There are few things more disillusioning to true cinephiles than the realization that some movies just plain suck, and that their heroes sometimes stumble. In the age of the movie geek, to suggest such a thing feels like blasphemy -- especially if you ask certain Star Wars fans about George Lucas and the prequels. But when I was a kid, and I wasn't obsessing about Star Wars, I worshipped at the altar of Arnold Schwarzenegger. His early, R-rated movies, which I wasn't old enough to watch, were like myths to me; when a classmate saw Commando or Raw Deal, I'd beg for them to regale me with tales of him tearing enemies limb from limb. When I saw the scenes for myself a few years later, they seldom failed to live up to the images in my mind.
My obsession with the Austrian muscleman seemed to be fulfilled automatically in the late 1980s, when Schwarzenegger did a string of comedies before returning to adult action just as I turned old enough to get into theaters without the aid of a parent or guardian. Terminator 2: Judgment Day was essentially the be-all end-all of my young existence, and I felt vindicated for sitting through the rest of his movies and loving them unconditionally; I mean, I probably saw The Running Man 12 times, for God's sake. And then I saw Last Action Hero.