Whilst watching Die Hard: Live Free I felt a small pang of sadness hit me as I thought about the dying breed of the Action Hero. When you think of Action Heroes names like Rocky, Rambo, Indiana Jones, Dirty Harry, James Bond spring to mind but where are the new Action Heroes?
Maybe that is why films like Die Hard and Rocky have been able to continue in recent years due to the gap left but Rocky has almost certainly come to an end and I haven't heard any talk of another Die Hard (he can't be in the wrong place at the wrong time all the time, right?). Even Indiana Jones is returning to our screens in 2008 but what happens after that? Who will support the Action genre? Sure we still have Jason Bourne, but I've never really warmed to him as a Hero. He seems to be more of a one-man personal crusade, plus after the third installment later this year, the story will probably be wrapped up. The XXX movies with Vin Diesel and Ice Cube tried hard to be decent Action movies but failed completely and I thought the Transporter movie (the first one) put Action over plot in it's priorities and I was left not really caring about the "hero".
What actors do we even have that would suit the Action Hero role? Viggo Mortensen? Hugh Jackman (although he's already an X-man)? The mainstays of Action are slowly getting older or leaving the industry completely (come back, Arnie, all is forgiven).
The fall of the Action-Hero may also be because of the rise of the Superhero movie Genre. Who needs one man with his gun, sarcasm and two fists when we can have a flying, swinging, super strong man of steel? Perhaps this is a reflection of society. Instead of the common man making a difference personally and righting wrongs we are instead hoping for a hero to save us ( to quote from Nickelback :-/) as only someone with superhero powers can change the world.
Maybe not. At least James Bond is still kicking ass 45 years later.