The dude could not act. He may have pulled off the action hero thing for a while but probably would have taken a similar path as van damme.
Pretty much. He was a heart throb and Bruce Lee's son. Once those novelties wore off (which they more than likely would have by like 96 or 97) he'd be what Steven Seagal, JCVD etc were. The whole martial arts/action movies were dying a fast death about that time the Crow came out. And he didn't have enough acting chops to go far beyond that genre.
He could have probably had whatever type of career he wanted. He was great in a wide range of roles. I think his career could have gone in a wide range of directions, all positive. He would only be 43 now.
IMO, River Phoenix just opened a door for Leonardo DiCaprio. I'd imagine him doing just about every movie Leo did, or movies very similar. Or he'd be like a Johnny Depp. He'd more than likely do whatever roles he wanted to do (those somewhat outlandish/artistic types), and probably would have been pretty successful at it.
ETA: I just had this conversation a few months ago with a friend and they thought he'd be very comparable to Christian Slater. I don't think he would have fell off as hard or as fast as Slater did though. I think he had way more dimensions. JMHO.
This post was edited on 5/6 at 7:15 pm