To many of us in beautiful Columbus, Ohio – “The Arnold Classic” means a lot of increased traffic, packed bars and restaurants, and a lot of folks walking around Cap City that you wouldn’t normally see.
However, for the purposes of this blog originating out of Columbus, “The Arnold Classics” is a group of those terrific Schwarzenegger action flicks. Being that Arnold’s CBus weekend is coming to a close, it felt appropriate to name my personal Top Five “Arnold Classics”.
This is certainly a debatable list. You’ll notice none of Arnold’s comedies made the cut. There’s probably a contingent of folks out there that would advocate for Twins or Kindergarten Cop. They are pretty solid comedies and certainly better than his later comedies like Junior and Jingle All the Way, but not Top 5 material in my book.
There’s 80s titles such as Conan the Barbarian and Commando. Good solid action flicks that again didn’t quite make the cut. And there’s also guilty pleasure favorites for me – such as 1987’s The Running Man, which was kind of The Hunger Games before that franchise existed. That film would likely be ranked #6 for me.
A Top Five “Arnold Classics” must be selected, though, so here we go:
5. True Lies (1994)
Ahnuld’s third collaboration with James Cameron is a whole lot of fun. This big-budget action spectacle was a big bounce back for the star, who’d suffered a box office disaster the year before with the mediocre Last Action Hero. Featuring Arnold doing what he does best and with a great supporting performance from Jamie Lee Curtis, True Lies is a treat.
4. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
And here is where the debate begins. Many film buffs have engaged in endless arguments as to whether the original or its sequel is the best. I’m an original guy, as you’ll see. This should not, however, take away from one of the greatest sequels of all time, with some truly revolutionary special effects and a memorable nemesis in Robert Patrick’s T1000. Even Eddie Furlong’s atrocious acting can be forgiven due to the quality of material in the James Cameron film.
3. Total Recall (1990)
Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fi action extravaganza is one of the genre’s classics. Based on a Philip K. Dick work, Arnold’s mission to mars is a blast. Featuring a great turn from Sharon Stone as his deceiving wife (“Consider that a divorce!”) and some terrific effects, there is only one Total Recall (Colin Farrell remake be damned).
2. The Terminator (1984)
James Cameron’s original Terminator is what broke Ahnuld out as a huge movie star. Unlike its sequel, Schwarzenegger is the villain here and he’s marvelous. We all know the famous lines by now. The Terminator is one of the most influential movies of the past three decades.
1. Predator (1987)
My personal favorite. John McTiernan’s Predator is a perfect action film with the Governator delivering one classic quip after another (“Get to the choppahhhhh!”). As an 80s action film buff, it doesn’t get any better than this.
And there you have it! My Top 5 Arnold Classics for the Arnold Classic weekend. I’ll be back with much more on the blog soon (couldn’t resist the lame and obvious here).