As we announced to the world in our The Last Stand review, Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in a big way on the silver screen. After taking seven years to run the state of California as governor, Schwarzenegger returned quietly with two cameos in The Expendables movies. Tackling The Last Stand should firmly re-establish the aging superstar as a still strong presence in the action genre.
Having helped mold the action format, not to mention his successful comedies, narrowing down his 10 absolute best was actually a challenging task. Movie Fanatic has widdled down the list as we present to you the Top 10 Arnold Schwarzenegger movies of all time.
One of Schwarzenegger's most underrated films, Eraser is a hi-tech action flick that showed the actor being able to share the screen and the thrills with a co-star, the impeccably cast Vanessa Williams -- effectively teased in the Eraser poster. His U.S. Marshall character had all the classic elements that are right in the big guy's wheelhouse.
9. The Running Man
Based on a story by Stephen King, The Running Man put the superstar in the sci-fi genre that would see him continue to push the envelope. There are dozens of classic one-liners (would you expect anything less?) and a killer supporting turn by the late Richard Dawson. Is The Running Man one of your favorite films of Arnold's? Vote in our poll and tell us: Which Arnold Movie is Best!
8. Conan the Barbarian
John Milius' classic sword and sandals epic brought back the genre firmly, thanks largely to a star-making turn by the future Governor of California. The power of Conan the Barbarian still resonates so strongly that having the sixty-something star reprise the role is currently topic number one over at Universal Pictures. Juding by our take on the 2011 remake, reported in our Conan the Barbarian review, Movie Fanatic can't help but think that Schwarzenegger could bring back the franchise properly.
Arnold showed his funny side and it worked as he played the "twin" brother of Danny DeVito. Where usually Schwarzenegger is the tough guy to the other actor's straight man, here the Austrian played naive man who was capable of no wrong opposite DeVito's get in the sewer to make a buck character. Fans should be thrilled, the sequel -- Triplets starring Eddie Murphy -- has been given a green light.
Believe it or not, at the time when it was released in 1987 Predator was a genre-pushing film that combined traditional military-driven action with a supernatural/sci-fi element. Schwarzenegger teamed up with Apollo Creed, er... sorry, Carl Weathers and wrestler Jesse Ventura to captivate audiences and start a franchise that went on for years.
5. Kindergarten Cop
Not only did Schwarzenegger show his funny side in Kindergarten Cop, but also brought out his sensitive side. As a gruff policeman who goes undercover as the teacher of the titular grade, the actor struck all the right notes and just when audiences thought the film was getting too sweet, the action element returned and our man is ripe for the fight. Just look at the Kindergarten Cop poster and try not to chuckle.
4. The Terminator
To call The Terminator groundbreaking is too tame a description. The first of many times that director James Cameron and Arnold hooked up would be an earthquake of an announcement on many fronts. Cameron let the world know he was a film force to be reckoned with and Schwarzenegger proved he could do more than wield a sword as Conan and would be an action blockbuster star for decades to come. The flick also started the action hero's penchant for uttering great one liners, as seen in these The Terminator quotes.
3. Total Recall
When people wondered why the Colin Farrell-starring Total Recall failed to ignite fires at the box office, all you have to do is look back at the original. The sci-fi mind-bender may have taken dramatic license with the source material and the latter was more religiously devoted to it. But, Schwarzenegger delivered a legendary moment on screen that not only lands on moviegoers' radars, but permeates pop culture itself.
2. True Lies
Another Schwarzenegger-Cameron tandem and another blockbuster for the two. The superstar took his action hero persona and had a whole lot of fun with it in True Lies. Playing the super-spy whose wife doesn't know what he does for a living until his worlds collide is a fantastic way of turning up the power on a steady as she comes plot device. Yes, it's a little sexist, but the storyline involving the terrorists and Schwarzenegger's method of wiping them out is pure action movie bliss.
Is James Cameron planning a True Lies sequel? That could be interesting!
1. Terminator 2: Judgement Day
How do you top the original? That is the age old question in Hollywood when it comes to creating a sequel. In 1991 the blueprint arrived in the form of Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Leagues better than an already outstanding first film, Cameron and Schwarzenegger expanded the Terminator world and with the new technology and higher budgets at Cameron's fingertips, the duo created an instant classic that still stands as one of Movie Fanatic's favorite popcorn movies... ever. For more, check out our Terminator 2: Judgement Day quotes.