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Sabotage: Top 10 Arnold Schwarzenegger films


Feature by Jack Foley

THINK action and the first name that comes to mind is Arnold Schwarzenegger – considered by many to be one of the original hard men of the movies, Arnie’s career spans decades, and even now, shows no sign of letting up.

To celebrate the release of his recent explosive action blockbuster Sabotage (released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 15, 2014 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment and directed by End of Watch‘s David Ayer) we count down his top 10 films…

Conan the Barbarian (1982)

Having previously been a bodybuilder (an occupation for which he drew attention in the 1977 documentary Pumping Iron), Austrian actor Arnold Schwarzenegger always yearned to move into the acting industry. Following his seventies screen debut (Hercules in New York), bit parts followed in the lead up to his starring role in smash-hit Conan the Barbarian, a swords ‘n’ sandals epic in which he played a young barbarian avenging the death of his parents at the hand of a cult. Arnie returned for sequel Conan the Destroyer in 1984.

The Terminator (1984)

With a thirst for action films in the 80s, Schwarzenegger’s profile was further raised by a whole array of the rollicking rides, including Raw Deal (1986), Red Heat and the action-comedy Twins (both 1988). However, none of these roles would have been offered to him had he not taken what many deem to be his signature role: The Terminator. In James Cameron’s sci-fi classic, Arnie played a cyborg assassin sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor in order to prevent the birth of an oncoming human saviour. Uttering the line ‘I’ll be back’ worked quite well for Schwarzenegger too.

Commando (1985)

A critical and commercial success, in Commando, Schwarzenegger plays a retired elite Black Ops Commando who launches a one-man war against a group of criminals who abduct his daughter in order to get him to get an exiled dictator back into power. Writer Jeph Loeb (producer of television sensation LOST) revealed that first in line for the role was Kiss front man Gene Simmons, but Arnie embraces the role by playing Colonel Matrix with a fervour unlike any other.

Predator (1987)


John McTiernan’s beloved sci-fi action horror follows an elite special forces team, led by Arnie’s Dutch, on a mission to rescue hostages from guerrilla territory in Central America. They soon become aware that they are being hunted by a technologically advanced extra-terrestrial who dispatches them one by one (naturally). Despite receiving negative press at its time of release, Predator has endured as something of a cult; two sequels and two crossover films have since been produced, with Arnie involved in none of them. A reboot at the hands of Iron Man 3 director Shane Black has just been greenlit.

Total Recall (1990)

Apparently one of the most expensive films made at the time of release, Total Recall is a futuristic sci-fi which many Arnie fans hold dear to their hearts; when Douglas Quaid goes on a virtual vacation to Mars, an unexpectedly harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real – only is it real? Famed for his many one-liners across his back catalogue, this mind-bender features the brilliantly-delivered line of dialogue: ‘Consider dat a divorce’ as he shoots his double-crossing wife (played by Sharon Stone).

Kindergarten Cop (1990)

Ivan Reitman’s comedy thriller stars Schwarzenegger as John Kimble, a touch police detective who must go undercover as a kindergarten teacher to catch a drug dealer. Beating out the likes of Bill Murray, Patrick Swayze and his Twins co-star Danny DeVito to the role, the film has endured as a slice of fun action to watch with all the family – something Arnie achieved with Last Action Hero (1993), Junior (1994) and Christmas staple Jingle All the Way (1996).

Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

James Cameron’s sci-fi sequel follows Sarah Connor and her son John hunted by a more advanced and ever-deadlier terminator – this time Robert Patrick’s memorable villain T-1000. In a contrast to the previous film, Schwarzenegger here plays a good incarnation of the Terminator, this time sent to protect the Connors – so essentially playing a machine with a heart, and in the process showcasing his range of acting abilities.

True Lies (1994)

An extended remake of French film La Totale!, True Lies saw Arnie re-team with his Terminator director James Cameron in an action which sees his lead character Harry Tasker leading a double life performing covert missions for the US government under a counter-terrorism task force unbeknownst to his wife Jamie Lee Curtis and daughter Dana. This was the first film with a production budget of over £100m.

The 6th Day (2000)

This underrated Arnie action film follows family man Adam Gibson who is cloned without his knowledge or consent. Set in a futuristic world (the year 2015, would you believe…), Roger Spottiswoode’s film gives Schwarzenegger plenty of well-choreographed scenes to chew in, and zippy one-liners to throw the audience’s way.

The Last Stand (2012)

The Last Stand

A comeback star vehicle, this saw Arnie taking on a role that played out like a contemporary western as a former big city cop, now living the quiet life as sheriff of the New Mexico border town of Sommerton, whose idyllic existence (and day off) is about to be ruined by an escaped convict and ruthless drug cartel boss (Eduardo Noriega) making a break for the border. It was self-deprecating, suitably violent and a perfect way to bring Arnie back to the movie stratosphere after his stint as California’s Governor. What’s more, it boasted South Korea’s Kim Jee-Woon as director.

Sabotage is released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 15, 2014 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.