The Action Hero Championship Belt

This is a wonderful Friday read from Grantland’s Bill Simmons. You will find plenty to quibble with but a good and knowledgeable writer with an enthusiastic love of his subject is always a joy.

My main beef is Simmons’ claim that Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” stole the Cop That Doesn’t Play By The Rules idea from Steve McQueen’s “Bullitt.” Actually, Eastwood is tied with McQueen for inventing this genre. Eastwood’s “Coogan’s Bluff” came out the same year as “Bullitt.”

Simmons disqualifies phony action heroes from contention like Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, Paul Newman, Keanu Reeves, Robert Redford, George Clooney, Will Smith, and Ben Affleck,  “as well as everyone who ever played James Bond, Ethan Hunt, Jason Bourne, Iron Man, Batman or any other manufactured studio hero” because they are not believable kicking ass.

The dreaded thinking-man’s meterosexual action hero, in other words.

I would take Harrison Ford (1976-1995) off that list.

Other than that, bookmark this for your lunch hour.


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