February 1, 2012
The lady and the anti-tank gun: Why aren’t there action roles for older actresses?

Movie Poster - The Bonnie Parker Story 1958Something remarkable happened at the box office recently when two, yes, TWO action movies fronted by women debuted. And one of them claimed the top spot. Yes, the Plot Device Power Rankings proved its supremacy, and legitimacy, once again, but that’s not the point here. What’s interesting is that we’ve got a ‘splodey, derivative, ludicrous and loud action flick winning the box office that doesn’t have a dude running the point.  

That won’t last long. Why? Because here come the dudes, again. Or, maybe we should say, out of respect, the older gentlemen. These aren’t your Will Smiths, Vin Diesels or even Shia LeBeoufs. No, these are actors who can clearly remember the Reagan and Carter administrations. Within a two week span a pair of Hollywood’s, uh, mature, statesmen will be bare-knuckling their way into theaters, with Liam Neeson leading the way with The Grey, followed by Denzel Washington in Safe House

Let’s just get it out of the way now and say both of these movies give off the air of uninspiring energy drinks. Sure, they’re filled with blinding amounts of caffeine, enticing food dyes and the promise of brief, enjoyable highs. But they’re ultimately empty. Unless, of course, you pop a big, even aging, name on it.

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