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This January marks the return of one of the greatest action figures of all time: Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is the lead in action flick, the Last Stand, which sees him as an ageing sheriff in a quiet town, who becomes the last person standing between a dangerous escaped felon and freedom. The exciting thing is that the producers have promised us that this is Arnie like we have never seen him before: almost like Clint Eastwood in his veteran years. If it can be pulled off, we do not know, but to celebrate Arnie’s return to Hollywood, I decided to dedicate an article looking back at his top five films. Leave a comment below if you agree or disagree with me.

5 – END OF DAYS

End of Days is about as close as we can come to imagining Arnie’s character in ‘the Last Stand’. The film sees us following the story of weary security guard, Jericho Cane, made cynical after the murder of his family. Meanwhile, Satan returns to Earth to claim the ‘Chosen One’ and take over Earth as the twentieth century comes to a close.

This is a surprisingly good film for something that we could argue isn’t much more than having Arnie take on the Devil. It is full of twists and suspense, plus Arnie isn’t an awful actor in it. He is hardly going to win an Oscar, but he shows a softer side that he has been unable to express before. I was pleasantly surprised and I hope everyone else thought the same.

4 – TERMINATOR

This was the role that made everyone realise that Arnie was planning on becoming a big player in Hollywood. James Cameron originally intended him to play Kyle Reese, but realised that maybe Arnie would be more suitable has the incredible Terminator. This film is epic in several ways and has evolved into a classic. Arnie gets to deliver some classic lines and it opens up one of the more successful Hollywood trilogies.

We also saw Arnie's real face for the first time.

We also saw Arnie’s real face for the first time.

3 – TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY

However, the sequel to Terminator overshadowed the first. True, it did bring up some large plot holes, but it is still recognised as a great movie. This time, Arnie takes the role of the hero, even if he still is a robot. There is also a bigger use of comedy in the follow-up, which made the world begin to realise that Arnie’s straight-talking, monotone accent could be used to get some laughs out of the cinema. In some ways, Arnie’s turn at comedy was unsuccessful, yet here it is masterfully done, having the Terminator announce ‘Hasta La Vista, baby!’, before causing an impressive display of explosions.

I am unsure if it is better than the original, although the difference is marginal. I have placed it higher, because Arnie is given a bigger role and part of me suspects it did more for his career than the first movie did in certain aspects.

2 – TOTAL RECALL

People love this film, mainly as it racked up the biggest body count in cinematic history. I am unsure if it still holds that title, but nonetheless, it still is the perfect movie, if you fancy something a little more bloodthirsty than usual. The Sci-Fi is surprisingly good, building up a intricate universe surrounding the story. It brings a lot of good questions, concerning ‘is the grass greener on the other side?’ and the old dilemma of ‘how much power should a government have?’ But philosophy aside, it is enjoyable at face value, packed with quotes and memorable scenes. Total Recall will stay with you for a long time.

1 – PREDATOR

Get to the chopper! The tree chopper! (Sorry, we may have been too desperate to get that quote into the article!)

Get to the chopper! The tree chopper! (Sorry, we may have been too desperate to get that quote into the article!)

OK, this is a very predictable winner, but at the same time, I was not willing to let any other film get the pole position. In terms of what it set out to be, Predator has done exceptionally. It is simplistic fun and, like Terminator, has set off a franchise. It promises good old-fashioned action and a new movie monster that is creative enough to drag this into the public’s eye. Also, despite Arnold’s appearance, his stardom doesn’t drown out the rest of the film, like we could argue it does with the other four examples.

Not that he doesn’t bring the action. In fact, this is Arnie at his best. A hardened war veteran who is slowly stripped back to basics, as his military mind and weapons fail him. The result is a fantastic showdown as a conclusion to the movie that will only disappoint the pickiest action fans. It definitely has earned its place as my top Arnie film.

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