
2. Sylvester Stallone vs 31. Eddie Murphy
I think there is really only one person on Earth that can fairly compete with the body of work Arnie has in the action movie genre and that man is Sly Stallone. He is two of the biggest action heroes in history in Rocky Balboa and John Rambo and is also responsible for nearly killing everyone by overdose on nostalgia and cheesy one-liners in The Expendables trilogy (except the third one. The third one can go fuck itself.) So it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what he is saying…Sly is a real heavyweight in this tournament.
We go from a guy with one of the largest action resumes to a guy who has very little. So why is Eddie in this bracket? Well, quite simply, the two action series he is in are iconic. 48 Hrs was by all accounts the first buddy cop movie, one of the most popular subgenres of action films. Granted nowadays it’s incredibly racist but at the time, it was a pretty big deal. Then of course, there is Beverly Hills Cop the trilogy of films that launched Eddie Murphy into the stratosphere and his ego even further. He did some other random action films like Metro but they don’t really matter. However, Eddie’s legacy cannot be denied.
15. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson vs 18. Steve McQueen
Not only did the former professional wrestler make a successful transition from the ring to Hollywood, but Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is arguably the biggest movie star on the planet right now. Rocky is a big believer in quantity over quality, pumping out movie after movie, none of which you will see during Awards season. However, he has some very enjoyable movies under his belt and he is arguably responsible for the Fast & Furious franchise becoming the behemoth it has, seeing as it didn’t take off until he joined the movies for Fast Five.
Unfortunately, Steve McQueen’s action career wasn’t as long as it should’ve been. While he arguably launched to fame in 1963 in The Great Escape, he became an action star in 1968 with Bullitt, which if you haven’t seen it, features one of the greatest car chase scenes in movie history. Seriously, it’s like 8 minutes of intense car chase through the streets of San Francisco and it is awesome. McQueen had a couple of other hits after that with The Towering Inferno, Papillon and The Getaway where he gained a reputation as being the ‘coolest man on the planet.’ It was only 12 years after Bullitt that McQueen sadly passed away, but without McQueen, it’d be hard to say if action movies became the beasts they did.
10. Tom Cruise vs 23. Charles Bronson
Now, Tom Cruise is certifiably insane. This can’t be disputed. And I’m not even talking about the stupid bullshit “religion” that he preaches about that was written by an actual science-fiction novelist and sounds so much like a cult that it can’t possibly not be a cult. That’s not what I’m talking about. I am talking about the fact that the man chooses to do all of his own stunts that could ultimately lead to his demise. The man is 56 and just recently learnt to fly a helicopter and gained his licence, in world record time might I add, so he could do the (awesome as fuck) helicopter chase scene in Mission Impossible: Fallout. Yeah, Tom Cruise is nuttier than squirrel shit but the man is the definition of an action star.
Charles Bronson may have been insane, I’m not sure. What I am sure of is he was the Hollywood tough guy of the 60’s and 70’s. Like he wasn’t a fancy martial artist but there was no doubt that he could kick my ass and your ass. Bronson is a legacy pick who started off in The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape both with Steve McQueen. But he eventually got his own franchise in the shape of Death Wish, a revenge film series (recently remade starring Bruce Willis) that probably lasted 3 films too many, but much like 48 Hrs with buddy cop films, this essentially launched a whole subgenre of action.
7. Bruce Willis vs 26. Chow Yun-Fat
Bruce Willis started off as a comedy action, in a TV series called Moonlighting so it’s fair to say that action star probably wasn’t on his to-do list. However, a little film known as Die Hard came along and it’s true that Bruce wasn’t the first choice (Arnie was) or the second (Richard Gere) or the third (Clint Eastwood) or the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth…you get the idea. Bruce was actually the ELEVENTH choice for the role that would become iconic, John McClane. However, Bruce did get the role and nailed it and became an action superstar. We also got three other Die Hard sequels (what do you mean there is a fifth? I don’t remember that happening. There definitely wasn’t a fifth film called A Good Day To Die Hard. That would’ve been awful), along with The Fifth Element, 12 Monkeys, The Last Boy Scout…I could go on but if I did, I would get to the straight-to-DVD part of his career. Despite all that, Bruce is an iconic action star.
When I hear the term underrated, I think of a few things; Dennis Rodman, Bubba Sparxxx, Boysenberry Ripple ice cream and of course, Chow Yun-Fat. Chow has a Hong Kong career that is equal to legends Jackie Chan and Jet Li. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t really crack the American market like those two. However, he has some fantastic films like Hard Boiled, The Replacement Killers, Bulletproof Monk and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. So while he may not be as mainstream as Chan or Li, Chow deserves just as much respect.
There’s another day in the books. Keep an eye out for those polls on the Twitter. Tomorrow I will be back to preview the last matchups of the first round for the men so come on back. Peace suckers.