DE PALMA WILLIAM
HISTORY Before I start listing the Action Movie Bad Asses, I have to list these three men because watching
their movies infected me with Action Movie fever.
They are legendary, so I'll keep it brief, but they
should be in their own category for making the genre what it is.
[And before there were Action Movies (for me)
there were comic books. Giving credit where credit is due,
Action Movies owe a lot to comic books. Their contribution is
immeasurable and, their influence thankfully, ongoing!]
I watched "kung fu" movies in
college, and making fun of the dubbed sound not
matching the lip movements was a really common joke, but it just drove home the fact that language was no barrier to the enjoyment and
popularity of these movies. While we made fun, we ate it up!
Actually, 3 out of 5 of Bruce Lee's movies were in English. Bruce Lee CREATED my idea of the
Action Movie BAD ASS, and many other
Action Movie Freaks as well. Along with his amazing physical prowess
came philosophy . . . This quote from Enter The Dragon explains
why many of us love the ACTION FIGURE:
"It is STRENGTH that
makes all other values possible.
Nothing survives without it."
Lee was just as cool as it gets.
movies made us hungry for more, then along came:
Everyone knows Chuck Norris is the BADDEST MAN ON THE PLANET.
I'm sure you've heard the one liners (pick a site:
The Chuck Norris Facts.com
Chuck Norris Facts.com). They're all so funny, it's hard to pick a favorite, but I love
"If Chuck Norris is late, time better slow the fuck down."
I feel really lucky to have seen most of his movies in theaters when they came out. He is THE MAN!
All his movies are enjoyable. My favorite is A Force of One.
Mr. Norris was the first honoree in the
first all-Action-Movie Festival:
They showed Braddock: Missing in Action III and Mr. Norris's
personal favorite Code of Silence,
and, they put a Chuck Norris quote on the back of their official t-shirt: "If I want
your opinion, I'll beat it out of you."
It was great to
hear him speak about his early martial arts training and matches
against Bruce Lee (on and off the screen). He's a hero in real life too, giving back with his inspiring and effective
Kick Start Program.
I started donating in honor of his birthday.
At the inaugural Actionfest closing ceremony, he turned over his Lifetime
Achievement award to his brother, stunt double, Director, and one of
four "Co-Founders" of
Aaron Norris, as a fitting tribute to Stuntmen, the unsung
heroes who make the
Action Movie Bad Ass look good.
Expendables 2 Chuck Norris basically tells
Sylvester Stallone he took his job (meaning everyone started
watching Stallone's movies instead). Really, how awesome is that?!
How many people could say such a thing to Sylvester Stallone!
Sunday, June 30th, 2013 marked the passing of
James M. "Jim" Kelly. We should have been more appreciative
when he was here. I can only hope he had some idea how much he was
loved, and how incredibly cool we all thought he was. I wish I had
added him to the Bad Ass list before his passing, but when I
realized he should have been here all along, there was no other
place I would have put him than Bad Ass History.
at that time, his talent was a trailblazing standout. So much of
what we love about those '70s Action Movies that has become cliche,
was fashioned after the coolness of Jim Kelly. What became known as
"blaxploitation" was, back then, just that 'they' were cooler
than 'we' were. We knew it, they knew it. Quentin Tarantino is the
proof. This intro. to Black Belt
Jones captures the vibe perfectly—Enjoy, and pay your
respects to a great talent and a great entertainer.
ACTION FIGURE, so much of the movie's success rests on their ability to be
that hero, it's hard to separate them from the role afterward. Not
enough credit is given because they are in such great shape, as if being
in great shape is too much credit already, and the 'action'—the
performance of such magnificent physical feats—is equally
underappreciated. Too often dismissed and not considered serious acting
roles, Action Movie Heroes should, instead, be doubly awarded. Not only
are they talking the talk, they're walking the walk!
Still, selling it is a smaller part of the game, because
when you look this good, we're already buying. There's a "holy crap"
factor to the ACTION FIGURE physique. They look like they could
really get the job done, and nothing is more convincing than real
strength. These guys don't need rubber suits with fake muscles.
Boy-ka! Boy-ka! . . . " He looks like Ben
Affleck might after training in Hell (to be fair to Ben, he
great in The Town, but you've got to admit there's a
resemblance). [Scott should have been Batman—that had to be said.]
Scott Adkins owned the role of
Yuri Boyka from the Undisputed series. It's a testament to his characterization of
that role that he almost looks like a different person in real life.
Adkins is so intense as Boyka, it's scary good. If you've never seen
any of the Undisputed series, you're missing out!
He had small roles in The Pink Panther, The
Bourne Ultimatum, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and The
and made an appearance in Zero Dark Thirty.
With a physique like this and mad martial arts skills, hopefully
there will be lots more starring roles for Adkins in
Assassination Games (opposite JCVD),
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning. [What happened toBlood Hostage, which
paired him again with Undisputed III: Redemption Director
Isaac Florentine and Larnell Stovall
(UIII:R's Stunt Coordinator) as Second Unit Director?] I
saw him in After Dark Action's El Gringo. It was highly
entertaining! Ninja: Shadow of a Tear was a little
disappointing but not because of Scott.
If you saw District 13, you know how incredible David
Belle is. Starring now in Brick Mansions with the late
Paul Walker, his career has earned him a special place in the
Action Figure category, because, like
Jackie Chan, really . . . who can move like that?!
He's considered the founder of Parkour,
which came first, and is different from,
Movement is a family trait for Belle, his brother, father, and
grandfather are/were all rescuers in the Paris Fire Brigade "Corps
de Sapeurs-Pompiers" (military). He joined briefly, but
left to dedicate himself to Parkour. A video he made called
"Speed Air Man" drew a lot of attention. Belle briefly studied kung
fu and tried his hand at acting, making a few videos and commercials
(you remember this one?). He
caught the attention of Luc Besson, who paired him with
show-stealer Cyril Raffaelli
in District 13, and blew our minds.
Belle is also a
stunt coordinator/our choreographer, and did work on Transporter 2, Babylon
A.D., Prince of Persia 2: The Sands of Time, and Colombiana.
[uses] movement that developed from military obstacle course
training. Practitioners aim to get from A to B in the most efficient
way possible. They do this using only their bodies and their
surroundings to propel themselves; furthermore, they try to maintain
as much momentum as is possible in a safe manner. Parkour can
include obstacle courses, running, climbing, swinging, vaulting,
jumping, rolling, quadrupedal movement, and the like, depending on
what movement is deemed most suitable for the given situation.
Parkour involves seeing one's environment in a new way, and
imagining the potentialities for movement around it.
Developed in France, primarily by Raymond Belle,
David Belle, and Sébastien Foucan (he's the "bomb maker"
in the intro to Casino Royale), during the late 1980s . . .
Parkour's training methods have inspired a range of other
activities, including freerunning and l'art du déplacement.
Although their creators define them as separate activities,
practitioners and non-practitioners alike often find it difficult to
discern the differences between them. (Source: Wikipedia)
Jackie Chan made a younger generation love martial arts movies. If you
didn't already love 'kung fu' movies because of Bruce Lee, then you probably went back to have a
look after you saw Jackie Chan. When his first movies came to American cinema, we all watched with
our mouths open. The drop from the helicopter into the frozen lake, the building-to-building jumps, fights with
things like a shopping cart, ladder, lamps, chairs, refrigerators,
pool cues, scaffolding, skis, poles, bottles: it's a long list, but he's
even more incredible with his hands, feet, his whole body. It all seemed impossible to believe he did
those things until we saw the misses in practice, and the injuries, on the outtakes.
Even if unintentionally, Rush
Hour paid homage to Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, and the
combination of action and comedy has never been better than Jackie
Chris Tucker. And Jackie's so
lovable! Maybe it's the smile or just some inner goodness that shines through. Even when Chris Tucker's
is aggravating the hell out of him, he keeps his cool. What I find so funny is that even with
the fact that he's in perfect shape, can do all these incredible moves, and twist himself this way
and that, when he tried to dance, he was awkward (wonder if he's
that way in real life). Compared to Chris Tucker pretty much everyone's
awkward at dancing, still . . . "how difficult is that?"
[According to Wikipedia, not only does Jackie speak Cantonese, Mandarin,
and English fluently, and also speaks some German, Korean,
Japanese, and a little Spanish.]
He is super popular with kids (even more so after the remake of
The Karate Kid).
Jackie Chan is in
3 of Gareth Evans' Top 5 Fight Scenes. Watch here.
Terry Crews IS a real-life Action
Figure and seems to be a hell of a nice, fun guy, and a talented
comic. You know White Chicks was all about Terry! His
Old Spice commercials are hilarious, and, he stole the show
Expendables. I would love to see him play Augustus Cole in
the Gears of War movie.
Terry Crews embodies what it means to be larger than life—I hope he
does more and more Action Movies. He had his moment in
Expendables 2, he's in Aztec Warrior
(which looks awesomely violent), and the lead inFighting Back.
With so much personality, you know anything he is in will be
entertaining. Action Movie Freaks want more Terry Crews!!
Ta-ta-ta-ta ta-ta Terry!
Bill Paxton as Hudson in Aliens asked "Oh, you want some of
this?!" has an Action Movie Bad Ass embodied the BRING IT
attitude like Terry Crews. Just compare his pose to all the other
character photos from Expendables 2.
Yeah we want some! SOME MORE TERRY CREWS!!!
Nobody seems to give Vin enough credit. I get
tired of hearing he can't act. Like hell he can't. It's not like the
ladies care anyway, where he goes there's pandemonium (like
I think he moved through Riddick with runaway intensity. "If you
can't keep up, don't step up." The characters he's been best at
aren't complicated, and isn't that what Action Movies are all about? You
have to be physically convincing, believable, to be the kind of bad ass he's
been. He doesn't walk, he struts, he stalks, he sizzles. Sexuality
crackles off this man and he never backs down. He held his own
The Rock in Fast 6 too!
In Pitch Black, he was the anti-hero
they were all afraid of, but the one they looked to to save them. The
strength of his presence carries his movies. He is the biggest
reason for the success of the
Fast and Furious series. He seems down to earth but just a little
scary, like your neighborhood tough guy. His deep voice and
devastating physique command attention, even when he whispers. He
seems to measure out his performance with masterful control. Silent
and deadly, his is not a 'thinking man's part'—So much the better
(they wish they could play his kind of roles)!
Roseanne said to Fabio(I mean
Dan, starting @6:30 on that link) "Don't talk."
Chris Evans rocked
the suit in Fantastic Four (which was good as 4: Rise of the Silver
Surfer was bad). He starred in
Push and The Losers, and was an evil ex in Scott
Pilgrim vs. The World. Next, he conquered hearts as Captain America
Captain America: The First Avenger. He was great in
Thor: The Dark World (he was in there for a few minutes), Captain America: The Winter
Soldier, and Snowpiercer.
He's got that cocky charm that
Action Movie Freaks
eat for breakfast. He's good and he
makes sure you know it. He was perfect as a "dude" in What's
Your Number? He's bound to be in more chick
flicks and romantic comedies, but I hope
after The Avengers he appears in more and more Action Movies. He's coming
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Too seldom are
women with muscles used in Action Movies. Jenette Goldstein as "Private
Vasquez" from Aliens is a no-bullshit woman but she's still
feminine in the best way: Strength is HOT! You can say whatever you want
about her muscles, they're just a bonus. And what a plus being
physically capable is: As Vasquez she talks the talk and walks the walk:
"I only need to know one thing
. . . where they are!"
She's cocky, and she's brave as hell.
HUDSON: "Hey Vasquez, have you
ever been mistaken for a man?"
VASQUEZ: "No, have you?"
BAD ASS. When
can we see more like her?!
GRIER To girls who grew up in the 70s, Pam Grier and
Wonder Woman (TV Series) were the bomb! Pam Grier kicked more ass
than several male stars put together. She was tough as hell and
didn't take any shit. While I am not a
fan of Grindhouse (here is why the hell not), I love
(most) Blaxpolitation.Empowerment is why, and
there's a double dose of it with Pam Grier. She was loved by men I
am sure for her big breasts (and beautiful face), but even while she
jiggled and bounced in skimpy outfits, she busted balls. Foxy
Brown, Coffy, and
Jackie Brownfought back for all of us. Male
fantasies might have come true, but it's the female revenge
fantasies that defined her.
PAM GRIER THROWS DOWN
You can't star in a movie named Warrior
without being a bad ass. Ladies and Gentlemen, Tom Hardy as
Tommy Conlon. I first noticed him in Wuthering Heights
(incredibly romantic), and worked my way backwards.
He really captured the brooding, lovesick beast. He got
attention for his role in Inception in 2010,
but his career began back in 2001 with 2 episodes of Band of Brothers. He
next appeared in Black Hawk Down (2001), then Star Trek: Nemesis
(2002). If you're a fan of Kirsten Dunst and went to
see Marie Antoinette (2006), he had a small part in that.
From IMDb: "He appeared as gay hoodlum 'Handsome Bob' in the
'Guy Ritchie' film,
RocknRolla, but it would be his next transformation that would prove his
extensive range and stun critics. In the film
Bronson, Hardy" . . . [gives] "a harrowing
performance that is physically fearless [lots of full frontal
nudity] and psychologically
unsettling." Bronson's subtitle could have been: Beating Up A Naked Guy, but not to
diminish the performance, which won him a British Independent Film
Best Actor. It's categorized as Action, but it really has
very little other than fist fighting, which is often highly stylized
and slo mo.
Next came a role on the TV show The Take
and the lead in PBS's Masterpiece Classics Wuthering Heights.
It's rare to see someone with such physicality have such a great
acting range. At 34, he still has a lot to give and we can look
forward to seeing Hardy as Mad Max in
Mad Max: Fury Road. He was the opposite of his The Dark
Knight Rises character in
This Means War (a Romantic
Comedy with an Action twist) with Chris Pine:) and
Reese Witherspoon (such an unrealistic chick flick
fantasy but still fun!)
He is brutishly scary in
The Dark Knight Rises. Mask on because his face is too
beautiful. It's a great contrast when they finally show him before
the mask. And who gets to say they beat up a Superhero?
He's got the accent down pat in The Drop
(Drama). The man can act!
Coming up in Legend he plays two roles
as "Identical twin gangsters Ronald and Reginald Kray [who]
terrorize London during the 1950s and '60s" in a Thriller (not
"Action"). And I can't wait to see him in Drop
I wasn't too happy when I heard Chris
Hemsworth would be Thor (Anti-Scrawny
Rant), but I am oh so happy to have
been proved wrong. He was great. I read that Kenneth
Branagh thought he was getting too beefy (no such thing for this
role. It's THOR: HELL-O!), but he was beefy enough compared to the others. He played the role with such
charm you couldn't help but like him.
He was great at Capt.
Kirk's Dad in Star Trek (2009), defining bravery. In The Avengers
he took a punch from the Hulk and a "Point Break" insult from Iron
Man. The script of Snow White and the
Huntsman really didn't use him enough but there's a
Snow White and the Huntsman 2
listed under his name?! [What would that story be?]
He took charge in the remake of Red
Dawn. He also played British race car driver/dandy
James Hunt in Rush,
and we got more of him as Thor in Thor:
The Dark World. This
time around though, I think he was still too thin. I hope he beefs
up again for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. He was good in
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit but the movie was disappointing
(structure wise) overall.
Stephen Spielberg was set to put him in
Robopocalypse, but it was
shelved. It was described
as "A sci-fi story set in the aftermath of a robot uprising." I was hoping it would be a little like Kurt
Russell's Soldier. Chris will also be in
CyberAction/Crime/Drama (16 Jan 2015) which sounds cool.
If you're under 21 you probably know who Leo Howard is
already from the Disney Channel, most recently from Disney XD's
"Kicking It", and "Shake It Up".
well, if you saw G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, you will
remember how all out the kids' fight was. He was the
hungry one. He killed it too in Conan the Barbarian (2011) as
Young Conan. Seriously, the first part of that movie was a
movie in itself and better than all the rest of the movie. He has
energy (of course, he's young), mad skills, and intensity, plus,
he's adorable! A teen heartthrob for sure, but also already an
Action Figure, and hopefully tomorrow's MEGA Action Movie Star.
As if he wasn't already insanely great at
everything he does (watch
this), Tony Jaa's
fighting skills in Ong-bak could wow even the toughest audience.
He took a flight of fantasy with Ong bak 2, which he also
co-directed. Ong bak 2 features a series of fights with different
weapons, in different styles, that showcases his skills—eyes rolling
back in my head—to sick levels!
It's one thing to be good at one or two martial arts (some spend a
lifetime). Jaa appears to be invincible, and a master of everything
you can think of, and some you haven't: like fighting off of an
elephant. Yep, that's what I said. Might have helped that his
parents were elephant herders, so dispense your concern over the
elephants appearing in the movie as 'actors'. Everyone knows you
don't mess with an elephant, they'll stomp your ass if you treat
them badly, and considering Tony Jaa's skills, an elephant stomping
might be less painful. And that's an 8-pack, at left, from
the Enter The Dragon remake. Check the veins! Go watch any
Tony Jaa movie before you open your mouth about him being on my
Action Figures list.
Ong Bak 3
did not make it to Miami and was hoping they
would show it at
so I could see it on the big screen, but no
such luck. But, the good news is . . . Tony Jaa is going
mainstream starting with Fast & Furious 7! See him in
A Man Will Rise with Dolph Lundren, Skin Trade,
and . . . Action Movie History will surely be made with Sha Po Lang
2 aka SPL 2: Rise of Wong Po (2015) with Sammo Hung Kam-Bo.
He is rumored to be in that. (The first movie Saat po long aka
S.P.L. aka Kill Zone comes up a
lot at the top of favorite Action Movie lists.)
Is he real? So much everything in one person. He sings, he dances,
he's a superb actor, and he's in comic-book-hero shape. In 2000, he
became Logan / The Wolverine, and the rest is history. Who would
need more than that? Not us, but he has since starred in a variety
of roles and been as incredible in all of them. He's been the voice
of animated characters, been on Broadway in musicals (Beauty and
the Beast and Oklahoma), in Les Miserables (film
version), and now 6 movies as Wolverine. As well rounded as his
career seems to be, I hope he keeps making Action Movies. I enjoyed
his 'bad dad' in Real Steel, and the hacker in Swordfish.
Born in Sydney, Australia in 1968, he was the perfect choice for Baz
Luhrmann's 'mythologised' Australia in the movie of the
same title. A kind of romance-novel-cover hero brought to life.
Seriously, who looks this good at 45 or any age? He's still going strong and as the Wolverine in X-Men:
Days of Future Past.
I loved him as Van Helsing, whichTom
Cruise has picked up, to remake. Wonder what he'll do with
it. Big shoes to fill.
DWAYNE "THE ROCK"
After The Mummy Returns, The Scorpion King,
and The Rundown, we expected BIG things. BIG!
(he's taller than Arnold) Walking Tall was good, but too bad
DOOM was so poorly structured: The Rock
andKarl Urban, and they still couldn't make it work.
At last, with The Other Guys (however brief his
Faster, and Fast Five, The Rock took over as the
Ultimate ACTION MOVIE Bad Ass we always knew he would be!
Rock has charisma in buckets!
I was glad to see him stretching to do
a role like he did in Be Cool
(the sequel to Get Shorty), but I was fairly certain the
people making the movie were making fun of him. And even though he
went along with it, it still smacked of their jealousy and trying
(unsuccessfully) to make him look bad. All I can tell you is I can
watch him smack his own ass in the mirror all day long. And when they
got to the end and he did his native dancing—(IS THERE anything
hotter? Not for me!!)—it seemed like they threw that in there just
because they knew he'd go for it—Haters! Casting him in that role,
and using the fact that the character is gay as bait (like it was an
acting challenge), just seemed like 'Hollywood' set him up and was
laughing at him. Well F.U. He's The Rock! The Director of
Walking Tall must not have liked him either. They banished him
to his own commentary. Yep. All by himself. He does come across as
egotistical (it's not bragging if it's true), but, he was learning.
They were just jealous—Haters.
Women love him, kids love him. He's "The People's
Champion!" Somebody write something worthy of him! He's
paid his acting dues. We don't
want him to see him as a leading man in dramas. All we want
to see him do is Action! So, please, no more kiddie movies (although
he was great in Race To Witch Mountain, which is classified
Action Adventure Family, and it delivered).
Fast Five was fun but his role
was minimal. We saw more of him in Fast &
Furious 6but what was all that disrespect for
Gina Carano? She
looked miserably unhappy like she'd rather be cowering in the
corner. He called her "Woman". I thought they'd make a great team. I
guess someone had other ideas.
"Finally . . . the Rock has come back to WRESTLEMANIA!"
I went to Wrestlmania
XXVIII and gotto watch him layeth the smacketh down on John Cena!
Too bad he got beat the next year. I think he's giving it up, but
nothing's for sure with wrestling.
G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation was worth the
wait. The 3-D was out of hand. If you didn't see it in 3D you
missed out! Following
The Rock on Facebook and twitter has given
us a glimpse into moviemaking we've never had access to before.
regularly posts stills
and sometimes video (he was also on
tout.combut the last post was 2011). I love his G.I. Joe character name: ROADBLOCK. This role seems
like the best use of his talents. The weaponry alone is intriguing.
He was born to play this soldier. I had ridiculously high hopes for
this movie. I think it would have been better with less characters
(then he would have had a bigger role). Bruce Willis wasn't tough
enough for General Joe.
Snitch-the Drama/Thrillerwith Susan Sarandon.
This movie was under-appreciated. His performance in it was good. If
you didn't see it. you should have. I wrote at length about it here.
Pain & Gain had him
playing a not-so-typical character. The Rock is usually a hero—This
guy is anything but, although he struggles.
You have to see
Pain & Gain.
The Rock was hilarious and
Mark Wahlberg nails it!
Empire State (it's on Netflix now)
COMING UP . . .
with Taylor Lautner?
and San Andreas, Journey 3: From the Earth to the Moon.
He's fun as Hercules in Hercules, based on
the Radical Comics Hercules: The Thracian Wars and directed by Brett Ratner.
Can't wait for Fast &
Mr. Li was dropped in our movie-going laps like a hot coal, smoldering his
way through Lethal Weapon 4, you knew that someone
was going to get hurt (please make it Mel Gibson!) and they were. He's as intense as Jackie Chan seems sweet. Whatever
character Jet Li plays, you are always a little afraid. Even in
Romeo Must Die,
which was a 180-degree turnaround from LW4, bad guy to good guy, he had
a presence of danger (and sexuality). He seems a little evil, a little
kinky. His only bad movies were just not worthy of him; he's been good
in everything he did. I loved him in Unleashed. Watch him kick Dolph Lundgren's ass (wink) in
Wished we got to see more of him in The Expendables 2
I may never forget the first time I saw Dolph Lundgren on screen. Glowering his way as
"Venz" through A View To A Kill, for me, he brought the movie
to a halt. Who was that?! He's too pretty to be taken seriously, but
with a body like that, don't tell him that to his face. He vill
break you. Rocky IV was only his second movie!
Despite his amazing good looks,
he's amassed an impressive Action Movie career. I liked Masters of The
Universe, The Punisher, I Come In Peace,
Cover Up, Universal Soldier. I haven't seen all his movies but I
am impressed that he stuck mainly with Action and was nearly always
the main character.The action, however, in too many of them
is too loose and fake, but that was a sign of the times. Compare his
The Punisher (1989) to Thomas Jane's The Punisher (2004).While the earlier movies might have great action scenes like the
men shooting while sliding down the amusement park multi-slide, it
loses its appeal if it's too fake. Thankfully, movie makers either
figured this out or were forced to get 'real' with their action
(perfect example: the change in James Bond movies).
If you're a big Dolph fan (he's
@Dolph_Lundgren). Also, check out
Universal Soldier: Regeneration. He's been working it: The Expendables 2, Universal
Solider: Day of Reckoning, and The Package (a waste of his
skills). Battle of the Damned went straight to Blu-ray/DVD, as did Ambushed,
and Blood of Redemption.
Dolph also stars in A Certain Justice, A Man Will
(with Tony Jaa), The Expendables 3,
and Skin Trade.
And somewhere in there he found time to do a TV show!
At left, Dolph tops the
leather bikini category in this get up from
Masters of the Universe. He still looked good as an Expendable.
When you got it, you got it.
He may have started out as a heartthrob, but Kellan Lutz soon
became the total Action Figure. Accepted into The Expendables'
Ultimate Boys Club on the heels of playing Hercules earned him a
place here under Action Figures. In The Expendables 3
Sylvester Stallone talked about handing things over to him. Wow!
Let that sink in.
All Kellan needs to be Stallone or Schwarzenegger huge is
attitude. He was really popular in the Twilight series and
maybe that's why Stallone chose him, who knows. It will be fun to
see what he does next. I see him as a Paul Walker type (more
muscular of course but very all-American). He would have made a great
Aquaman. He's be great too in Van Damme remakes. He'd have to
work on his splits . . .
6 feet, 4-5 inches (stats vary) Jason Momoa was more than
formidable as Conan the Barbarian (2011).He can swing a
sword, and as we saw in Bullet to the Head, he can swing an axe!
He doesn't have any other Action Movies coming up, but I really wish
someone would write something to feature him as a Bad Ass. With
his stature, athletic ability, and good looks, all he really needs is
swagger. I think women would gladly pay to see him.
Rotten Tomatoes gave Conan a really low rating 23-31%. I
don't think that was Momoa's fault. I think the script was to blame. The
movie dragged. The beginning was really good, but the story
structure from there was kind of stupid. If they had made it a
little more intense. . . who's to say? Less walking!
He's 33, so tick tock. He'd be great in any kind of Scorpion King
type fantasy role. The long hair look really works for him. He's
straight off the cover of a romance novel! (No that's not him,
but it could be.) PLEASE somebody write some bad ass roles for him. He'd
be a great pirate, Indian, or Lord something or other.
Starring with David
Belle in District 13 was the first time I saw Cyril
Raffaelli. They were both incredible. He was funny as well, setting
all his scenes on fire and doing everything with supreme confidence
and seeming ease. The embodiment of when you're good, you're good.
He's an actor, and a stuntman, fight coordinator, and stunt
coordinator—no wonder it looked easy—working on: The Man in the
Iron Mask, Tax 2, Brotherhood of the Wolf, The Transporter, District
B13, Transporter 2, Hitman, The Incredible Hulk (2008), and District 13:
He also starred in: Live Free or Die Hard, Kiss of the
Dragon, and Taxi 2. He was the fight choreographer for 5
episodes of the Transporter: The Series on TV (in 2012), and
also action director for 2 but I don't see anything since then.
He's great! I hope to see him in something soon. He's a real-life
superhero. Agility should be his middle name.
Unforgettable in The Hurt Locker,
Jeremy Renner's career has taken off. He was incredible
as a super-skilled bowman in the The Avengers
as "Hawkeye" (he made it look so good he must have
practiced until he was lightning fast). We can also look
forward to him as a new character in The Bourne
Legacy (August 3, 2012). The preview makes him look like a total
bad ass—bone-cracking Seagal style. He starred in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, had a cameo in Thor, starred in The Town,
had a small part in The Assassination of Jesse James by the
Coward Robert Ford, and played the good-guy Delta Force sniper
in 28 Weeks Later.
He's a tough guy, despite his boyish face. S.W.A.T. in 2003 was the first time I noticed him, but
noticed him in
Dahmer (2002) and wanted him
for The Hurt Locker. There isn't an ounce of fat on
him. His forearm alone is intimidating in this shot.
He's just a born G.I. Joe. Captivating and capable, I
hope he keeps his career in the Action vein.
I think he looks like Daniel Craig. Maybe someone will team them up
in the next Bond movie . . . He's listed for Mission: Impossible 5.
He held his own (and dominated the Action) in The Bourne Legacy
but I wish they had made him a little more sympathetic first so
we could root more for him.
Ever since she re-invented the
bad-bitch-with-attitude, Michelle Rodriguez has been steaming up the
lens in Action Movie after Action Movie. You either love her or hate
her. She's the go-to actress for every tough-chick character. She
was the teaser at the end of Fast Five which left us with the
idea that Lety's coming back from the dead in Fast &
Furious 6 (she did). She's starred in Battle Los Angeles,
Machete, LOST (TV), Avatar, Fast & Furious, Battle in
Seattle, The Breed, BloodRayne, Control, S.W.A.T., Blue Crush
(how cool was she in that!), Resident Evil, The Fast and the
Furious, 3 A.M. Salgado, and Girlfight (according to
IMDB she beat out over 350 others trying for the role).
She's played a soldier convincingly many times, and has over 30
titles to her credit at just 33! She's just 5' 5" but packs a
lot of power into a tiny frame.
She's also a character voice in the video games Halo 2, Driv3r,
True Crime: Streets of LA, and Avatar : The Game.
The ultimate endorsement.
The Queen of
"B" Action Movies, it was hard to find a non-tacky picture of her
fully clothed. Check her out on IMDB
She holds 6 Black Belts, and if this clip
(below) is typical of her work, it
reminds me of what they said about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers:
that she did everything he did, backwards and in heels. In this
looks a little like
Jackie Chan . . .
undisputed KING of Action Movies: Mr. Universe, Mr. Olympia, Mr. Action Movie! So dominant
in the genre Saturday Night Live's Hanz and Franz
coined the phrase “non-Arnold movies”. With a body like his, it
must have been hard to find a stunt double. The comic book
superhero come to life. He embodied our collective desire to be
invincible, and was what we wanted to be when we grew up. His belief
in himself, evidenced by his achievements, his determination to
succeed, and success in attaining 'The American Dream', were all
part and parcel of his charm, along with the Austrian accent that
made his characters all the more likeable and memorable.
ARNOLD as Conan The
Still a great Saturday afternoon matinee movie.
Bigger than life off screen as well as on,
that's why he was #1 for so long. He made so many great movies,
but chose to 'retire' into politics and became Governor
Schwarzenegger. Weren't you expecting he would get the law
changed somehow so you vote for him for President? Oh well . . .
Stallone briefly took over as #1 and I bumped Arnold to #2. But
since Dwayne Johnson is back doing Action and has finally run with the torch Arnold passed him in
The Rundown, I moved Arnold moved down on my list, to #3, and then
we found out about the housekeeper! I can't help it, I'm majorly
disappointed in him. He had to screw the pooch! GOOD GOD MAN,
why'd you do it? Like Bill Clinton said "because [you] could"? How
big was your ego?! Was it a tumor? You did lie. I hope you won't be
back. Was she worth it? Enough with the jokes in poor taste.
Here's the woman's point of view:
In spite of his bad behavior, he will always be the shit for being The Terminator!My favorite ARNOLD role is
BIG Guns! A cast that could be measured in Biceptitude.
They were crazy not to give him a cameo in
the remake of
Total Recall (August 3, 2012).
WESLEY SNIPES "Never send a boy to do a man's job." Wesley Snipe's
physicality in his roles is truly impressive. Even before the
Blade series, he was a force to behold. His training in martial
arts shows in all his moves. With fluidity and physical grace, he
makes it all seem easy. He has a great voice too and underplays his
abilities, making him seem all the more the bad ass. Like a snake
ready to strike, even motionless but with intent, he just looks
He carried the sequel to
The Fugitive, U.S. Marshalls, and even though it was a bad
movie, he was good in
Drop Zone. He's made lots of movies that went straight to DVD,
which is our loss. He was great in the first Undisputed, and
I liked him in The Money Train—kinda doesn't matter what
genre he's in, he's so watchable. It was a stunning surprise he was
cast in To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar,
but he was scary good in it (I confess I didn't watch the whole
movie, but I saw enough to be wowed at his range and acting talent).
I liked him in Murder at 1600, and Chaos.
He's Rocky, he's Rambo.
sells it. He not only sells it, he pushes it past the
limit all the time. The bad ass's bad ass, he's
still got it and still making great movies. I loved
the latest Rambo and the latest Rocky, and with
for me he finally beat Arnold out of first place in the Action Movie
genre. And suddenly Sly is back . . . The Expendables 2
has us all drooling for a return to that awesome '80s age of
now, every time
you see him, you think DAMN! But it's not just how strong he is,
it's what he does with it that counts. When Rocky won, we all won. The
underdog movie of all time: A hero so unassuming, so likeable.
the brutal alternate one-arm push-ups to the cross-city runs, to
punching sides of beef, Rocky brought out the inner
in all of us—Some raw eggs, a grey sweatsuit, a little early
morning determination, and we think we could walk the walk. Everyone identifies with his desire to be somebody.
The workouts in
Rocky IV made me realize I don't need to pay for a gym, I
can drag a log, or lift rocks. He was so BAD ASS, he didn't even need
equipment to work out.
As Rambo, he took the fighter to
another level. Rambo
was our American ninja.The
hero's hero. Competent and fearless to the nth degree. He
made do with whatever he had. By the time
you realized he snuck up on you, you were already dead.
When he emerged
from that wall of mud in Rambo: First Blood Part II, he cemented his place in
action movie freakdom, and I was beyond hooked! Where others
failed, he got the job done by himself. He was
soldier every man would like to be: strong, resourceful, brave, loyal, honest,
He set his own wound on fire in
If you saw it, I don't need to say anything more. But I want to.
In Get Carter when he says "You're a big man,
but you're in bad shape. With me it's a full time job."
Truer words were never spoken.
as Rocky Balboa
. . . and women everywhere swooned!
A mean machine alright. He's tightly coiled and ready to spring into action. If
Action Movies were coffee, he'd be espresso—all
that heat contained by a steely cool exterior that makes you want to push buttons just to set him off. Break the rules! Open the package! He's not overly built, he's perfectly built.
In a suit, he could be just another guy, like you.
Yeah, you could do all that—not!
You just think you can 'cause he makes it look easy, and stays
cool, calm, and collected.
If he can do all that when he's under control, when he's pissed
you know anything's possible.
He moved past the thug roles to the James Bond type with
Transporter series and back
to the thug. I'm sure his career will survive
Crank: High Voltage,
but I wish I could forget the image of his nasty hairy ass crack . . .
Too much guys, too much!
He brought the painSafe, and
kicked butt in
The Expendables 2, but I am most excited to hear he will be in a
remake of the 1986
Heat (on IMDBProbut
IMDB)! He had one of the most intense fight scenes
(a terribly underappreciated movie). He should be really
intense in Fast & Furious 7.
is all the proof you need that you can dress up the action figure.)
He has the bad boy appeal, but only the charm is boyish, the rest is all man.
I really liked Cyborg, but
he has many great movies. Love the Universal Soldier series.
He's as good as
Jackie Chan or Jet Li
in agility. Even now, in The Expendables 2, it's a Wow! Factor. I
don't know what it is about him I didn't like back in the day . . .
I think it's that he comes off as a little too
conceited. Action Movie Freaks usually eat that cocky attitude
up, but maybe when combined with how physically perfect a specimen
he was, the fact that his face was a little too 'pretty', and the
accent, there was just something not
manly enough about him. Too polished and too well groomed? I don't
think it's necessarily because he speaks French (yeah I know he's
the Muscles from Brussels), but he just sounds very 'girly
man' to me (as unfair and biased as that may be).
of Highlander, that's another story. When he growls in
Greystoke . . . "UH!" (monkey grunt) "Ee wuz my favaaaa!"
I know Van Damme has mad skills. Him and the
splits! That takes real strength. Some (most) of his movies are just too gay
to appeal to me. You can hate on me for saying that, but I'm a straight girl
and it's my site. He thinks
he's sooo good looking and that makes him sooo unattractive like
this scene—which is all about
him appearing in tights, I'm not buying the girls as cover—get over
yourself! Van Damme bottom line: for me, not so much, but MAD
appreciation for his skill.
He was good in Dragon Eyes with Cung Le, passing the
'kicking torch' . . . and really good as the villain, "Villain", in
The Expendables 2. And he's still growing strong starring
in: Pound of Flesh, Full Love , Swelter , Enemies Closer, Welcome
to the Jungle, U.F.O., Bullets, and Universal Soldier: Day of
Oh yeah, that picture! Of course that
picture. He will always be Marky Mark, for the attitude. The
ultimate boy-next-door/Action Figure. If you want to burst onto the
American consciousness, few ways could be a better combination than
underwear model/hip-hop star.
Growing up, he spent time in jail for doing some
"truly bad things". Even though the mega hit "Good Vibrations" came out when he was
20, he spent time in jail for assault at 21, then he decided to his
life around for good. The Good Vibrations video led to the
Calvin Klein ads
and the rest is history.
His first movie was The Substitute—not the
one you're thinking of with Tom Berenger from 1996—this was from
1993. The public was hungry for movies with Mark Wahlberg. I wanted
Action Movies and Renaissance Man seemed like it would be
good (military) but it was a Comedy/Drama. The variety of roles that
followed made him into one of our preeminent American Actors. Here is a
selection: The Basketball Diaries, Fear, Boogie Nights, The Big
Hit, The Three Kings, The Perfect Storm, Planet of the Apes, Four
Brothers, Invincible, Shooter, Max Payne, The Lovely Bones, Date
Night, The Other Guys, The Fighter, Contraband, Ted, and
By the time he did The Three Kings, I would say he was as
established and highly
regarded to his generation as Robert de Niro or Al Pacino was to theirs.
Adding his Saturday Night Live performances and his involvement in
and the popularity of Entourage, and he is at the top of the game and
going strong. He knocked it out of the park with so many of his
movies but just lately he killed in Pain & Gain and 2 Guns.
Lone Survivor, directed by Peter Berg (The Rundown,
Battleship) is such a powerful movie. I think he's great as
Marcus even if there's a big height difference. I kind of like the
all-American larger-than-life aspect of Luttrell: a 6' 5" Texan (Wahlberg
is 5' 8" but he carries it off).
He turned 40 back in 2011. Branching into Comedy with
SNL, Date Night, The Other Guys, and Ted, he showed his range had no
limits. I think the only thing that has kept him from being a bigger
box office star than someone like Tom Cruise is that he didn't do
more Action Movies. He certainly had and has the looks, physique,
charm, intelligence, and talent. He's humble and seems to always be
open to learning.
known for his role as "Apollo Creed", Carl
Weathers was also great in Force 10 From Navarone, The Defiant
Ones, Predator, and
Action Jackson. I think he should have won an award for best
supporting actor for Rocky, and has been underappreciated.
He made an instant Action Movie classic with Action Jackson. A
movie with everything Action Movie Freaks
love. A little tongue-in-cheek '80s fun with a great cast and
Weathers at the top of his game. His physique is so perfect, he
almost doesn't seem real.
have loved to have seen him in The Expendables 2!
After Action Jackson (1988,
loved that movie!) he moved into TV roles. What a waste of an
Action Movie Legend.
Did you know he was a star football
player and played for the Raiders! Makes you feel like
less of a man by comparison, huh?
Making his Directorial debut with Never Back
Down 2 (and starring in it) Michael Jai White appeared at Actionfest
2011 to promote the film. As humble as he is
charming, his bromance with Stunt Coordinator ("little brother")
Larnell Stovall was fun to watch.
has seven black belts and was equally impressive and hilarious as Black
Dynamite (both movies were shown at the 2011 Festival). From Brooklyn,
he started training in martial arts at the age of seven. He
trained with Jean Claude Van Damme
and did stunt work in Prototype and On Deadly Ground, but
his work on Kill Bill: Vol 1 and 2 went from the trailer
to the cutting room floor.
He's been in an impressive number of
movies starting with Toxic Avenger Part II, he played a soldier in
Universal Soldier, was in City of Industry, Spawn,
Universal Soldier: The Return, Exit Wounds, Undisputed
II: Last Man Standing,The Dark Knight, and Blood and Bone,
as Isaiah Bone. If anyone's an Action Figure to the bone in real life,
it's Michael Jai White! He played Mike Tyson for TV!
He's a Bad Ass and he knows it. It shows in the way he carries
himself. His fights scenes are legendary and his movies never
disappoint. According to his bio on IMDB: "At the age of four,
Donnie started taking up martial arts from his mother who taught him
tai chi and wushu, until he was eleven when he moved to Boston, MA,
with his family. From there, Donnie . . . also began experimenting with various others martial art
styles, such as taekwondo, kickboxing, and boxing. When he was
sixteen, his parents sent him to Beijing Wushu Academy so he could
train Chinese MA under Master Wu Bin, well known as the coach of
Li. He underwent intensive training for three years.
On a side trip to Hong Kong, he was accidentally introduced to
famous Hong Kong action director Woo-ping Yuen, who was responsible
for bringing Jackie Chan to super stardom and was looking for
someone new to star in his movies. Donnie was offered a screen test
and thereafter a 4-picture deal after passing it." The rest is
His fight against Jacky Wu in Kill Zone - S.P.L. is widely
considered by Action Movie Freaks to be one of the best ever.
KILL ZONE FIGHT SCENE
were treated to a double shot of Marko Zaror.
He was there to promote Mandrill
Undisputed III: Redemption
Isaac Florentine and
Larnell Stovall. I have often wondered if Action Movie Actors
and love the movies as much as we do.
Marko Zaror is definitely the BIGGEST Action Movie
Freak. He's a
huge Bruce Lee fan—I got to ask him who his influences were
at the Q&A after Mandrill at ActionFest 2010. The whole tongue-in-cheek
treatment of the lead character ("mandrill" means baboon) is such a
tribute to the Action Movie hero that you couldn't help but love it,
and love him. He gets it. All of it.
He gives it back
too in performances with amazing physicality and charm. Being
worthy to fight Boyka as the villain in Undisputed III is quite a
compliment. Love his signature corkscrew move.
It's not an exaggeration to say he's wildly
entertaining. Don't miss anything with him in it. I hope to see more
These men and women would make you pee yourself in a dark alley. Sorry, but you
know it's true. The best breeding ground for the
Action Figures of tomorrow, wrestlers and fighters, happily, kick ass
off screen and on!
By the time somebody put them in a movie, chances are you already knew
and loved them. This group is still thought of as Wrestlers or
Fighters first. Once they have done enough movies that we think of
them as Actors who used to fight, I move them up to Action Figures
(like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson). You want to be an Action
Figure? Learn to fight!
Texan Steve Austin is steadily invading the Action
Movie world and
I hope to see more of him. The epitome of the strong-and-silent
type, he's really
likeable and fun to watch. From a small part in the remake of
The Longest Yard, he
began making movies that were Steve Austin vehicles, until he
accepted a small part in that ultra-boys'-club
Loved him in The Condemned—He was unstoppable!
Whatever he winds up doing, I'd
love to see him as a pirate, and a patriot! It would be fun to see
him with the other big baldie
Vin Diesel, and doing anything
military in a uniform.
I think he would probably be better as a
villain, but with the right roles, and a little more attitude, I
think he could have had a really huge Action career. You can't help but
like him. He's part The Thing, part Mr. Clean (sans earring), part
He would have made a
great Lex Luther. They tend to cast way-too-ordinary-looking
actors as comic
book heroes for my taste (read my
is one of those guys that you get scared just looking at him. Like
Brock Lesnar. I have been waiting to see more of him in
Action Movies. When he first appears in The Man With The Iron Fists, it's epic! He
not only looked the part, the theater shook.
He seems to be "Marcus Fenix" from Gears of War
to me. Even his voice is perfect! When will they ever make a
. . . oh well.
He starred in House of the Rising
Sun (and was really good in it!). He gave a really
great performance in Guardians of The Galaxy.
CARANO American Gladiator "Crush" Gina Carano
made the jump to a lead role on the big screen in a big way with
Haywire. From a small part in Blood and Bone, Gina
became the main attraction and was backed up with one hell of a cast
and an excellent director! Even two of these actors would be
enough but HAYWIRE starred
Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor,
Michael Fassbender, anddBill Paxton.
I can only hope that was a
sign of things to come. I believe there is a
huge market of female viewers for powerful women in roles where they are not
objectified. In the way that Dances With Wolves
was the 'Indians Are People Too' movie, even though I hated it,
women need that kind of film to deliver the 'Women Are People Too'
message to wake the sleeping giant of the 'second' class to the
power they can have if they will only fight back.
"You shouldn't think of her
as being a woman. That would be a mistake."
Her next movie,In The Blood
was an Action/Thriller. From IMDB:
"When her husband goes missing during their Caribbean
vacation, a woman sets off on her own to take down the men she
thinks are responsible." Also in 2015, IMDb lists her in
Adi Shanker Project";.
(I predict if she fights Ronda Rousey, she'll lose. I don't think
she's enough of a 'killer'. But I think she can hold her own for at
least a round or two.)
As impressive as his fighting career is (seems he's spent
his whole life as a fighter), the ultimate endorsement of having him
Expendables movies lent that whole franchise serious chops
(not the other way around). Randy was as cool as cool gets, and then
some, before he was inducted into the Ultimate Boys Club of The
Expendables. He also starred in The
Expendables 2, and 3Hijack,
and will be in an upcoming comedy
His fighting pedigree from Wikipedia:
Randy Couture is . . . a retired mixed martial artist, collegiate
and Greco-Roman wrestler. During his tenures in the Ultimate
Fighting Championship (UFC), Couture became a three-time UFC
Heavyweight Champion, two-time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, an
Interim UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, and was the UFC 13
Heavyweight Tournament Winner. Couture is the first fighter to hold
two UFC championship titles in two different divisions (heavyweight
and light heavyweight). Couture has competed in a record 15 title
fights. He holds the most title reigns in the UFC with five. His
last fight with Lyoto Machida marked his 24th fight in the UFC, the
third largest number of fights in the UFC (Tito Ortiz is
first with 27 and Matt Hughes is second with 25). Couture is
the fourth member of the UFC Hall of Fame. He is the only person
over the age of 40 to have won a UFC championship fight, having done
so four times. Additionally Couture briefly held the title of Lineal
Mixed Martial Arts Champion after his win over Maurice Smith at UFC
JONES At 6' 11", 360 pounds, you better know who Nathan Jones is.
This helps put him in perspective: Here he is in Troy .
Before Nathan became a world-class wrestler, he served seven years
in maximum security prison and one year on work release for seven
armed robberies. He began powerlifting in jail, and went on to
become a championship. Born on the famous penal colony island of
Tasmania (off the southeastern coast of Austrailia), Jones had
several injuries during his Powerlifting and Wrestling career, but
retired after winning in 2005.
Nathan aka "The Megaman" aka "The Colossus of Boggo Road"
appeared in Troy, The Condemned, and
Conan The Barbarian (2011). Be sure to see him in the upcoming
Mad Max: Fury Road, where he's sure to strike terror into
your heart even if he's not driving one of these:
LE I got to see a Q & A with Cung Le at ActionFest 2012
in the "Whapp! The Art of Fight on Film" Panel.
He's the sweetest guy in direct opposition to his lethality. He
joked about his new"Ninja Toe Kick!" that had
been knocking out his sparring partners.
He won the Best Fight scene
Award and mentioned that Dragon Eyes
was Cung his first time as a Fight Choreographer. Dragon Eyes also
Jean-Claude Van Damme
and it was definitely a passing of the kicking torch.
The movie is an epic fight movie. I even found it a little
hard to watch because it'sthatreal
looking. It's a great compliment to the actors and stuntmen, but
it's not for the faint hearted.
He had a great fight scene in Pandorum—you remember, the one
that woke you up and made you wish for more. He stars in The Man
with the Iron Fists, and another Ip Man story The
I'd love to see him with Tony Jaa in something.
have been Thor. He's SO Thor!!! I really liked him in Inside Out,
sure wish they would give him more roles. He's got that Hero
physique we only see in wrestling giants or in comic books. It's
what we watch for. Seeing the larger-than-life men battling. I
was kind of hoping he would beat The Undertaker in Hell in a Cell at
Wrestlemania XXVIII, but it wasn't in the script.
The movie spawned a video game: Duke Nukem. Sadly, hoped for a
Part 2 of They Live that never came. This movie is, deservedly, a cult classic, and earned Rowdy Roddy
a place of honor here on the Action Figures list . . .
"I have come here to chew bubblegum
and kick ass,
and I'm all outta bubblegum."
ROUSEY Ronda Rousey is the Action Figure I've been waiting for! I can
only hope that after her roles in The Expendables 3 and Fast &
Furious 7, some of the Action Movie Hero bug rubbed off on her,
and she wants to be an Action Hero like Stallone or
Schwarzenegger. We need
truly strong female role
models (like Vasquez in Aliens) who don't use their sexuality or allow themselves to be
objectified and thereby diminish their power. I also hope in
real life she keeps her clothes on.
JESSE "THE BODY"
After Arnold (of course) Jesse "The Body" Ventura is
He speaks one of the most classic Action Movie bad-ass quotes:
"I ain't got time to bleed!"
Maybe it's the swagger, maybe it's the dimple in his chin, maybe
it's the moustache (no, it's not the moustache although Action
Figure Therapy would say it's like a "moustache with titties"), maybe it's everything. Jesse is the
doll come to life. The chauvinist's chauvinist. There isn't a lot to his role in this movie, and he's
not on screen that much, but he has a commanding
presence and really adds a silent strength and force
to the group. In Predator,
when he says "I ain't got time
to bleed" and is asked "You got time to duck?" you
half expect he doesn't and won't, and will still come out
of it okay.
I also liked him as "Captain Freedom" with Arnold in
The Running Man.
MOUSTACHE WITH TITTIES
The Whiner? Yep! The Whiner is the complement to the action movie
bad ass. The speck of green that makes the red so much more
powerful. All the really good action movies have them, and in
the great ones,
they steal the show. That's why I have them here with the Bad Asses:
for how can you truly appreciate bravery without cowardice? They are
the yin to the bad ass yang.
No really great action movie is complete without The Whiner.
Someone to explain when you're in some "real pretty shit".
Their antics make light of a situation when everyone
(you included) is pooping-in-their-pants afraid, and
they forego all semblance of dignity. Being heroic is
always the farthest thing from their mind and the
last thing on their lips.
The worse their situation is the more you laugh at their (and your likely) inability to deal with it. That guy would be
us, and that's why we laugh.
Here are some of the best Whiners, ever:
HART BOCHNER as
in DIE HARD
fast-talking coward. Thinks he can bullshit his way out of a
situation because he's smarter than the bad guys. Wrong. This
performance by Hart Bochner is key to the movie as he contrasts the
wanna be (he'd love to have McClane's wife Holly) to the real hero
cowboy. And how's he going to win? By handing McClane over "It's not
what I want, it's what I can give you." Real heroic. I am sure Holly
will appreciate that when she finds out. The white knight is the
cocaine that is clouding his judgment. "Hans, bubbe! I'm your white knight."
RICHARD CHAVEZ as
first crew is found skinned alive. The big guys are scared and
they're being picked off by something unseen. How do you think the
little guy feels? Then, he gets wounded. Oh, he SO does not want to get
left behind! Would you?
"I can make it! I can make it!"
MICAH A. HAUPTMAN as
"August Hardwicke" in PARKER
I added Micah A. Hauptman
to the Whiners for his stellar pussy-ness in the portrayal of the connected
nephew of a mob bossinParker. His
incompetence, red-line panic, and outright cowardice
kept me thoroughly entertained.
ALFRED MOLINA as
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
Satipo's attitude went from afraid to foolishly
over confident one time too many. Assuming there is nothing to fear
is what got him killed in the end, and provided a nice contrast to
Dr. Jones' careful, intelligent, cautious investigations. For years
I thought Harrison Ford was saying "Adios Lupito."
"Throw me the idol, I throw you the whip."
INGO NEUHAUS as
"Marine Who Dies" in
If not for this performance, the movie would not
have much tension outside the relationships and just watching the
action unfold. His death is why you care that they succeed at
protecting everyone. He sells it with his panic, the
pus, and the convulsing. The makeup was incredible—in just a
few seconds he goes from sheer terror to slippery blob.
Really brings home the idea of "movie magic" because you can't help
but wonder how many gifted make-up people it took to transform him,
how many levels of makeup he had to wear, and how many takes it took
in how many hours (or days) to film. It may not be fair to say he's
a "whiner" but it certainly is an epic lose your shit moment.
KEVIN J. O'CONNOR as
"Joey Pantucci" in DEEP RISING
Kevin J. O'Connor played the same type of character
well in The Mummy. If you've never watched this movie, watch it
just for him.
"The Girl From Ipanema."
LELAND ORSER as "Larry Purvis" in ALIEN RESURRECTION
The bigger the crap they take,
the funnier it is. This poor slob falls into the
world of Alien Resurrection to find out he was infected in his cryosleep. Talk about your waking nightmares! Then
they have to try to explain it to him.
Wikipedia: "Roger Ebert of the
Chicago Sun-Times felt: 'There is not a
single shot in the movie to fill one with wonder,1"
I disagree! Leland Orser's fear-filled face is
easily one of the best action movie moments ever. But more about how
wrong critics were about this movie in a different
"What's in-fucking-side me?"
BILL PAXTON as "Private Hudson" in
#1 on the list of course! His cocky attitude
in the beginning made his taking a crap later all the funnier. He's
scared out of his mind. Of course he is. You are too,
but he's not afraid to show it. His way of dealing
with it is wise-ass humor. Has being totally fucked ever been
"Well, that's great. That's just fuckin' great,
Now what the fuck are we supposed to do?
in some real pretty shit now, man."
"That's it, man.
Game over, man. Game over!
What the fuck are we gonna do now? What the fuck are we gonna do?!"
HALF and HALF Part Action Figure, part Regular Joe. They've got the bad half of big 'n'
bad, but not the big. Muscular, yes, but even when they are doing
seemingly impossible physical feats, their physicality and stature
seems attainable. With just a little extra training, they could
get there. We expect the Action Figure to do all these things, but
when these guys do it, it's considerably more impressive. We think
of them as Actors first, but they've done enough Action Movies that
they deserve special recognition.
An Aussie with a Croatian father, Eric Bana's real name is
Banadinovich. I think that's a real Bad-Ass name either way. He
appeared in Black Hawk Down and left quite an impression.
Next came Hulk (2003) in the title role. It's like you should
automatically get to be an Action Movie Bad Ass if you're ever cast
as the Hulk, but then came Troy (2004), and Star Trek (2009), and I still
didn't have him on this list. He was also great in Hanna (2011).
Those are just the movies of his I've seen. He's done lots more, but
not Action. It wasn't until I was writing about Black Hawk Down that
I realized he was missing because I wanted to link to his Bad Ass
profile, only there wasn't one. So, shame on me.
was SO GOOD in Star Trek that I didn't even recognize him until the
credits. I had this moment of shock "Eric Bana was in this?!" and
then it hit me. Oh, he was good! I think he's an exceptional
actor. He seems so different in each role. I really wanted to see Munich at the time, but sometimes an Action Movie Freak's
gotta save their money-watching money for the Genre of choice.
He's so good I'd watch him sell carpet, with his
GERARD BUTLER 300 was the He-Man buffet of all time, and Gerard was the
It's like your plate just gets fuller and fuller, and
at the end of the movie, it's still overflowing, but
they were so busy piling on, you forgot to eat.
I heard and see the physiques were enhanced with
spray on (at left) and digital
effects. That's just jealousy talking, and
who cares!? It's also been called homo-erotic—Gay
men weren't the only ones who liked it! It was
a reality check anyway, the
realization for the average guy.
(P.I.) and Putty (from Seinfeld) come to mind as the beefy
version of the average-Joe type
that illustrates Gerard's appeal. He's not so pretty, but he
is ruggedly handsome. 300 got even better for
me when Tom Wisdom as Astinos came on (pictured with Gerard) and satisfied
my Keanu Reeves craving. Women should watch this
every day to even out the b.s. from men looking at
girlie magazines. (Now maybe you know how it feels.)
Gerard's run of Romantic Comedies pulled him away
from Action, although his sporty surfer and soccer player roles in
Chasing Mavericks and Playing For Keeps only serve to
reinforce his "Regular Joe" side and make women like him better. He
handled terrorists single handedly and looked capable and skilled in
White House Down. Look for him in the upcoming Dynamo
Thunder Run(Action/Drama/War). [He's a Scorpio
. . . naturally.]
A demure and proper friend went to see this movie (Casino
Royale) with her husband, and beforehand she had down played
wanting to see it because Daniel Craig was in it. But when he came
out of the water in this bathing suit (translation: in this body),
she says she made a noise, an involuntary guttural shudder of appreciation
escaped her lips:
"uuh-huh-huh-huh". To which her husband replied "Oh yeah?" No way she could
deny that she found him attractive after that! I think it was pretty
much the same for women around the world. Never has one blue bathing
suit done so much for a man's career.
Daniel Craig's physicality was just what the
Bond series needed. After the later years of Roger Moore looking
(sorry Roger) a little ridiculous doing the kinds of things James
Bond does, we needed someone who was up to the task of making the
incredible action sequences believable. It's difficult to spot where
Craig has a double in most scenes. Just the all-out, strong-as-hell
way he runs in the opening chase of Casino Royale is enough, but he
takes the character beyond, where it should have always been. I also enjoyed
Quantum of Solace,
although some didn't, and look forward to anything action-related
or otherwise Craig does! Both movies had a strong, emotional plot
line that fleshed out the character of the man. More than just an
impressive figure in a bathing suit or tuxedo, Craig's Bond has
depth, something you don't find in Action movies where we are
usually satisfied with two-dimensionality. His is a thinking man's
Bond. Kudos to the writers!
He was good in The Girl
With The Dragon Tattoo. The next Bond "Skyfall"
My endless love for Tom Cruise
began when he appeared briefly in the Brooke Shields
movie Endless Love (1981) playing soccer.
thinking: "To hell with this story, let's follow that guy!"
Tom is always in great shape and does a lot of
his own stunt work. His body of work is impressive and I would say
(in box office success as well as popularity) he was the next generation's
attractive and average enough in stature to be a leading man, yet
physical enough to sell the Action scenes. If you're a true Cruise
fan, you saw every one of these movies—and thought they were all
The Outsiders (1983)
Losin' It (1983)
Risky Business (1983)
All the Right Moves (1983)
Legend (1985) (in which he
looked painfully beautiful)
Top Gun (1986)
The Color of Money (1986)
Young Guns (1988)
Rain Man (1988)
Born on the Fourth of July
Days of Thunder (1990)
Far and Away (1992)
The Firm (1993)
Interview with the Vampire:
The Vampire Chronicles (1994)
Mission: Impossible (1996)
Jerry Maguire (1996)
I believe Tom Cruise is underappreciated because people think he IS the role he
most often portrays (a cocky jerk) in real life, and therefore he is not acting. This is
unfortunate because his performances are so
enjoyable, and he deserves credit for that. Think it was easy to bark "I want
the truth!" at Jack Nicholson? "[He eats] breakfast 300
yards away from 4,000 Cubans who are trained to kill [him]." If only
Tom didn't seem so damned pleased with himself maybe we'd like the
person/actor more, but then we wouldn't love the characters so much.
Joel • Maverick • Vincent • Brian • Cole Trickle • Lt. Daniel Kaffee
• Ethan Hunt • Jerry Maguire
Continuing the list . . . It IS impressive. Come on!! Give the man some credit!
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Mission: Impossible II (2000)
Vanilla Sky (2001)
Minority Report (2002)
Austin Powers in
The Last Samurai (2003) (Love the long-haired Tom!)
seeing Thomas Jane in
Deep Blue Sea, I was hoping to see more of him, and The
delivered. He was great in both. He was too good for Deep Blue Sea and I
seeing him in anything until he did
The Punisher five years later, but his Deep Blue Sea performance
was so strong, it stayed with me how out of place it was and great it
would be to see him in an Action Movie. He also really sold it in The
Punisher from beginning to end, but especially when he takes a beating
in the fight scene with the big blonde freak. His Punisher is the best
version. I think he would have been a great Captain Kirk, but
they cast that well (not complaining).
(I haven't seen him in Give
'Em Hell Malone yet, but
liked it. I really wanted to see The Mist
(based on Stephen King's 1980 short story anthology from Dark Forces—I
read it in Skeleton Crew: at 131 pages it's considered a novella)
because I loved the setting and how it ended made you want more, but I
missed that as well. I thought it would be great to see how CGI helped
them make that into a movie. Gotta get busy and play catch up on my
Thomas Jane watching!)
He had a small (uncredited) role in
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. 2011 had him in a
thriller, I Melt With You, and a comedy, LOL, but I'd love
to see him do more Action. (Title aside, I wonder if 2008's
Mutant Chronicles was any good?) He's been busy since (on
TV with Hung, and . . .) 2012 Sleight of
Hand, Heavenly Sword and Buttwhistle
2013 The Redeemer
and Red Machine
Salman Khan can not only do all the things an
Action Movie BAD ASS can do, but he sings and dances! He's
quite the fashion plate, too. The first I saw him I was hooked. He's
just exaggerated enough for it to be highly entertaining. He's
got charisma and confidence in spades. He's a little Elvis-y. Part
of it is the hair, and the deep voice. He sells the crazy Action.
and Ninja Assassin,
grace and speed
were only part of a total package. He is also
an international sensation as an award-winning dancer and singer.
Ninja Assassin, standing still he commanded as much attention as
when he fought. And what a dazzling array of abilities: hand-to-hand
fights, knives, swords, and a kusarigama. With a little free running
thrown in, it was hard to keep up with the action. The movie was not
only a kick-ass Action Movie, it was a thing of beauty (as was he). The ending
features a scene with fire so stunning, it brought to mind Memoirs of
a Geisha. The flames in the ending scene the show.
Ninja Assassin is
a must-see movie for any Action Movie
an astonishingly impressive first Action Movie leading role for Rain—Hope to see LOTS
more of him in Action Movies, although there is a only a dance movie, Prey, listed for him
on IMDB in 2012, and I found out why . . .
Rain Fansite CloudUSAkindly
wrote a blog post about my putting Rain in with the "Regular Joes",
and so I moved him here to the "Half and Halfs" and rightly so.
Thanks very much to Cloud. Here is some of what they shared
with me . . .
"In Asia, Rain is incredibly famous and it's well known that he's an
incredible talent and very hardworking. He was in a Korean TV drama
series called, A Love to Kill.
His last Korean TV series was more action-oriented. It was
called Runaway: Plan B. It's a mix of comedy, drama, and action. Lots of chase scenes." (Watch on Dramafever.com
or available on Hulu Plus)
"Rain also has a Korean film that is about to be released at the end
of 2012. It's called Soar: Into the Sun. It's a kind of
Top-Gun Action movie where he plays the lead—a fighter pilot. And
we haven't seen much of Rain lately because he started his mandatory
2-year military service in October 2011." (military photo from CloudUSA)
He's out now!
We love him for SO many movies—not all Action but he was great in
all of them! The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes. Escape From New
York. The Thing. Silkwood. Swing Shift. The Mean Season.
Big Trouble in Little China. Overboard. Tequila Sunrise.
Tango and Cash. Backdraft. Unlawful Entry. Captain Ron.
Tombstone. Stargate. Executive Decision. Escape From L.A.
Soldier. 3,000 Miles to Graceland. Dark Blue.
think he is under-appreciated by everyone but Action Movie
Fans and Freaks. He will always be Snake Plisskin first, but we love
him in everything! My personal favorite Kurt Russell movie is
Soldier. What a bad ass MACHINE! Also love that he was to the
go-to guy for a Buddy Movie with Stallone (Tango & Cash),
and he played Elvis. You gotta be cool in spades (and good looking
and sexy) to play Elvis! He gave one of the best performances I've
ever seen in Dark Blue, and I LOVED Big Trouble in Little
Kurt Russell apparently didn't want to be in The
Expendables 3?! He's in the
Ultimate Boys Club whether he realizes it or not. Why not
participate and let your fans worship your career and all the
wonderful Action Movies you have given us? Well, maybe this is
cooler: He's in Fast & Furious 7. How bad ass is that?!
•STEVEN SEAGAL The Master!!Steven Seagal . . .
Bone-crackin' trash talkin' at its most entertaining! The essence of
action movies in ultra-in-your-face form. A few drops of a Seagal
movie is more than fun than other whole movies. He was one of the
most entertaining action movie actors out there. If he walked into a
room, it was deep shit. He really doesn't need weapons although he
sure knows how to use them, and can make up some of his own. He'll
beat the crap out of you, help you up, then smack you on the back of
the head. It still hurts my face every time I watch
His movies have SO MANY great one-liners, where do you begin? "Let
me do it my way. Just give me an unmarked and a shotgun." This'll
get your teeth knocked out:
"You wanna get by me? There's only two things stopping you. Beer and
The Fresh Prince. How we love Will! So talented. He became an
Action Movie Bad Ass (albeit suave bad ass) in Bad Boys. People
loved him in Independence Day. He has that Action Movie Bad
Ass attitude but it's a little young and a little too comedic. Not
that that's bad, it's just Will. You know what I mean because it
worked really well in Bad Boys II. If he had been more
serious and a little more muscular, his career might have gone more
purely Action. That is not what he wanted though. He appears to be
able to do everything he tries. I loved him most in Men in Black.
It seems the perfect role for him: Part Drama, part Comedy, part
Action. He was also great in Enemy of the State.
Of course, he can be serious, but when he made Wild Wild West,
I felt like it was a little too silly for an Action Movie. He was
having fun, but after that I felt the Action track shifted for him.
He brought the seriousness back with Ali.
Men in Black II was as good as the first,but Bad
Boys II was way better the the first—So many great moments in
that movie! He was amazing in I, Robot but then did more
Drama. I liked him in I Am Legend but it's not Action Movie.
Will is well-rounded and his career has bright spot after bright
spot. He was unexpectedly impressive with his performance in Six
Degrees of Separation, but I think the back-to-back Hitch
and The Pursuit of Happyness cemented his place in our
hearts. There's no one like him. You could compare him to
Sidney Poitier but we're past race. You could compare him to
Burt Reynolds for box-office draw. When he made Hancock,
he seemed unstoppable. He makes it look easy and we take all that's
he's putting into the role for granted. I wonder what would have
happened if he did The Matrix instead of Wild Wild West
He said he wasn't "smart enough as an Actor to let the
movie be". He's more leading man material and maybe that's a
Regardless of where his career goes, we'll be
there. He's got a series of sequels coming up on the heels of
Men in Black 3 (which was great), I, Robot 2,
Hancock 2, and Bad Boys 3. M. Night Shyamalan's
After Earth is due out first. He's starring with his son,
Jaden Smith. It will be interesting to see what Jaden does.
Since he did The Karate Kid with
Jackie Chan, I hope the Action bug bit him.
With small parts in Get Carter, The
Fast and the Furious, and Black Hawk Down, he then
Sinners and Saints, doing the soundtrack and making
the knives for the
movie. That's right. (He's a composer, and a musician, and he sure
knows how to use a knife.) He's the kind of Action Movie Hero
that we need more of today.
I have big hopes for the upcoming
Daylight's End, and on IMDB he's rumored to be in Fast
& Furious 7. After seeing Aaron Paul in Need
for Speed, I think Johnny Strong and Aaron Paul
would make a great Action Movie duo. You heard it here first.
He has danced [Step
Up and Step Up 2: The Streets] and fought [Fighting]
his way into the hearts of every teenage girl. He's more often been a
leading man than an action star, but his roles in
G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra, and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Parkour and
Knockout (as a black ops super soldier)are sure
to make him a bigger Action star, even though
he's also doing other dramatic and romantic roles. He seems to have a
quiet demeanor and this compliments his attractiveness. He's not cocky
and in your face and that makes you want to find out more; gives him
some mystery. Being able to dance and fight speaks volumes for
his talent. It's rare that someone does both so well.
He's the essential
All-American boy next door.
has been in a succession of really interesting and fun parts. He has looked
very different in most of his roles but none as impressive as he was in
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers as Eomer. Not since
Interview With The Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles have so many
gorgeous long-haired men been on screen, but he took the cake.
hilarious and scruffy in Ghost Ship, majestic in The LOTR
Series, "flawless" as Vaako in
The Chronicles of Riddick,
underutilized in the anticipated yet
disappointing Doom, heart-wrenching and vicious in Pathfinder,
and spot on as Bones in Star Trek. Also, he seemed to bear a
resemblance to Roger Moore in R.E.D. (Retired
Extremely Dangerous) which borrowed a lot from Live and Let Die.
2011 saw him channeling Eastwoodish Western sexiness in
In 2012 we can look forward to seeing
him as Judge Dredd in Dredd and Loft (a murder
Thriller), and in Overdrive: Look out! "A pair of
handsome and adventurous brothers, known for being high-profile car
thieves, travel to the South of France looking for new challenges
and come across a tough local crime boss." Looks like Karl's
brother will be played by the Prince Caspian hottie Ben Barnes.
2013 is a reason to celebrate as Karl comes back as Bones in the
Star Trek Sequel, and as Lord Vaako in the Untitled
Chronicles of Riddick Sequel (now filming). Let's just hope they
don't kill him off right up front in Riddick.
Often, these characters find themselves in impossible situations and rise to the challenge. In shape, but not unusually so
or even the Half and Half. They and their characters are often hugely popular because they are
The characters, too, are often about their moral compass. The
everyday hero and the man we look up to, want to model ourselves
after, and deluded-ly think we could be, if just for a Saturday
Tom Berenger is the shit! Men love him for his Sgt. Barnes
in Platoon. Women love him for Someone to Watch Over
Me (if they didn't already love him before that). I remember him
first from Dogs of War with Christopher Walken. With
chiseled good looks of Marlon Brando or Paul Newman, Tom's career
choices were a little more edgy. In reverse choronological order,
here are some of his movies I've enjoyed. Faster, Inception,
Sinners and Saints, Breaking Point, Charlie Valentine, True Blue,
Training Day,The Substitute, Chasers, Major League II, Gettysburg,
Sniper, At Play in the Fields of the Lord, Born on the Fourth of
July, Major League, Someone to Watch Over Me, Platoon, Eddie and the
Cruisers, The Big Chill, The Dogs of War, Butch and Sundance: The
Early Days, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, and The Sentinel.
He appeared at
to talk about Sinners and Saints and was very low key,
letting the younger lead star have the spotlight. Such a big list of
good movies and all great performances. He's starring in Whiskey
Bay, an Action movie coming out in 2013 with Willem Dafoe,
Matt Dillon, Neal McDonough, and Amy Smart. Described as
Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery / and Thriller, with a cast
like that, it's something to look forward to!
There's almost nobody I enjoy watching more. The
timbre of his voice is so pleasing—he could be reciting the grocery list and I'm enraptured.
From as goofy as he was in Peggy Sue Got Married ("Lucky Chucky") to
'Mr. Slick' in Lord
of War, he's thoroughly entertaining and can't-take-your-eyes-(and
ears)-off-him watchable. His delivery
was so much fun it added to that roller-coaster-ride
feeling, like you were on it with him.
He can do more with a nothing role than you can conceive of (LOL
Leading Man and Action
Movie star, he mixes it up better than anyone else. He's done a big variety of roles
and looked very different in a lot of them. You know he was impressive looking for Con Air!
His performance can carry a film, like in Bangkok Dangerous. Not that the
other actors in his movies aren't good too, it's just that what they do seems to add to him, not take away. It's
rare anyone can steal a scene from Cage (like Sammi Rotibi "Gun of Rambo" in Lord of War). He's very
'Bond' in his smoothness and charm, yet so down to earth and likeable: perfect example: Family Man.
After Gone in 60 Seconds, I hoped his career would go more toward
Action but he's entertaining in any genre. I loved him in Snake
Eyes, Face Off, The Weather Man, The Family Man, Guarding Tess, Ghost
Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Raising Arizona and so many others. Even
if the movie is bad, he never is . . .
He's hot, he's cool, he's Cage!
He was everyone's favorite James Bond. He and singer >Tom
Jones (who? LOL) ruled the world at one time. Seems like the
other Bonds just played the part. He embodied it.
His distinctive voice and self assurance were half
of his appeal, the rest: good looks and his acting
ability. (You have to have charisma and
confidence in spades to pull off an outfit like this one from Zardoz.)
From this legendary early role, his career
only added to his larger-than-life persona. My
favorites roles of his are all the Bond movies (but especially
Live and Let Die), The Wind and The Lion, The Man Who Would be
King, The Great Train Robbery, Outland, The Untouchables, Indiana Jones
and The Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October, Family
Business ("Where did you find this fucking parasite?" LMAO),
and The Rock.
It didn't matter what his age was,
he pulled it off until Entrapment with Catherine Zeta-Jones. His
Action Movie 'cred' brings such
strength to a movie, for example,
The Rock. Who do
you get when you need a bad ass who's been locked
up for 30 years? "John Patrick Mason, General Sir."
Thanks to Matt Damon fans Pamela and Abdu who
took the time to write to admonish me on not having Matt on the
site. "Have you really forgot Matt Damon?!" (head hung in
first, I was not a big fan of The Bourne Identity, but with
hindsight, I was hard on the movie. I like a lot of Matt's
movies, but a lot of them are Dramas, and it wasn't until Jeremy
Renner was cast in The Bourne Legacy (I know, different
character) that it hit me I HAVE to have Matt as an Action Movie Bad
Ass. I guess part of why I didn't have him for so long is that he's
so all-American and the-guy-next-door, but that is exactly the
criteria for the "Regular Joe"! Their relatability is their biggest
appeal, doubly so here, with the character of Jason Bourne.
We will always remember Matt Damon and Ben Affleckfirst for Chasing Amy, but best when accepting their
Oscars for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) for
Good Will Hunting (1997). I really likedhim in
Rounders and Saving Private Ryan (both 1998). Since that
time, Matt made many movies and proved he is a great actor—The
Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) erased any doubt. The Bourne
movies, though, cemented his place in our hearts: The Bourne
Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), and The
Bourne Ultimatum (2007).
Proving he's at the top of Hollywood's
social group, he was part of the cool guys club that made Ocean's
Eleven (2001), Ocean's Twelve (2004), and Ocean's
He shocked us in Martin Scorcese's remake The Departed
(2006), starring alongside Mark Wahlberg—They look similar
to me, like two sides of a coin, good and bad, Matt is the 'heads'
to Mark's 'tails', the good guy image to the bad boy. .
also starred in The Adjustment Bureau and Contagion in
After Sarah Silverman did this heartfelt but strange
homage in a
YouTube viral video, and Matt did several hilarious SNL
appearances, I would venture to say he's the most-liked American
Actor today. I say this as a compliment and not to
diminish his uniqueness by comparison, but he seem like this
generation's Paul Newman.
ROBERT DOWNEY, Jr.
Robert Downey, Jr. is living life at 102%, and we all watched in awe
as he came back from the brink. He was incomparable as Charlie
Chaplin, but what am I saying, he's great in everything. I
hesitate to put mainly dramatic Actors in the Bad Ass category, but
we love him so much as Iron Man, how could I not? It's a home run.
He defines Bad Ass for a couple generations. Part handsome tattooed
douchebag, part brainy-cool smartass nerd, he's like some magical
grab bag of best traits. I don't know where Tony Stark ends and
Downey begins. When he held his own among the Avengers, even
outshined them all, you had to be in awe of his talent and his
charisma. The smartest and funniest guy in the room. No, I really
don't know who the real Robert Downey is because we're all so in
love with the characters he plays. Except that one, you know the one
with the famous low point. LOL I hated
seeing him like that. After seeing Iron Man 3 say Tony Stark will
be back, you've got to wonder what direction they will take.
Irregardless (that's a Miami joke), he will seem larger than life,
and isn't that what we most crave in a Bad Ass?
I also loved him as Sherlock Holmes. At
first, it was surprising casting, but then I saw it was ingenious!
Like Guy Ritchie + Robert Downey, Jr. = Magic, like Tony Stark +
Bruce Banner = Bromance, we're all a little in love with Robert
you say about a man with such a body of work!? Going
back to the early days of the Italian films and
'spaghetti westerns', he was just this lanky
good-looking actor who downplayed the emotional side
of acting. We came to love him for this. Shoot first
and shut the hell up. The man with no name.
Dirty Harry character came along and it was like
adding Raiders to Star Wars for Harrison Ford, we
already loved Clint, but this made us love him more.
Then the fighting movies with the orangutan. How to
take it to the next level! Instead of just shooting
his way through shit, he started brawling. It gave
me new respect for him as an actor, as a man. He
wasn't that young either to be playing that role, and
that made it all the better. Made him a tough guy
Then he started directing. It was like
coming full circle when he made Unforgiven. An ode
of love to the western, for which he won Best
Director and Best Picture. Often imitated (I think
David Caruso is trying to be Eastwood behind those
sunglasses in CSI) but never with the same impact. The
calm, deadly, silent strength and tall good looks
were a unique combination.
There's no one like him.
He made his own brand of 'cool'.
(bowing) Not worthy!
What can I say about the ridiculously AMAZING career of Harrison Ford.
He was Indiana Jones and Han Solo. That would be enough in
itself, but he did so much more. He's Dr. Richard Kimble (The
Fugitive), Jack Ryan (Patriot Games and Clear and
Present Danger), and Rick Deckard (Blade Runner).
It's hard to pin down what Harrison brings to a role but he's got
charisma in spades, something everyone first noticed in American
Graffiti. He comes across as a good man, a catch, something women
loved to see him portray in Working Girl.
He played against type
in n Presumed Innocent to great effect with a thrilling ending. Was
hilarious as a Realtor/Detective in Hollywood Homicide. It's
quite a list of movies: and I left out a few: Air Force One, The Hunt
For Red October, Apocalypse
Now, Force 10 From Navarone, Witness,
Frantic, The Mosquito Coast, Hanover Street, Regarding Henry, Sabrina, The Devil's Own,
Random Hearts, What Lies Beneath, K-19: The Widowmaker.
He could be
considered our John Wayne.
The man's man.
The man men look to to
know how to be men.
We love you Harrison! (He knows.)
TOMMY LEE JONES
Tommy Lee Jones was born in charge. He's a real-life John McClane and
then some. If you co-star with Tommy Lee Jones, you better be able
to carry your weight, cause once he walks in, he's taking over. He's
cornered Competence. Part of it is his voice. The low rumbling, deep,
Southern accent. Part of it is his background: A born Texan, his Mom was as a police officer, school teacher, and
beauty shop owner, and his Dad, an oil field worker.1
According to Wikipedia, they were married and divorced twice. [That
had to be interesting to grow up with.] And "Jones, an eighth-generation Texan, had a
He graduated cum laude from Harvard [on a "need-based scholarship".
He also played football (how could he not? from Texas)]. A no
bullshit Texan 'poor boy jock' among the rich. He was roommates with Al Gore
yet he cast a long shadow. They were the lucky ones.
culminated for me in No Country For Old Men. (How do you not
get the ending?!) Those damn Coen geniuses, who else
but Tommy Lee Jones?!! "Whatcha got ain't nothin new. This country's hard on people, you
can't stop what's coming, it ain't all waiting on you. That's
vanity." Well, if it was gonna wait for anyone, it'd be Tommy
Lee. But he's gonna die, and he's okay with that. Not a good
prognosis for the country, but then when the kid with playing cards
on the spokes of his bikes accepts the bloody money [I wanted him to
tear it up (so easy to corrupt the innocent!) but he didn't],
it tore my heart in two. (It was like a Norman Rockwell painting of
evil.) And Tommy Lee's character's acceptance of his coming
death, equally as sad.
Boy grows up! Just 17 years old, already-super-popular Taylor Lautner
became an 'overnight' international sensation through the Twilight
movies. Team Jacob! You could almost see him age for real in the movie:
from 16 to 17, from a boy to a super buff wolfman. The blush on the rose
and any baby fat he might have had transformed into a chiseled body
right before your eyes. After the un-shirting in the sequel The
Twilight Saga: New Moon
that left girls and women the world over swooning, his display of
his martial arts training and true physical prowess on
Saturday Night Live (link to video embedded in a Huffington Post
article), and the lead in the upcoming action movie Max Steel,
the world is Taylor's.
He seems to have an
inclination toward action, so we hope that he chooses well and that
he's offered choice roles. Maybe he would be THE all-time best
don't know what took me so long to add the irresistible Irishman
Liam Neeson! Maybe it's because he's so
well-rounded in his choice of roles. So many great movies, you
wondering "He was in that?" If that is what you're thinking it's
probably because he's so good at acting you forget it's him. And with
someone with his physique and stature, that's quite a compliment. In the otherwise enjoyable but forgettable
Suspect starring Cher
and Dennis Quade, he played his character so well, the unsettling
performance is still with me. He charmed me down to my toes in Rob
large off screen as he is on. He IS the stuff legends are made of, yet
there's something so real, so grounded about him. What a career! Here are just a few:
The Bounty (1984)
The Mission (1986)
A Prayer For The Dying (1987) with Bob Hoskins and Mickey Rourke
(whose bad-assery consists mainly of smoking wherever he feels like,
especially when told not to, with unintended hilarity!)
The Dead Pool (1988)
Next of Kin (1989) with Patrick Swayze
Schindler's List (1993)
Rob Roy (1995)
Michael Collins (1996)
Star Wars: Episode 1-The Phantom Menace (1999) A fitting and
Gangs of New York (2002)
Love Actually (2003)
Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
Batman Begins (2005)
Clash of the Titans (2010)
Who else could play Zeus?—such a voice!
The One. The one
who starred in the "Rush, Rush" video with Paula Abdul.
The one who had an excellent adventure. The one who was in two
bands, one called "Dogstar", and one called "Becky."
I first noticed him in
Dangerous Liaisons. His next movie, Bill & Ted's Excellent
Adventure, created a stereotype that follows him to this day.
He was good in Ron Howard's Parenthood, and then came
Point Break. Johnny Utah was like Keanu grown up until he said
"Vaya con Dios" at the end and brought Ted to mind again—but you
gotta love him for that. He's just cooler than you! Speaking of
cool, his best friend was River Phoenix (also in a band
called "Aleka's Attic"). They starred together in My Own
Private Idaho. This image from that movie is iconic to that
I think Keanu is excellent in everything he's
done. I loved the movie Dracula. Not only is he good in it
but I think it's underrated as he so often is. Dracula is visually
stunning (beyond Keanu's beauty) and full of great moments. Gary Oldman is uniquely creepy.
Once Keanu did Speed, he was locked in to
Action Movie history. The movie has a really exciting beginning that
sets up his character's heroism. People LOVE this movie and
the combination of Keanu and Sandra Bullock. It's always fun to
Keanu is just too beautiful. A Walk in the
Clouds is a total chick flick fantasy with Keanu as a soldier.
Then there's New York lawyer Keanu in The Devil's Advocate
holding his own opposite Al Pacino. Three other favorites of
mine are Constantine (impressive-as-hell effects), The Lake House
(with Sandra Bullock again), and The Day the Earth Stood Still.
It really doesn't matter what kind of movie Keanu
does, what he'll be most remembered for is his role in a perfect
The Matrix. Keanu was the perfect choice for this role.
He seems to have an inner peace that comes through even in the
chaos that moves Neo from his imaginary life to real life. His
training for this movie and the sequels, The Matrix Reloaded
and The Matrix Revolutions are impressive.
His directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, was
impressive and creative. Yuen Woo-ping
did the stunt choreography and the movie also starred Keanu, Tiger Hu Chen,
Uwais! He was inthe samurai movie
47 Ronin, and John Wick looks really bad ass!
My boy Burt. No one
young understands how big he was (how well liked,
how good looking, how much charisma and
record-shattering box-office draw he had). You had to have lived through
it. Shown here with two of the loves of his life:
Dinah Shore and Smokey and The Bandit co-star Sally Field. He said
later of leaving Sally Field for Loni Anderson that
he traded a diamond for a rhinestone.
where he was the centerfold (cropped version
below) sold out in minutes on newsstands.
No man had ever posed nude before. (Burt knew what women
wanted—him!. And no, he didn't show anything.) Before there was Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, there was Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, before
them, Robert Redford and Burt
Reynolds (and Paul Newman and Marlon
Brando) (my point? HOT HOT men). He's more of
a dramatic actor than an Action
Movie star, but he helped
fuel the love of the
genre immeasurably because he always brought
excitement and action to his films (hear him say
so better than I can).
Just so you can
appreciate the breadth of his career, he started on
TV with the
Gunsmoke series (1955). He has 90
feature films to his credit, so I want to mention
just my favorites: There's the single role
he's most known for Deliverance (1972), and the type
of movies he's most know for: the Smokey and The Bandit
movies (1977,80, 83), Cannonball Run I
and II (1981, 84), and
Hooper (1978). I love all those, but I also loved him in
The End (1978),
Rough Cut (1980), Sharky's Machine (1981),
Stick (1985) [filmed here in South Florida] where legendary stuntman
backwards fall while
shooting a gun off a condo in
Fort Lauderdale—a stunt first done for this movie (no net). It came off
as such a vicious thing to do: be on your way to death and still be
shooting. It was copied later in many other movies, including
Trinity in the Matrix Reloaded
(@1:29], Heat (1986),
and Breaking In (both from 1989), Cop and
½ (1993) [co-starring a friend from high school
Kouchalakos :D], and The Crew (2000).
How big was Burt? He turned down
playing James Bond and starring in Die Hard.
He appeared recently on Burn Notice (July
2010) and threw down ;). I would say there
are few actors more loved than Burt Reynolds.
Robert Shaw was my favorite actor. My
favorite roles of his are From Russia With Love
(1963), The Sting (1973), The Taking of
Pelham One Two Three (1974), Jaws (1975), Swashbuckler
The Deep (1977), and Force 10 From
Navarone (1978). A man's man, and an Englishman. A great voice and
in-charge presence: He stole the show in Jaws.
He re-wrote the Indianapolis monologue and the final version was done in
one take. A lot of what was great about "Quint"
in Jaws was all Robert. You know you loved him!
Tragically, he died at only 51.
What d'ya have there—a portable shower or a monkey cage?
You go inside the cage?
Cage goes in the water . . .
you go in the water . . . shark's in the water.
Farewell and adieu to you, fair Spanish ladies. . . .
Iko Uwais's skills as
a fighter stole the show in a movie that looked on the surface like just
a sweet-coming-of-age drama, but Iko as "Yuda" fought for his life,
and on screen it felt more like a documentary than an action movie. Iko's speed and stamina were off the charts! If you don't mind an action
movie that might make you cry, appreciate life, and understand that
we're all the same the world over, Merantau
delivered the most impressive and d memorable fight scene since
Rowdy Roddy and Keith David beat the shit out of each other
in They Live.
In a series of progressively tougher fight scenes
building up to a what-is-he-capable-of? finale, Merantau
showcased Iko's Silat skills with jaw-dropping impact. Out of
this role as a slender, unassuming young man, a major action star was
born. Can't wait for more from Iko! Here's
an interview with
Writer/Director Gareth Evans by Robert A. Mitchell
@SoldierOfCinema of The Raid
(aka Serbuan Maut). The Raid opened
TIFF Midnight Madness. Sony
picked it up for the U.S.It should be released in
Indonesia in January 2012.
The heart and moral compass of the Fast & Furious movies . .
. we didn't know how much he meant to us 'til he was gone. So young,
so beautiful, so loved. He did say "If one day the speed kills me,
do not cry because I was smiling." Easier to think that
than to imagine his final moments. Is there any consolation in a
life well lived. We can only hope so.
Part of the Fast & Furious appeal
is the multi-cultural group, and he was 'the white guy'. He changed our perceptions about white guys in that he was just so damn lovable and
easy going—counteracting the racist hillbilly hater baggage that
comes along with being white in America. He
accepted everyone, loved everyone, had the bluest eyes, and a smile that lit up the
This video says it all.
PAUL WALKER TRIBUTE VIDEO
After Moonlighting, we loved Bruce Willis for Die
Hard. The do-it-yourself cop with the take-no-bullshit attitude. It's the
Action Adventure we think we could handle: coming through for your
family as the tough-guy New York cop/hero on Christmas break. The wrench in the works, Bruce got
under Alan Rickman's skin like a bad rash. The cowboy taking out the Eurotrash.
We'd like to imagine we'd be this heroic if put in his situation.
He's the personification of the American spirit in this role. We
believe in him because we see in him our better, more courageous selves.
He can be
forgiven for Hudson Hawk because the rest of the Die Hard series was
REALLY GREAT (A Good Day to Die Hard excepted), but when they say
things like "his face is unrecognizable" (The Jackal) you have to laugh, because Bruce is
stuck with the John McClane persona, like it or not, and a very distinct way of moving (in the shoulders)
and pursing his lips . . . To paraphrase a line from a Toby Keith song, he's
good as he once was, but he's as good, once, as he ever was." In other words, he'll be
John McClane no
matter who they cast him as, and he'll never be as good. It's an
insult but also a tremendous compliment.
Action Movie compliment paid
was that Stallone included him in the ultimate Action Boys' Club:
The Expendables movies.
Maybe it's just his look with
a crewcut but he has a very everyman face. I mean that in the best
way: relatability. You're not distracted by his looks. Of course,
that could be a testament to his acting ability. Too many times
actors seem to play themselves. Sam disappears into the role. I
think that's the highest compliment but this is sometimes negatively
criticized with action movies because it seems like fans want their
action stars to be personalities before the even get to the screen,
and to be that larger-than-life persona in their role. I guess
you could put it this way: Sam Worthington has no swagger. I still
Look out. Taking back the no swagger as he looks
like he might be the total bad ass in Sabotage . . .
When, as women, these characters find themselves in impossible situations and rise to the challenge,
the bar is set higher. Nobody expects women to be able to do what
men can do. But I have news for you, we can! Whether these
actresses have martial arts training or not, they did a damn good job
of 'keeping up'. For the female Action Star, it may not be about
obvious strength, but more about agility. She doesn't have to be butch, but she has to be
believable. With Martial Arts movies leading the way (as they once
did with early Action Movies for men), kick-ass women who don't need
to fake their skills are going to be, hopefullly, the norm rather
than the exception in the future.
We haven't scratched the
surface of the potential for truly strong women in Action Movies. I
thought Red Sonja in 1985 was an
indicator of things to come, but we're still waiting! (check out
Seeing Red Over Sonja) What are
we waiting for?! Strong women need to get out there and make these
movies! All of the women below are more the type of women MEN
want to see. We are missing the type of woman WOMEN want to
see, like JeeJa Yanin . . .
That's right! Geena Davis. You know why . . .
The Long Kiss Goodnight. Geena is quite a
chameleon when it comes to roles and hasn't gotten
nearly enough credit for her talent. She is
completely believable in this real-life nightmare.
Her character's alter-ego is a contrast to what we
probably think Geena is in real life. That makes it
all the better. The script is great too. She's a
mother! (Shut your mouth!)
Earning her place here for a savage-yet-endearing performance in
Point of No Return, convincingly portraying a
girl pushed too far and what she's capable of (of what maybe anyone is,
with enough programming and training). Her delicate features and
femininity that make it all the more devastating to watch her do those
things. Her intensity and concentration seem real. Point of No
Return delivers the
Action Movie excitement as effectively as any guy-star's movie. But
maybe you think I'm saying that just cause I'm a girl—Bite me!
From her twitter bio: "pronounced
Kate who? A face so flawless, she'd be breathtaking even without
hair. In the film The Fifth Element, she was female
perfection, wearing only straps for clothes. She dominated the
screen in Resident Evil, which spawned four sequels:
Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction,
Afterlife, and Resident
Evil: Retribution (14 Sept 2012). Thanks to twitter you can
and get behind-the-scenes updates like "shooting RE5 in camp evil".
An unlikely Action Movie hero . . . pale, slight,
and slender, Milla is also fierce, savage, and lethal! Hers is not
the big-boobed, bleached-blonde, artificiality of the every skank.
Her vulnerability and slenderness add to rather than take away from
the persona: A 'normal' girl until she shows her power.
Milla was so mesmerizing in her portrayal of Alice in
Resident Evil that it's impossible to imagine anyone else in the
role: the highest compliment.
Ultraviolet, she was a force of nature! If you could
stop watching with your mouth open long enough, you had to notice
she was effective as hell in those roles. Compare her to Linda
Hamilton: Milla's proof you don't have to look butch to kick
ass. That was unkind to Linda Hamilton, yes, but also
flattering as Hamilton raised the bar on the standard of kick ass.
Bring that high kick,
Carrie-Anne. Admitting she had a hard time learning the
stunts on the DVD extras to
nevertheless perfected a fluidity of movement,
enhanced by slo-mo and shiny poly vinyl. Acrobatic
and graceful, Moss took the character of Trinity
beyond believability into the realm of a superheroine. The one thing I loved about The Matrix until they
showed other women on the 'outside' was that Trinity seemed like a
different kind of woman. Like women had evolved by necessity to be
warriors, having the same survival instinct/fight-on-the-run
mentality as the others. When Trinity faces down the dump
truck, that's balls! But it's Carrie-Anne Moss that's selling it.
"Hey Carrie Anne, what's your game now, can anybody play?" I wonder
if she was named for that
1967 Hollies song. That's the
year she was born.
Zoe's career is blazing
like a comet! From Star Trek in 2009, Zoe Saldana's "Uhura"
brought her into the Action Movie forefront, and when she played "Neytiri"
in Avatar, the whole planet wished there was a sex-with-the-blue-monkeys scene.
Although 2010's The Losers wasn't
well received, she rocked the role. Her looks and sexuality were probably
the reason 99% of heterosexual males saw the film. What a shame
that men are less than 50% of the population. Maybe when Action
Movies roles for women start are appealing to women and not catering
to men, things will change for us.
appeared as a minor love-interest role in the underappreciated The Takers.
(I think they chose her for her real-life background in Action
Movies so she would seem 'the part', and her role would be informed
by her career choices.) Shoot me for liking it (the critics
didn't). It delivered. Zoe's proved she's got
what it takes many times, but I think she was best in
COLOMBiANA. If you
haven't seen it, you should—especially if you're a
woman! We'll see her again in 2013 as Lt. Uhura
in the untitled
Star Trek sequel, and in 2016 as Neytiri in Avatar 2.
The kick ass star of
Aliens, Alien3, and Alien Resurrection (I love them
all!), and Galaxy Quest (loved that too). The one who kept a cool head when even the robot had an evil
agenda, when the soldiers needed rescuing and their leader fell apart, and
through the nightmare and back again as the monster's mother. The only tattoo I ever
considered getting was the "8" on the forearm from when she is the
eighth clone in Alien Resurrection.
It ROCKS that the star of the
most enjoyable Action Movie of all time (Aliens) is a WOMAN and
a mother, and it's about a mother rescuing 'her' child.
Can you believe she made that
over-the-shoulder-past-the-3-point-zoneshot in Alien Resurrection?! YES I CAN! (Watch this clip, aptly titled
Sigourney Weaver Is The Shit!")
In a male-dominated genre, she stands tall literally
and figuratively! I don't need Superman. I'll take Ripley, Ellen,
Lieutenant First Class 36706, and happily be a clone.
The star of
Chocolate and Raging Phoenix, Jeeja Yanin is a Thai
Taekwondo sensation. Billed as "no wires" and "no stunt
doubles" Chocolate created a lot of buzz for the female star. At
just 5' 2" she packs a lot of lethality into a lithe frame.
The follow-up movie,
Raging Phoenix was billed as "Chinese Drunken Fist vs. Drunken Muay Thai", plus
B-Boy moves! The Thai movies in general and this one in particular throw so much
at you, it's hard to not be amazed. The creativity of the fighting moves, and
the intensity is unmatched. If you haven't seen either, you must see both!
left such an indelible impression after Tomorrow
Never Dies (1997), it gave girls everywhere hope
of equality with men!
There seemed to be nothing she
In Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
(2003) she was also so good that she could do
nothing else the rest of her career, and still be an
Action Movie legend. She 'brought it' to the screen
and hacked it to pieces. She was a dancer, but had no formal martial arts training (!).
She does her own fighting and most of her own stunts. "She gets
injured a lot" according to IMDB. More reason to love her! Proving strength
is not a man's province, Yeoh sells it like nobody else.
She turned down a role in The Matrix:
Reloaded. Our loss!
So beautiful yet so deadly. She stole the show in
Rush Hour 2. She was also devastating in Crouching Tiger
Hidden Dragon, Hero, and House of Flying Daggers. She played
the lead in Memoirs of a Geisha with Gong Li (Li Gong) and
Michelle Yeoh, alongside The Last Samuri's heartthrob
leading man Ken Watanabe.
She is starring
The Grand Masters
(2012), "the story of martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee".
Woo-ping Yeun is the action choreographer.
How perfect is this? Zhang was to play
Mulan in a film directed by Jan de Bont, which,
according to Wikipedia was supposed to wrap January 2011, but for
which no release date was mentioned (I could not even find it on IMDB).
This lengthy comment
is the only thing I could find. (I disagree on the 3D and the English—I
would love to see her as Mulan in any language, 3D or not.)
For 2012 IMDB shows her in The Grandmasters
(an Ip Man story), a Cantonese Dangerous Liaisons,
and for 2013 a Drama directed by John Woo called Live and Let Love!