action movie freak    


Action Movie

Jackie Chan

action movie god Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger

action movie god Sylvester Stallone

action movie god Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

action movie god Jason Statham

Jason Statham

action movie god Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson

action movie god Michael Bay
Michael Bay

action movie god Luc Besson
Luc Besson

action movie god Jerry Bruckheimer
Jerry Bruckheimer

action movie gods 87 Eleven

action movie god Tony Jaa
Tony Jaa

action movie god Woo-Ping Yuen
Woo-Ping Yuen

John Woo

Action Movie

by Category
then Alphabetical


Jim Kelly
Bruce Lee
Chuck Norris


Scott Adkins
Ben Affleck
Zoe Bell
David Belle
Daniel Bernhardt
Jackie Chan
Terry Crews
Vin Diesel
Chris Evans
Jenette Goldstein
Pam Grier
Tom Hardy
Chris Hemsworth
Leo Howard
Tony Jaa
Hugh Jackman
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Jet Li
Dolph Lundgren
Kellan Lutz
Jason Momoa
Heidi Moneymaker
Chris Pratt
Cyril Raffaelli
Jeremy Renner
Michelle Rodriguez
Cynthia Rothrock
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Wesley Snipes
Sylvester Stallone
Jason Statham
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Mark Wahlberg
Carl Weathers
Michael Jai White
Donnie Yen

Marko Zaror


"Stone Cold" Steve Austin
Dave Bautista
Gina Carano
John Cena
Randy Couture
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Nathan Jones
Cung Le

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper
Ronda Rousey
Jesse "The Body" Ventura


Hart Bochner
David Caruso
Richard Chavez
Micah A. Hauptman
Alfred Molina
Ingo Neuhaus
Kevin J. O'Connor
Leland Orser
Bill Paxton

(half Action Figure/ half Regular Joe)
Eric Bana
Gerard Butler
Daniel Craig
Tom Cruise
Robert Downey, Jr.
Thomas Jane
Rain (Jong Ji-hoon)
Salman Khan

Al Leong
Kurt Russell

Steven Seagal
Will Smith
Johnny Strong
Channing Tatum
Karl Urban


Tom Berenger
Nicolas Cage
Sean Connery
Matt Damon
Clint Eastwood
Harrison Ford
Tommy Lee Jones
Taylor Lautner
Liam Neeson
Keanu Reeves
Burt Reynolds
Robert Shaw
Iko Uwais
Paul Walker
Bruce Willis
Sam Worthington


Geena Davis
Bridget Fonda
Milla Jovovich
Carrie-Ann Moss
Zoe Saldana

Sigourney Weaver
Jeeja Yanin
Michelle Yeoh

Zhang Ziyi


Scott Adkins
Ben Affleck
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin

Eric Bana
Dave Bautista
David Belle
Tom Berenger
Daniel Bernhardt
Hart Bochner
Gerard Butler
Nicolas Cage
Gina Carano
Jackie Chan

Richard Chavez
Sonny Chiba

Sean Connery
Terry Crews
Randy Couture
Daniel Craig
Tom Cruise
Matt Damon

Geena Davis
Vin Diesel
Robert Downey, Jr.
Clint Eastwood
Chris Evans
Bridget Fonda
Harrison Ford
Jenette Goldstein

Pam Grier
Tom Hardy
Micah A. Hauptman
Chris Hemsworth

Leo Howard
Tony Jaa
Hugh Jackman
Thomas Jane
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Tommy Lee Jones
Milla Jovovich
Jim Kelly

Salman Khan
Taylor Lautner
Cung Le
Bruce Lee
Al Leong
Bolo Leung
Paul "Triple H" Levesque
Jet Li
Dolph Lundgren
Kellan Lutz
Alfred Molina
Jason Momoa
Carrie-Ann Moss
Liam Neeson

Chuck Norris
Ingo Neuhaus
Kevin J. O'Connor
Leland Orser
Bill Paxton
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper
Cyril Raffaelli
(Jong Ji-hoon)
Keanu Reeves
Jeremy Renner
Burt Reynolds
Michelle Rodriguez
Cynthia Rothrock

Kurt Russell
Zoe Saldana

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Steven Seagal
Robert Shaw
Will Smith
Wesley Snipes
Sylvester Stallone
Jason Statham
Johnny Strong
Channing Tatum
Karl Urban
Iko Uwais
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Jesse "The Body" Ventura

Mark Wahlberg
Paul Walker
Carl Weathers
Michael Jai White
Bruce Willis

Sigourney Weaver
Sam Worthington
Jeeja Yanin
Donnie Yen
Michelle Yeoh

Marko Zaror
Zhang Ziyi


Action Movie

J. J. Abrams
Buddy Joe Hooker
Larnell Stovall
Paul Weston

Action Movie

J. J. Abrams
Michael Bay
Peter Berg
Kathryn Bigelow
James Cameron
John Carpenter
Andrew Davis
Brian de Palma
William Friedkin
George Lucas
John McTiernan
Brett Ratner
Ridley Scott
Tony Scott
Stephen Spielberg
The Wachowskis


The Action Movie BAD ASS

Although the bigger, the better, the Action Movie BAD ASS comes in many shapes and sizes:




These Action Movie Bad Ass legends are in their own category for making the genre what it is.




Bruce LEE

Making fun of the dubbed sound not matching the lip movements was a really common joke with "kung fu movies", but it just drove home the fact that language was no barrier to their enjoyment and popularity. Actually, 3 out of Bruce Lee's 5 movies were in English. Bruce Lee CREATED my idea of the Action Movie BAD ASS, and did so for many other Action Movie Freaks. Along with his a
mazing physical prowess came philosophy . . . This quote from Enter The Dragon explains why so many love the ACTION FIGURE:

"It is STRENGTH that makes all other values possible.
Nothing survives without it."

Lee was as cool as it gets. Kung Fu movies made us hungry for more, and along came:




Everyone knows Chuck Norris as the baddest man on the planet.  I'm sure you've heard the one liners (there were 2 sites:
The Chuck Norris or 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's 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: ActionFest in 2010. 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. At the inaugural ActionFest closing ceremony, he turned over his Lifetime Achievement award to his brother, stunt double, Director, and 1 of 4  Co-Founders of ActionFest, Aaron Norris, as a fitting tribute to Stuntmen: the unsung heroes who make the Action Movie Bad Ass look good.

In The Expendables 2, Chuck Norris basically tells Sylvester Stallone that Stallone took his job (meaning everyone started watching Stallone's movies instead). Truly, how awesome is that?!


Action Movie Bad Ass Jim Kelly




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 Action Movie Freaks thought he was. I wish I had thought to add 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. 

Looking back at that time, his talent was a trailblazing standout. So much of what we love about those '70s Action Movies that has become cliché, 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.

Michael Jai White had some very kind words to say about Mr. Kelly . . . 




The Queen of Action Movies.
Check her out on
IMDB or 
Kicking ass from 1985 to 2000, when she tapered off a bit . . .
but she is still an unbeatable force. She's best known for Undefeatable,
Huang jia shi jie, 
and Above the Law.

She was WAY ahead of her time—nobody comes close to her, even today.

She holds 6 Black Belts! This clip of her work reminds me of what they said
about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers: that she did everything he did,
backwards and in heels. Speaking of heels, in this clip from Blonde Fury 3,
Rothrock fights like
Jackie Chan . . .

It's a vicious throwdown, aw yeah!





handshake/arm wrestling between Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Carl Weathers in PREDATORWith ACTION FIGURES, 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 to their acting ability 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 (#StandUpForStunts). Too often dismissed and not considered serious actors, Action Figures should, instead, be doubly awarded. Not only are they talking the talk, they're walking the walk!

At any rate, '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 really could get the job done, and nothing is more convincing than real strength. These guys don't need rubber suits with fake muscles. 

Carl Weathers and Arnold in Predator—This is how the Action Figure shakes hands! 

These are alphabetical by last name (in each category) . . .




"Boy-ka! Boy-ka! Boy-ka! . . . "
He looks like Ben Affleck might after training in Hell! (To be fair to Ben, he looked great in The Town, but you've got to admit there's a resemblance.) [Scott should have been Batman!] Adkins owns 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 lots of big Action Movies, and starred in his own Action Movies. With a physique like this and mad martial arts skills, he is always in demand. He plays a villain a lot, but few can touch him for fighting abilities.

In Mike Fury's book LIFE OF ACTION, which begins with Scott's chapter, he says "I'll always stay immerse in Action as long as I can. For me, great fight scenes are the most dynamic form of cinema."








Female stunt superstar Zoë Bell is also an actress. 
You've seen her in many movies (check out her
acting reel, and one of many stunt reels (playlist for more).

From her IMDb bio:
She's a New Zealand native with a background in gymnastics and martial arts.
  She started out doubling for Lucy Lawless in Xena: Warrior Princess
on TV and then doubled "The Bride" (Uma Thurman) in Kill Bill: Vol 1 and Vol. 2

As if that's not impressive enough, she's done stunts in Catwoman,
Grindhouse, Death Proof
(you remember: that crazy on-the-hood
-of-the-car chase scene), and Planet Terror, plus Inglorious Bastards,
The Final Destination, Blood and Bone,
Iron Man 3, and many more.

She's also acted in many movies, including Gamer, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Django Unchained, and appeared only briefly (what a waste) in The Hateful Eight.  She is also a Stunt Coordinator!


Her action movie short film kickstarter project "No Touching" with co-star Heidi Moneymaker and 87eleven was well received at the 2016 Artemis Women in Action Film Festival!  Zoe is pictured below with No Touching writers Adam Davis and Will Corona Pilgrim, and co-star Heidi Moneymaker.  I wrote about it in PAYBACK action movie magazine (check out pp. 12-25). (photo source:  Getty Images)

Zoe Bell, Adam Davis, Will Corona Pilgrim, and Heidi Moneymaker on the red carpet at the 2016 Artemis Women in Action Film Festival


David Belle




If you saw District 13, you know how incredible David Belle is. He reprised his role 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, Free Running.

David BelleMovement 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.

*Parkour [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)  If you want to practice Parkour: this article is a great start—not only does it have an interesting history of Parkour, but advice on basic moves to get started and gain strength.





If you saw Parker, you know Daniel. His career began with Bloodsport 2 (and Bloodsport III). He was in the Mortal Kombat: Conquest TV series (Siro). He was an "upgraded" Agent Johnson in The Matrix Reloaded. You may have missed him (at 6' 2.5" he's really hard to miss) in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (District 9 Male Tribute).

It was John Wick that cemented his Bad Ass-ness for me. His fight scene in Parker put him way up there though. I have never been so impressed with one performance (George St-Pierre in Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a close second).

He brought the same intensity to his fight scenes with John Wick. Some of his earlier action movies: Future War, True Vengeance, Perfect Target, Bloodsport: The Dark Kumite, G2 aka Mortal Conquest, Black Sea Raid, Global Effect, The Librarians (?! just when you were loving the typical titles) filmed in Miami (I like that) and starring William Forsythe and Erika Eleniak, The Cutter (Chuck Norris movie), and Supreme Champion.

It was cool to see him as "Bone Breaker" in Logan. He was in Atomic Blonde and Kill 'em All (with Jean-Claude Van Damme).
This trailer is so '80s Action! That's Daniel at :32, :36, and getting kicked at the end LOL.

 I'm looking forward to seeing him in Escape Plan 3: Devil's Station . . .


young Jackie Chan



Jackie CHAN
Jackie Chan carrying Olympic Torch
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 until we saw the misses and the injuries in practice 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 Chan and Chris Tucker. And Jackie's so lovable! Maybe it's the smile, or his inner goodness that shines through. Even when Chris Tucker's character is aggravating the hell out of him, he keeps his cool.  [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).

They opened the Jackie Chan Museum in Shanghai on April 7, 2014 (his 60th birthday)!

Jackie Chan is in 3 of Gareth Evans' Top 5 Fight Scenes. Watch here.

Congratulations to Jackie Chan on his Honorary Oscar. Long overdue at 62!




Mike Colter in a suit and tieMike Colter
must get tired of people talking about his looks, physique, or presence. I sure hope he hears a lot what a talented actor he is, though. I loved him in Luke Cage, but it was Black and Blue that elevated him to the stratosphere for me. What a performance!

Self-proclaimed "genre-jumper" (@20:31), he wasn't always as beefy as he appears in Plane with Gerard Bulter (a very Riddick-in-Pitch-Black looking kind of part), and he has played a variety of roles, so I thought of him as an actor actor. But now, I am claiming him for the Action genre and hope he does more Action Movies (a few more, please?). Judging by his IMDb bio, though, he's an actor actor to the bone:

"He attended Benedict College where he was mentored and groomed his drama professor Scott Blanks. After transferring to the University of South Carolina where he attained a B.A. degree in theater, Mike went on to study at Mason Gross School of the Arts under renowned acting teachers William Esper and Maggie Flanigan. Upon receiving his MFA degree, Mike moved to L.A. where parts did not come easy, but after a few months he was able to grab a co-star on Spin City with Charlie Sheen followed by guest stars on E.R. and The Parkers with Mo'Nique. Mike then moved back to NYC to allow for the possibility of working in the theater as well, but as luck would have it Hollywood came calling again. He landed a role in 2005 Best Picture winner Million Dollar Baby opposite Clint Eastwood, Hillary Swank and Morgan Freeman. He got the role without ever meeting Clint in person prior to the first day of shooting. The following year he received exceptional reviews for his turn as CJ Memphis a guitar-playing blues singer in The 2005 revival of the Pulitzer prize winning 'A Soldier's Play.' The play had been a big off-Broadway success and was made into a movie starring Denzel Washington and many of Hollywood's up-and-coming African-American actors in 1984. Mike kept his nose to the grindstone with a role in Adam Bock's new play 'Drunken City' that world premiered at Playwrights Horizon in 2008. Mike splits his time between New York and L.A. working in film and television."

Mike Colter as Darius in Black and Blue

He is the lead in an upcoming Crime Thriller Murder City. Keep an eye out . . .




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!  He was funny in Bridesmaids as well.  He's done a lot of TV, including the hilarious
Old Spice commercials—funny and uniquely 'Terry'.

In 1991, he was drafted by the L.A. Rams, and played six years in the NFL (for the Rams, Chargers, Rhein Fire (NFL Europe-Germany), Redskins, and Eagles). Source: IMDb. Terry embodies what it means to be larger than life. He stole the show in The Expendables and, had his moments in The Expendables 2 and 3 I would love to see him play Augustus Cole in a Gears of War movie, if they ever make one!

With so much personality, you know anything he is in will be entertaining. Action Movie Freaks want more Terry Crews!! 

Not since 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 character poster to all the others from Expendables 2.  Yeah we want some!  SOME MORE TERRY CREWS!!!

He was entertaining as Bedlam in Deadpool 2.

The Expendables 2 character poster minus Terry Crews





My endless love for Tom Cruise began when he appeared briefly in the Brooke Shields movie Endless Love (1981) playing soccer. I remember thinking: "To hell with this story, let's follow that guy!"

4 shots of Tom Cruise in the movie Endless LoveTom is always in great shape and does a lot of his own stunt work. His body of work is impressive, and I would say he was the next generation's Burt Reynolds: Attractive but down-to-earth enough 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 (some of them many times)—and thought they were all great!

Taps (1981) drama

The Outsiders (1983) crime/drama

Tom Cruise in the movie LegendLosin' It (1983) comedy/drama

Risky Business (1983) comedy/crime/drama

All the Right Movess (1983)

Legend (1985) adventure/fantasy/romance
           (in which he was painfully beautiful)
 Top Gun (1986) drama/romance/sport

The Color of Money (1986) drama/sport

Cocktail (1988) comedy/drama/romance

Young Guns (1988) action/crime/drama Western

Rain Man (1988) drama

Born on the Fourth of July (1989) biography/drama/war

Days of Thunder (1990) action/drama/sport

Far and Away (1992) adventure/drama/romance

Tom Cruise with long hair in a blue suitThe Firm (1993) drama/mystery/thriller

Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) drama/fantasy/horror

Mission: Impossible (1996) action/adventure/thriller

Jerry Maguire (1996) comedy/drama/romance

I believe Tom Cruise is underappreciated because people think he IS the role he most often portrays (a cocky guy) in real life, and therefore he is not acting. This is unfortunate because #1 they're just jealous, #2 his performances are all really 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 pleased with himself sometimes—but really who can blame him?—maybe more people would like the person/actor more, but then maybe we wouldn't love the characters so much. Whatever your opinion of Tom, he IS the world's BIGGEST star!  I think he's the best. I think his performances in The Color of Money, Born on the Fourth of July, and Magnolia were all easily Oscar worthy, The Last Samurai (he was incredible in this movie!), Collateral . . .

Joel   Maverick   Vincent   Brian   Cole Trickle   Lt. Daniel Kaffee   Ethan Hunt   Jerry Maguire

Tom Cruise movie roles

Continuing the list . . . It is impressive!

Eyes Wide Shut (1999) drama/mystery/thriller

Magnolia (1999)  drama  I wish he had gotten the Oscar for this role.  I was really rooting for him :-(

Mission: Impossible II (2000) action/adventure/thriller

Tom Cruise in The Last SamuraiVanilla Sky (2001) fantasy/mystery/romance

Minority Report (2002) action/mystery/sci-fi

Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) action/comedy/crime

The Last Samurai (2003) (Love the long-haired Tom) action/drama/history

Collateral (2004) crime/drama/thriller

War of the Worlds (2005) adventure/sci-fi/thriller

Mission: Impossible III (2006) action/adventure/thriller

Lions for Lambs (2007) drama/thriller/war

Tropic Thunder (2008) drama/thriller/war (Action!)

Valkyrie (2008) drama/history/thriller

Knight and Day (2010) action/comedy/romance

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011) action/adventure/thriller

Jack Reacher (2012) action/crime/mystery

Oblivion (2013) action/adventure/mystery

Edge of Tomorrow (aka All You Need Is Kill) (2014) action/adventure/sci-fi

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015) action/adventure/thriller

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) action/adventure/crime (A great female action role for Cobie Smulders.)

The Mummy (2017) action/adventure/fantasy  with Russell Crowe and Courtney B. Vance
Wished I was in England when Tom was filming there . . .   Guess he and Russell Crowe are old friends?

American Made  (2017) action/biography/comedy/crime/drama/history/thriller Somebody went crazy on the subgenres there.  "A pilot lands work for the CIA and as a drug runner in the South during the 1980s."


Thanks to my color coding, we can see Tom is solidly ACTION MOVIES!

Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe

The always excellent, Mr. Cruise also stars in:

Mission: Impossible - Fallout  (July 27, 2018) action/adventure/thriller LOVE this series! I think it's THE top-notch Action Series and has surpassed Bond movies.

He reprises "Maverick" in (2020 . . . now) 2022 in Top Gun: Maverick! action  They're bringing Val Kilmer back.

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning - Part One (2023)

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning - Part Two (2024)

Untitled Tom Cruise/SpaceX Project  |  What happened to: Luna Park? action/adventure/sci-fi  "A group of renegade space workers venture to the moon to steal an energy source." Sounds like a Heist subgenre of a different kind.  Read more from Variety.

Live Die Repeat and Repeat . . .


Vin Diesel in The Chronicles of Riddick



The shower scene from
The Chronicles of Riddick was sPECtacular! LOL 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 this!) 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 never backs down. He held his own opposite 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 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)!  

"Aaaah . . . the Riddick!" See more Vin in Fast & Furious 7, The Machine, and Guardians of the Galaxy (he was great as "Groot").  Vin seemed to kick off a new franchise with xXx: The Return of Xander CageDonnie Yen and Tony Jaa were great in it!

The Fate of the Furious had crazy action, and Fast & Furious 9, and Fast & Furious 10 are in the works. He's got a new franchise going with xXx 4, and even another Riddick movie (yes, by David Twohy), Furia (looks stalled . . . ).


Chris Evans as Captain America in costume




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 in Captain America: The First Avenger. He was great  in The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World (he was in there for a few minutes), Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Snowpiercer, Avengers: Age of ltron, Captain America: Civil War—Team Cap al the way!—Captain America is such a likeable, sympathetic figure.

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 he appears in more and more Action Movies.

According to the YouTube channel Movie Trailers (after the John Wick trailer @2:31), once Chris Evans' Marvel contract expired, he said he was going to star only in movies he directs himself. They better be ACTION MOVIES!





Too seldom are women with real muscle used in Action Movies. Jenette Goldstein as "Private Vasquez" from Aliens was a welcome change, but it didn't start a trend like I hoped it would. Vasquez was a no-bullshit soldier. She talked the talk and walked the walk: 

"I only need to know one thing . . . where they are!"

She was cocky, and brave as hell. No double standards. She was the first 'man' in, and the one who knew they should keep some bullets. Kudos to Jenette for making the role so convincing.

HUDSON:   "Hey Vasquez, have you ever been mistaken for a man?"
VASQUEZ:   "No, have you?"

Aliens female character VasquezBAD ASS. When can we see more like her?! THIS is what women want to see in Action Movies.

(Such a perfect performance, it earned her a place here in great company . . .)




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 Brown fought back for all of us. Male fantasies might have come true, but it's the female revenge fantasies that defined her.

Pam Grier was the first African-American female to headline an Action Movie. She also co-starred as Steven Seagal's detective partner in Above the Law (1988 Writer/Director Andrew Davis).  In 1996, she appeared in in John Carpenter's Escape from L.A., and in 1997 she was a super bad ass in the title role of Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown








That physique! Frank Grillo is a walking talking Action Figure. He was in 2002's Minority Report and has been is MANY movies since, a great many of them Action Movies: Warrior, The Grey, End of Watch, Zero Dark Thirty, Homefront, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Wolf Warrior 2, Boss Level, and Avengers: End Game, to name just a few of my favorites, and he continues to be this impressive regardless of age.

He's got such confidence. He's from an Italian-American family, raised in the Bronx. He started wrestling at 8 and boxing at 18. Like many other Action Figures, he's a fighter, learning other martial arts like Jiu-Jitsu. Maybe part of it is being fit, part is swagger, and part of it must be the hair. He's also done a lot of TV. He was in 9 movies in 2021 alone. If you asked me to picture the 'tough guy', it would be Frank.

I joke "I'm a fighter, not a lover." My Dad used to pay people to fight him if he couldn't get a willing participant. Never heard anyone else sum it up like this:"If I wasn't boxing, if I didn't box every day, I would be in jail or dead. Probably dead. I'd probably be dead. I need to hit things. I need to be hit. That's as simple as I can put it. I'm a little rough around the edges." He adds "And being raised in the Bronx, in New York, immigrant family, I have that New York sensibility and—it is a very specific thing. And I wear it as a badge, but, I'm not a tough guy. I'm a lollipop. I'm a softie. I like poetry. I can fight, that doesn't mean I'm a tough guy. I don't know where that comes from. I think it's the roles, maybe the roles that I've been recognized for lately is this tough guy thing but. I identify way more with fighters than I do actors. And it's a community. The guys that you see when I walk in the gym that hug me and give me a kiss on the face and I kiss them back, I love them. You know what I think it is. Boxing is about truth—that's it. When you get in the ring, there's no hiding. Actors can hide—behind personas, behind publicity, behind movies. They can hide. If you want to be a real actor, if you want to be an actor that affects people, it's a craft. You've gotta learn it. It's like boxing, you don't just become an fighter, you've got to spar and you've got to train over and over and over. I'm a better actor because I box. No doubt about it. There's no doubt about it." SOURCE: Entertainment Weekly Interview




You can't star in a movie named Warrior (2011), 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 Award for 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! 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"). His performance in Venom was brilliant—but did you expect anything less? He said the best :40 minutes ended up on the cutting room floor. Now everyone wants to see the Tom Hardy version of the film.




Chris Hemsworth IMDB headshotChris HEMSWORTH

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 plays the role with such charm you can't help but love 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 they remedied that in The Huntsman: Winter's War.

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. He beefed 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 was also in Cyber an Action/Crime/Drama which sounded cool but disappointed. Thor: Ragnarok was dumb but funny, and then came Avengers: Infinity War - Part I . . . (so much fuss). He's done with Thor soon. I just hope he keeps doing Action Movies.


Djimon Hounsou action figure




Djimon Hounsou would have been a great Black PantherJi-mun Hun-soo was in Stargate, Amistad, and Deep Rising, but it was Gladiator that put him beyond beyond for me. He is a formidable physical presence to be sure. The Action Figure through and through, plus he has a great acting range. It doesn't get any better than he was in Blood Diamond. He got an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor (but they gave it to Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine ?!).  He appeared in Never Back Down, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Furious 7.  He's got a powerful screen presence and I hope to see him in more Action Movies. 

He would have been awesome as Black Panther (he did an animated version), but I was willing to give Chadwick Boseman a chance. Maybe there's another Superhero he can be . . .  He's going to be in Captain Marvel.


Leo Howard




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". 

For adults, 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. 

Here's an interview with Leo.

Tony Jaa



Tony JAA

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.

By Ong Bak 3  Tony Jaa was going mainstream, appearing in Fast & Furious 7! See him in A Man Will Rise with Dolph Lundren, Skin Trade, and Sha Po Lang 2 aka Kill Zone 2 with Jacky Wu dubbed "Gloriously Brutal. It will leave you breathless." (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.)  He's in Never Back Down 3 called Never Back Down: No Surrender and xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. What I'm waiting for is  Triple Threat!




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 X-Men: Apocalypse makes 7 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 was still going strong and as the Wolverine in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

I loved him as Van Helsing, which Tom Cruise supposedly has picked up, to remake. Wonder what he'll do with it. Big shoes to fill. He is listed for an "Untitled Wolverine Sequel" in 2017. According to "The plan is for the new film to tie to the planned Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe that will officially launch in 2017 with "The Mummy."

Dwayne The Rock Johnson in The Scorpion King



Dwayne "The Rock" JOHNSON

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 and Karl Urban, and they still couldn't make it work.  At last, with The Other Guys (however brief his appearance), Faster, and Fast Five, The Rock took over as the Ultimate ACTION MOVIE Bad Ass we always knew he would be!

The Rock has charisma by the bucket load! 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 a little egotistical—it's not bragging if it's true—but, he was learning, he was him, and he was confident. 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—it's the best "kids" Action Movie EVER, with serious full-blown action scenes). 

Fast Five was fun but his role was minimal. We saw more of him in Fast & Furious 6 but 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 got to watch him layeth the smacketh down on John Cena!  Too bad he got beat the next year. I don't think he will ever let go of wrestling. (Yay!)

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. He regularly posts stills and sometimes video (he was also on but 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 and it delivered. I think it would have been better with less characters (then he would have had a bigger role). Bruce Willis wasn't tough, muscular, or military enough for General Joe. 

Snitch-the Drama/Thriller with 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!

He was sure having fun as Hercules in Hercules (based on the Radical Comics Hercules: The Thracian Wars and directed by Brett Ratner but not so base and vulgar). Furious 7 was bittersweet, but The Rock dominated and had incredible Action scenes. Check him out in San Andreas, the special effects are unbelievable! The man stays busy:  He's partnering with Kevin Hart a lot: Central Intelligence, Jumani. He posts on instagram a lot as well—He and Kevin Hart are ridiculously funny sometimes.  Reminds me a little of the contrast between Arnold and Danny DeVito. He's in San Andreas 2, Journey 3: From the Earth to the Moon, Fast 8, Baywatch, and Shazam! as Black Adam . .  . (on again/off again/maybe?). At last, The Rock as a Superhero. Black Adam is powerful enough to fight Superman.  Just saying.






Maybe Techo Viking is a Bolo Fan
and an Action Movie Freak . . .


Bolo LEUNG (Yang Sze)

What a physique! Bolo was a competitive body builder who became a martial arts Action Figure. Primarily cast as the villain, he is best known for Enter the Dragon, Bloodsport, and Double Impactt. Often, all the credit is given to the lead, when much of what makes the lead the hero is defeating an impressive bad guy. So satisfying to see the bad guy get defeated. The harder to beat the better. Bolo's physique really ramped up the fear factor.

From Wikipedia:  "Bolo met Bruce Lee while the two were filming a Winston cigarettes commercial. A friendship emerged and Bruce invited him to star in Enter the Dragon, where he became known as "Bolo", the name of the character he portrayed. The two became close friends during the filming . . . [when they] worked very closely on technique training. Bolo once stated in an interview, many years after Lee's death, "There will never be another Bruce Lee; and I am privileged to have had the honor of calling him friend."


During the '70s and '80s, Bolo starred in numerous kung fu films, but his breakout film was Bloodsport (photo below), based on the allegedly true story of Frank Dux. Shot on a $1.5 million budget, it became a box office hit in the spring of 1988. Jean-Claude Van Damme had the leading role as Frank Dux, while Bolo Yeung played the role of Chong Li. A strong friendship formed between the two actors on the set, and Van Damme wanted no one but Bolo to play opposite him in his film (Double Impact) set in the Orient.

Jet Li open shirt


Jet LI

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 (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. Watch him kick Dolph Lundgren's ass (wink) in The Expendables. Wished we got to see more of him in The Expendables 2 & 3!

My favorite Jet Li movie is Unleashed.


Dolph Lundgren as He Man in Masters of the Universe




The first time I saw Dolph Lundgren on screen was as "Venz", glowering his way through A View To A Kill. Was he too pretty to be taken seriously? Don't tell him that to his face. He vill break you. Rocky IV was only his second movie!

Dolph'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 happy that he stuck mainly with Action and was nearly always the main character. The action, however, in some 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). 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 on twitter @Dolph_Lundgren).

Also, check out's breakdown of  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 starred in A Certain Justice, A Man Will Rise (with Tony Jaa), The Expendables 3, and Skin Trade. And somewhere in there he found time to do a TV show!

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. 

Kellan Lutz

Kellan Lutz as Hercules


Kellan LUTZ

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. 

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 . . .

He's comin up in Adi Shankar's Gods and Secrets and Nest.



At 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!  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 (Leo Howard!), 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'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. His acting was top notch in The Red Road.

It was BIG NEWS that he was cast AQUAMAN! Not only in Justice League, but a solo movie Aquaman.








You know Heidi Moneymaker, and if you don't, you know her work.
You've been impressed by, shocked even, at how great her stuntwork is.

She's the only female member of the 87eleven Action Design Team. 

From Letty's tanker jump in Fast & Furious, to Babydoll's acrobatics in
Sucker Punch, to at least half the reason we love Black Widow in Iron Man2,
The Avengers,
and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Heidi's work speaks for itself. 
Watch and remember with awe . . .

I was happy to support her action movie short film kickstarter project "No Touching" with co-star Zoë Bell and 87eleven.





He made us love him as Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy. He's an Action Figure to be sure plus he's so damn likeable. Seems like the kind of guy everyone wants to be friends with because he's just so much fun to be around.  Rumors began immediately about him being Indian Jones. Yes, please. In the crossover Avengers: Infinity War, he stole the show.

He's great in Jurassic World. A man's man but a little tongue-in-cheek. He doesn't seem to take himself too seriously.  He's just a natural at Action. Can't wait to see more of him. Hope he sticks mainly to the Action genre, but he's naturally funny, so prepare yourself for Cowboy Ninja Viking (?!) #what  He's like this generation's Kurt Russell but as a compliment to both men since both are beloved. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom set up Jurassic World 3 (yeah, we can't get enough that series) . . .

Cyril Raffaelli



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: Ultimatum.

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 Kathryn Bigelow 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. I thought he did really well in Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation. The jump scene made me laugh at his pain and fear. It was awesome.

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. On IMDb, looks like he's going to be busy for a while . . .




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.




Tak Sakaguchi with glasses and long hairIn one of the greatest Big Dog Entrances of all time, Tak Sakaguchi is strolling through the jungle in the middle of a gun battle. While everyone else is dressed in fatigues, the camera pans up from his purple velvet, gold embellished slippers, to bare ankles below brown corduroy culotttes (sp?). He removes a pack of cigarettes from his red, woolen cumberband, and slips it in his mouth. Tak then takes a wooden match from a matchbox and strikes it. Shots are flying all around as a couple of his nearby comrades exclaim:  "What the fuck! Why don't the bullets hit him?" As Tak holds the lit match up to the cigarette, a bullet takes the top of the matchstick off, leaving him holding just the now unlit stick. "Cause he's a fucking mad dog" another comrade says in response, and the camera, on the unlit cigarette shows a bullet whizz by, lighting it. He inhales deeply. We then get to see his face and the full outfit. A Fedora with a scarf tied around the band and a pair of aviators on the brim.  He's as cool as if he's standing in a restaurant waiting for a table.  

Here is Tak's highly entertaining IMDb bio: 

"It seems that right at birth, Tak Sakaguchi was bound to be a force to be reckoned with. From an early age, he exhibited excellent motor skills and cat-like reflexes; putting these skills to use and excelling in martial arts such as Judo and boxing. Surprisingly, even with his stunning looks and charisma, Sakaguchi wasn't seeking a career in acting - it sought him. Working as a street fighter, he was chosen by a then unknown director, Ryuhei Kitamura. Kitamura was still accumulating funds and financial resources for his independent film, Versus, and not knowing any established actors, he chose Sakaguchi due to his natural fighting skills and physical prowess. Kitamura felt that Sakaguchi shouldn't have to go to waste fighting in the streets, so why not bring his skills to film instead?

Sakaguchi pushed himself physically to the extreme for the film, breaking ribs, bruising and cutting himself, even losing a tooth! Instead of halting production, he had it glued back in! The film proved to be quite a gamble for both star and director, but it also pay off in ways that neither would have expected. Upon its release, Versus was a hit in its native Japan, even with the novice director, reluctant actor, and extremely low-budget. Once released over-seas, the film became a cult hit.

Seemingly overnight, both Sakaguchi and Kitamura launched their careers and continued to work together in films such as the Azumi series, Alive, Aragami, and Battlefield Baseball. While all film ventures were successful, Sakaguchi had yet to acquire the same success he did with Versus. 2005 would prove to be a bigger year, taking on more mainstream film roles in Shinobi: Heart Under Blade. Then there was Death Trance, with a role similar to that of Versus; it was also in Death Watch that Sakaguchi directed the action scenes. 2007, however, proved to be even busier, acting in both films and television. Sakaguchi has also taken to working behind the camera, writing and directing his first film, Sakigake!! Otako juku (Be a Man! Samurai School). With such a strong dedication to his craft, be it actor, writer, or director, Sakaguchi is unstoppable."

Tak Sakaguchi in ReBorn

Sakaguchi appeared at Iron Dragon TV Action Fest 2018 (AintItCoolNews)

UltraFlix and Iron Dragon TV present IDTV Action Fest, an international film festival devoted to the multiple facets of action cinema. A festival that honors the men & women who bring the audience to the edge of their seats with incredible action sequences. IDTVAF understands that it is not only the stars in front of the camera, but the crew behind the scenes that create this magical world, & dedicates the festival to them. During the days of the festival, the programming will include screenings of new films from prominent directors/stars, indie, & the next generation of filmmakers from the action genre. Industry heavyweights will also conduct panels, discussing their specific field & allow a one-on-one type experience with the fans." ]

Tak Sakaguchi at Iron Dragon TV Action Fest 2018

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan The Barbarian



The once 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 Barbarian 
Still a great Saturday afternoon matinee movie.  Leather bikini

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 . . . really glad he's back to making movies.

After making  The Expendables, Stallone briefly took over as #1 and I bumped Arnold to #2.  Arnold tried to pass the torch to The Rock in The Rundown, but The Rock keeps doing family movies.

Arnold will always be the shit for being The Terminator! My favorite ARNOLD role is "Dutch" in Predator:  BIG Guns!  A cast that could be measured in Biceptitude. 

After his political career, he went back in movies in a big way: The Expendables 2 & 3, The Last Stand (directed by The Good, The Bad, The Weird's Kim Jee-woon), Escape Plan, and Sabotage (bloody good).  He's filming Untitled Terminator Reboot, and The Legend of Conan.

They were crazy not to give him a cameo in the remake of Total Recall.

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, 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 downright dangerous.

He carried the sequel to The Fugitive, U.S. Marshalls, and 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—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 was amazing in the opening of The Expendables 3! In 2017's The Recall, he showed he was just too good for that movie.

Stallone in the Expendables with beret


Sylvester STALLONE

He's Rocky, he's Rambo.  Sly absolutely 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 last Rambo and the last Rocky, and with
The Expendables, for me he finally beat Arnold out of first place in the Action Movie genre.  And suddenly Sly is back on top. No one else is KING of the Action genre (not even Arnold!) The Expendables 2 and 3 have us all drooling for a return to that awesome '80s-age-of-Action feeling.

Even 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. From the brutal alternate one-arm push-ups to the cross-city runs, to punching sides of beef, Rocky brought out the inner champion 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.  

Rocky and his bicepsAs 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 the super soldier every man would like to be: strong, resourceful, brave, loyal, honest, and vicious. He set his own wound on fire in Rambo III.  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." It's scary. Truer words were never spoken.

Loved Rambo, Bullet to the Head, The Tomb, and Grudge Match. He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in Creed. We heard he was making Rambo: Last Blood but then it was off again. Read my thoughts on Rambo 5 at the end of this appreciation of First Blood. Now, it's back on.  You just know they're gonna kill him off . . .  #icry!

. . . and women everywhere swooned!

Jason Statham in blue boxers Transporter 2




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
The 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!

Of course, he got to be Stallone's buddy in The Expendables

He brought the pain Safe, and kicked butt in The Expendables 2, but the script of the remake of the 1986 Heat didn't do the character justice. He had one of the most intense fight scenes ever in Parker (a terribly underappreciated movie).  Naturally, he did well on Fast & Furious 7 and paired up with The Rock for a spin-off. In 2018's The Meg, he's almost a parody of himself and it's so damn enjoyable!

(This black-and-white Brando-esque photo 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. 

Jean-Claude VAN DAMME
Cyborg movie poster
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).

Van Damme has mad skills. Him and the splits! That takes real strength. 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 going strong, starring in: Pound of Flesh, Full Love, Swelter, Enemies Closer, Welcome to the Jungle, U.F.O., Bullets, and Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning . . . No slowing down for Van Damme.



mark wahlberg calvin klein adOh 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 Broken City. 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. Love that he did Transformer movies. He's kind of a force of nature in business, too.




Best 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. 

Would have loved to have seen him in The Expendables 2! 

After Action Jackson 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?


Michael Jai WHITE

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.

He 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!

Check him out demonstrating telegraphing with Kimbo Slice

WU Jing

Formerly (and also) known as Jacky Wu, his mini IMDb bio speaks to his Action Movie pedigree: "Born in Beijing China in 1974, he was sent to train at Beijing Wushu Academy when he was 6 years old as both his Father and Grandfather were also Martial artists. In 1995, he was spotted by Yuen Woo-Ping who had come to the academy to look for a martial artist for the film Tai Chi 2 (aka Tai Chi Boxer). His dedication and skill won his a lot of respect across East Asia. Often contributing to the scripts and choreography of his work, his natural talent and his sense of humor are vividly expressed."

Wu Jing was a really savage opponent in SPL:Kill Zone fighting against Donnie Yen.  Who can ever forget that fight?! It's legendary. And in 2017, he shocked the film world with the release of Wolf Warrior 2, grossing $870,325,439 worldwide! (source: Catch him alongside Jason Statham in Meg 2: The Trench, in theaters 8/4/2023.




Donnie YEN

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 Jet 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 history.

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. There's so much more to him than being at the top of the Action Movie game. Among other philanthropic work, he's an Ambassador for Save the Children.  His Wikipedia bio is beyond impressive.





Action Movie Freaks who attended ActionFest 2010 were treated to a double shot of Marko Zaror. He was there to promote Mandrill and Undisputed III: Redemption with Director Isaac Florentine and Stunt Coordinator Larnell Stovall. I have often wondered if Action Movie Actors are also Action Movie Freaks 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 and soon.

Special ACTION FIGURES Category  
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!


"Stone Cold" Steve AUSTIN

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
The Expendables. Loved him in The Condemned—He was unstoppable!

Superman Meets Lex Luther PosterWhatever 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 All-American.

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 Anti-Scrawny Rant.)




Bautista is one of those guys that you get scared just looking at him. Like Brock Lesnar, I was hoping 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 would be great as "Marcus Fenix" from Gears of War. Even his voice is perfect!  When will they ever make a Gears movie!? . . . 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 as well as an intense, if quiet, performance in Spectre. He's working a lot now and we get to see him in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Blade Runner 2049, Escape Plan 2, and Avengers: Infinity War.




American Gladiator Gina "Crush" 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, and Bill 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."  -HAYWIRE

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 an "Untitled 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.)



John  CENA

Are you not entertained?  John Cena has a big following, especially among kids. 
His theme of Hustle, Loyalty, Respect" is a big part of why the Cenation love him.
The man knows how to take a beating. He's really 'the' Action Figure come to life.
Just look at him next to a toy.

John Cena has become larger than life in so many ways. From his rapping days to learning Mandarin to publishing an inspirational children's book, he's sqeezed a few movies in with his WWE career: The Marine (2006), 12 Rounds (2009), Legendary (2010), The Reunion (2011), Trainwreck (2015), The Wall (2017), and Bumblebee (2018).

Replacing Sylvester Stallone to star with Jackie Chan in Project X-traction was, I think, a twist of fate. I hope for even bigger and better things for John Cena in Action Movies.

His book Elbow Grease makes a great gift for any age Action Movie fan! My nephew loves his character in the animated Surf's Up 2.



As impressive as his fighting career is  (seems he's spent his whole life as a fighter), the ultimate endorsement of having him in The 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 3.

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 Japan."

Dwayne The Rock Johnson in The Scorpion King



Dwayne "The Rock" JOHNSON
He's above under ACTION FIGURES.


Nathan  JONES
At 6' 11", 360 pounds, you better know who Nathan Jones is.  This helps put him in perspective:  He's head and shoulders above everyone 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). He also was intense and funny in Mad Max: Fury Road



Cung  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 starred 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's that real 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 Grandmasters.  Here in Bodyguards and Assassins, he takes on Donnie Yen and is so intense, Donnie Yen's character runs away. (Love Donnie Yen's corkscrew dismount at 2:43.)


Triple H aka Paul Levesque



Paul "Triple H" LEVESQUE
 He should 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.

Triple H as Thor

Rowdy Roddy Piper in They Live


"Rowdy" Roddy PIPER

They Live
featured the best fight scene (since The Quiet Man with John Wayne) and the
best action movie line ever improvised by Rowdy Roddy.

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."

Check out: Their action movie breakdowns are hilarious! Follow them on twitter: @AllOuttaBG



Ronda Rousey
was the Action Figure I'd 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. 




 Jesse "The Body" VENTURA

After Arnold (of course) Jesse "The Body" Ventura is the PREDATOR Bad Ass! 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 G.I. Joe 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.


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 Harry Ellis in Die Hard action movie whiner

 as "Harry Ellis" in DIE HARD

The 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."

 as "Mitch" in FIRST BLOOD

This movie is stronger because of the great supporting cast, and before David Caruso became a kind of cliché of himself, he played a cop who didn't know when to keep his mouth shut. His awe of Rambo really helps set up what a Bad Ass Rambo is "Green Beret. War Hero. That's great. That's just great." And his grasp of the obvious only helps the comedy of the situation: "Why don't you let the State Police handle this?" and . . .

"We ain't hunting him, he's hunting us."

Richard Chavez in Predator

Richard CHAVEZ
 as "Poncho Ramirez" in PREDATOR

The 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!"

 as "Dr. Ian McHolm" in JURASSIC PARK and THE LOST WORLD

What would these movies be without Jeff Goldblum there to remind us how foolish we are to mess with Mother Nature. In one liner after one liner, he snarks his way into our hearts, and his quirky laugh in The Lost World: Jurassic World even made its way into the LEGO Jurassic World game.
As the Whiner who's always injecting his fears and objections, he brings much-needed comic relief in downright terrifying situations.

"Oooh, ahhh, that's how it always starts. But then later there's running and then screaming."


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 boss in Parker. His incompetence, red-line panic, and outright cowardice kept me thoroughly entertained. 



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."   

as "Marine Who Dies" in THE ROCK

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.

"Lemme outta here, oh God! Lemme outta here, oh God!"   


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 in Alien Resurrection

 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.  According to 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 place.  

"What's in-fucking-side me?"  

Bill Paxton in Aliens

  as "Private Hudson" in ALIENS

#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 funnier?

"Well, that's great. That's just fuckin' great, man! Now what the fuck are we supposed to do? We're 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?!"

Rest in peace, Bill Paxton (May 17, 1955 February 25, 2017). He was in so many great movies and will be sadly missed!

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.

Bare-Chested Eric Bana from Troy


Eric Bana in Star TrekAn Aussie with a Croatian father, Eric Bana's real name is Banadinovich. I think that's a real Bad-Ass name anyway. 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.

Bad Ass Banadinovich 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 shirt on.


300 the movie


was the He-Man buffet of all time, and Gerard was the lead. 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 no-you're-not-in-good-enough-shape-to-be-this-for-Halloween realization for the average guy.

Magnum (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 (genre?) and Thunder Run (Action/Drama/War)[He's a Scorpio . . . naturally.]



Daniel CRAIG

The blue La Perla bikini! A demure and proper friend went to see this movie (Casino Royale) with her husband, and beforehand she had downplayed 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, and so Bond-y in "Skyfall". SPECTRE should be exciting—not watching the trailer so I don't ruin anything for myself!


Thomas JANE

After seeing Thomas Jane in Deep Blue Sea, I was hoping to see more of him, and The Punisher delivered. He was great in both. He was too good for Deep Blue Sea and I don't remember 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 Kahn as Chulbl Pandey

Salman KHAN
Have you watched any Indian Action Movies? You should!

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.  

Wanted, Dabangg, Bodyguard, Dabangg 2

Rain as Raizo

Rain super fans
should check out

JUNG Ji-Hoon aka "RAIN"

The hottie hunk of Speed Racer and Ninja Assassin, Rain's grace and speed were only part of a total package. He is also an international sensation as an award-winning dancer and singer.

In 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 Freak and 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 CloudUSA kindly 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 Stephe and Terri.

Al Leong screams in Big Trouble in Little China

Albert LEONG
An original 'Mad Dog' before Yayan Ruhian, Al Leong has been in so many great Action Movies. According to Wikipedia he knows Kung Fu, and Tae Kwon Do, Kali, and Jujutsu.  He's acted, done stunts, been a stunt coordinator, written, and even directed.  And before you go making assumptions, he's American (born in 'the Lou', but grew up in L.A.). 

From his role as "Wing Kong Hatchet Man" in Big Trouble in Little China to appearing in Awesome Asian Bad Guys, the list of movies in between is like Action Movie history: Lethal Weapon, Action Jackson, Die Hard, They Live, Black Rain, I Come in Peace, Death Warrant, Last Action Hero, Hot Shots! Part Deux, Beverly Hills Cop III, Escape from L.A., Lethal Weapon 4, The Scorpion King . . . and I picked out just my favorites. You know, he's the one who reached down to steal the candy in Die Hard (something Bad Boys copied).  Al has also had a long and equally impressive TV career. But, really, after seeing him in Big Trouble in Little China, his face was indelibly printed on our minds. He seems to be having fun kicking ass, and that's a gift that keeps on giving. As much as we love Kurt Russell in Big Trouble in Little China, equal credit goes to Al Leong for making the situation so much fun.

This video brings it all home. Also, he wrote a book The Eight Lives of Al 'Ka-Bong Leong that would be a great gift for any Action Movie Freak you know.  Check out this interview with "Sifu Al".


He's funny here with the Kickstarter for Awesome Asian Bad Guys (trailer):




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, and a movie he should have won an Oscar for:  Dark Blue.

I 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 LOVE Big Trouble in Little China. 

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 was cast 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
this scene.  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 common sense."

Ask R. Lee Ermey:  "My guy in D.C. tells me that we are not dealing with a student here, we're dealing with the professor. Anytime the military has an operation that can't fail, they call this guy in to train the troops, okay? He's the kind of guy that would drink a gallon of gasoline so he could piss in your campfire. You could drop this guy off at the Arctic Circle wearing a pair of bikini underwear without his toothbrush, and tomorrow afternoon he's gonna show up at your poolside with a million-dollar smile and a fistful of pesos." (Come on! If you've got R. Lee Ermey talking about you, it doesn't get more bad-ass than that!) (And if you had to click on that link to find out who R. Lee Ermey is— get off my site! Just kidding, happy to share that one if you didn't already know.)

If you love Seagal, you already know who Outlaw Vern is, but just in case you don't . . . Seagalology: The Ass-Kicking Films of Steven Seagal.



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 in 1999. 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 good thing.

Regardless of where his career goes, we'll be there.  Men in Black 3 was  fun. M. Night Shyamalan's After Earth didn't do as well as hoped but it looked cool and I thought Jaden Smith was good in it.  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. Will was good as Deadshot (although the character is a bit odd, like The Pursuit of Happyness gone bad) in Suicide Squad. Bad Boys fans should be happy:  Bad Boys 3, Bad Boys for Life, is the best Bad Boys movie yet, and Bad Boys 4 is in the works.

(My favorite Fresh Prince moment is one where he tells a girl how hot she is using a series of sounds. You know you have a favorite moment/episode too!)

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in Bad Boys




What a TOTAL real-life bad ass Johnny Strong is! 

With small parts in Get Carter, The Fast and the Furious, and Black Hawk Down, he then starred in 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. 

He appeared in Action/SciFi/Thriller Daylight's End, and on IMDB he was rumored to be in Fast & Furious 7, but I don't remember seeing him and it's not in his credits. 

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.


Channing TATUM

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 the more he does roles in movies like G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Parkour, and Knockout (as a black ops super soldier) the bigger an Action star he'll become, even though he's also doing other dramatic and romantic roles. It seems hardly anybody sticks to Action Movies anymore (except Jason Statham).

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 quinitessential All-American boy next door.



Karl's career 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.

He was 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 Eastwood-ish Western sexiness in Priest.

He played Judge Dredd in Dredd. It was surprisingly popular! He also appeared in 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.

He reprised Bones (he's SO good in that role) in Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond, and he was Lord Vaako again all too briefly in Riddick. He's playing "Skurge" in Thor: Ragnarock.  Hope he beefed up for it!

Often, these characters find themselves in impossible situations and rise to the challenge. In shape, but not unusually so like the Action Figure, or even the Half and Half. They and their characters are often hugely popular because they are so relatable. 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 afternoon.


Ben Affleck in The TownBen AFFLECK

For me, w
hat earned Ben a spot here as a Bad Ass was 2010's The Town, which he wrote and directed, and in which he proved he's one hell of an actor. He's one of those larger-than-life figures whose real-life antics (for want of a better word) spill over into the characters we associate him with.

He's Batman, but like Daniel Craig and James Bond, maybe he didn't really want to be . . . ?!

Way back when, it was great seeing him and Matt Damon win that first Oscar. And it was fun seeing JLo dress him in fur and the two of them yachting it up as "Bennifer". Bennifer

Ben's not just an actor, not just a director, not just a writer, he's a filmmaker. Argo earned him that spot if Good Will Hunting hadn't already. He was great in Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Armageddon, Shakespeare in Love, Reindeer Games (it's hilarious), and The Sum of All Fears. Then he did Daredevil and Gigli back to back. It wasn't until The Town that I (maybe you?) started to take him seriously again, and when he did Argo, and suddenly it was a little like "what a career"! Then along came Batman aka #Batfleck . . .

Maybe you loved him as Batman, maybe you hated him, but it totally cemented him as an Action Movie Bad Ass. If his jump into Batman wasn't surprising, his role in The Accountant was (he's excellent in it and the script is great).

Ben did 32 movies in 19 years, and is still going strong, still showing his range. Maybe his real-life issues messed up his place in Batman history, maybe the second movie was the 'killer', but to be able to step into the Batman suit when he did is all the Action Movie credentials anyone needs.

You should check him out in Netflix's start-studded, "full-on cowoby shit" Triple Frontier (Charlie Hunnam, Oscar Isaac, Garret Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal).





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 chronological 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  ActionFest 2012 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.

Sinners and Saints: Vengeance photo posted by Chad LawIs he cast in Sinners and Saints: Vengeance?! Can't wait for that sequel (that's Tom on the right with Johnny Strong's hand on his shoulder. This photo was posted by scriptwriter Chad Law from Bulgaria, where they will be shooting. Between Johnny and Chad is Sinners and Saints Writer (with Jay Moses) and Director William Kaufman. IMDb doesn't list the full cast yet.


Nicolas Cage in Con Air


Nicolas CAGE

Nicolas CageThere's 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 in The Rock 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 Wicker Man).

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!

Sean Connery as James Bond



A Scotsman. 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 as Bond, 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), plus 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 right up until Entrapment with Catherine Zeta-Jones. Then, sadly, his age was showing. 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."

Love when they try to impersonate his accent like on SNL Jeopardy "Swords for $400." xD



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 shame, Yes! Yes, I had.)

At 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 Affleck first for Chasing Amy, but best when accepting their Oscars for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) for Good Will Hunting (1997). I really liked him 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 Thirteen (2007).

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. .

Matt also starred in The Adjustment Bureau and Contagion in 2011.

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 Downey, Jr.

Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Iron Man 3




What do you say about a man with such a body of work!? Going back to the early days of the  '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.

Then the 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. It made him a tough guy legend.

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'.



Harrison FORD

(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 Presumed Innocent to great effect with a thrilling ending, and 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.)

Harrison Ford characters


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 Cherokee grandparent.3" 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 (and Bob Somerby) yet he cast a long shadow. They were the lucky ones.

He's awesome in the Men in Black films, and I really loved him in Man of the House "This is my happy face." The delivery of his lines about shutting off the water in The Fugitive is just as awesome as it gets. He carried that film even though it co-starred Harrison Ford. I really think it's hard to imagine anyone else in that role, he shone that brightly. However, the two of them together was magic.

His brilliance 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.  Tommy Lee is a part of what makes America, America and we carry his performances with us—they stay.

Taylor Lautner on New Moon poster



Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black with long hairShark 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 Batman!



I don't know what took me so long to add the incomparable Irishman Liam Neeson! Maybe it's because he's so well-rounded in his choice of roles. So many great movies, you may be 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 Roy. As 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:

Excalibur (1981)

Krull (1983)

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!)

Suspect (1987)

The Dead Pool (1988)

Next of Kin (1989) with Patrick Swayze

Darkman (1990)

Schindler's List (1993)

Rob Roy (1995)

Michael Collins (1996)

Star Wars: Episode 1-The Phantom Menace (1999) A fitting and welcome addition!

Gangs of New York (2002)

Love Actually (2003)

Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

Batman Begins (2005)

Taken (2008)

Clash of the Titans (2010) Who else could play Zeus?—such a voice!

The A-Team (2010)

The Grey (2011)

Wrath of the Titans (2012)

Battleship (2012)

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Taken 2 (5 Oct 2012) . . . And, sadly, I haven't seen anything since then . . .

Liam Neeson collage




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 generation.

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 into 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 . It's always fun to watch.Sandra Bullock

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 movie, 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, but he took it to a whole other level with John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2.

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, and Iko Uwais! He was in the samurai movie 47 Ronin (the fights were over the top), and with John Wick he single-handedly brought the Action Movie "bad ass" back to life!


Burt Reynolds and Sally Field




Burt Reynolds
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.

Burt Reynolds Cosmo centerfoldThe Cosmo issue 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 Dar Robinson did a 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), Physical Evidence and Breaking In (both from 1989), Cop and (1993) [co-starring a friend from high school Tom Kouchalakos :D], and The Crew (2000).

Burt was also the first to show outtakes at the end of a movie (Hooper). It was so obvious they were having a great time filming, and he knew we would love to see that, and wanted to share it. You just gotta love his unique laugh (hear it in the Smokey And The Bandit 2 outtakes at @1:26).

How big was Burt? He turned down playing James Bond and starring in Die Hard

He appeared on Burn Notice (July 2010) and threw down ;).  I would say there are few actors more loved than Burt Reynolds. 

Robert Shaw as Quint in Jaws


Robert SHAW

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 (1976), 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.

QUINT What d'ya have there—a portable shower or a monkey cage?
HOOPER Anti-Shark cage.
QUINT Anti-shark cage!
You go inside the cage?
Cage goes in the water . . .
you go in the water . . .
shark's in the water.
Our shark.
Farewell and adieu to you, fair Spanish ladies. . . .

Robert Shaw collage of roles played

Iko Uwais in Merantau



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. 

Paul Walker's awesome smile


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 screen.

This video says it all.




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.
Bruce Willis as John McLane in Die Hard

"Yippe-ki-yay mother fucker!"

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 "Not as 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. 

Another Action Movie compliment paid was that Stallone included him in the ultimate Action Boys' Club: The Expendables movies.

Sam Worthington


Cementing his place in action movie history as the paraplegic hero of James Cameron's CGI epic Avatar, Sam Worthington also played John Connor in
Terminator: Salvation and thank God he did because Christian Bale was busy ruining it! (link is a parody)  He was on quite a roll, also starring in Clash of the Titans.

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 like him.

Look out. Taking back the "no swagger" as he a 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 . . .

Genna Davis in The Long Kiss Goodnight


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 bad mother! (Shut your mouth!)

Bridget Fonda in Point of No Return

Bridget FONDA

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 mee-luh-yo-vo-vich"

A flawless face—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 5 sequels:
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
, Resident Evil: Extinction,
Resident Evil: Afterlife, Resident Evil: Retribution,
and Resident Evil: .
Thanks to twitter you can follow @MilaJovovich 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!  
She is not the artificial big-boobed, bleach blonde.
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.

And as 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.

composite of Milla Jovivich roles


Carrie-Anne MOSS

Matrix Reloaded Trinity flame stuntBring that high kick, Carrie-Anne. Admitting she had a hard time learning the stunts on the DVD extras to The Matrix Series, Carrie-Anne 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.

She next 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 as Neytiri in Avatar 2.











Sigourney WEAVER

The kick ass star of Alien, 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. I can handle myself Ripley and Hicks from Aliens

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. I love this exchange when she tells Hicks: "I can handle myself." and he replies "I noticed."

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.  

Can you believe she made that over-the-shoulder-past-the-3-point-zone shot in Alien Resurrection?! YES I CAN! (Watch this clip, aptly titled "Why Sigourney Weaver Is The Shit!" and . . . it was the first thing I ever posted on this website.) 



(pronounced "ChiCha") 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 to Chocolate, 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!  She's also been in This Girl Is Bad-Ass!!, The Kick, Warrior King 2, Never Back Down: No Surrender, and she briefly but fiercly fought against Scott Adkins in Hard Target 2


Michelle YEOH

Ye-oh-my-god! She 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 couldn't do.

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!  She appeared in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny and Mechanic: Resurrection, and will be playing Captain Georgiou in the TV Series Star Trek: Discovery (2017). Really glad they have another woman Captain, it's been a while (Janeway was 1995-2001). Will have to watch it for sure!


Ziyi Zhang



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.

Ziyi Zhang House of Flying Daggers

She starred in 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.)  Coming out in October 2017, she will be in "Cloverfield Movie" (yep, that's the name): "A shocking discovery forces a team of astronauts aboard a space station to fight for survival while their reality has been altered."


Fellow Freaks 

87Eleven Action Design | Chad Stahelski + David Leitch
The Action Elite  Eoin Friel
Action Fanatix
ActionFest  (please bring it back . . . ) | Aaron Norris, Bill Banowsky, Dennis Berman
Action Reloaded  | Jeff Turner
Alex in Wonderland | Female Action Films/Girls WIth Guns list
AvP Central
AllOuttaBubbleGum  | Brenton Haysom + Tyler Hanson
  Artemis Women in Action Film Festival
Black Ops | Toys
  City on Fire
Exploding Helicopter
Explosive Action
Headquarters 10 | Matthew Kiernan
  Herve Attia
IMCDb Internet Movie Cars Database
IMFDb Internet Movie Firearms Database
IMPDb Internet Movie Plane Database
Iron Dragon TV Action Fest
John J. Rambo
Kain's Korner/Kain's Quest | Brenton Haysom
The London Action Festival  Year 2: June 21-25, 2023
Magnolia Pictures
Man In Hat  | Peter Kaplowski
Fandango Movie Clips
Outlaw Vern
Poisonous Monkeys
Predator The Hunted
Rantbo's Repository Ty Guy on Letterboxd | Ty Hanson
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The Riddick Archive
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