Renny Harlin (born Lauri Mauritz Harjola, March 15, 1959) is a Finnish film director who's worked in Hollywood for decades.
He rose to prominence in the late 1980s with special-effects filled horror movies, and followed them in the 90s with several action movies.
He was married to actress Geena Davis from 1993 to 1998.
- Born American (1986)
- Prison (1988)
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)
- The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990)
- Die Hard 2 (1990)
- Cliffhanger (1993)
- Cutthroat Island (1995)
- The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
- Deep Blue Sea (1999)
- T.R.A.X. (2000) — A pilot for an unmade horror series.
- Driven (2001)
- Mindhunters (2004)
- Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)
- The Covenant (2006)
- Cleaner (2007)
- 12 Rounds (2009)
- 5 Days of War (2011)
- Devil's Pass (2013)
- The Legend of Hercules (2014)
- Skiptrace (2016)
Tropes for the man:
- Always Chaotic Evil: The villains in his films, making them Hate Sinks as a result.
- Anyone Can Die: Most of this films that involves likable and relatable key characters biting it at the hands of the villains to have audience to cheer more for The Hero to defeat them to avenge the innocent.
- Creator Thumbprint: References to Finland, his home country. These range from prominent ones (like the parachute with a Finnish flag on it in Cliffhanger) to blink-and-miss-it examples (like a bottle of Finlandia brand vodka in The Long Kiss Goddnight and Deep Blue Sea).
- Hate Sink: Unlike most films where this trope and Big Bad are kept separate, Harlin makes the villains also this due to their attitudes and actions, a good example would be the most loathsome group of terrorists in Cliffhanger.
- Large and in Charge: A real life example, as Harlin is often literally the tallest person on set (Bob Shaye, founder of New Line Cinema, was hesitant to throw a then-unknown Harlin out of a pitch meeting for A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master because "he was huge and looked like a Viking"). He's a half a head taller than his ex-wife Geena Davis, who at six feet tall often towers over her own co-stars.