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5 heroes who laughed in the face of retirement #BladeRunner2049

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After 35 years, we’re finally getting a sequel to Ridley Scott’s sci-fi noir thriller Blade Runner when Blade Runner 2049 lands in cinemas on 6th October.

The sequel will follow rookie blade runner Officer K (Ryan Gosling) as he tracks down ex-blade runner and protagonist from the original Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) who has been missing for 30 years – i.e. just after the events of the original, which took place in 2019.

Presumably Deckard has spent the last 30 years of his life enjoying a well-deserved retirement after his ordeal in 2019 (and we don’t mean the sort of 'retirement' replicants take). Unfortunately for him, it looks like he’ll need to shake up his routine to take care of some action-packed business.

You’d think being M.I.A, for thirty years Deckard would be a little rusty but we have a feeling that retirement wouldn’t be enough to slow him down – just like these five movie heroes...

5. The R.E.D. team

Why settle for just one stubborn hero when you can have a whole team of them? Standing for Retired and Extremely Dangerous, RED is comprised of former CIA agents who knew too much and found themselves targeted by the government.

To survive, they had to put their retirement on hold and prove to the younger generation of agents that age really is only a number. Unfortunately, retirement still wasn’t an option for the RED team who had one more sequel to survive.

Still hunted in RED 2 and with the threat of nuclear war, the team would have to wait to catch up on daytime TV. RED also proved that actors like Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman weren’t planning on retiring either.


4. Indiana Jones – Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

We all adore Indy’s (Harrison Ford) original trilogy; we love his wisecracks, caviller attitude, and thirst for adventure as much as everyone else.

Long-delayed Kingdom of the Crystal Skull might not be as adored or as acknowledged as the originals but if there’s anything that should be taken away from it, it’s that Indy’s adventures didn’t stop after The Last Crusade.

He could’ve settled for a life of teaching but that would’ve been too boring for our Indy. No matter how strange his later adventure was, he still refused to retire and that’s got to mean something.


3. Rocky Balboa – the Rocky series

The original Rocky introduced us to motivational montages, underdog narratives, freeze-frame endings and the titular pop-culture icon Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone).

The original 1976 film saw Rocky go toe-to-toe against Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) who he eventually defeated in Rocky II. After defending his title several times and even fighting Hulk Hogan, Rocky III saw Rocky announce his retirement but when Clubber Lang (Mr T) challenged him to one more fight, he couldn’t resist.

This put Rocky right back into the action for three more sequels, during which time he fought genetically enhanced Russian boxer Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) and also dealt with brain damage. In 2006 sequel Balboa, Rocky almost had retirement nailed.

But after seeing a TV simulation predicting his past self could easily knockout the current champion, he just had to come out of retirement once again to prove that he still had it.

Even now, Balboa still won’t quit and agreed to train Apollo’s son Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) in 2015 critical hit Creed. Maybe Rocky took a few extra blows to the head than we thought. Heck, Sylvester Stallone has now said that Rocky will go up against Ivan Drago again in the Creed sequel.


2. Gandalf – Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit

A wizard is never late, nor are they early; they arrive precisely when they mean to. Maybe this should’ve been a sign that Middle-earth wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) doesn’t plan to retire any time soon. This in spite of having gone through so much trouble organising an expedition with dwarves and a hobbit to reclaim the dwarves’ home from a dragon which somehow ended in a massive war.

After returning to The Shire, Gandalf did seem to get into the swing of the easy life, passing time smoking his pipe, telling stories, and entertaining villagers with his fireworks displays. But when Frodo (Elijah Wood) stumbles across the ring, Gandalf jumps right back on the horse and embarks on yet another perilous quest.

Even after he’s killed by the Balog in The Fellowship of the Ring he doesn’t call in sick but resurrects as Gandalf the White in The Two Towers. Death would’ve been a perfectly good excuse to retire – maybe remember that next time, Gandalf.


1. John McClane – the Die Hard series

Life wasn’t going too well for NYPD detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) during the Christmas of 1988 considering that he’d just separated from his wife. Surely the chance to patch things up with her would be during the swanky Christmas party at Nakatomi Plaza and maybe he would’ve gotten that chance too if it weren’t for those meddling terrorists (led by Alan Rickman's Hans Gruber).

In a tense battle of wits, however, McClane saved the day single-handedly. After defeating a group of terrorists, nobody would blame you if you took an early retirement to deal with the trauma that the ordeal would’ve caused; not McClane.

Not only did he have to go through a similar ordeal two years later in Die Hard 2 but somehow managed to stick around long enough for three more sequels, the latest of which (2013’s A Good Die to Die Hard) saw him travel all the way to Russia to help his son. We’re starting to doubt that McClane even knows what retirement is.

Blade Runner 2049 is released on 6th October. Who are your favourite not-quite-retired action heroes? Let us know @Cineworld.


Andy Murray is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.