The aging action hero has become an important figure in post-millennial action cinema. Its significance can be seen in how the protagonists of several big-budget action film franchises are not only struggling to save the world but are also struggling to cope with the realities of their aging bodies. Indeed, the issue of aging has become a recurring theme in franchises such as The Expendables (2009 – 2013), Taken (2008 – 2012), The Fast and The Furious (2001 – 2017), Mission Impossible (1995 – 2018) and James Bond (2006 – 2015).
Indeed, the presence of the post-millennial aging action hero and aging male body is made to rehabilitate the tropes of hegemonic masculinity and the indestructible male body by emphasizing the benefits of the aging male body and where male toxicity is replaced by wisdom and maturity; egocentricity is replaced by allocentrism. But insofar as the presence of the aging action hero is due to the fact that the actors playing said characters are also aging, its presence shows the dynamism of action cinema in offering alternative visions of heroism and heroes. Continue reading Hegemonic Masculinity and Aging Action Heroes