Well coming hot off the heels of my top ten action films (rated R) of all time, I thought I’d do a top ten of action movie actors. My criteria: they have to be men, cool, star in mostly action movies and bring an edge to the movies they’re in. For example, if you can only imagine the role played by that actor, that’s a good thing.
10. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
Mainly known for his WWE career, The Rock is starting to make a name for himself as an actor. I thought he was great in The Rundown and Walking Tall. He was also good in The Scorpion King and Doom. His acting isn’t too bad, but his bread and butter is busting guy’s chops.
9. Jason Statham
This guy actually started as a diver, and was very competitive. He was then scouted for modeling, and got into the movie biz. He’s actually been in an inordinate amount of movies in the last 10 years. Some of the great ones were Snatch, Lock Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels, The Transporter, Crank, etc, etc. I’m totally excited that he’ll be playing Dom the butler in the long-awaited movie adaption of the excellent book Artemis Fowl. A perfect job of casting!
Jason’s movies are high tempo, funny and entertaining. Guy Ritchie seems to love the guy, and he’s gaining more notoriety in North America. I hope to see more of him in the future.
8. Val Kilmer
This dude is in some weird flicks. He’s a doctor in possibly the worst film ever made. He’s also a cool spy in The Saint. This was a movie I had hoped that they would develop into a series, or at least a part two. He’s also stellar in The Ghost and The Darkness, Thunderheart, Red Planet and he’s Moses (and the voice of God) in The Prince of Egypt. And who could forget his incredible job as Ice Man in Top Gun. He’s also got about a half a dozen movies on the go right now. 2008 could be a good year for Val. And judging from the picture I found of him, I have what it takes to be an action star too!
7. Christian Bale
If this guy is in a few more Batman flicks, I could see him moving up my list fast. He was awesome as the Dark Knight and very believable. He also was ripped and totally cool in Reign of Fire, a sweet dragon flick that apparently I was the only person to ever see or purchase on DVD. (Matthew McConaughey was also great in this movie – and his tattoo’s were probably the coolest I’ve ever seen) I’ve really only seen a few movies with Christian. The ones I’ve mentioned, The Illusionist and the creepy American Psycho. I should really watch more of this guy’s stuff.
Sometimes you pick up a movie that you don’t know much about but you end up totally loving. The very underrated and underwatched Equilibrium is a film well worth seeing.
6. Nicolas Cage
Sometimes I think I hate this guy. But when I think of some of the great films he’s been in, I realize I actually really like him. He’s got an awesome portfolio: Con Air, Face Off, National Treasure and Lord of War are all awesome. And The Rock is one of my favourite action flicks ever. He’s also been in some real crappy films in my opinion: Leaving Las Vegas and Gone in 60 Seconds were bad. And though I haven’t seen Ghost Rider, I can’t imagine it could have been any good at all. Even so, this guy can make a good picture.
5. Bruce Willis
All three Die Hard movies rank within my favourites. Bruce has put together some other great films as well. 16 Blocks was great, The Hostage, Hart’s War and Twelve Monkeys were also very good. And if you go way back to the early ’90s, Hudson Hawk and The Last Boy Scout are worth a rent. In 1998 he also made a great outer space movie – and no it wasn’t Armageddon, the good one was The Fifth Element. I’m really excited about Live Free or Die Hard. Way to go Bruce!
Bruce seems to always play the ‘everyman’ who’s just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s always good he’s the guy in the end though, because he can kick butt without looking back.
4. Sylvester Stallone
This is one busy guy. Besides getting busted at international airports with performance enhancing drugs, he also makes movies. Probably most famous for Rocky and Rambo (both with recent and upcoming additions to the series) my favourite movies of his are Cliffhanger and Demolition Man. He did a great (if not more serious) job acting in Copland, and he also has his share of stinkers (Judge Dredd among them).
Sly is one ripped dude. He’s not the kind of guy you want to tick off either. Recently I read a very interesting article about his own spiritual walk. He’s still tops in my book, and I hope he comes out with some more films in the near future, before he’s too old to take off his shirt.
3. Sigourney Weaver
OK. I know I said they had to be guys, but Weaver is pretty awesome. She does an incredible job in the Alien films, and even made Resurrection highly watchable. She is tough, gritty and believable. I’ve never seen Ghostbusters, but apparently she’s in there too. She’s hilarious as Gwen DiMarco in Galaxy Quest and good in the spooky movie The Village.
This guy has a few knocks against him. The main being that he can barely speak english. But he makes fantastic action flicks. Predator, The Running Man, Eraser, Total Recall, The Sixth Day, Terminator, Commando, True Lies: it seems Hollywood saved the best action roles for him. His one-liners are actually pretty good, and he dominates the screen. His comedies like Jingle All The Way, Kindergarten Cop and Twins suck, but this is an action list. If you’re thinking of picking up a movie, and it has Arnie on the cover, and the ratings warn: Scenes of violence – its a sure bet (unless its the Last Action Hero – stay away!).
1. Harrison Ford
If you were to judge this guy just based on the work he’s done in trilogies, he’d still win. Star Wars and Indiana Jones are about as good as they get for action movies. He fit both roles perfectly, and by the way he can act. His sense of humour, and machismo are just what most action films need. I think The Fugitive is one of the greatest chase movies, and Harrison is an awesome Dr. Kimble. Chasing the one-armed man around Chicago, while the cops are chasing him. Besides these great films he stars in The Devil’s Own and Air Force One. He also brings to life Jack Ryan – Tom Clancy’s superhero who ends up running the CIA. Thankfully, he took over this role from Alec Baldwin.
I look forward to seeing Ford reprising the role of Indy in the upcoming installment, and I’ve heard Spielberg and Lucas are both back on board for this one.