Gerard Butler: A Very Weird Action Hero
A Gerard Butler movie is an acquired taste. He’s not the first and obvious choice for an action flick on a Saturday night. He’s not bankable as The Rock and not as reliable as Tom Cruise. Let’s face it. Nobody says… Let’s watch a Gerard Butler movie. I’m not entirely certain that such movie exists. I don’t think that he’s the actor to have A MOVIE. But he’s trying! You can tell that he’s trying to have a Gerard Butler movie way too hard. Sure Cruise is maybe in his mid-50’s but he’s still rocking the Mission Impossible franchise and he’s got plenty of other action movies under his belt (Check out Top Gun Maverick for that). Cruise and Dwayne Johnson are hardworking, consistent and frankly, Cruise’s movies seems to get better and better as time goes by. I can’t say the exact same thing about The Rock’s movies, but hey… People inexplicably show up to see him for pretty much everything.
But Butler is a different action hero. Some might say a weird one. Although in the middle between The Rock and Cruise in the age department, he falls short on almost every department. His action efforts are lackluster at best, and the commercial value is nowhere near that of his contemporaries. Hence my weird adjective at the beginning of the action hero part. But they’re there. No question about it.
And although he dabbed into uncharted territories like romantic comedies (and Butler has a lot of them, to be honest), the action genre is his surprisingly most recognizable. Several sub-genres like a heist, disaster and action thrillers have been present on his resume in the past decade, but none of them have been commercially successful or recognizable as the Olympus Has Fallen and its two sequels. The latest and third part of the action (let’s call it a franchise) is Angel Has Fallen and it premiered this past weekend. Although the film critics basically shred the movie to pieces, the movie managed to earn over 20 million dollars after the first weekend in the movie theaters. Olympus Has Fallen earned 170 million dollars while London Has Fallen earned more than 200 million dollars. Which is frankly the only reason these movies are being made. Butler is not impressing us with his stellar performance, and the plot is ridiculous at best.
Oh and the presence of Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman. Can’t forget about them. That is not to say that he hasn’t tried. Butler was even part of some fantastic movies that are worth mentioning. For God’s sake, he was even in Chekhov adaptation (The Cherry Orchard) and in a Shakespeare film adaptation (Coriolanus).
And yes I’m very well aware that 300 and P.S. I Love You are some of his most famous movies today. The male part of the population loves him as King Leonidas and the female part of the population loves him as Hilary Swank’s dead husband in P.S. I love you. But I would argue that none of these projects are his finest work. No, not even Lara Croft-Tom Rider, not even Phantom of the Opera and not Law Abiding Citizen. Seriously. Gerard Butler’s best movie is one tiny adorable movie called Dear Frankie. I’m not going to spoil anything about it. I’m not going to tell you about the plot. I’m just going to recommend that you immediately watch Dear Frankie if you can. Butler stars opposite Emily Mortimer in the 2004 drama and you’ll fall in love with him and his character.
So forget his gun blazing, shooting and fighting Mike Banning character. No. Watch Dear Frankie and get back to me. But for now, it’s safe to say that he’s one weird action hero. Wouldn’t you agree?