the state of things
Yippee Kay Yay, It's Grandpa Gun Porn
by Elvis Shackleton - 11:11 on 17 September 2013
It’s many years since Danny Glover first uttered the iconic movie catchphrase:
‘I’m too old for this shit.’
Back then, when a gentleman actor reached a certain age, he could expect to be farmed off to perform bit-part roles such as a comedy uncle, or perhaps a more dramatic piece as an alcoholic deadbeat, down on his luck and desperately trying to make amends with his daughter so that he could see his grandchildren one last time before he pegged it from pancreatic cancer.
Nowadays, old movie actors don’t retire or play deadbeats, they just get to fire bigger guns. The geriatric action comedy caper is in vogue, and every actor over the age of sixty who can still lift a weapon and run fifty yards without suffering an aneurism is in regular employment.
In an age when celebrity means that you’re famous for something in the region of ten to fifteen minutes before breakfast one morning, there’s a huge mystique about stars who’ve been recognisable for over three decades.
‘It’s obvious why these films are successful,’ says Professor Malcolm Connery of the Glasgow Institute of Special Things.
‘There’s a blandness about many of today’s young stars. Science has proved that most people can’t tell Ryan Gosling from Channing Tatum. Indeed, in the case of the latter, a majority aren’t even sure which way round his name goes. With these old fellas, however, there’s an attractive edge about them. The likes of Stallone and Van Damme are raw sex in a Zimmer frame.’
However, despite the single-handed efforts of Meryl Streep, the septuagenarian romcom is proving nowhere near as successful.
‘When old people kiss on screen it’s just minging,’ says Connery.
‘No one wants to watch that. However, science has proved that when they shoot people, it’s hilarious. There’s nothing funnier than watching an old bloke gun down several hundred guys in dark outfits, and then say something terribly urbane such as, I only came here on holiday, or, Looks like I picked the wrong day to quit crystal meth.’
The arrival of movie franchises such as RED and The Expendables is part of the new wave of cinema that pundits are calling Grandpa Gun Porn (GGP). The undoubted King of GGP is Bruce Willis, who so far this year has quipped and shot his way through Die Hard 5, GI Joe 2 and RED 2, killing at least nine hundred people in the process (albeit most of them were in the audience and died of boredom during Die Hard).
However, as anyone who has watched a GGP movie this summer will testify, one usually leaves the cinema feeling hollow, cheated and slightly unclean. So are the movies any good?
‘God, no!’ barks Connery.
‘They’re shit. But don’t think that just because these movies have been filmed using the sweat-stained skin of desperate Hollywood executives that they’re going away. RED 3 & 4 are in the works, there will be at least six more Expendables, and Willis has signed up for another Die Hard, as well as Tarantino’s remake of Titanic.’
It’s ironic to think that, as the GGP movie takes control at the box office, Danny Glover was a youthful 41 when he first uttered the famous phrase. Now it seems the only thing these actors are too old for is the butt naked full frontal. For that, at least, we can be grateful.
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