Best Ass-Kicking Senior Citizen Movies

Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm

May is Older Americans Month in the United States, and I’ve decided to commemorate the event by honoring a few good movies featuring older men gunning down guys half their age. I like to call this list Best Ass-Kicking Senior Citizen Movies, and, while it’s not likely to thrill the AARP, I do feel it shows that aging members of society have a lot left to give (at least when it comes to muder and mayhem). So the next time you pass a greeter at Wal-Mart, be extra nice; they might be packing a Glock.

Gran Torino (2008) – 78-year-old Clint Eastwood pulled double duty in front and behind the camera in this tale of a crusty Korean war vet who takes a shine to his neighbors and battles local gang members on their behalf. While it was ignored by the Academy Awards (zero nominations), the film–likely the last for Eastwood as an actor–did a robust business at the box office, no doubt spurred on by viewers wanting to get one last glimpse of the legendary actor on the silver screen.

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Harry Brown (2009) – After his only real friend is murdered by local hooligans, an elderly war veteran, Harry Brown (Michael Caine), takes up arms and decides to clean the streets. While the plot is hardly original, the 76-year-old Caine gives his usual nuanced performance. And unlike some of the guys on this list, Harry feels a little of his humanity drain away with each pint of blood left spilled in the gutter. Emily Mortimer co-stars as a cop investigating this sudden rash of deaths.

Death Wish II (1982) – Bronson was 61 when this sequel was released, but he would return for three more films (finishing up at age 73) as Paul Kersey, an architect who turns vigilante following the rape of his daughter and the death of his wife. Things don’t get any easier the second time around, as Kersey suffers more personal tragedy and takes it out on the human scum responsible. Slammed by critics, the film made a huge profit and helped inspire a new genre of revenge films to take shape.

Up (2009) – Okay, Carl Frederickson (voiced by Ed Asner) is more of an old curmudgeon than a tough guy, but he still manages to sail his house to South America using nothing more than thousands of helium balloons. That’s gotta be worth something, right? Besides, this sweet tale from Pixar is packed with enough smiles and cries to make even Chuck Norris show some emotion (okay, maybe that’s a bit strong).

The Limey (1999) – Steven Soderbergh directed this tale of a hard man from England (60-year-old Terance Stamp) fresh out of prison and investigating the circumstances surrounding his daughter’s death in Los Angeles. A complex film with an intricate flashback structure, The Limey is often regarded as Soderbergh’s finest work. And it’s always great to see Stamp awaken his inner badass (even if he’s not accompanied by two Kryptonians).

The Devil’s Rejects (2005) – Sid Haig was 66 when he reprised his role of psychotic clown Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombie’s second feature, The Devil’s Rejects. On the run from an obsessed lawman (William Forsythe), Spaulding and the other surviving members of the deranged Firefly clan cut a bloody swath across the landscape as they head towards a suitably violent end. Great soundtrack, plenty of killing, and the always-lovely rear of the director’s wife, Sherri Moon Zombie. But Haig is the film’s real star, beating down women for impeding his “secret clown business” and having violent dreams involving Ginger Lynn Allen.

Unforgiven (1992) – When this masterful deconstruction of the Western genre was released, stars Gene Hackman, Cline Eastwood, and Richard Harris were all 62 years old. Eastwood plays a former outlaw trying to collect a bounty on three men to provide for his children, Hackman is the no-nonsense sheriff dedicated to protecting the town of Big Whiskey, and Harris is the arrogant assassin known as English Bob (aka The Duck of Death). Morgan Freeman also gets in on the action, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a Western with more substance.

The Karate Kid (1984) – Handyman Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) doesn’t look like much, but he’s able to use his knowledge of martial arts to defeat younger and stronger men with ease. When L.A. newcomer Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) tires of being the target of bullies, he convinces Miyagi to train him to defend himself. A bond quickly forms between the two men, and Miyagi imparts all manner of fortune cookie wisdom as the All Valley Karate Tournament approaches. Trivia: Mako was originally offered the role of Miyagi, but he was already committed to the craptastic Conan the Destroyer.

Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) – Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell) is still alive, and he’s passing his days in misery at a nursing home. But when an Egyptian mummy shows up and starts draining the lifeforce of the elderly, Elvis must team up with fellow resident Jack (Ossie Davis), an African-American man who claims to be President John F. Kennedy (dyed black and abandoned by LBJ). Together, the geriatric badasses take the fight to the undead creature and recapture a bit of their former glory in the process.

Stars Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (1999) – While most of the characters in this fifth Star Wars film aren’t elderly, let’s not forget about the green-skinned Yoda. Looking all of 500 years old, the diminuitive Jedi master shows off his skills with a lightsaber in a climatic showdown with Count Dooku (played by the equally ancient Christopher Lee). Most of the movie blows–especially all the scenes where the incompetent Jedi sow the seeds of their own destruction–but Yoda’s acrobatic fighting exhibition makes it all worthwhile.

If this list of best ass-kicking senior citizen movies has you in the mood to buy some movies, then maybe it’s time to head on over to Amazon. Their prices can’t be beat, and they offer tons of motion pictures starring older actors and actresses. You can also rent them from Netflix, and their multiple subscription options are perfect for film fans on any budget. We do get a commission for sending you to either of these sites (assuming you spend some money), but it doesn’t cost you anything extra.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 20th, 2010 at 6:23 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Best Ass-Kicking Senior Citizen Movies”

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April 19, 2012

Stan Van Gundy

One of the great movie moments was when Mr. Miyagi first showed off his martial arts kung fu and put the hurting on Chas and his buddies. I just wish the Orlando Magic had that kind of heart.

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