Ok so we know what’s romantic, but have we actually analyzed and dissected what isn’t? As we approach Valentine’s Day, it would seem fitting in 2013 to add some alternatives in case that special someone is not close by. Without further delay, here are my top choices for the ‘least romantic movies possible’. (Warning, spoilers below)
1. In Hell 2003 :
Jean Claude Van Damme plays Kyle LeBlanc, an American working in Russia who is sentenced to life in prison for murdering the man who killed his wife, and naturally, he’s innocent.
Of course, this being a Jean Claude Van Damme movie, he has to fight inmates, survive the brutality of the prison, and then become a fighter for the warden, and beat up other harder, more brutal prisoners. He then makes friends with a few peers, but one in particular gets brutally raped in several disturbing scenes, thus providing the complete and utter opposite context of a romantic setting. As Van Damme’s character faces more personal challenges, and isolation, he gets more twisted and ‘hard’.
The bottom line is, run far away from this movie if you want to get intimate unless you are an inmate at Pelican Bay and this comforts you.
2. Predator 1987 :
Arnold Schwarzenegger (playing the role of Dutch) and an elite squad of trained soldiers go into the jungle on a rescue mission only to be hunted by a superior alien predator that skins bodies and hangs them in trees. Oh and the alien also has a personal collection of skulls that are gleamed and polished.
There is one actress in the movie, taken hostage of course, who screams and complains for half the story, then tells a vague mythic tale that has little to do with the impending doom of being hunted by a relentless killer in a thick jungle with an incoming rebel army. There is no time for romance here, just bullets.
3: Mr Nice Guy 1997
Jackie Chan is a TV Chef who gets chased by the local mob after rescuing a reporter who filmed a cocaine coated shoot out. The tape, which she carries around for most of the movie, is hunted by countless guys in suits.
In the movie, Jackie Chan’s character, also called Jackie (amazing script) has a girlfriend, who happens to get kidnapped but the building up of their romantic bond is non-existent, and at times, unbelievably painful to experience. However, all the female cast in ‘Mr Nice Guy’ get slapped around practically in every shot. Jackie’s girlfriend gets at least a triple slapping from the main bad guy.
Then the main reporter (also female) is beaten up and thrown about which leads up to yet more scenes of other actresses getting slapped, damaged, and bruised…Women will feel battered after this ends.
4: Fire Down Below 1997
Steven Seagal works for the EPA (and also happens to be CIA level trained), and comes across a business tycoon who’s ‘bought the law’ in a local town where illegal toxic waste is being dumped.
Ok, so to cut a long story short, Seagal goes into this small town in Kentucky to find out what’s happening, meets this girl, who has a dark, messed up past, and tries to pretend that he likes her. For about 45 minutes he tries to seduce her by buying honey from a local store, and fixing her porch. Of course what he really wants to do is use her to get info on the illegal dumping, then kill a bus load of people.
…So when she finds out Seagal has beaten up about 20 guys brutally in public, and is working for the EPA, the work he’s put in to get her into bed, has failed miserably. However, the plot thickens, and he rescues her from a whacko brother who’s hell bent on killing and raping her. At the end of the movie Seagal comes back for her..although you feel like he’s just going up to see her one last time because he wants to check on the body count of the last few days, and see if he can add to the tally when the credits start to roll..
5. Die Hard 1988
Bruce Willis is John McClane, a New York cop visiting LA, and happens to be married to a really stubborn woman who’s decided to not use ‘McClane’ on her official signature. So when McClane checks into the Nakatomi Plaza and sees that she’s used her birth name, he gets seriously pissed.
As soon as he gets up that elevator, he raises the issue with her. They argue, then terrorists come and mess up their Christmas plans, which actually, were about to fail because of that argument. So, thanks to Hans Gruber (played by Alan Rickman) Bruce Willis gets to kill a some seriously up-tight German mercenary types to win back his failing relationship. Most of the movie is dedicated to a slow killing spree but then Holly becomes a hostage. Up until that turning point we hadn’t invested much time in the relationship, but it’s strong enough for us to care, and we want McClane to at least, be able to finish that argument from the beginning of the movie..
At the end once all the blood has been spilt, Willis reunites with Holly, and they forget about the whole mess, but there is little room for romance, just more desire to see Willis come back again, take out another zip code, and kill more foreign accented bad guys. If you watch this movie, you will want to buy a gun not cosy up on a couch with your partner.