Berg Kathryn Bigelow James
Carpenter Andrew Davis Brian de Palma William Friedkin George Lucas John
Ratner Ridley Scott Tony
Scott Stephen Spielberg The
Before I start listing the
Action Movie Bad Asses, I have to list these three men because
watching their movies infected me with Action Movie fever. They are
legendary, so I'll keep it brief, but they should be in their own
category for making the genre what it is. [And before there were
Action Movies (for me) there were comic books. Giving credit
where credit is due, Action Movies owe a lot to comic books. Their
contribution is immeasurable and, their influence thankfully,
Bear with me, there may be
some formatting inconsistencies. I am currently working on this page
. . . 3/20/17
I watched "kung fu" movies in college, and
making fun of the dubbed sound not matching the lip movements was a
really common joke, but it just drove home the fact that language
was no barrier to the enjoyment and popularity of these movies.
While we made fun, we ate it up! Actually, 3 out of 5 of Bruce Lee's
movies were in English. Bruce Lee CREATED my idea of the Action
Movie BAD ASS, and many other
Action Movie Freaks
as well. Along with his amazing
physical prowess came philosophy . . .
This quote from Enter The
Dragon explains why many of us love the
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 (pick a site:
The Chuck Norris Facts.com
ChuckNorrisism.com. They're all so
funny, it's hard to pick a favorite, but I love
"If Chuck Norris is late, time better slow the fuck down."
I feel really lucky to have seen most of his movies in theaters when
they came out. He's THE MAN!
All his movies are enjoyable. My favorite is A Force of
Mr. Norris was the first honoree in the first
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 one of four Co-Founders of
Aaron Norris, as a fitting tribute to Stuntmen: the unsung
heroes who make the Action Movie Bad Ass look good.
Sunday, June 30th, 2013 marked the passing of
James M. "Jim" Kelly. We should have been more appreciative
when he was here. I can only hope he had some idea how much he was
loved, and how incredibly cool we all thought he was. I wish I had
added him to the Bad Ass list before his passing, but when I
realized he should have been here all along, there was no other
place I would have put him than Bad Ass History.
at that time, his talent was a trailblazing standout. So much of
what we love about those '70s Action Movies that has become cliche,
was fashioned after the coolness of Jim Kelly. What became known as
"blaxploitation" was, back then, just that 'they' were cooler
than 'we' were. We knew it, they knew it. Quentin Tarantino
is the proof. This intro. to
Black Belt Jones captures the vibe perfectly—Enjoy, and pay
your respects to a great talent and a great entertainer.
The Queen of Action Movies.
Check her out on IMDB
AllOuttaBubbleGum.com. Kicking ass from 1985 to 2000, when she tapered off a bit . . .
she is still an unbeatable force. She's best known for
Huang jia shi jie,
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
backwards and in heels. Speaking of heels, in this clip from
Blonde Fury 3,
Jackie Chan . . .
the ACTION FIGURE, so much of the movie's success rests on their
ability to be
that hero, it's hard to separate them from the role afterward. Not
enough credit is given 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. 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.
"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
Scott 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
had small roles in The Pink Panther, The Bourne Ultimatum,
X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and The
and made an appearance in Zero Dark Thirty. He also
Assassination Games (opposite JCVD),
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning.
[What happened toBlood
Hostage, which paired him again with Undisputed III:
Isaac Florentine and Larnell Stovall
(UIII:R's Stunt Coordinator) as Second Unit Director?] After Dark Action's
El Gringo was highly entertaining!
Ninja: Shadow of a Tear was a little disappointing but not
because of Scott. With a physique like this and mad martial arts
skills, hopefully there will be lots more starring roles for Adkins
in Action Movies.
If you saw District 13, you know how incredible David
Belle is. He reprised his role in Brick Mansions with the
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,
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
Air Man" drew a lot of attention. Belle briefly studied kung
fu and tried his hand at acting, making a few videos and commercials
(you remember: this one).
He caught the attention of Luc Besson, who paired him with
show-stealer Cyril Raffaelli
in District 13, and blew our minds.
Belle is also a stunt coordinator/our choreographer, and did work on
Transporter 2, Babylon A.D., Prince of Persia 2: The Sands of
Time, and Colombiana.
[uses] movement that developed from military obstacle course
training. Practitioners aim to get from A to B in the most efficient
way possible. They do this using only their bodies and their
surroundings to propel themselves; furthermore, they try to maintain
as much momentum as is possible in a safe manner. Parkour can
include obstacle courses, running, climbing, swinging, vaulting,
jumping, rolling, quadrupedal movement, and the like, depending on
what movement is deemed most suitable for the given situation.
Parkour involves seeing one's environment in a new way, and
imagining the potentialities for movement around it.
Developed in France, primarily by Raymond Belle,
David Belle, and Sébastien Foucan (he's the "bomb maker"
in the intro to Casino Royale), during the late 1980s . . .
Parkour's training methods have inspired a range of other
activities, including freerunning and l'art du déplacement.
Although their creators define them as separate activities,
practitioners and non-practitioners alike often find it difficult to
discern the differences between them. (Source: Wikipedia)
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).
John Wick that cemented his Bad Ass-ness for me. 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).
Jackie Chan made a younger
generation love martial arts movies. If you didn't already love
'kung fu' movies because of Bruce Lee, then you probably went
back to have a look after you saw Jackie Chan.
When his first movies came to
American cinema, we all watched with our mouths open. The drop from
the helicopter into the frozen lake, the building-to-building jumps,
fights with things like a shopping cart, ladder, lamps, chairs,
refrigerators, pool cues, scaffolding, skis, poles, bottles—it's a
long list—but he's even more incredible with his hands, feet, his
whole body. It all seemed impossible to believe he did those things
until we saw the misses in practice, and the injuries, on the
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.
What I find so funny is that even with the fact that he's in perfect
shape, can do all these incredible moves, and twist himself this way
and that, when his character tried to dance, he was awkward (wonder
if he's that way in real life). Compared to Chris Tucker, pretty
much everyone's awkward at dancing, still . . . "How difficult is
that?" [According to Wikipedia, not only does Jackie
speak Cantonese, Mandarin, and English fluently, and also
speaks some German, Korean, Japanese, and a little Spanish.]
He is super popular with kids (even more so after the remake of
The Karate Kid).
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. Lately, he's been
doing a lot of TV, and speaking of TV, his
Old Spice commercials
were 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,
Source: IMDb. Terry embodies what it means to be larger than
life—I hope he does more Action Movies.
He stole the show in The
Expendables. He had his moment in
Expendables 2 and
I would love to see him play Augustus Cole in a
Gears of War movie, if they ever make one!
Coming up,he's in Aztec Warrior
(which looks awesomely violent). With so much
personality, you know anything he is in will be entertaining.
Action Movie Freaks want more Terry Crews!!
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!!!
My endless love for Tom Cruise began when he appeared briefly in the
movie Endless Love (1981) playing soccer. I remember
thinking: "To hell with this story, let's follow that guy!"
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
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
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
and Magnolia were all easily Oscar worthy, The Last
Samurai (he was incredible in this movie!), Collateral . . .
Cole Trickle •
Lt. Daniel Kaffee •
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)!
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,
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
John Wick trailer @2:31), once Chris Evans' Marvel contract has
expired, he's 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 wasa 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
HUDSON: "Hey Vasquez, have you
ever been mistaken for a man?"
VASQUEZ: "No, have you?"
BAD ASS. When
can we see more like her?! THIS is what women want to see in Action
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,
Brownfought back for all of us. Male fantasies might have come true,
but it's the female revenge fantasies that defined her.
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
(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
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").
I wasn't too happy when I heard Chris Hemsworth would be
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.
Ji-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'm willing to give Chadwick Boseman and
chance. Maybe there's another
Superhero he can be . . .
If you're under 21 you probably know who Leo Howard is
already from the Disney Channel, most recently from Disney XD's
"Kicking It", and "Shake It Up".
well, if you saw G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, you will
remember how all out the kids' fight was. He was the hungry
one. He killed it too in Conan the Barbarian (2011) as Young
Conan. Seriously, the first part of that movie was a movie in
itself and better than all the rest of the movie. He has energy (of
course, he's young), mad skills, and intensity, plus, he's adorable!
A teen heartthrob for sure, but also already an Action Figure, and
hopefully tomorrow's MEGA Action Movie Star.
As if he wasn't already insanely great at
everything he does (watch
this), Tony Jaa's
fighting skills in Ong-bak could wow even the toughest
audience. He took a flight of fantasy with Ong bak 2, which
he also co-directed. Ong bak 2 features a series of fights with
different weapons, in different styles, that showcases his
skills—eyes rolling back in my head—to sick levels!
It's one thing to be good at one or two martial arts (some spend a
lifetime). Jaa appears to be invincible, and a master of everything
you can think of, and some you haven't: like fighting off of an
elephant. Yep, that's what I said. Might have helped that his
parents were elephant herders, so dispense your concern over the
elephants appearing in the movie as 'actors'. Everyone knows you
don't mess with an elephant, they'll stomp your ass if you treat
them badly, and considering Tony Jaa's skills, an elephant stomping
might be less painful. And that's an 8-pack, at left, from
the Enter The Dragon remake. Check the veins! Go watch any
Tony Jaa movie before you open your mouth about him being on my
Action Figures list.
Ong Bak 3 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 will also be in Never
Back Down 3 called
Never Back Down: No Surrender and Triple-X 2 called:
xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.
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, whichTom
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
plan is for the new film to tie to the planned Universal Monsters
Cinematic Universe that will officially launch in 2017 with
After The Mummy Returns, The Scorpion King,
and The Rundown, we expected BIG things. BIG!
(he's taller than Arnold) Walking Tall was good, but too bad
DOOM was so poorly structured: The Rock
andKarl Urban, and they still couldn't make it work.
At last, with The Other Guys (however brief his
Faster, and Fast Five, The Rock took over as the
Ultimate ACTION MOVIE Bad Ass we always knew he would be!
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
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
Fast Five was fun but his role was minimal. We saw more of
him in Fast &
Furious 6but what was all that disrespect for
Gina Carano? She
looked miserably unhappy like she'd rather be cowering in the
corner. He called her "Woman". I thought they'd make a great team. I
guess someone had other ideas.
"Finally . . . the Rock has come back to
WRESTLEMANIA!" I went to Wrestlmania XXVIII and 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
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
tout.combut the last post was 2011). I love his G.I.
Joe character name: ROADBLOCK. This role seems like the best use of
his talents. The weaponry alone is intriguing. He was born to
play this soldier. I had ridiculously high hopes for this movie 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/Thrillerwith Susan Sarandon.
This movie was under-appreciated. His performance in it was good. If
you didn't see it. you should have. I wrote at length about it here.
Pain & Gain had him
playing a not-so-typical character. The Rock is usually a hero—This
guy is anything but, although he struggles.
You have to see
Pain & Gain.
The Rock was hilarious and
Mark Wahlberg nails it!
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 .
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
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.
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
Wished we got to see more of him in The
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).
Also, check out
Universal Soldier: Regeneration. He's been working it:
The Expendables 2, Universal Solider: Day of Reckoning, and
The Package (a waste of his skills). Battle of the Damned
went straight to Blu-ray/DVD, as did Ambushed,
and Blood of Redemption.
Dolph also 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.
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 . . .
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.
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
From Letty's tanker jump in Fast & Furious, to Babydoll's
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 . . .
He made us love him 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.
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
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
He's a tough guy, despite his boyish face. S.W.A.T.
in 2003 was the first time I noticed him, but
noticed him in
Dahmer (2002) and wanted him for The Hurt Locker.
There isn't an ounce of fat on him. His forearm alone is
intimidating in this shot. He's just a born G.I. Joe.
Captivating and capable, I hope he keeps his career in the Action
I think he looks like Daniel Craig. Maybe someone will team them up
in the next Bond movie . . . He's listed for Mission: Impossible 5.
He held his own (and dominated the Action) in The Bourne Legacy
but I wish they had made him a little more sympathetic first so
we could root more for him.
Ever since she re-invented the
bad-bitch-with-attitude, Michelle Rodriguez has been steaming up the
lens in Action Movie after Action Movie. You either love her or hate
her. She's the go-to actress for every tough-chick character. She
was the teaser at the end of Fast Five which left us with the
idea that Lety's coming back from the dead in Fast & Furious 6
(she did). She's starred in Battle Los Angeles,
Machete, LOST (TV), Avatar, Fast & Furious, Battle in
Seattle, The Breed, BloodRayne, Control, S.W.A.T., Blue Crush
(how cool was she in that!), Resident Evil, The Fast and the
Furious, 3 A.M. Salgado, and Girlfight (according to
IMDB she beat out over 350 others trying for the role).
She's played a soldier convincingly many times, and has over 30
titles to her credit at just 33! She's just 5' 5" but packs a
lot of power into a tiny frame.
She's also a character voice in the video games Halo 2, Driv3r,
True Crime: Streets of LA, and Avatar : The Game.
The ultimate endorsement.
undisputed KING of Action Movies: Mr. Universe, Mr.
Olympia, Mr. Action Movie! So dominant in the genre
Saturday Night Live's Hanz and Franz
coined the phrase “non-Arnold movies”. With a body like
his, it must have been hard to find a stunt double. The comic
book superhero come to life. He embodied our collective desire to be
invincible, and was what we wanted to be when we grew up. His belief
in himself, evidenced by his achievements, his determination to
succeed, and success in attaining 'The American Dream', were all
part and parcel of his charm, along with the Austrian accent that
made his characters all the more likeable and memorable.
ARNOLD as Conan The
Still a great Saturday afternoon matinee movie.
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.
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
BIG Guns! A cast that could be measured in Biceptitude.
They were crazy not to give him a cameo in the
Total Recall (August 3, 2012).
"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
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's Rocky, he's Rambo.
sells it. He not only sells it, he pushes it past the limit
all the time. The bad ass's bad ass, he's still got it and still
making great movies. I loved the last Rambo and the last Rocky, and
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
have us all drooling for a return to that awesome
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
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
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.
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!
He brought the painSafe, and
kicked butt in
The Expendables 2, but I am most excited to hear he will be in a
remake of the 1986
Heat (on IMDBProbut
IMDB)! He had one of the most intense fight scenes
(a terribly underappreciated movie). He was really intense in
Fast & Furious 7.
is all the proof you need that you can dress up the action figure.)
He has the bad boy appeal, but only the charm is boyish, the rest is
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.
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
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
Growing up, he spent time in jail for doing some
"truly bad things". Even though the mega hit "Good Vibrations"
came out when he was 20, he spent time in jail for assault at 21,
then he decided to his life around for good. The Good Vibrations
video led to the
Calvin Klein ads
and the rest is history.
His first movie was The Substitute—not the
one you're thinking of with Tom Berenger from 1996—this was
from 1993. The public was hungry for movies with Mark Wahlberg. I
wanted Action Movies and Renaissance Man seemed like it would
be good (military) but it was a Comedy/Drama. The variety of roles
that followed made him into one of our preeminent American Actors.
Here is a selection: The Basketball Diaries, Fear, Boogie Nights,
The Big Hit, The Three Kings, The Perfect Storm, Planet of the Apes,
Four Brothers, Invincible, Shooter, Max Payne, The Lovely Bones,
Date Night, The Other Guys, The Fighter, Contraband, Ted, and
By the time he did The Three Kings, I would say he was as
established and highly regarded to his generation as Robert de Niro
or Al Pacino was to theirs. Adding his Saturday Night Live
performances and his involvement in and the popularity of
Entourage, and he is at the top of the game and going strong. He
knocked it out of the park with so many of his movies but just
lately he killed in Pain & Gain and 2 Guns.
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
SNL, Date Night, The Other Guys, and Ted, he showed
his range had no limits. Love that he's now in the Transformer
Best known for his
role as "Apollo Creed", Carl Weathers was also great in
Force 10 From Navarone, The Defiant Ones,
Action Jackson. I think he should have won an award for best
supporting actor for Rocky, and has been
He made an instant Action Movie classic with Action Jackson. A
movie with everything Action Movie Freaks
love. A little tongue-in-cheek '80s fun with a great cast and
Weathers at the top of his game. His physique is so perfect, he
almost doesn't seem real.
have loved to have seen him in The Expendables 2!
After Action Jackson he moved into TV roles. What a waste of an
Action Movie Legend.
Did you know he was a star football
player and played for the Raiders! Makes you feel like less
of a man by comparison, huh?
Making his Directorial debut with Never
Back Down 2 (and starring in it) Michael Jai White appeared at Actionfest 2011 to promote
the film. As humble as he is charming, his bromance with Stunt
Coordinator ("little brother")
Larnell Stovall was fun to watch.
has seven black belts and was equally impressive and hilarious as
Black Dynamite (both movies were shown at the 2011 Festival).
From Brooklyn, he started training in martial arts at the age of seven.
He trained with Jean Claude Van Damme
and did stunt work in Prototype and On Deadly Ground, but
his work on Kill Bill: Vol 1 and 2 went from the trailer
to the cutting room floor.
He's been in an impressive number of movies starting with Toxic
Avenger Part II, he played a soldier in
Universal Soldier, was in City of Industry, Spawn,
Universal Soldier: The Return, Exit Wounds, Undisputed
II: Last Man Standing,The Dark Knight, and Blood and Bone,
as Isaiah Bone. If anyone's an Action Figure to the bone in real life,
it's Michael Jai White! He played Mike Tyson for TV!
He's a Bad Ass and he knows it. It shows in the way he carries
himself. His fights scenes are legendary and his movies never
disappoint. According to his bio on IMDB: "At the age of four,
Donnie started taking up martial arts from his mother who taught him
tai chi and wushu, until he was eleven when he moved to Boston, MA,
with his family. From there, Donnie . . . also began experimenting
with various others martial art styles, such as taekwondo,
kickboxing, and boxing. When he was sixteen, his parents sent him to
Beijing Wushu Academy so he could train Chinese MA under Master
Wu Bin, well known as the coach of
Li. He underwent intensive training for three years.
On a side trip to Hong Kong, he was accidentally introduced to
famous Hong Kong action director Woo-ping Yuen, who was
responsible for bringing
Jackie Chan to super stardom and was looking for someone new
to star in his movies. Donnie was offered a screen test and
thereafter a 4-picture deal after passing it." The rest is 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.
Action Movie Freaks
were treated to a double shot of Marko Zaror.
He was there to promote
Undisputed III: Redemption
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
Special ACTION FIGURES Category WRESTLERS
These men and women would make you pee yourself in a dark alley.
Sorry, but you know it's true. The best breeding ground for
the Action Figures of tomorrow, wrestlers and fighters, happily,
kick ass off screen and on!
By the time somebody put them in a movie, chances are you already
knew and loved them. This group is still thought of as
Wrestlers or Fighters first. Once they have done enough movies that
we think of them as Actors who used to fight, I move them up to
Action Figures (like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson). You want to
be an Action Figure? Learn to fight!
Texan Steve Austin is steadily invading the
Action Movie world and I hope to see more of him. The epitome of the
strong-and-silent type, he's really likeable and fun to watch. From
a small part in the remake of
The Longest Yard, he began making movies that were Steve
Austin vehicles, until he accepted a small part in that
Loved him in The Condemned—He was
he winds up doing, I'd love to see him as a pirate, and a patriot!
It would be fun to see him with the other big baldie
Vin Diesel, and doing anything
military in a uniform. I think he would probably be better as a
villain, but with the right roles, and a little more attitude, I
think he could have had a really huge Action career. You can't help
but like him. He's part The Thing, part Mr. Clean
(sans earring), part
He would have made a great Lex Luther.
They tend to cast way-too-ordinary-looking actors as comic book
heroes for my taste (read my
is one of those guys that you get scared just looking at him. Like
Brock Lesnar, I 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.
would be great as "Marcus Fenix" from Gears of War. Even his voice is perfect! When will they ever make a
. . . oh well.
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, andBill 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
was the 'Indians Are People Too' movie, even though I hated it,
women need that kind of film to deliver the 'Women Are People
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
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.)
As impressive as his fighting career is (seems he's spent
his whole life as a fighter), the ultimate endorsement of having him
Expendables movies lent that whole franchise serious chops
(not the other way around). Randy was as cool as cool gets, and then
some, before he was inducted into the Ultimate Boys Club of The
Expendables. He also starred in The
Expendables 2, and 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
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
LE I got to see a Q & A with Cung Le at
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
He won the Best Fight scene
Award and mentioned that Dragon Eyes
was Cung his first time as a Fight Choreographer. Dragon Eyes also
Jean-Claude Van Damme
and it was definitely a passing of the kicking torch.
The movie is an epic fight movie. I even found it a little hard to
watch because it'sthatreal
looking. It's a great compliment to the actors and stuntmen,
but it's not for the faint hearted.
He had a great fight scene in Pandorum—you remember, the one
that woke you up and made you wish for more. He stars in The Man
with the Iron Fists, and another Ip Man story The
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 2:34.)
Paul "Triple H"
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.
The movie spawned a video game: Duke Nukem. Sadly, hoped for
a Part 2 of They Live that never came. This movie is, deservedly, a
cult classic, and earned Rowdy Roddy a place of honor here on the
Action Figures list . . .
"I have come here to
chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I'm all outta bubblegum."
ROUSEY Ronda Rousey is the Action Figure I've been waiting for! I
can only hope that after her roles in The Expendables 3 and
Fast & Furious 7, some of the Action Movie Hero bug rubbed off
on her, and she wants to be an Action Hero like
Schwarzenegger. We need truly strong female role models
(like Vasquez in Aliens) who don't use their sexuality or allow
themselves to be objectified and thereby diminish their power.
I also hope in real life she keeps her clothes on.
JESSE "THE BODY"
After Arnold (of course) Jesse "The Body"
Bad Ass! He speaks one of the most classic Action Movie bad-ass
"I ain't got time to bleed!"
Maybe it's the swagger, maybe it's the dimple in his chin, maybe
it's the moustache (no, it's not the moustache although Action Figure Therapy
would say it's like a "moustache with titties"), maybe it's
everything. Jesse is the
doll come to life. The chauvinist's chauvinist. There isn't a
lot to his role in this movie, and he's not on screen that much, but
he has a commanding presence and really adds a silent strength and
force to the group. In Predator,
when he says "I ain't got time to bleed" and is asked "You
got time to duck?" you half expect he doesn't and won't, and
will still come out of it okay.
I also liked him as "Captain Freedom" with Arnold in
The Running Man.
MOUSTACHE WITH TITTIES
The Whiner? Yep! The Whiner is the complement to the action
movie bad ass. The speck of green that makes the red so much more
powerful. All the really good action movies have them, and in
the great ones, they steal the show. That's why I have them here
with the Bad Asses: for how can you truly appreciate bravery without
cowardice? They are the yin to the bad ass yang. No really great
action movie is complete without The Whiner. Someone to
explain when you're in some "real pretty shit". Their antics
make light of a situation when everyone (you included) is
pooping-in-their-pants afraid, and they forego all semblance of
dignity. Being heroic is always the farthest thing from their mind
and the last thing on their lips. The worse their situation is the
more you laugh at their (and your likely) inability to deal with it.
That guy would be us, and that's why we laugh.
Here are some of the best Whiners, ever:
HART BOCHNER as
in DIE HARD
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."
DAVID CARUSO as
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 as
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!"
JEFF GOLDBLUM as
"Dr. Ian McHolm"
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."
A. HAUPTMAN as
"August Hardwicke" in PARKER
I added Micah A. Hauptman
to the Whiners for his stellar pussy-ness in the portrayal of the
connected nephew of a mob bossinParker.
His incompetence, red-line panic, and outright cowardice kept me
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
Satipo's attitude went from afraid to foolishly
over confident one time too many. Assuming there is nothing to fear
is what got him killed in the end, and provided a nice contrast to
Dr. Jones' careful, intelligent, cautious investigations. For years
I thought Harrison Ford was saying "Adios Lupito."
"Throw me the idol, I throw you the whip."
"Marine Who Dies" in
If not for this performance, the
movie would not have much tension outside the relationships and just
watching the action unfold. His death is why you care that they
succeed at protecting everyone. He sells it with his panic, the pus,
and the convulsing. The makeup was incredible—in just a few seconds
he goes from sheer terror to slippery blob.
Really brings home the idea of "movie magic" because you can't help
but wonder how many gifted make-up people it took to transform him,
how many levels of makeup he had to wear, and how many takes it took
in how many hours (or days) to film. It may not be fair to say he's
a "whiner" but it certainly is an epic lose your shit moment.
J. O'CONNOR as "Joey
Pantucci" in DEEP RISING
Kevin J. O'Connor played
the same type of character well in The Mummy. If you've never
watched this movie, watch it just for him.
"The Girl From Ipanema."
LELAND ORSER as "Larry
Purvis" in ALIEN RESURRECTION
The bigger the crap they take, the funnier it
is. This poor slob falls into the world of Alien Resurrection
to find out he was infected in his cryosleep. Talk about your waking
nightmares! Then they have to try to explain it to him.
Wikipedia: "Roger Ebert of the
Chicago Sun-Times felt: 'There is not a single shot in the movie
to fill one with wonder,1"
I disagree! Leland Orser's fear-filled face is easily one of the
best action movie moments ever. But more about how wrong critics
were about this movie in a different place.
"What's in-fucking-side me?"
PAXTON as "Private Hudson" in
#1 on the list of course! His cocky attitude in the beginning made
his taking a crap later all the funnier. He's scared out of his
mind. Of course he is. You are too, but he's not afraid to show it.
His way of dealing with it is wise-ass humor. Has being totally
fucked ever been 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?!"
and HALF Part Action Figure, part Regular Joe. They've got the bad
half of big 'n' bad, but not the big. Muscular, yes, but even when
they are doing seemingly impossible physical feats, their
physicality and stature seems attainable. With just a little extra
training, they could get there. We expect the Action Figure to do
all these things, but when these guys do it, it's considerably more
impressive. We think of them as Actors first, but they've done
enough Action Movies that they deserve special recognition.
An Aussie with a Croatian father, Eric Bana's real name is
Banadinovich. I think that's a real Bad-Ass name either way. He
appeared in Black Hawk Down and left quite an impression.
Next came Hulk (2003) in the title role. It's like you should
automatically get to be an Action Movie Bad Ass if you're ever cast
as the Hulk, but then came Troy (2004), and Star Trek
(2009), and I still didn't have him on this list. He was also great
in Hanna (2011). Those are just the movies of his I've seen.
He's done lots more, but not Action. It wasn't until I was writing
about Black Hawk Down that I realized he was missing because I
wanted to link to his Bad Ass profile, only there wasn't one. So,
shame on me.
Ass Badinovich 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
BUTLER 300 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
realization for the average guy.
(P.I.) and Putty (from Seinfeld) come to mind
as the beefy version of the average-Joe type that illustrates
Gerard's appeal. He's not so pretty, but he is ruggedly handsome.
300 got even better for me when Tom Wisdom as Astinos came on
(pictured with Gerard) and satisfied my Keanu Reeves craving.
Women should watch this every day to even out the b.s. from men
looking at girlie magazines. (Now maybe you know how it feels.)
Gerard's run of Romantic Comedies pulled him away
from Action, although his sporty surfer and soccer player roles in
Chasing Mavericks and Playing For Keeps only serve to
reinforce his "Regular Joe" side and make women like him better. He
handled terrorists single handedly and looked capable and skilled in
White House Down. Look for him in the upcoming Dynamo
Thunder Run(Action/Drama/War). [He's a Scorpio
. . . naturally.]
The blue bikini! A demure
and proper friend went to see this movie (Casino Royale) with
her husband, and beforehand she had down played wanting to see it
because Daniel Craig was in it. But when he came out of the water in
this bathing suit (translation: in this body), she says she made a
noise, an involuntary guttural shudder of appreciation escaped
her lips: "uuh-huh-huh-huh". To which her husband replied "Oh yeah?"
No way she could deny that she found him attractive after that! I
think it was pretty much the same for women around the world. Never
has one blue bathing suit done so much for a man's career.
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
SPECTRE should be exciting—not watching the trailer so I don't
ruin anything for myself!
seeing Thomas Jane in
Deep Blue Sea, I was hoping to see more of him, and The
delivered. He was great in both. He was too good for Deep Blue Sea
and I 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 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.
hottie hunk of
and Ninja Assassin,
grace and speed
were only part of a total package. He is also
an international sensation as an award-winning dancer and singer.
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 CloudUSAkindly
wrote a blog post about my putting Rain in with the "Regular Joes",
and so I moved him here to the "Half and Halfs" and rightly so.
Thanks very much to Cloud. Here is some of what they shared
with me . . .
"In Asia, Rain is incredibly
famous and it's well known that he's an incredible talent and
very hardworking. He was in a Korean TV drama series called,
A Love to Kill. His last Korean TV series was more
action-oriented. It was called
Runaway: Plan B. It's a mix of comedy, drama, and
action. Lots of chase scenes." (Watch on Dramafever.com
or available on Hulu Plus)
"Rain also has a Korean film
that is about to be released at the end of 2012. It's
called Soar: Into the Sun. It's a kind of
Top-Gun Action movie where he plays the lead—a fighter pilot.
And we haven't seen much of Rain lately because he started his
mandatory 2-year military service in October 2011." (military
photo from CloudUSA)
He's out now!
We love him for SO many movies—not all Action but he was great in
all of them! The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes. Escape From New
York. The Thing. Silkwood. Swing Shift. The Mean Season.
Big Trouble in Little China. Overboard. Tequila Sunrise.
Tango and Cash. Backdraft. Unlawful Entry. Captain Ron.
Tombstone. Stargate. Executive Decision. Escape From L.A.
Soldier. 3,000 Miles to Graceland. Dark Blue.
think he is under-appreciated by everyone but Action Movie
Fans and Freaks. He will always be Snake Plisskin first, but we love
him in everything! My personal favorite Kurt Russell movie is
Soldier. What a bad ass MACHINE! Also love that he was to the
go-to guy for a Buddy Movie with Stallone (Tango & Cash),
and he played Elvis. You gotta be cool in spades (and good looking
and sexy) to play Elvis! He gave one of the best performances I've
ever seen in Dark Blue, and I LOVED Big Trouble in Little
Kurt Russell apparently didn't want to be in The
Expendables 3?! He's in the Ultimate Boys Club whether he
realizes it or not. Why not participate and let your fans
worship your career and all the wonderful Action Movies you have
given us? Well, maybe this is cooler: He's in Fast & Furious 7.
How bad ass is that?!
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
The Fresh Prince. How we love Will! So talented. He became an
Action Movie Bad Ass (albeit suave bad ass) in Bad Boys.
People loved him in Independence Day. He has that Action
Movie Bad Ass attitude but it's a little young and a little too
comedic. Not that that's bad, it's just Will. You know what I mean
because it worked really well in Bad Boys II. If he had been
more serious and a little more muscular, his career might have gone
more purely Action. That is not what he wanted though. He appears to
be able to do everything he tries. I loved him most in Men in
Black. It seems the perfect role for him: Part Drama, part
Comedy, part Action. He was also great in Enemy of the State.
Of course, he can be serious, but when he made Wild Wild West,
I felt like it was a little too silly for an Action Movie. He was
having fun, but after that I felt the Action track shifted for him.
He brought the seriousness back with Ali.
Men in Black II was as good as the first,but Bad
Boys II was way better the the first—So many great moments in
that movie! He was amazing in I, Robot but then did more
Drama. I liked him in I Am Legend but it's not Action Movie.
Will is well-rounded and his career has bright spot after bright
spot. He was unexpectedly impressive with his performance in Six
Degrees of Separation, but I think the back-to-back Hitch
and The Pursuit of Happyness cemented his place in our
hearts. There's no one like him. You could compare him to
Sidney Poitier but we're past race. You could compare him to
Burt Reynolds for box-office draw. When he made Hancock,
he seemed unstoppable. He makes it look easy and we take all that's
he's putting into the role for granted. I wonder what would have
happened if he did The Matrix instead of Wild Wild West
He said he wasn't "smart enough as an Actor to let the
movie be". He's more leading man material and maybe that's a
Regardless of where his career goes, we'll be
there. He's got a series of sequels coming up on the heels of
Men in Black 3 (which was great), I, Robot 2,
Hancock 2, and Bad Boys 3. M. Night Shyamalan's
After Earth is due out first. He's starring with his son,
Jaden Smith. It will be interesting to see what Jaden does.
Since he did The Karate Kid with
Jackie Chan, I hope the Action bug bit him.
With small parts in Get Carter, The
Fast and the Furious, and Black Hawk Down, he then
Sinners and Saints, doing the soundtrack and making
the knives for the movie. That's right. (He's a composer, and a
musician, and he sure knows how to use a knife.) He's the
kind of Action Movie Hero that we need more of today.
I have big hopes for the upcoming
Daylight's End, and on IMDB he's rumored to be in Fast
& Furious 7. After seeing Aaron Paul in Need
for Speed, I think Johnny Strong and Aaron Paul
would make a great Action Movie duo. You heard it here first.
He has danced [Step Up and Step Up
2: The Streets] and fought [Fighting] his way into the
hearts of every teenage girl. He's more often been a leading man
than an action star, but his roles in
G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra, and G.I. Joe: Retaliation,
Knockout (as a black ops super soldier)are sure to make him a
bigger Action star, even though he's also doing other dramatic and
romantic roles. He seems to have a quiet demeanor and this
compliments his attractiveness. He's not cocky and in your face and
that makes you want to find out more; gives him some mystery. Being
able to dance and fight speaks volumes for his talent. It's
rare that someone does both so well.
He's the essential
All-American boy next door.
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
and spot on as Bones in Star Trek. Also, he seemed to bear a
resemblance to Roger Moore in R.E.D. (Retired
Extremely Dangerous) which borrowed a lot from Live and Let Die.
2011 saw him channeling Eastwoodish Western sexiness in
In 2012 we can look forward to seeing
him as Judge Dredd in Dredd and Loft (a murder
Thriller), and in Overdrive: Look out! "A pair of
handsome and adventurous brothers, known for being high-profile car
thieves, travel to the South of France looking for new challenges
and come across a tough local crime boss." Looks like Karl's
brother will be played by the Prince Caspian hottie Ben Barnes.
2013 is a reason to celebrate as Karl comes back as Bones in the
Star Trek Sequel, and as Lord Vaako in the Untitled
Chronicles of Riddick Sequel (now filming). Let's just hope they
don't kill him off right up front in Riddick.
Often, these characters find themselves in impossible situations and
rise to the challenge. In shape, but not unusually so 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.
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
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.
almost nobody I enjoy watching more. The timbre of his voice is so
pleasing—he could be reciting the grocery list and I'm enraptured.
From as goofy as he was in Peggy Sue Got Married ("Lucky
Chucky") to 'Mr. Slick' in Lord of War, he's thoroughly
entertaining and can't-take-your-eyes-(and ears)-off-him watchable.
His delivery in
was so much fun it added to that
roller-coaster-ride feeling, like you were on it with him. He
can do more with a nothing role than you can conceive of (LOL
Leading Man and Action Movie star, he
mixes it up better than anyone else. He's done a big variety of roles
and looked very different in a lot of them. You know he was impressive
looking for Con Air! His performance can carry a film, like
in Bangkok Dangerous. Not that the other actors in his movies
aren't good too, it's just that what they do seems to add to him,
not take away. It's rare anyone can steal a scene from Cage (like
Sammi Rotibi "Gun of Rambo" in Lord of War). He's very 'Bond'
in his smoothness and charm, yet so down to earth and likeable: perfect
example: Family Man. After Gone in 60 Seconds, I hoped his
career would go more toward Action but he's entertaining in any genre.
I loved him in Snake Eyes, Face Off, The Weather Man, The Family Man,
Guarding Tess, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Raising Arizona and
so many others. Even if the movie is bad, he never is . . .
He's hot, he's cool, he's
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, his career
only added to his larger-than-life persona. My favorites roles of
his are all the Bond movies (but especially
Live and Let Die), The Wind and The Lion, The Man Who Would be
King, The Great Train Robbery, Outland, The Untouchables, Indiana
Jones and The Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October, Family
Business ("Where did you find this fucking parasite?" LMAO), and
It didn't matter what his age was, he pulled
it off until Entrapment with Catherine Zeta-Jones. His
Action Movie 'cred' brings such strength to a movie, for example,
The Rock. Who do you get when you need
a bad ass who's been locked up for 30 years? "John Patrick Mason,
Thanks to Matt Damon fans Pamela and Abdu who
took the time to write to admonish me on not having Matt on the
site. "Have you really forgot Matt Damon?!" (head hung in
first, I was not a big fan of The Bourne Identity, but with
hindsight, I was hard on the movie. I like a lot of Matt's
movies, but a lot of them are Dramas, and it wasn't until Jeremy
Renner was cast in The Bourne Legacy (I know, different
character) that it hit me I HAVE to have Matt as an Action Movie Bad
Ass. I guess part of why I didn't have him for so long is that he's
so all-American and the-guy-next-door, but that is exactly the
criteria for the "Regular Joe"! Their relatability is their biggest
appeal, doubly so here, with the character of Jason Bourne.
We will always remember Matt Damon and Ben Affleckfirst for Chasing Amy, but best when accepting their
Oscars for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) for
Good Will Hunting (1997). I really likedhim in
Rounders and Saving Private Ryan (both 1998). Since that
time, Matt made many movies and proved he is a great actor—The
Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) erased any doubt. The Bourne
movies, though, cemented his place in our hearts: The Bourne
Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), and The
Bourne Ultimatum (2007).
Proving he's at the top of Hollywood's social group, he was part of
the cool guys club that made Ocean's Eleven (2001),
Ocean's Twelve (2004), and Ocean's 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. .
also starred in The Adjustment Bureau and Contagion in
After Sarah Silverman did this heartfelt but strange homage
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. 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
do you say about a man with such a body of work!? Going back to the
early days of the Italian films and
'spaghetti westerns', he was just this lanky good-looking
actor who downplayed the emotional side of acting. We came to love
him for this. Shoot first and shut the hell up. The man with no
Dirty Harry character came along and it was
like adding Raiders to Star Wars for Harrison Ford,
we already loved Clint, but this made us love him more. Then the
fighting movies with the orangutan. How to take it to the next
level! Instead of just shooting his way through shit, he started
brawling. It gave me new respect for him as an actor, as a man. He
wasn't that young either to be playing that role, and that made it
all the better. Made him a tough guy 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
There's no one like him.
He made his own brand of 'cool'.
(bowing) Not worthy!
What can I say about
the ridiculously AMAZING career of Harrison Ford. He was Indiana
Jones and Han Solo. That would be enough in itself, but
he did so much more. He's Dr. Richard Kimble (The Fugitive),
Jack Ryan (Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger),
and Rick Deckard (Blade Runner). It's hard to
pin down what Harrison brings to a role but he's got charisma in
spades, something everyone first noticed in American Graffiti.
He comes across as a good man, a catch, something women loved to see
him portray in Working Girl.
He played against type in n Presumed Innocent to great effect
with a thrilling ending. Was hilarious as a Realtor/Detective in
Hollywood Homicide. It's quite a list of movies: and I left out
a few: Air Force One, The Hunt For Red October, Apocalypse
Now, Force 10 From Navarone, Witness,
Frantic, The Mosquito Coast, Hanover Street, Regarding Henry,
Sabrina, The Devil's Own, Random Hearts, What Lies Beneath, K-19:
could be considered our John Wayne. The man's man. The man
men look to to know how to be men.
We love you Harrison! (He knows.)
Tommy Lee Jones 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
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
Bob Somerby) yet he cast a long
shadow. They were the lucky ones.
It all culminated for me in No Country For
Old Men. (How do you not get the ending?!) Those damn Coen
geniuses, who else but Tommy Lee Jones?!! "Whatcha got ain't
nothin new. This country's hard on people, you can't stop what's
coming, it ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity." Well, if it
was gonna wait for anyone, it'd be Tommy Lee. But he's gonna die,
and he's okay with that. Not a good prognosis for the country, but
then when the kid with playing cards on the spokes of his bikes
accepts the bloody money [I wanted him to tear it up (so easy to
corrupt the innocent!) but he didn't], it tore my heart in two.
(It was like a Norman Rockwell painting of evil.) And Tommy
Lee's character's acceptance of his coming death, equally as sad.
Boy grows up! Just 17 years old, already-super-popular Taylor
Lautner became an 'overnight' international sensation through the
Twilight movies. Team Jacob! You could almost see him age for real
in the movie: from 16 to 17, from a boy to a super buff wolfman. The
blush on the rose and any baby fat he might have had transformed
into a chiseled body right before your eyes. After the un-shirting
in the sequel The Twilight Saga: New Moon
that left girls and women the world over swooning, his display of
his martial arts training and true physical prowess on
Saturday Night Live (link to video
embedded in a Huffington Post article), and the lead in the upcoming
action movie Max Steel, the world is Taylor's.
He seems to have an
inclination toward action, so we hope that he chooses well and that
he's offered choice roles. Maybe he would be THE all-time best
don't know what took me so long to add the irresistible Irishman
Liam Neeson! Maybe it's because he's so well-rounded in his choice
of roles. So many great movies, you 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:
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
The Dead Pool (1988)
Next of Kin (1989) with Patrick Swayze
Schindler's List (1993)
Rob Roy (1995)
Michael Collins (1996)
Star Wars: Episode 1-The Phantom Menace (1999) A fitting and
Gangs of New York (2002)
Love Actually (2003)
Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
Batman Begins (2005)
Clash of the Titans (2010) Who else could play Zeus?—such a
The One. The one
who starred in the "Rush, Rush" video with Paula Abdul.
The one who had an excellent adventure. The one who was in two
bands, one called "Dogstar", and one called "Becky."
I first noticed him in
Dangerous Liaisons. His next movie, Bill & Ted's Excellent
Adventure, created a stereotype that follows him to this day.
He was good in Ron Howard's Parenthood, and then came
Point Break. Johnny Utah was like Keanu grown up until he said
"Vaya con Dios" at the end and brought Ted to mind again—but you
gotta love him for that. He's just cooler than you! Speaking of
cool, his best friend was River Phoenix (also in a band
called "Aleka's Attic"). They starred together in My Own
Private Idaho. This image from that movie is iconic to that
I think Keanu is excellent in everything he's
done. I loved the movie Dracula. Not only is he good in it
but I think it's underrated as he so often is. Dracula is visually
stunning (beyond Keanu's beauty) and full of great moments. Gary
Oldman is uniquely creepy.
Once Keanu did Speed, he was locked in to
Action Movie history. The movie has a really exciting beginning that
sets up his character's heroism. People LOVE this movie and
the combination of Keanu and Sandra Bullock. It's always fun to
Keanu is just too beautiful. A Walk in the
Clouds is a total chick flick fantasy with Keanu as a soldier.
Then there's New York lawyer Keanu in The Devil's Advocate
holding his own opposite Al Pacino. Three other favorites of
mine are Constantine (impressive-as-hell effects), The
(with Sandra Bullock again), and The Day the Earth Stood Still.
It really doesn't matter what kind of movie Keanu
does, what he'll be most remembered for is his role in a perfect
The Matrix. Keanu was the perfect choice for this role. He
seems to have an inner peace that comes through even in the chaos
that moves Neo from his imaginary life to real life. His training
for this movie and the sequels, The Matrix Reloaded
and The Matrix Revolutions are impressive.
His directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, was
impressive and creative. Yuen Woo-ping
did the stunt choreography and the movie also starred Keanu, Tiger Hu Chen,
Uwais! He was inthe samurai movie
my watch list—the fights looked over the top), and in John Wick
he's single-handedly bringing "bad ass" back!
boy Burt. No one young understands how big he was (how well liked,
how good looking, how much charisma and record-shattering box-office
draw he had). You had to have lived through it. Shown here
with two of the loves of his life:
Dinah Shore and Smokey and The Bandit co-star Sally
Field. He said later of leaving Sally Field for Loni
Anderson that he traded a diamond for a rhinestone.
where he was the centerfold (cropped version
below) sold out in minutes on newsstands. No man had ever posed nude
before. (Burt knew what women wanted—him!. And no, he didn't show
anything.) Before there was Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner,
there was Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, before them, Robert
Redford and Burt Reynolds (and Paul Newman and
Marlon Brando) (my point? HOT HOT men). He's more of a dramatic
actor than an Action Movie star, but he helped fuel the love of
the genre immeasurably because he always brought excitement and
action to his films (hear
him say so better than I can).
Just so you can appreciate the breadth of his
career, he started on TV with the
Gunsmoke series (1955). He has 90 feature films to his
credit, so I want to mention just my favorites: There's the single
role he's most known for Deliverance (1972), and the type of
movies he's most know for: the Smokey and The Bandit
movies (1977,80, 83), Cannonball Run I
and II (1981, 84), and
Hooper (1978). I love all those, but I also loved him in
The End (1978),
Rough Cut (1980), Sharky's Machine (1981),
Stick (1985) [filmed here in South Florida] where legendary
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,
Trinity in the Matrix Reloaded
(@1:29], Heat (1986),
and Breaking In (both from 1989), Cop and
½ (1993) [co-starring a friend from high school
Tom Kouchalakos :D], and The Crew
How big was Burt? He turned down
playing James Bond and starring in Die Hard.
He appeared recently on Burn Notice (July
2010) and threw down ;). I would say there are few actors more
loved than Burt Reynolds.
Robert Shaw was my favorite actor. My favorite
roles of his are From Russia With Love
(1963), The Sting (1973), The Taking
of Pelham One Two Three (1974), Jaws (1975),
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.
d'ya have there—a portable shower or a monkey cage?
You go inside the cage?
Cage goes in the water . . .
you go in the water . . . shark's in the water.
Farewell and adieu to you, fair Spanish ladies. . . .
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
delivered the most impressive and d memorable fight scene
Rowdy Roddy and Keith David beat the shit out of each
other in They Live.
In a series of
progressively tougher fight scenes building up to a
what-is-he-capable-of? finale, Merantau
showcased Iko's Silat skills with jaw-dropping impact. Out of
this role as a slender, unassuming young man, a major action star
was born. Can't wait for more from Iko! Here's
an interview with Writer/Director Gareth Evans by
Robert A. Mitchell
@SoldierOfCinema of The Raid
(aka Serbuan Maut). The Raid opened
TIFF Midnight Madness. Sony
picked it up for the U.S.It should be released in
Indonesia in January 2012.
The heart and moral compass of the Fast & Furious movies . .
. we didn't know how much he meant to us 'til he was gone. So young,
so beautiful, so loved. He did say "If one day the speed kills
me, do not cry because I was smiling." Easier to think that than
to imagine his final moments. Is there any consolation in a life
well lived. We can only hope so.
Part of the Fast & Furious appeal is the multi-cultural group, and
he was 'the white guy'. He changed our perceptions about white guys
in that he was just so damn lovable and easy going—counteracting the
racist hillbilly hater baggage that comes along with being white in
America. He accepted everyone, loved everyone, had the bluest eyes,
and a smile that lit up the screen.
This video says it all.
PAUL WALKER TRIBUTE VIDEO
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.
"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
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.
Action Movie compliment paid was that Stallone included him in the
ultimate Action Boys' Club:
The Expendables movies.
Maybe it's just his look with a crewcut but he has a very everyman
face. I mean that in the best way: relatability. You're not
distracted by his looks. Of course, that could be a testament to his
acting ability. Too many times actors seem to play themselves. Sam
disappears into the role. I think that's the highest compliment but
this is sometimes negatively criticized with action movies because
it seems like fans want their action stars to be personalities
before the even get to the screen, and to be that larger-than-life
persona in their role. I guess you could put it this way: Sam
Worthington has no swagger. I still like him.
Look out. Taking back the no swagger as he looks
like he might be the total bad ass in Sabotage . . .
When, as women, these characters find themselves in impossible
situations and rise to the challenge, the bar is set higher. Nobody
expects women to be able to do what men can do. But I have
news for you, we can! Whether these actresses have martial arts
training or not, they did a damn good job of 'keeping up'. For the
female Action Star, it may not be about obvious strength, but more
about agility. She doesn't have to be butch, but she has to be
believable. With Martial Arts movies leading the way (as they once
did with early Action Movies for men), kick-ass women who don't need
to fake their skills are going to be, hopefullly, the norm rather
than the exception in the future.
We haven't scratched the surface of the potential
for truly strong women in Action Movies. I thought Red Sonja
in 1985 was an indicator of things to come, but we're still waiting!
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
want to see. We are missing the type of woman WOMEN want to
see, like JeeJa Yanin . . .
That's right! Geena Davis.
You know why . . .
The Long Kiss Goodnight. Geena is quite a chameleon when it
comes to roles and hasn't gotten nearly enough credit for her talent.
She is completely believable in this real-life nightmare. Her
character's alter-ego is a contrast to what we probably think Geena is
in real life. That makes it all the better. The script is great too.
bad mother! (Shut your mouth!)
Earning her place
here for a savage-yet-endearing performance in
Point of No Return, convincingly portraying a girl pushed too
far and what she's capable of (of what maybe anyone is, with enough
programming and training). Her delicate features and femininity that
make it all the more devastating to watch her do those things. Her
intensity and concentration seem real. Point of No Return delivers the
Action Movie excitement as effectively as any guy-star's movie. But
maybe you think I'm saying that just cause I'm a girl—Bite me!
From her twitter bio: "pronounced
Kate who? A face so flawless, she'd be
breathtaking even without hair. In the film The Fifth Element,
she was female perfection, wearing only straps for clothes. She
dominated the screen in Resident Evil, which spawned four
Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction,
Resident Evil: Afterlife, and
Resident Evil: Retribution (14 Sept 2012). Thanks to twitter you
and get behind-the-scenes updates like "shooting RE5 in camp evil".
An unlikely Action Movie hero . . . pale,
slight, and slender, Milla is also fierce, savage, and lethal! Hers
is not the big-boobed, bleached-blonde, artificiality of the every
skank. Her vulnerability and slenderness add to rather than take
away from the persona: A 'normal' girl until she shows her power.
Milla was so mesmerizing in her portrayal of Alice in
Resident Evil that it's impossible to imagine anyone else in the
role: the highest compliment.
she was a force of nature! If you could stop watching with your
mouth open long enough, you had to notice she was effective as hell
in those roles. Compare her to Linda Hamilton: Milla's proof
you don't have to look butch to kick ass. That was unkind to
Linda Hamilton, yes, but also flattering as Hamilton raised the bar
on the standard of kick ass.
Bring that high kick, Carrie-Anne. Admitting she had a hard time
learning the stunts on the DVD extras to
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 again
in 2013 as Lt. Uhura in the
untitled Star Trek sequel, and in 2016 as Neytiri in Avatar 2.
The kick ass star
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
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.
believe she made that
over-the-shoulder-past-the-3-point-zoneshot in Alien
Resurrection?! YES I CAN! (Watch this clip, aptly titled
Sigourney Weaver Is The Shit!")
In a male-dominated genre,
she stands tall literally and figuratively! I don't need Superman. I'll take
Ripley, Ellen, Lieutenant First Class 36706, and happily be a clone.
The star of
Chocolate and Raging Phoenix, Jeeja Yanin is a Thai
Taekwondo sensation. Billed as "no wires" and "no stunt
doubles" Chocolate created a lot of buzz for the female star. At
just 5' 2" she packs a lot of lethality into a lithe frame.
The follow-up movie,
Raging Phoenix was billed as "Chinese Drunken Fist vs. Drunken Muay Thai", plus
B-Boy moves! The Thai movies in general and this one in particular throw so much
at you, it's hard to not be amazed. The creativity of the fighting moves, and
the intensity is unmatched. If you haven't seen either, you must see both!
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.
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!
yet so deadly. She stole the show in
Rush Hour 2. She was also devastating in Crouching Tiger
Hidden Dragon, Hero, and House of Flying Daggers. She
played the lead in Memoirs of a Geisha with Gong Li
(Li Gong) and
Michelle Yeoh, alongside The Last Samuri's heartthrob
leading man Ken Watanabe.
She is starring
The Grand Masters
(2012), "the story of martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who
trained Bruce Lee".
Woo-ping Yeun is the action choreographer.
How perfect is this? Zhang was to play
Mulan in a film directed by Jan de Bont, which,
according to Wikipedia was supposed to wrap January 2011, but for
which no release date was mentioned (I could not even find it on
This lengthy comment
is the only thing I could find. (I disagree on the 3D and the
English—I would love to see her as Mulan in any language, 3D or
not.) For 2012 IMDB shows her in The Grandmasters
(an Ip Man story), a Cantonese Dangerous Liaisons,
and for 2013 a Drama directed by John Woo called Live and Let Love!