Turning a premier action franchise into a buddy comedy.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes arrives this week, and takes the series back to 1975 where the main character, Big Boss, infiltrates a Cuban army camp. We can’t be the only ones who feel like the MGS heroes have been going it alone for entirely too long, so we looked back through action movies from 1975 through 2015 and picked the biggest names we’d like to see submit their sidekick applications.
Kiefer Sutherland is actually voicing Big Boss in this game, so it’s only logical to wonder how Jack Bauer would fare backing up a guy like BB. We’d imagine a whole lot of growling dialogue, a 1000% increase in torturing suspects for information, and somehow wrapping up the whole caper in 24 hours without a single bathroom break...which would be quite the feat, since most Metal Gear games have taken us more than 40 hours to finish.
While 1975-era Cuba is a world away from Vietnam, the terrain and circumstances are similar enough for a guy like John Rambo to be a damn effective mission partner. Given our inability to play a stealth game like Ground Zeroes using any kind of actual stealth (what can we say – we dig high body counts), it seems like Rambo’s shoot-first/don’t-ever-ask-any-questions approach would fit nicely here. At the very least, Rambo’s blood-soaked headband would definitely complement Big Boss’s eye patch. Because we all know that the most important part of any paramilitary operation is accessories.
Terminator 2’s T-800
Schwarzenegger’s no-nonsense cyborg is also a no-brainer in the sidekick department. After all, he was sent back from the future, programmed to be lethal, and he takes orders without hesitation. If he can help a greasy-haired punk like John Connor avoid an assassination attempt that tore up the entirety of LA, we have to believe he’d be even more effective distracting a Cuban base camp while Big Boss did his dirty work in the shadows. Plus, the Terminator has a ton of files on everything, which would really help in clearing up some of the confusion about genetic engineering that Metal Gear Solid likes to toss in the mix. We also feel like Metal Gear could use a couple catch phrases, and Arnie’s always good for that.
Of all the Jackie Chan movies we’ve seen, somehow we don’t remember a single one of his characters’ names. So we’re just going with Jackie Chan himself, since he really is a crazy little martial artist in real life. We’re also gonna go ahead and assume that Chan is a lot like all of his characters; he kicks ass, he’s barely understandable, he takes on incredible odds, and he doesn’t lose. Given Big Boss’s stoic hero demeanor, that feels like a good opportunity for contrast. Throw in a couple of the “lost in translation” moments a la Chan and Chris Tucker in Rush Hour and Metal Gear Solid could have just the buddy comedy appeal that no one even knew they wanted.
Hollywood keeps bringing McClane back (and Bruce Willis keeps agreeing to it, for some odd reason), so it’s really no surprise we want McClane in Ground Zeroes. “But how would you explain a hard-boiled NYC cop going to Cuba in 1975?” you ask. Well, here’s a better question: How did McClane use a car as a projectile to take down a helicopter? The answer to both is, shut up. Because no one really cares how or why McClane does the things he does; we just want him to keep doing them.
You know what’s been missing from every single Metal Gear game to date? A wheelman. Ground Zeroes is offering unprecedented ways to get around the map for the series. Big Boss may be able to sneak around undetected on foot (or army crawling, or hiding in a box) but we don’t fully trust his ability to drive vehicles. Adding Jason Statham and maybe an Audi A8 to Ground Zeroes would give the series a healthy injection of horsepower.
Controversy aside, isn’t it about time Mel Gibson made his video game debut? We don’t feel the need to explain this one because it’s simply understood that partnering Big Boss with Lethal Weapon’s resident maniac would be a winning formula. It’s not like Danny Glover is coming back for a team-up with Mel anyway - despite three sequels, he was already “too old for this shit” back in 1987. At this point, his hip bones would be toast before the end of the game’s tutorial.
Age of Ultron doesn’t come out until next year, but our hankering for Avengers action is already reaching a fever pitch. Does it make sense to call a four-man-team a sidekick? No. Do any of the core Avengers, especially Hulk, make sense in a gritty game like Ground Zeroes where stealth is paramount? Not even a little. Do any of these nagging questions concern us? You bet your ass they don’t because, here at Maxim, we prefer the bad-ass to the possible. Every. Single. Time. You gotta dream big, kids.
Also on Maxim.com: