Character Battles – Martin Riggs vs John McClane

It is a wholly ridiculous concept, but who hasn’t pondered a hypothetical battle between two of their favourite movie stars, particularly when they possess similar personalities and attributes. We have already had Freddy vs Jason and Alien vs Predator, and while those movies sucked beyond comprehension, it didn’t stop us from flocking to the movies in our legions . . .

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American Ninja (1985)

Michael Dudikoff wasn’t much of a ninja. Come to think of it, he wasn’t much of an actor either. But for a brief period during the mid-1980’s he became a hero to kids the world over, and he owes it all to American Ninja.

For me, American Ninja is the defining movie of the oft memorable Cannon Group, who churned out ultra-violent schlock by the bucket load. This was cheap production, nonsensical storytelling, and some of the stiffest, most unmemorable acting of a generation, but there was something there; there had to be…

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Double Team (1997)

By 1997 the Buddy Action Movie had become so diluted it had begun to resemble a thin, tasteless gruel.

Gone were the aromatic days of Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy, of Riggs and Murtaugh, of John McClane and the black cop from Die Hard whose name I can never remember. Unconcerned with onscreen chemistry, relatable characterisation, and the kind of wry, acerbic wit that made the genre so successful, money-obsessed producers had begun to overlook traditional recipes in favour of flavour of the month celebrities…

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Revisiting . . . They Live (1988)

John Carpenter enjoyed considerable success throughout the late 70s and 80s, working within low budgets and tight schedules to produce unlikely box office hits that contradict their meagre outlay.

Though he is primarily seen as a director of horror movies, his science fiction releases represent some of his strongest work, harking back to the good ol’ days of the 50s with strong political leanings…

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