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America’s new action hero

Mike Larkin

There has been so much press of late about the woeful lack of action heroes in Hollywood these days, I think it’s time we settle this mess.Schwarzenegger and Harrison Ford are too old, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are too dorky (and have a questionable relationship), Vin Diesel is too, well, Vin Diesel-y.Without bragging or seeming a little too full of myself, I’d like to humbly throw my name into the hat for the position of “Hollywood’s new action hero.”I consider my action hero acting style as kind of “keeping-it-real-newspaper-editor-meets-David-Hasselhoff-in-Knight-Rider,” if you know what I’m saying. My laissez-faire acting style might initially be read as “of the Vin Diesel School of Acting” until my fists of fury start flying. At that point it will be painfully obvious to the audience that these guns have built their speed and power from years of keyboard and mouse use. You do not mess with editors! That’s good, we can probably use that line in one of my films.I don’t have much acting ability other than feigning surprise when reporters tell me they are going to miss their deadlines. But that’s something to build on. It’s not like I have to learn a whole spectrum of emotions, we’re talking action movies here. Basically I need a good scowl (to indicate I’m not happy that the bad guys just stole my daughter) and a maniacal laugh (to indicate triumph at the cost of my own sanity at the end of all my movies). I have been reviewing old Bruce Willis movies to try and pick up some of these, but if I have to, I’ll go to acting school.I’ll even promise to do some of my own stunt work right off the bat to kind of get the ball rolling. As an editor at a newspaper I’ve had more than my fair share of close calls. We should be able to write the stunts around my past brushes with death in the office: my ability to make coffee at a moment’s notice for an entire office that is grumbling mutiny or possibly a dangerous stunt involving me attempting to transfer a misrouted call to someone else’s voicemail box while all the lines are busy! Something to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.I’d also like to get some safety tips about the proper use of office whiteboards. Hey, I want the movie to be just as exciting as you do, but as a role model I also want to provide a positive message for the kids.I’ve taken the liberty of writing a few treatments that I think I’d be able to lend my own brand of action to. Just a few examples:Mike Larkin and the Deadline of DoomThe Newspaper Columnist IdentityThe Mummy Returns II: Curse of the CopyeditorHarry Potter and the Computer that Writes Columns Magically (I know, not action figure-y, but I’m telling you the plot line is strong.)XXX-X (I figure we’ll just take it up a notch from Vin Diesel’s pathetic three X’s! By the way, five bucks says this is the real title of next year’s sequel to XXX. Any takers?)And for every single one of these I’ve written some pretty solid catchphrases a la 1980’s Schwarzenegger style. I’m figuring my tag line after I ruthlessly kill people will be: “Looks like his deadline has passed,” or “I had to stop his presses.”Something along those lines. You know, really play up that newspaper action hero flair in there. I might even wear a fedora with the little press card in the hatband around to the Oscars and stuff. Just to kind of live my action/adventure/newspaper man persona off the screen too.A lot of people think editors are just computer jockeys that really wouldn’t fit into the action-hero genre of films. For the most part they are right. Unless you consider a grown man yelling at a computer printer for failing to print “action.” But I picture myself as more of the Sylvester Stallone in Over the Top type of editor. For those of you who don’t remember that particular Sly Stallone film, it was the one where he was a truck driver/champion arm wrestler and he managed to keep himself in shape by lifting weights while driving his rig on an ingenuous weight machine set up behind his driver’s seat. Now I haven’t set up any sort of rigorous weight-lifting program in my office here, but I have the next best thing: I do yoga about once a month. That may not sound like a lot, but it has given me my action figure physique.To not cast me as America’s new hero would be silly the more I think about it. My wholesome Midwest values and rippling abs would shine on the silver screen.If you don’t see my column next week, you know where to look for me.”This Christmas Jackie Chan and Mike Larkin are cracking heads and making newspapers the Kung Fu way!”


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