Arnold Schwarzenegger is the man. Any movie he was in back in the 80s and 90s was a much better film because of it. It doesn't matter if the movie was utter drek (See: Red Heat, Raw Deal). If Arnold was in it, you knew it was worth seeing not only once, but multiple times just to try to get down the timing of his "Yoooowyu!" (Arnold fans know the noise I'm talking about).
And now that Arnold is no longer the Governor of California, there's word that he might get back into acting again in a movie called, With Wings as Eagles. In it, it's said that he plays some German soldier who helps these kids escape. It sounds promising, but I'm sure it can't be too good because Arnold now looks like this with his shirt off.
(Image taken from: thesun.co.uk)
Still, anybody who loved/loves Arnie knows that his physique wasn't everything, and some of these movies below prove it. Below are the top ten Arnold films I can think of. And while movies like Kindergarten Cop and Twins have their place, I think the best and funniest Arnold movies were the ones that weren't entirely meant to be funny. So here they are, the top ten Arnie movies. And please don't get offended by number 10. I know there's particular hatred toward that one.
10: Batman and Robin
(Image taken from: artnet.com)
Arnie built a career out of one-liners. Don't believe me? Then watch this clip.
Honestly, besides his buff body, Arnie's real talent came from his ability to deliver one-liners like nobody else. So, what do you get with Batman and Robin? You get a movie that is pretty much nothing BUT one-liners from Arnie. Sure, the movie is God-awful, and Bat nipples will never be lived down. But where else will you find a movie where all Arnie does is say jokes that have some kind of reference to being cold? An awful, awful movie, but a great Arnie pic nonetheless. And if you don't like this movie, you know what you can do?...You can CHEEEEL.
(Image taken from: rehfilm.blogspot.com)
Arnold might be a lumbering jokester, but when he gets down to business, he gets down to business. And no other film in the late 90s has Arnold getting down to business like Eraser, which is hugely underappreciated. I remember seeing this in the theater and being blown away by the scene that I've put below. It has Arnold falling out of a plane without a parachute and catching it mid-plummet. The thing about Arnold is, a lot of people could have filled in for the kind of action pictures that he did, but nobody could have made it look so cool..and masculine. And in this movie, Arnold even makes being a muscle bound foreigner as a U.S. Marshal look possible. How? Because he's Arnold. Who can't he play?
8. True Lies
(image taken from: insidepulse.com)
My best friend, AJ, says that you can always count on JC (And he ISN'T talking about Jesus Christ). James Cameron and Arnold make an awesome team, with another one of their movies having a place on this list. And my best friend is right, you can't go wrong with James Cameron. In this buddy comedy, Arnie teams up with another Arnold, in Tom Arnold, who actually makes for some pretty good comic relief. But wait now. Amidst the action, Arnie also provides some pretty funny moments as the spy who has to keep his secret from his wife, who is played by Jamie Lee Curtis. And who can forget that strip tease? Honestly, as far as action, comedy, and being incredible is concerned, True Lies is the total package. I love, love, love this picture.
7. Pumping Iron
(Image taken from: listal.com)
Pumping Iron is not just a movie that shows how Arnie got his million dollar physique and how he whored it off to judges. It's also a movie about him smoking weed. And beating the Incredible Hulk. Really, Pumping Iron is as much a display of Arnie's body as it is on his charisma and personality. In many ways, Arnie pretty much sabotages not only Lou Ferrigno's chance of winning 1975's Mr. Olympia, but also his chance of ever being anything more than second best. Who knows, if Arnie wasn't involved, maybe we would have seen Mr. Ferrigno in the next entry on this list. The world will never know.
6. The Running Man
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Did you know this Arnie movie is based off of a Stephen King novel? It happened. The Running Man could be dumb, but it's not. It's awesome, and mainly because Arnie is awesome. A movie that is pretty much equivalent to the game, Smash TV, this movie is a quick paced actioner that is in the form of a game show, because in this future, which is less than a decade away (2017), The Running Man is a game show. It's one where convicts have to fight to stay alive (How SyFy channel is that?). Sure, again, it seems like anybody could have taken this role on, and they could have. But only Arnie could make this seemingly B-movie stuff into a top-grade thriller. And you know why? Because he's Arnie. And to that, all I have to say is this: Subzero...is now PLAIN ZERO!
5. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
(Image taken from: moviechopshop.com)
Many might say that T2: Judgment Day is Arnie's best film. I tend to disagree. I think it's probably his most iconic, but his best? I'm not so sure. Arnie teams up with James Cameron again for a second time, this time becoming the good guy whereas he was the villain in the original. This is just a phenomenal picture, mostly because it takes the big bad Arnold and makes him a weakling compared to the newer model Terminator, played by Robert Patrick. This juxtaposition does something that very few other Arnie pictures do--it makes him vulnerable. The laughs aren't heavy in this one, but they're there. And unlike some of the other pictures on this list who could have been played by other actors, NOBODY else could have been the Terminator. Size restraints alone would knock most other actors out of the running.
4. Conan the Barbarian
(Image taken from: therumpus.net)
Is there any man more suitable for the part of a sword-swinging barbarian than Arnold is? I'm pretty sure the answer is no. Nobody else even remotely comes to my mind. And that's becomes Arnold owns in this picture. James Earl Jones also makes an appearance in this film wearing a black wig and turning into a snake and it's STILL not the most memorable or ridiculous part of this movue. I mean seriously, is ANYTHING better than a drunk Arnold punching a camel in the face?
Nothing. Well, except maybe this.
(Image taken from: lamemovies.net)
Earlier, I mentioned how Arnie really knew how to get down to business. I also mentioned how he's the king of one-liners. Now, what do you get when you put those two together? You get the perfect marriage of awesomeness and hilarity, and that's pretty much Commando in a nutshell. Arnold cracks a guy's neck, puts a hat over his face, and then, tells a flight attendant not to wake up the person he just killed, citing that he's "Dead tired." I mean...wow. Just wow. He also kills more people in the end then is humanly possible. Commando might not be Arnie's BEST picture, but it's certainly one of his most enjoyable as a mind-number. And the Calypso, steel drum music that plays throughout the picture doesn't hurt.
(Image taken from: loyalkng.com)
I mentioned earlier that I liked seeing Arnie vulnerable (I mean, REALLY vulnerable, where it looks like he might actually lose), and you don't get a better case for that than in Predator, where he fights a monster that pretty much has a self-destruct mechanism built into his system. Predator has it all--humor, heart pounding action, a manly handshake for the ages--and it's also got two former governors in it in Jesse "The Body" Ventura and Arnie. A pedigree like that can't be ignored. It would be my all time favorite Arnie picture if not for the next one below.
1. Total Recall
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Let's forget for a moment that this is an Arnie picture...you know what, I can't. Even though the story and concepts are way bigger than just Arnie shooting a guy and then joking about it, Total Recall is an Arnie picture through and through. In it, he goes on a mental vacation and throughout the whole picture, we're never really sure if it's really him who's the spy or if he's suffered a mental break down in the machine. All the same, it still features Arnie at his best. He not only jokes, but he struggles, he really, truly struggles. And I'm even going to go the length to say that he actually acts in this picture. That classic scene where the fat man comes in and tells Arnold that he needs to come with him immediately, only for that same man to have a single drop of sweat that rolls down his face, only works because it shows that Arnold's thinking about it, too. And there's no other Arnie film that I can even think of where Arnold, while the biggest man you may ever see in a movie, truly looks human. But he does in Total Recall, and it really makes it so much more than just an Arnie picture. It's a fantastic movie altogether, and Arnold just happens to be in it. And it's for that reason that Total Recall is not only my favorite Arnie picture, but one of my favorite pictures ever. An Arnie film that makes you think? Who knew?