I've been re-watching some Arnold Schwarzenegger movies recently, including Terminator 2, Total Recall, Running Man, as well as Last Action Hero and The Sixth Day.
One thing that's striking, I think, is that the more recent Arnold movies just weren't on par with what had come before. The Sixth Day, for example, has an interesting concept but, somehow, it just falls falls in my view. It just seems to plod along much of the time and just isn't as powerful as Total Recall, for example.
I remember watching Eraser and End of Days not too long ago, and they seem to suffer from the same kind of problem, really. Looking at box office results
as well as some ratings and reviews
seem to indicate that many people feel the same way. The major exception is Terminator 3 which simply has a brand recognition that none of the other more recent movies had (it didn't get rave reviews but didn't too badly either and did pretty well at the box office).
What I'm wondering is: What exactly happened? Did Arnold lose his touch when it came to picking movies? Did he work with the wrong directors (wrong for him because it's not like they were total nobodies, many of them, anyway)? Was he simply not offered the really good movies from a certain point on?
P.S.: One question slightly more specific question has been occupying me for a while as well. How come Arnold only ever worked with Paul Verhoeven once? It think the result was amazing and, in a way, they seemed like a match made in heaven with Verhoeven's extreme (and often comical) portrayal of violence and Arnold's physique and screen presence to back it up. They seemed to get along pretty well, at least judging by the audio commentary on Total Recall.