With rumours emerging that CONAN may be rebooted with original star Arnold Schwarzenegger returning to the role, there’s been a lot of talk over whether it’s necessarily the right idea or just a cash in on his recent availability. With that in mind, we look at five roles we don’t want The Austrian Oak to reprise at all costs.
Whatever happens, please don’t say ‘I’ll be back’ to these, Arnie.
John Kimble – KINDERGARTEN COP (1990)
This effort by Ivan Reitman is tonally one of Arnie’s oddest movies; a plot about drug dealers, murdered informants, and sweet school children doesn’t entirely provide a coherent framework for Schwarzenegger to do his thing as LAPD cop Kimble. It’s not his worst film, but a 21st Century sequel would inevitably be darker, gritter and have some sort of running commentary on social issues; in what would essentially be a reprise of the first film, KINDERGARTEN COP II would see Kimble going undercover at a Baltimore innercity school only to find most of the pupils under the influence of hard narcotics. Handheld cameras, Arnie imitating gang culture patois, and a script that focuses on the failing education system as opposed to catching the bad guys. THE WIRE did it better, so let’s hope this project is kept in detention.
Jack Slater – LAST ACTION HERO (1993)
Again, not Arnie’s worst film and an interesting often enjoyable idea, but LAST ACTION HERO is at odds with itself throughout, contradicting the intentions of a Hollywood satire with what appears to be blatant generic action fare. The film is one of Hollywood’s great curiosities, and perhaps would have been better served by setting its sights a little lower than a pastiche of the world’s biggest movie star. In the sequel, Arnie’s Jack Slater is outdated in the wake of Jason Bourne and Daniel Craig’s Bond, and a final Slater sizzle reel collects dust on a USB stick. Thanks to the magic of digital filmmaking, Slater finds himself transported into the real world and attempts to stop real life counterpart from taking a role in a foreign language drama lest his action hero era is lost to the 1990s forever.
Dr Alex Hesse – JUNIOR (1994)
One of those films which makes you wonder how the idea ever even got past the ‘drunk at 4am and scribbling illegible notes on discarded toilet paper’ stage, JUNIOR sees Arnie playing a gynaecologist who impregnates himself, acting as a test subject for a tablet he created that rejects embryos. His worst movie by a long stretch, full of nonsense plotting, a script that teeters on the line of abortion issues and sequences that focus around Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sore nipples. A potential sequel could find Hesse’s widowed father becoming pregnant, leading to a battle for attention between a new born baby and a 60-year-old man. Arnie could play all three roles of Hesse, his father (using prosthetics), and the new born, with CGI morphing his chiseled Austrian face into a round permanently blushed baby head.
Howard Langston – JINGLE ALL THE WAY (1996)
Another one of Arnie’s attempts to reinvent himself as family entertainment star, JINGLE ALL THE WAY is largely harmless but poor. Workaholic Howard Langston is trying to track down the festive season’s most in-demand toy, Turbo Man. Arnie puts in a broad performance where a subtle one was needed, especially considering the father-son relationship that forms the crux of the plot. It also contains a brawl with a gang of Santas that is one of the more ludicrous things he’s done in his career. JINGLE ALL THE WAY 2 could shift tonally and become an action-thriller, focusing around Howard’s inability to provide for his family during the recession, but when now teenager son Jamie relays a desire to own the new Xbox, his father travels to the Microsoft HQ and holds Bill Gates (playing himself) hostage in a virtual reality world until he is given the first new console sold to the public.
Mr Freeze – BATMAN AND ROBIN (1997)
Arnie’s most high-profile ‘bad’ role, Mr Freeze is a scientist who suffers a great tragedy when his wide is struck with a killer disease, something that would drive most men into a spiral of deep depression. But no, the Governator is made of sterner stuff and instead turns to a persona that revolves around delivering awful ice-based puns and stealing diamonds in order to deliver even more awful ice-based puns. Potentially the worst superhero movie villain ever, Arnie and director Joel Schumacher go about completely destroying the reputation of Mr Freeze, one of the greatest villains in the Batman pantheon thanks to his appearances in ‘The Animated Series’. A sequel could find Christopher Nolan paying homage to Schumacher’s films and pitting George Clooney as Batman (with Christian Bale as Robin) against a Freeze for the 21st Century, a terrorist who wants to hold every world leader captive in a block of ice and slowly go about using them as ingredients for his own brand of Iced Tea. Hopefully this idea is given the cold shoulder.