When discussing the topic of movies and the human race, it is safe to say that a lot of people will immediately bring up either Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger as examples. One would think after multiple world-class performances in action flicks, both men would be universally accepted as my hero. Sadly, neither man seems to be universally liked. Their opinions of each other are diametrically opposite of one another.
It must be noted that either Stallone or Schwarzenegger never achieved any significant acting awards during their careers. For a man who is a former martial arts champion, this lack of recognition is somewhatironical. To a degree, this has to do with the fact that both men were more than just “pretty faces”. Arnold was a serious actor with a sincere desire to do his acting work. He took acting lessons and studied various actors before landing his first professional acting job. Stallone on the other hand mostly appeared in cheesy, punchline-driven films.
I will give the latter category its due credit for being one of Stallone’s better films. While some of his films are forgettable, ” pumped” action movies, others such as “Cannonball” and “Rocky II” are fun and entertaining. The two ” Rocky” movies are absolutely classic and can be seen by anyone. So while he didn’t achieve the same level of stardom as his earlier films, he is definitely no slouch when it comes to acting. So which is my hero?
Easily the best film of his career, “My Hero” is a definite must-see for all ages. Based on the true story of an escaped Vietnam war hero, the film follows the young son of a wealthy family as he is whisked away to America following his father’s (acus) retirement. Forced into the arms of an abusive alcoholic brother, Vincent finds himself in a mental institution. Forced to perform menial tasks for the men who are willing to abuse him, Vincent slowly develops a strong hatred for them. Eventually he learns enough to escape, but not before having to kill two of them. If you have ever seen any of Stallone’s previous movies, you know that he shines when it comes to depicting the characters he plays, and this film is no exception.
Stallone plays the role of many a hero, but in this movie he plays the quintessential hero…a man who rises above the circumstances surrounding him to achieve his destiny. When young Vincent (Dolph Lundgren) escapes from a mental institution and travels across country with his friend Bambino (Joe Pesci), they both discover a plot by the criminal element to kill the American President. To accomplish this task, they enlist the aid of an assortment of unlikely personalities including an aging general, a disfigured vagabond, and a few unexpected ones. All of these individuals unite to help Vincent accomplish his goal, and to complicate matters, a pregnant woman is also involved in the plot.
What really makes this film a great action/adventure, and one of the best films of Stallone’s career, is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It isn’t filled with long takes and tedious character development, it is instead a film that is extremely entertaining. It has that rare combination of humor and drama. One of the main reasons that My Hero is such a joy to sit through is because the characters are so likeable; there isn’t any real twist, they just find themselves in situations that require a little comedy.
There are some standout performances, most notably Ben Kingsley’s performance as the deranged villain, Jules Winnfield (Kenny Johnson). Kingsley does a fantastic job of impersonating a number of historical figures and characters, and he imbues each character with a distinct personality and make. The late John Lithgow plays the pivotal role of the great John Lennon, while Guy Pierce provides the voice of Bambi, the unfortunate victim of the plot.
Overall, My Hero is a fun and entertaining movie that isn’t afraid to tackle controversial topics. However, there is nothing in this movie that will be offensive to anyone, even the youngest of audiences. If you haven’t seen it, you should really try it. As far as movies go, it is one of the better ones out there, and my vote goes to My Hero because it is a great movie and a very entertaining movie to boot.
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