There are some action fans out there that worship the almighty altar of the thick-accented Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the past 30 years we’ve seen the actor’s career rise, fall, then come right back up again. The Austrian/American actor has made his mark on action cinema, being recognized as an icon of the 80s and 90s, so when he came back on the big screen a couple years ago fans were thrilled around the world. Now it’s 2014, on the weekend release of Sabotage, and Schwarzenegger is still churning out one monstrous action film after another even at the age of 66.
Not every movie that Arnold Schwarzenegger makes is a winner. Some of them have managed to make some big bucks in the box office, but fans of the actor tend to shy away from even the mere mention of these atrocious movies. While people begin to watch and critique his latest movie, let’s stroll down memory lane and look back at some of the worst films he’s made so far.
#5: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
If there was one final nail in the coffin for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career, it was Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. The pathetic excuse for a sequel suddenly crippled the once prominent science fiction series, not to mention a couple whiny characters thrown into the mix. Terminator 2: Judgement Day was released over a decade after Terminator 3 rose from the depths and made us wish that they would have handled the picture a little differently. When Terminator 4 rolled around it was a lot of the same thing, so maybe this franchise would have been far better off as a saga, and not another stain on Schwarzenegger’s filmography.
In my mind I would like to imagine that those behind Junior found Arnold Schwarzenegger, threw money in his face and quickly muttered the plot for the film. He was so overcome by– let’s just stop there. No matter what his reasons, Arnold Schwarzenegger eventually starred in the strange Ivan Reitman rom com that made us realize maybe it’s better to put him in action movies. Unfortunately Schwarzenegger didn’t learn from his mistakes and made two more truly horrendous movies put on this list, but this film forever cemented the image of him with a fake pregnant belly, one that many people didn’t care to see. Ivan Reitman and Schwarzenegger have made a number of fun films, so many people including myself like to brush this one under the rug and forget about it’s existence.
#3: Batman & Robin
Some people would argue that Schwarzenegger didn’t know what he was doing, that he was making this because it was the opportunity to be part of a superhero franchise. At this point in the 90s Batman was the giant among the superhero properties, so when Arnold got the call to be Mr. Freeze, of course he said yes. Surely he regrets writing his name on the dotted line for that production. Batman & Robin is universally hailed as one of the worst superhero movies of all time, and Arnold’s stiff performance and incredibly awful one-liners didn’t make it any better. Yes, he went home with a fine paycheck, but Batman & Robin is one of those horrible films that has continually haunted this man as one of the worst in his filmography, and boy is it a stinker.
#2: Escape Plan
Fifteen years ago the idea of placing Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone in the same movie would have been nothing short of miraculous for action fans everywhere. When they gave it a try in 2013 it was too little, too late for the two aging stars. The outrageous and equally dull movie failed to garner any sort of responses out of audiences, including myself (as you can read in my review here). Escape Plan may have worked to a certain degree 15 years ago, but even now the weak plot and uninteresting characters, created a road bump in the ongoing road of Arnold’s big movie comeback.
#1: Jingle All The Way
This isn’t the first time Schwarznegger decided to dive into the kiddie section of the cinema pool, but at least Kindergarten Cop was a lot more tolerable than Jingle All The Way. There’s the obvious bit that this movie is truly awful just because it promotes the ridiculous consumerism that goes hand-in-hand with this religious holiday, and Schwarzenegger’s presence doesn’t make this film any better. Let us not forget the iconically horrible performance of Sinbad, the dialogue, story and everything else about this film. It’s been hailed as one of the truly awful Christmas movies out there, and for good reason. It’s difficult to sit through it, but this one is known in my mind, and in many other’s, as the biggest pile of dung in Schwarzenegger’s filmography. We just hope and pray that he won’t make more that will leave us cringing in our seats.
Sabotage is out in theaters now.