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Thursday, 4 August 2016

My 10 Personal Favourite Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies

Schwarzenegger collage by Gil Hildebrand

Born on July 30th in Thal, Styria in Austria, Arnold Schwarzenegger has appeared in over 30 films, although his acting career was put on hold when he was Governor of California, where his efforts were limited to cameos in The Expendables and The Kid and I. In 2011, Arnold announced his onscreen comeback.

But ever since the 1980s and 1990s, it has been a long while since Arnold starred in a truly great action movie today, and a movie and role as equally memorable to Conan and The Terminator. It definitely got me thinking about the movies that I have enjoyed of his that I would count as being my favourites. There is no doubt that he is one of the greatest and most successful movie stars of the 1980s and 1990s. 

Here is my countdown of my favourite 10 former Governator movies & in no particular order:

The Running Man (1987) - Over-The-Top, outrageous, action-packed, like a high-octane The Price is Right but also highly entertaining with villains that will fit right into any Saturday Morning cartoon series

Total Recall (1990) - Great twists, wonderful special effects & insane action in this Paul Verhoeven sci-fi thriller with another early appearance of Sharon Stone but as Douglas Quaid's crazy wife. Was (sadly) remade in 2012, & unsurprisingly it bombed at the box office. 

Commando (1985) - Arnie's version of John Rambo with some memorable & funny lines and cool action scenes in this offbeat action classic, with Rae Dawn Chong acting as the innocent bystander, who finds herself caught up in the madness and mayhem, as John's unlikely accomplice. 

True Lies (1994) - If it wasn't for the existence of Terminator 2, this would have been my favourite Arnie flick. A fantastically fun, super spy flick with great performances from Arnie, Jamie Lee Curtis, & an amusing turn by Bill Paxton and Tom Arnold especially  

Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) - The first Terminator was good, but T2 just turned it up several notches with impressive CGI visual effects that were a huge improvement over the first movie. Arnie as Terminator is a lot more rounded and fleshed out as a character compared to the first outing as the then-antagonist turned main protagonist. 

Red Heat (1986) - Chemistry and interplay between Arnie and James Belushi as a pair of mismatched cops who don't see eye to eye was fantastic, they feed off each other so well. Great action and suspense, a good narrative and a surprisingly good acting performance by Arnie himself

Jingle All The Way (1996) - Despite being heavily slated by critics, Jingle All The Way is a highly amusing & entertaining example of how to do a festive action comedy. Funny, corny and thoroughly consistent humour that the likes of Twins and Junior could only wish they'd had. Favourite Arnie action comedy film. 

Predator (1987) - Is Commando set in the jungle with a bloodthirsty, murderous alien on the rampage and spiralling death counts. But for the use of the word 'f*****', this is intense, suspenseful & makes you wonder why he should have perhaps returned for the sequel as well. 

Junior (1994) - Arnold's quality of movies started to go downhill right after True Lies, and whilst this is hardly the pinnacle of his career, it was still entertaining, even with the wacky plot. Branded as one of Arnie's biggest career lows, Junior turned out to be a nice surprise in this pregnant man comedy directed by Ghostbusters's director, Ivan Reitman, who also did Kindergarten Cop

The Terminator (1984) - existing as no more as Arnold's breakthrough role as the killer robot machine, it's all right, but it definitely surpassed by Total Recall, True Lies, Commando & Terminator 2 as an engaging and fun action film in my eyes at least. 

Kindergarten Cop (1990) - Cutesy, at times amusing, entertaining with great support from Pamela Reed as John Kimble's partner-in-crime. I prefer this over Twins, but with a better script, it would have yielded for an even more satisfying action comedy film. 

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