From Denzel in “The Equalizer,” to Pierce Brosnan (aka ‘90s Bond) in “The November Man,” to every ‘80s action star in “The Expendables 3,” 2014 was a standout year for old guys out running and out gunning much younger and fitter men. It felt only right to dish out some prizes to the truly exemplary efforts of these badass geezers.
Most Likely to Kick Ass in Real Life: Denzel Washington (“The Equalizer”)
In Antoine Fuqua’s “The Equalizer,” Denzel Washington uses virtually every tool in your grandfather’s garage to maim, beat and kill what seems like every member of the Russian mob, and he does this so casually that he sometimes times himself during a fight. Our pulse quickens but his never does, and we buy every moment. When that jaw tightens and those eyes harden, you already know what’s going down.
Least Likely to Kick Ass in Real Life: Harrison Ford (The Expendables 3”)
Sorry, but if Ford can’t even go a few weeks on set of the new “Star Wars” film without injuring himself, there’s no way he’s fit enough to fly the Millenium Falcon. At 72 years old, he’s liable to have a heart attack.
Geezer Who Needs to Retire: (Tie) Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger
The former Terminator and former Rambo are like Mr. Incredible at the beginning of “The Incredibles:” still trying to relive the glory days. Stallone’s voice becomes less human and more like a pile of gravel being bulldozed with each new movie, while Schwarzenegger has lost most of his comic timing and sense of self-deprecation during his time as the Governator. At this point, they should just gather up Bruce Willis and Harrison Ford and make a male version of “Golden Girls.”
Geezer Most Likely to Kick Ass Ten Years from Now: Tom Cruise
He may not look it, but at 52, the action superstar is officially in the middle-age club. Not that he cares. He still does most of his own stunts, still has to showcase his physical prowess by running at top speed in almost every movie he’s in. To show just how game he is, Cruise starred in “Edge of Tomorrow,” a film that made a big joke of how many times Cruise can be killed and keep coming back for more. And with another “Mission Impossible” coming at the end of this year, more is just what we’ll get.
Most Badass Badass Geezer Moment: Everything Denzel does in “The Equalizer.”
On the one hand, “The Equalizer” was a violent and messy action flick. On the other hand, it was as close as the movies have gotten to Denzel porn. The whole point of this movie was to showcase the supernatural coolness of Denzel Washington. Whether he’s strolling away from explosions in slow motion, staging a Home Aloneish assault on his attackers in a home improvement store, or wading through a shower of sprinklers, each droplet seen glistening off his smooth brown skin in adoring close up, nothing in 2014 loved Denzel Washington as much as this movie did.
Best Excuse for a Geezer to go on a Killing Spree: Keanu Reeves avenges his puppy’s death in “John Wick”
Denzel only seems to spring into action when a white girl is in danger. But in “John Wick,” Reeves locks and loads when some punk Russian gangsters break into his home, steal his car, then kill his puppy, which was the last gift given to him by his dead wife. As Will Smith might’ve said, Oh hellllll no!
Best Geezer Movie: “John Wick”
Keanu Reeves just turned 50, and he marked the occasion by delivering one of 2014’s best action films. His zen-like presence was perfect for this stylish action extravaganza, whose fight sequences were ballets of bullets.
Worst Geezer Movie: “The Expendables 3”
Too many action stars. Too many explosions. Too many headaches. Too little intelligence.
MVG (Most Valuable Geezer): Liam Neeson
Who else could it be? It’s not only the 62-year-old’s particular set of skills that impress time and time again, it’s the variety of situations Neeson can apply those skills towards. You can kidnap his daughter, but then he’ll both rescue her and take out an entire sex slave operation (“Taken”). Wipe out his memory, he’ll get it back, woo Diane Kruger, then stop an assassination attempt on a Saudi Arabian Prince, all without taking a bathroom break (“Unknown”). Leave him stranded in Alaska, and he’ll take out his frustration by depleting the state’s wolf population (“The Grey”). Between 2014’s one-two punch of “Non-Stop” and “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” Neeson earned MVG with casual force. I’m not sure if he’s ever killed a man, but in the way Neeson walks, his shoulders hunched as if burdened by violence, I wouldn’t be too shocked.