Geriatric Death Wish

DATELINE: Don’t Call Him Dirty Harry!

what's it all about, Alfie?  Dirty Alfie?

When you take a premise to the British producers, you will have something better than the original American version.

So, when someone floated the idea of a British vigilante going after bad guys that the police cannot catch, you end up with Harry Brown, outdoing Charles Bronson or Bruce Willis in Death Wish.

This thriller is about an octogenarian who takes on teenage hoodlums single-handedly. Now, there are a raft of British movie stars who could come out of retirement to play such a role (Sean Connery, Albert Finney, Tom Courtney, etc.). However, this one is delightful because the man of the gun is a version of Dirty Harry, Michael Caine.

As far as the teenage bad guys, they seem motiveless and simply evil for their own pleasure, which could likely be true enough.

Michael Caine is driven to draw on his heroic soldier roots from Belfast’s conflicts. He notes that the enemy in that British conflict actually stood for something they believed in. These drug-infested youth are just nasty for their own sake.

You throw in some highly inept British police that are typified by Emily Mortimer as an all-business detective, and you have the need for an aging hero to try to chase kids down the mean streets.

Caine’s righteous anger simmers and you believe this retired gentleman can draw upon something from his past when he goes rogue. We need to see a tough guy without mercy who is 80.

Obviously, the world of movies and the old stars still has a draw—and the aging boomer generation still loves its Alfie and 60s spy. We know what it’s all about: showing that age has not slowed down heroic feelings.

Early Retirees in Sports

DATELINE: HUMOR!affluenza sufferer

Few athletes nowadays would ever think to take the Joe DiMaggio route of retiring at 36 years because he was starting to lose his edge as a superstar.

Good grief! Today they will play till 50 if the millions of dollars hold out. Take A-Rod who might retire if he were not looking at $25million per year in forfeit.

They will fight to stay on the field to the bitterest end, like Brett Favre, because diminished skills and embarrassing lack of ability does not compute when the paycheck is automatically put into the checking account.

Peyton Manning had his greatest season, but looked old and feeble in the championship game. Some fans are speculating that he will hang it up rather than face another season ender like this.

Baloney! Manning knows where the dollar signs are buried in the Money Pit. He sees his pizza endorsements and car driving down the commercial highway as something he won’t give up till he has to.

Tom Brady has frequently said he loves the game and the competition and will play till he is 50. Well, Tom, even Clint had to retire Dirty Harry when the character was well past the age when cops are allowed to gum their food.

Retirement is a dirty word when big bucks are at stake, or an ego is on the line. We found colleagues making the largest paydays in their lives refusing to step aside, despite diminished skills and waning interest.

The only factor for retirement is when no one wants you and no one will pay you. In sports, that day seems far away and leaving at your best is a lost art.