There is a specific cinematic role that can define an actor’s career. Ralph Macchio has appeared in more than 25 films, but is best known as teenage Danny Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid (1984). Similarly, Alex Winter has a long career as a director and actor, but is best known as high school student Bill S. Preston, Bill and Ted’s Adventures (1989) Esquire.
Retribution of recent popularity and role by these actors: Bill & Ted Face The Music Winter (2020) and Cobra Kai Macchio (2018–) voiced a classic script of an old teen movie through Zoom Coupled with the celebrity who is reading it out, it suggests nostalgia. It is also an opportunity to revisit and consider the character’s nuances and gender roles from a more mature and wise perspective.
Born between 1965 and 1980, Generation X was adolescent when these two films premiered. Both films show a version of teenage masculinity that contrasts significantly with the role of male adults in action films of the time. In the 1980s, movies such as First Blood (1982, 1985, 1988), Conan the Barbarian (1982), Bloodsport (1988), and Die Hard (1988) featured tough muscular bodies on the screen. I did.
The Karate Kid and Bill & Ted’s young male protagonists have deliberate strength, but show vulnerability, mild resilience, and a heroic sense of suburban humor. (Sure, the nerdy teenage prototype encounters a tough joke during his detention at The Breakfast Club in 1985.)
Their hero’s journey is relevant, but unquestionably spectacular. The movie tells the story of the weak, the story of a young man who doesn’t fit the mold perfectly, and, importantly, that’s okay.
There is a desire to learn from history, like Bill & Ted, or from older characters who share wisdom, like The Karate Kid. Therefore, the phrase “wax on, wax off” has become a common abbreviation for a tough lesson in patience and skill development.
Now, when the characters are older and come back to our screen in the 21st century, there are still lessons to learn.
Rather than falling into the middle-aged crisis that is often seen in young mistresses and older men hugging new sports cars and seeking new vitality, these middle-aged characters relive, redo, and revisit past victories. Tell the opportunity.
Replying to a role is also an opportunity to change the hardships of the past. Indeed, the Cobra Kai focuses on Johnny Lawrence, the on-screen karate opponent of Macchio, played by William Zabka. Johnny, now a “dead beat daddy,” restarts the Cobra Kai Dojo and his sense of purpose.
As an adult character, now a husband and father, the middle-aged story allows you to navigate an updated definition of masculineness. They may be comeback guys, but they are also dads. In both the new Bill & Ted movie and the Cobra Kai television series, character children have the opportunity to realize their father’s dreams.
“Good”, but it’s also complicated
Movies in the 1980s challenge toxic masculinity. The teenage protagonist is undoubtedly a great and likable man trying to do the right thing. Bill and Ted are guided by the moral imperative of “excellent in each other.”
Famous quotes summarize the positive life mantra and show how good and evil are clearly defined in the original film. Middle-aged comeback vehicles show a more mature understanding of the moral complexity of life.
The idea that Macchio, Zabka, and Winters are aging in replaying their role serves as a point of identification for the Generation X audience, not as an obstacle. There is a strong connection with the viewer’s own past life. Seeing an actor again on the screen is like seeing a friend who has been missing for a long time at a high school reunion.
Macchio and Zabka remind us of high school tensions that are painfully unresolved. Watching winter with Ted of Keanu Reeves is a fun reminder of the strong bond of same-sex friendship of our youth. And, like a high school reunion, there are many recollections of how things are compared to current life.
How about your comeback mother?
Importantly, there is less resurgence of the female role that reminds us of the growth of personality associated with femininity.
The iconic teenage female actor is likely to make a comeback by supporting her role as a mother rather than as a protagonist.
Examples here are Molly Ringwald in the Secret Life of American Teenagers (2008-2013), Holly Marie Combs in Pretty Little Liars (2010-2017), and Winona Ryder in Stranger Things (2016-).
Perhaps the current success of Bill and Ted, and the Cobra Kai, could see Molly Ringwald’s iconic role in the 16 candles (1984) remade as 52 candles? Similarly, is it time to update Legally Blonde (2001) to Legally Gray?
Panizza Allmark, Associate Dean, Associate Professor of Media & Cultural Studies, Edith Cowan University
This article has been republished by The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Please read the original article.
The comeback of television and movies redefines middle-aged masculinity, but where are women?
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