“The Last Action Heroes”: A Great Read to Relive the Era of Muscle-Bound Legends, 2023

The book cover of The Last Action Heroes, book by Nick de Semlyen

Rating: 5 out of 5.

In a world where biceps were bigger than brains, an era where action heroes reigned supreme.

Nick de Semlyen‘s “The Last Action Heroes” is a five-star ticket to the adrenaline-fueled past, when larger-than-life figures and iconic films captured our imaginations. Released in June 2023, this book takes us on a wild ride back to the golden age of action cinema, celebrating the muscle-bound champions who once ruled the screen.

Act I: A Feud to Remember

As the curtains rise, we find ourselves in Cannes, May 1990, with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone waltzing together, their bitter rivalry seemingly forgotten. De Semlyen brilliantly sets the stage for the epic showdown, with Stallone once hurling a bowl of flowers at Schwarzenegger and Commando‘s body count being pumped up to “have a bigger d**k than Rambo.” The stage is set for a tale of camaraderie born from combat.

Act II: Legends and Their Legacy

Our journey continues, revealing untold stories of action heroes, each as colourful as the characters they portrayed. From high-kickers Chuck Norris and Jackie Chan to glowering tough guys Dolph Lundgren and Steven Seagal, and the quick-witted Jean-Claude Van Damme and Bruce Willis, every legend finds their place in the spotlight. Their characters may have been larger than life, but so were their off-screen personalities.

Act III: The Rise and Fall

As the narrative unfolds, the landscape of action cinema transforms before our eyes. De Semlyen paints a vivid picture of a Hollywood shaped by Reagan’s America and the Cold War. The action genre was destined to evolve, but not before one last dance between the old guard and the new. Films like Jurassic Park marked the end of an era and the beginning of something entirely different, paving the way for younger, spryer stars and, importantly, women like Charlize Theron.

Act IV: The Secret Behind the Allure

Why did these action heroes hold such sway over audiences? De Semlyen dives deep to explore the phenomenon. The enduring appeal of these heroes lay in their simplicity—bravery, brawn, and a well-placed kick could save the day. There’s something eternally comforting about cheering on characters who didn’t need superpowers to make the earth a better place.

The Grand Finale: A Nostalgic Journey

Nick de Semlyen’s “The Last Action Heroes” doesn’t just recount the history of an era; it immerses readers in the heart-pounding action and behind-the-scenes anecdotes, celebrating a period when charisma, courage, and clever one-liners reigned supreme. This is a joyful, unapologetic tribute to the larger-than-life characters who once graced our screens, providing an engaging and well-rounded view of a remarkable period in cinema.

★★★★★ Action Reloaded

Buy “The Last Action Heroes” book today

Photo of Nick De Semlyen, author of The Last Action Heroes
Nick de Semlyen, Author, ‘The Last Action Heroes’, Penguin Random House, Fair Use

Or sit back and relax for a light read Action Unleashed: The Cinematic Evolution from the ’80s to Now