Favourite Action Hero (Non Comic book)
To celebrate the release of London Has Fallen and the good old school action movie, we are going to look at our favourite action heroes in film, we have excluded superhero as we want to have a human hero. We have had years of action movies which have all offered some of the wildest sequences in movie history, out fought the odds to save the day and often the world.
If you want to take part in the next round of Opinion Battles we are asking Favourite Young Adult Film, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your choices by Sunday 20th March 2016.
Movie Reviews 101
Ethan Hunt is the agent that has saved the world five times so far, he has the everyday normal look about him. He uses his brains and his skills to outsmart, out fight his villains. He will take every risk to get the job done whether it be climbing buildings, hanging onto flying planes, getting flushed down a drain or running to save his loved one. What makes Ethan such a great action hero is that he does lose when he faces villains when team members die giving him the motivation to defeat everyone in his way.
Kim – Tranquil Dreams
Luke Hobbs – Fast Five/Fast & Furious 6/Furious 7
The Fast and the Furious franchise has been running stronger, coming back to life to become a heist series more than its about its fast cars and racing world. Fast Five was the first we saw of Luke Hobbs. When Luke Hobbs gets on screen, he has a powerful presence and while he plays the cop and he is the obvious hero here, he starts seeing that the bad guys aren’t exactly these heist masters in Toretto and his crew but its to save whatever is going on and that is the hero that he is. Every time he throws a punch or fights, his build and character emits a personality that just makes me want to cheer for him.
Richard – The Humpo Show
Indiana Jones – Indiana Jones Franchise
Easy decision for me this one. I have seen the original three films over 10 times each, and I even watch the fourth film if it is on TV. An iconic action hero, who is unmistakably associated with his whip, fedora and charming humour that makes him my favourite action hero.
There are so many incredible scenes which have seen Indiana Jones become the ultimate action hero. Boulder scene, the Mine Cart Chase, the opening the Ark, heart exorcism and my favourite…the three challenges from The Last Crusade.
To be honest, despite Crystal Skull paling in comparison to the original films, the Indiana Jones films should be at an end. I don’t want to see Harrison Ford reprise the role for a fifth time as he should leave the legacy as it is, and I don’t want to see anyone else take on the role. However, Disney will undoubtedly want to cash in on it and put Chris Pratt as Indiana Jones…
Ellen Ripley – Alien
Who is my favorite (non-superhero/comic book) action hero? That’s an easy one! It’s Ellen Ripley.
I love both Alien & Aliens but it was Aliens that I had a true obsession with at the age of about 14 after watching it late one night once the kids I was babysitting (in a country house in the middle of nowhere) had gone to bed. I suppose it was my first rather violent, grown-up action movie. And it starred a WOMAN!
However, the fact that it had a kick-ass female action star didn’t actually cross my mind at the time. You don’t think of these things as a teenager. I wasn’t thinking “This role is a massive step in the right direction for women everywhere”, I was just thinking “God this movie is awesome & I want to be Ripley!”.
Was the fact that she was a woman actually a big deal at the time or did people not even give that a thought? I don’t know but now that I’m older I can appreciate the fact that she helped pave the way for more kick-ass female action stars. I also loved that she had the motherly instinct in wanting to protect Newt, giving her more depth than some male action hero counterparts. It’s possible to kick ass but still maintain your feminine side as well.
But is she my favorite just because she’s a woman? No. It’s because she just happens to be an amazing character in a truly amazing set of films. Furiosa gave her a slight run for her money in Fury Road but it’s very unlikely that anyone will ever top Ellen Ripley for me.
Rob – Movie Rob
Action Hero? Simple.
Who is the characters that actually doesn’t fit the stereotype of the muscle bound invincible hero?
Why it’s John McClane from Die Hard (1988)
He is a just a typical everyday police detective caught in the wrong place at the wrong time and must do all he can to save his wife and all of the other hostages in the building.
He proved to everyone that in movies, the action hero doesn’t need to be someone like Stallone or Schwarzenegger, but someone most of us can relate to.
So many attempts have been made over the years to copy the success of the John McClane hero and in nearly 30 years, no one has been able to do so.
Emma – Emma Explains It All
It was impossible to choose anyone else (though there are other good contenders). Die Hard and its sequels (well, the first two anyway) were films I grew up with and still enjoy watching to this day. Apart from being the guy ‘that saves the day’ McClane is a likable character with a rebellious attitude and repertoire of wisecracks. He’s a legend! And as far as action movies go, he’s absolutely iconic.
Summer – Serendipitous Anachronisms
My favorite non-comic book hero is Jackie Chan. Sure there are tougher looking action heroes, but do not be deceived, Jackie Chan may look mild-mannered, but he is hardcore. Other action heroes use a stunt man. Not Jackie Chan. Jackie Chan does all his stunts. Jackie Chan is the perfect action hero, with crazy agility and excellent comic timing, he is the ultimate performer. In fact, Jackie Chan is so amazing that he became a comic book hero, that’s right, there are Jackie Chan comic books. With over 100 films under his belt, films like Drunken Master, Supercop, Shanghai Noon, and Rumble in the Bronx, Jackie Chan is a living legend. His obscure films like Project A and Half a Loaf of Kung Fu are really good too. Jackie Chan kicks butt!
Jen – Combustible Reviews
Yippee ki yay mother f**cker.
Nothing else needs to be said really. Oh, alright, if you insist…
He’s sassy, grouchy, all for gender equality. (I.E. he beat the crap out of elevator girl and wasn’t the least bit sorry.), and has some of the greatest one liners. Not mention he stars in one of my favourite Christmas films.
Who needs Bond when we have McClane?
Dan – Slip/Through
Dutch – Predator
When I think of an action hero, I think of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Growing up in the 80s, it isn’t hard to imagine why. Nowadays, action heroes get “Franchised”, whereas Arnold was a star on his own. He saved the day in a number of different stand-alone universes from TOTAL RECALL to TRUE LIES. Arnold was a brand-name franchise on his own, rarely appearing in sequels (only TERMINATOR?) like many superheroes in the megaplex now. Today, not oven The Rock can pull in the audience like Schwarzenegger could.
Ah-nuld’s best “Hero” role was in PREDATOR, as a mercenary named Dutch sent to find out what happened to a missing platoon in the South American jungle. In this sci-fi/action/horror blockbuster, Arnie ends up going toe-to-toe with a monster from another world. While guns and bazookas played a major role in the decade, Arnold uses intellect (imagine that?) and primitive weapons to defeat the technologically advanced alien.
This was the ultimate battle with the best both worlds could offer – the best villain vs the best hero. With Schwarzenegger’s huge muscles, you’d also expect this final showdown to be a beatdown like ROCKY vs Ivan Drago (Nerd Alert: This was actually how the movie was originally pitched – Rocky vs an alien); however, the finale plays out more like a silent movie with deadly traps instead.
PREDATOR is constantly exciting, ramping up the tension with each frame. Although some of the success relies on the super cool premise, most of it can be attributed to the best action hero ever.
Prudence – What About Movies
Furiosa (Mad Max: Fury Road)
I love the whole idea of Furiosa. She could have easily been this post-apocalyptic femme fatale straight out of Sports Illustrated, but no. They made her an amputee with a shaved head and a bulky physicality. Which makes absolute sense because a skinny girl can’t drive an 18-wheeler war rig. And if you think about it Mad Max: Fury Road isn’t about Max, not really. Although he is instrumental towards achieving the redemption, the girls were reaching for. But Max is a survivalist, not a benevolent leader, nor an instigator of change. Those are embodied in Furiosa who actually takes the risk to save the world from the oppression of Immortan Joe. And let’s not forget that she kicks major ass.
J – Film & Nuance
The Bride, Kill Bill
The Bride is my choice for favourite action hero. Beatrix Kiddo aka The Bride aka Black Mamba is simply kick-ass. She has stuck to my mind for the longest time mainly because her tale of vengeance is intriguing. Her samurai moves are impeccable as she kills off a whole army of Japanese gangsters while avoiding being seriously injured. She checks off her list one by one, wounded and hurt, but never defeated.
Forged with the mettle of a back-from-the-dead spirit and the metal of sheer will, Beatrix’s greatest strength is actually her resolve; That’s why she’s such a great character. Wry, funny and extremely determined, The Bride shows us how unfair life can be and how her past comes back to haunt her. Her fight for reprieve and revenge can only be a blood-splattering affair that strengthens her spirit with each successive kill. Most of all, she’s flawed and vulnerable and human. But that makes her impression and impact on me all the stronger. Simply put, she’s fuc**** badass!!!!
I don’t particularly identify with heroes that have supernatural powers, I’d much prefer to watch heroes that spring from normal people themselves. The Bride stands out from the rest of the crowd because she carries with her a whole backstory that’s not just interesting(credit to Tarantino here) but also one with nuance. Her desperation to escape from her past transgressions spins out of control and her ultimate ‘superhero’ battle is actually a fight inside her. Her struggle to resolve the conflict between her identities, or as Bill puts, her true self and alter-ego (assasin), is one of the things that defines her complex character and characterizes her mental courage and will.
S.G. Liput – Rhyme and Reason
At first, this topic left me divided. Surely John McClane of Die Hard is the quintessential action star. Then again, I’ve always been fond of Brendan Fraser’s Rick O’Connell in the Mummy movies. Suddenly, it hit me like a Nazi truck: the one and only Indiana Jones! While Harrison Ford is universally loved for several roles, everyone’s favorite archaeologist may be his most recognized persona. The fedora, the whip, the fear of snakes, the classic fight scenes and narrow escapes from the minds of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas – it all combines into one of the most exciting trilogies (plus one) in movie history with perhaps the most iconic hero of all time.
Daniel – A Tale of Two Dans
Ethan Hunt is definitely one of the most iconic action heroes of our generation. Unlike many action franchises every Mission Impossible film improves, which elevates it above movies like Die Hard and Terminator. Each time a different director brings a different look at Ethan Hunt and each time Tom Cruise does a stellar job. Every movie the stunts and action sequences get better and better. First he climbs the Burj Khalifa, then he hangs on to the outside of a plane. I dare anyone to find an actor and character that is as badass as Tom Cruise/Ethan Hunt and I will eat my words. He kicks butt, he’s a gentlemen and every time he returns to the big screen he’s even better than the last outing. He’s the ultimate action hero.
Damien Riley – Riley Central
Action heroes live in all our memories. There are superheroes, which we were asked not to consider in this opinion battle, and then there are the flesh and bone heroes that we all walk out of the theater wanting to become. This was the category to choose ONE from. When selecting a favorite, which wasn’t easy, I first thought of Luke Skywalker of the original Star Wars trilogy. I was 7 when I first watched him swashbuckling across the screen with lightsaber and lady at his side. I was never the same after that. I almost made him my entry but them I started to recall a guy in a leather hat with a whip: Indiana Jones. Who can deny the owner of that first movie? Unlike Skywalker, he is a hero within ordinary space and time. Whether it’s a chase or a street brawl, this professor makes and surpasses the grade of best action hero (in my humble opinion).
Drew – Drew’s Movie Reviews
Dominick Toretto may be a thief and not necessarily a “hero” but he is a hero with a conscience. Everything he does, he does for his family (he doesn’t have friends, he has family). Toretto is most at home when he is behind the wheel of a 10 second car. However, he is also more than capable of holding his own in a fist fight. He has pulled all kinds of stunts from robbing a moving semi-truck to towing a bank vault down the streets of Rio to holding his own against a highly trained British secret agent. Any kind of action stunt you can think of, he has probably pulled off. As the series has gone on, the audience has learned more and more about Toretto. Although he is a thief you can’t help but like him and forgive his actions since this thief’s intentions are noble. Not to mention he has pulled of some pretty sick maneuvers.