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Name that action hero


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#1 SDG

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 05:51 AM

Actually, I'm not looking for a particular action hero so much as a recommendation for an archetypal action hero comparison to use in a review.

  • The character I want is all business, unflappably calm, low wattage, even to the point of dullness. He's square-jawed and powerfully built, but ideally older, 40s or 50s.
  • He's highly skilled, ultra-competent and well equipped.
  • Sophisticated breaking and entering / stealth techniques—rappelling, lock-picking, that sort of thing—would be ideal. I'm not necessarily looking for a fighter.
  • And, of course, it would help if it's a well-known role, or an actor well-known for the sort of thing described here.
If I can't come up with anything better, I'll go with a generic James Bond reference.

Any suggestions? (I'll reveal who the comparison is for later.)

Edited by SDG, 13 February 2012 - 07:44 AM.


#2 pmarrack

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:49 AM

This isn't going to be perfect either, but for the most part your description sounds to me less like James Bond than Dick Tracy. Don't know if that helps.

#3 Jason Panella

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 07:18 AM

If I can't come up with anything better, I'll go with a generic James Bond reference.


Initially I was going to suggest Remo Williams, but he definitely doesn't meet your criteria.

Maybe Indiana Jones?

EDIT: Then again, Jones doesn't meet all of your criteria either. Dang, this is tough.

Edited by Jason Panella, 13 February 2012 - 07:19 AM.


#4 SDG

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 07:49 AM

This isn't going to be perfect either, but for the most part your description sounds to me less like James Bond than Dick Tracy. Don't know if that helps.

I've broken up my list of attributes above into bullet points. Tracy is a good fit for 1 and 2, but he doesn't fit 3, and that's important. The stealthy, high-tech break-in type scene, whether of a 007 / M:I type spy or an elite burglar, is crucial to the comparison.

Initially I was going to suggest Remo Williams, but he definitely doesn't meet your criteria.

Never heard of him.

Maybe Indiana Jones?

EDIT: Then again, Jones doesn't meet all of your criteria either. Dang, this is tough.

No, Indy is almost the opposite of what I want. He's expressive, not impassive. Capable, but definitely low-tech. I want an old-school, mask-faced action hero who's all about getting the job done.

Edited by SDG, 13 February 2012 - 07:51 AM.


#5 pmarrack

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 09:10 AM

Maybe Richard Stark's Parker is pretty close. Don't know any of the character's stories myself, but a friend of mine is fairly enthusiastic about him, so I hear about him some. He seems to be more hard-boiled than low wattage from what I understand. I also simply do not know how much of your audience would recognize the reference.

#6 David Smedberg

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 09:22 AM

I would think Batman.

#7 SDG

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 09:51 AM

I would think Batman.

Batman isn't bad actually.

Okay, the character I'm describing is Arrietty's father Pod in The Secret World of Arrietty. Here's what I'm going with for now:

Her father Pod (Will Arnett) is quite different from the portly, bowlered figure of the books: still a highly talented "Borrower," he's a strong, silent action hero and jack-of-all-trades -- almost a James Bond figure crossed with ultra-competent Pa from the Little House books, through without Pa's humorous, playful side.


Edited by SDG, 13 February 2012 - 09:52 AM.


#8 John Drew

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:13 AM

  • The character I want is all business, unflappably calm, low wattage, even to the point of dullness. He's square-jawed and powerfully built, but ideally older, 40s or 50s.
  • He's highly skilled, ultra-competent and well equipped.
  • Sophisticated breaking and entering / stealth techniques—rappelling, lock-picking, that sort of thing—would be ideal. I'm not necessarily looking for a fighter.
  • And, of course, it would help if it's a well-known role, or an actor well-known for the sort of thing described here.



It's too bad you need a "hero", cause you almost describe to a tee Robert DeNiro's character Neal McCauley from Heat (without the rappelling).

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah, 13 February 2012 - 10:14 AM.


#9 kenmorefield

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:25 AM

Actually, I'm not looking for a particular action hero so much as a recommendation for an archetypal action hero comparison to use in a review.

  • The character I want is all business, unflappably calm, low wattage, even to the point of dullness. He's square-jawed and powerfully built, but ideally older, 40s or 50s.
  • He's highly skilled, ultra-competent and well equipped.
  • Sophisticated breaking and entering / stealth techniques—rappelling, lock-picking, that sort of thing—would be ideal. I'm not necessarily looking for a fighter.
  • And, of course, it would help if it's a well-known role, or an actor well-known for the sort of thing described here.
If I can't come up with anything better, I'll go with a generic James Bond reference.

Any suggestions? (I'll reveal who the comparison is for later.)


McGyver

#10 SDG

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:28 AM

McGyver

Oh, dang. That is really good. I think we have a winner. Especially with the jack-of-all-trades DIY stuff.

Edited by SDG, 13 February 2012 - 10:28 AM.


#11 SDG

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:49 AM

There's even a scene that ties into MacGyver's thing for duct tape. Ken, have you seen The Secret World of Arrietty, or were you just going by my bullet points?

(I might have thought of the MacGyver connection myself, but I wasn't a "MacGyver" watcher.)

#12 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 11:03 AM

The Equalizer - Edward Woodward's Robert McCall is a little older than Richard Dean Anderson's MacGyver, but he's probably a little less well known as well.

#13 NBooth

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 11:41 AM

Too bad MacGyver won that round. I was going to go with Derek Flint:


Edited by NBooth, 13 February 2012 - 11:41 AM.


#14 kenmorefield

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 12:01 PM

There's even a scene that ties into MacGyver's thing for duct tape. Ken, have you seen The Secret World of Arrietty, or were you just going by my bullet points?

(I might have thought of the MacGyver connection myself, but .)


Just the bullet points, haven't seen the film yet.

I also never watched McGyver, but I was a big fan of The Simpsons for 20 years, and Patti and Selma's love of all things McGyver is the stuff legends are made of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwv8izb1Hi8

Edited by kenmorefield, 13 February 2012 - 12:06 PM.


#15 SDG

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 01:01 PM

That's awesome. I don't know why having the MacGyver suggestion come via "The Simpsons" pleases me so much more than having it come from someone who just watched "MacGyver," but it does.

#16 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 01:21 PM

Initially I was going to suggest Remo Williams, but he definitely doesn't meet your criteria.

Never heard of him.

Really!? I thought we were roughly of the same generation ... you don't remember that poster of him dangling from the scaffolding around the Statue of Liberty?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_lKShbp3nw

#17 SDG

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 01:32 PM

FWIW, MacGyver gets his shout-out here.

#18 opus

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 02:34 PM

A few years back, I revisited a number of the shows that I loved as a kid, e.g., MacGyver, The A-Team, Knight Rider, Airwolf. Of those shows, only MacGyver held up relatively well. It was still kind of cheesy in an 80s sort of way, but not to the same degree as, say, Airwolf.

As for Remo Williams, that was one of those movies that I wanted to see so bad as a kid because it looked so awesome (to a fourth grader's eyes, at least). I hesitate to watch it now, though. But maybe if I do, it'll turn out to be kind of awesome in an MST3K sort of way, like Megaforce.

#19 SDG

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 02:37 PM

Really!? I thought we were roughly of the same generation ...

We are. Within a year, I think.

you don't remember that poster of him dangling from the scaffolding around the Statue of Liberty?

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_lKShbp3nw"]http://www.youtube.c...h?v=C_lKShbp3nw[/url]

Nope. Missed it somehow.

#20 SDG

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 02:45 PM

A few years back, I revisited a number of the shows that I loved as a kid, e.g., MacGyver, The A-Team, Knight Rider, Airwolf. Of those shows, only MacGyver held up relatively well.

I am sure this is true, but "The A-Team" and "Knight Rider" are icons of my youth, whereas I never watched "Airwolf" (which even at the time I thought looked lame) or "MacGyver" (no reason, just didn't watch it). I had fun with this in my review of the A-Team movie:

There was a time during my high school years when my family’s weekly rituals included two TV shows: “Knight Rider” and “The A-Team.” ... They were not, of course, good shows. I’m quite certain that the theme songs were better than the actual shows ... What I do remember are the formulas: (a) our heroes staying one step ahead of the military police; (b.) ingeniously (and implausibly) cobbling together specialized weapons and vehicles and such out of whatever happened to be at hand (apparently people with other viewing habits call this “MacGyvering,” but that MacGyver bloke got it from the A-Team); and of course (c.) waging climactic battles in which thousands of bullets were spent, stuff was blown up, vehicles crashed and rolled, and no one was ever killed. Antagonists would emerge from wrecked cars or disabled tanks or whatever, shaking their heads groggily.


However, later on I concede the point:

Its outsized set pieces show some gonzo imagination, recalling the spirit of Hannibal’s Rube Goldberg plans and the TV show’s weekly MacGyver moments (hey, no sense getting all tribal about pop-culture colloquialisms).