If you’re following the trajectory of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s renewed career as an action figurehead, good news: he’s getting more roles beyond the occasional cameo. Remember when Arnold, upon announcing his return to acting, hinted that he might not be able to take so many action roles? Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, but every picture he’s signed on for since getting back into movies revolves sounds pretty action-oriented.
I’m not sure he’s really following in Clint Eastwood’s footsteps, but that hardly matters; if the Governator* wants to churn out as many action flicks as he can before age really makes participating in such films an impossibility, that’s his prerogative. We’ve seen him pop up in the recent trailer for The Expendables 2, but he’s also involved in projects both with Kim Ji-woon (I Saw the Devil, A Bittersweet Life) and Mikael Håfström (The Rite, 1408). Now, he’s starring in David Ayer’s latest film, Ten. Here’s the official synopsis:
In Ten, an elite DEA task force deals with the world’s deadliest drug cartels. Specializing in complex mobile operations, the team executes a tactical raid on a cartel safe house. What looks to be a typical raid turns out to be an elaborate theft operation, pre-planned by the DEA squad. After hiding millions in stolen cash, the team believes their secret is safe – until someone begins assassinating them one by one.
(Source: Open Road Films.)
You may remember Ayers fondly as the screenwriter for 2001’s Training Day; he also had a hand in writing the original The Fast and the Furious, and directed 2006’s Harsh Times and 2008’s Street Kings. (The man, apparently, loves his gritty “real life” street crime films.) He’ll be in the director’s chair for Ten, with Skip Woods– the man behind 2009’s reviled X-Men Origins: Wolverine— penning the screenplay.
Arnold’s presence as the film’s star represents the most interesting aspect of the whole production (at least for now); Ayer and Woods are both minor talents, all told, and the film itself sounds a bit tired. (Simpsons did it!) But seeing Arnold continue pushing himself as a legitimate action star in an age where we really lack muscle men of his stature is fascinating. How long can he keep this up before he goes back to doing films like Stay Hungry** again?
*Is it gauche to keep referring to Arnold using this moniker? Be honest with me.
**Which wouldn’t be a bad thing at all. Stay Hungry is pretty damn good!