Liam Neeson is the thinking man’s action hero

Liam Neeson is 58 years old, but that fact alone doesn’t render him unique as an action star. Bruce Willis, still pounding the catch phrases and leaping with a grin out of speeding vehicles, will be 56 in just a few weeks (his shaved head lends him a lean-and-mean aerodynamic appeal), and Sylvester Stallone, who anchored last summer’s the-’80s-are-back-and-they’re-still-schlocky-as-hell kick-ass hit The Expendables with his sleepy glower and still-ripply physique, is now 65.

But when you watch Bruce or Sly, at least in action films, you know on some level that they’re feeding off the fumes of their glory days. Movies like RED and The Expendables play up, with a wink, how long their heroes have been around. They have to makes jokes about it so that we don’t.

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