Behold, The Most Important 1980s Action Movie Study Ever
Just like every classic '80s action hero, Dolph Lundgren's resume is littered with ups and downs. For every Rocky IV, there's a Kindergarten Cop 2. For every Expendables, there's a Fat Slags. And for every Universal Soldier, there's a Sharknado 5: Global Swarming. It kinda makes us wish that there was a way of figuring out what makes a perfect Lundgren movie. We could pass it along to the man himself and ensure that his star never fades.
Luckily for us, then, that someone did exactly that. The answer: It's all in the front kicks, baby.
According to Reddit user LundgrensFrontKick, movies in which Dolph delivers a front kick tend to "have higher critical scores and make more money than films that are devoid of front kicks." How did they figure this out? By living the dream and watching Lundgren movies all day, noting down the ones wherein he delivers a front kick, or at least a variation of it, and then comparing the average box office grosses and review scores (taken from Rotten Tomatoes) of those movies against those of the ones in which Dolph delivers no front kicks.
The result? If you're writing an action movie for Lundgren and want to make bank, including a front kick boosts your review score by 10 percent and your domestic box office gross by nearly double, on average.
Of course, there are a couple of limitations to this method. LundgrensFrontKick didn't include Rocky IV and Universal Soldier: Regeneration in their data set -- the former because it seemed unfair to count the movie, seeing as front kicks aren't allowed in boxing ("Drago may embrace steroids, but I don't think he would dishonor himself by throwing a deadly front kick at Rocky during their boxing match"), while the latter doesn't have a score on RT and so couldn't be counted. LundgrensFrontKick also noted that they're using a wide definition of a front kick which martial arts purists probably wouldn't agree with.
Even so, it's hard to critique their work, considering that it's, um, a study into whether Dolph Lundgren has magic movie-kingmaking feet. It's all for fun, ultimately ... but on the off chance there's something to this, then good news, Dolph! It's not too late to save Pups Alone: A Christmas Peril. Bad news, though: You're going to have to kick a Labrador in the face.
Adam Wears is on Twitter and Facebook, and has a newsletter dedicated to depressing history facts. It's not as heartbreakingly sad as it sounds, promise!
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