Outsourcing Masculinity: Where Have All the American Action Heroes Gone?

This week, I had the chance to see an advanced screening ofThe Nice Guys starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. The movie plays up the differences between the two characters in the buddy-comedy, but the “Couples Therapy” videos they did to promote the movie were even more hilarious in showing those differences. Alpha vs. Beta. Stoic vs. Emotional. Gen Xer vs. Millennial.

The Nice Guys also got me thinking about today’s male action stars. Most of them fall into two categories: 1) Over 50 years old and 2) Not born in the United States. Obviously, there are exceptions, like Mark Wahlberg, Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and others you can argue about in the comments. To me, these guys became famous for non-action roles first, so I don’t think of them as action stars. Sure, there are others, but they’re still the exceptions.