I recently saw the movie, Taken, with Liam Neeson. If you're not familar, here's the plot: a badass Liam Neeson kicks bad guys' asses after they try to sell his daughter as a piece of ass. Needless to say, it's the best movie I've seen in a while. While I watched Neeson's character bring down a gang of Albanian Human Traffickers with a platter of knuckle sandwiches, I realized something: this was essentially a Jason Statham movie, but starring an Oscar-caliber actor. Liam Neeson was in Kinsey, Schindler's List...Nell. But here he is in Taken, disarming thugs by slamming doors on their hands and torturing gangsters named "Marko." That's like page one of Statham's playbook. Nothing against Statham (he serves an amazing purpose), but I really hope this becomes a trend. Great actors doing B-Movies; popcorn flicks that have no desire to be prestigious films, just movies you want to watch on FX at 1 AM. In the Statham vehicle Crank, our hero is injected with a poison that will kill him if he doesn't keep his adrenaline up. (It was totally snubbed in the Best Original Screenplay nominations if you ask me.) Imagine if Crank was recast with say...Daniel Day Lewis.
All of a sudden, D-Day, as he’d obviously go by, would be drinking the milkshakes of everyone in sight, killing at mercy. You’d be talking about a movie where one of the most respected actors of his generation would have sex in public with Amy Smart, just so he wouldn’t die. That is a movie I would see over and over again. Daniel Day Lewis does like five movies a decade. He’s got the time. He could be pumping out Cranks in his sleep! Statham recently starred in a little flick called Death Race. Let’s swap in Dustin Hoffman, just for kicks. And while we’re at it, maybe Ben Kingsley would be up for doing Transporter 4? This doesn’t need to be restricted to just men either. Crank’s got a sequel coming up, so let’s recast Amy Smart with...oh why not, Emma Thompson. Actually, given the sex in the movie, let’s trade in Thompson for Kate Winslet - Oscar shmoscar, that woman loves to get naked. I do hope other highly respected actors will follow Neeson’s lead. A-Listers doing B-Movies. That is my dream. Until then, I patiently await the day I go see a movie where Meryl Streep gets cast as an Asian Drug Lord. That, would be box office gold.
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