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A weakness for aging action heroes

By Celia Rivenbark

Duh Hubby just had to ask the other day after I ordered up another delicious Liam Neeson movie on pay-per-view.

“What’s the appeal?” Duh asked, earnestly. “Looks? Because the plots in his movies are always a bit, what’s the word, fantastical, aren’t they?”

“Hmmm,” I said, pausing to lick some jalapeno Cheeto dust off my leg (don’t ask). “I like them because they are always, what’s the word, FREAKING AWESOME.”

But he had a point. Whither Liam Neeson leadeth, I goeth. It was a terrible oversight that I hadn’t seen “Non-Stop” in the theater when it came out. Won’t let that happen again.

I thought about Duh’s question and, truth is, Liam-as-elder-action-hero scripts ARE fairly implausible. The endings are usually stilted and a bit corny and there are always at least two completely cringe-worthy scenes in which someone writes an emotional check that their acting skills can’t cash.

But I don’t care.

So I realized that the reason I will watch any Liam Neeson or Denzel Washington movie is simple: These are two men who, in their movies, always get (expletive) done.

And I just love that in a man, even if he’s not even real and certainly could never strangle a terrorist at 35,000 feet using the oxygen mask (irony much?).

I picture Liam and Denzel getting mountains of scripts messengered to their mansions every day. Before breakfast. And then I picture them waving a hand dismissively over the pile and asking a minion, “Can you read these and let me know if I will have ample opportunity to get (expletive) done? Cuz I’m not doing any movie where that’s not what happens.”

I never want to hear that they aren’t like that in real life because it would be too sad.

I never want to read one of those “People” magazine in-their-own-words articles in which Liam Neeson whines that not only can he not wrassle wild-eyed wolves with his bare hands in sub-zero temps like he did in “The Grey” but he actually “catches colds rather easily” and the last wolf he saw was in the San Diego Zoo and it made him a bit sad.

I never want to read that Denzel needs a night light or that he has a hissy fit if his “kwah-sawh” isn’t crispy on the edges in the morning.

I realize that it’s insane to confuse real-life with movies but, come on, wouldn’t you feel, like a million percent safer if you stepped onto an airplane and saw Liam Neeson sitting there in first class looking all lanky and exhausted but ready to fight some baby-snatching terrorist out there on the wing if the need arises?

Ditto Denzel, who gets (expletive) done, often as an anti-hero (cop turned bad, drunken jet pilot, etc.) I explained this theory to Duh who listened and then offered to go to the store and buy more jalapeno Cheetos before the movie. Liam Neeson, Denzel Washington and Duh: getting (expletive) done.

rivenbark.com

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