The 15 Best Action Heroes Everyone Adores

It's pretty safe to assume that most people love their occasional action movie, especially if it's a good one. The array of explosions combined with a fantastic plot and amazing hero make these movies a worthwhile expenditure of time and even money, especially if you're going out on a date, which will typically set you back at least $50. Sure, you may not go to see only action movies but there's something about sitting in these overly comfortable chairs that are set in front of a massive screen with a huge surround hooked up to it that is unlike anything else that you can possibly experience. Besides, if you know the actors are top notch and the trailer looks like something that you and your honey would be interested in then why not, right?

There's something about having specific actors featured in the films that will then completely change the way that you look at them. If you catch a trailer and see that one of your least-favorite actors is starring in it, chances are you'll disregard the film altogether, no matter how good the plot seems to be. On the other side of the spectrum, however, are those stars who you love so much that you will watch whatever they're in just so that you can experience one more moment of awesomeness from them. In situations like these, chances are that you have such a high opinion of them, so whatever you're going to see will be a masterpiece.

13 Jean-Claude Van Damme

Back in the late 1980s and into the early 1990s, Jean-Claude Van Damme was nothing short of a legend. With his helicopter kicks that were able to target a standing man's head and awesome fight moves, Van Damme's athletic abilities can hardly be surpassed by anyone. His acting skills may not have been on par with most A-list Hollywood actors, at least not when he was at the peak of his career, but that's not what audiences were expecting either. Known for Universal Soldier, Lionheart, Kickboxer, Timecop and, most recently, The Expendables 2, he has definitely made his mark on the action movie scene and, despite his hiatus, will probably continue to do so even after his time has passed. Thanks to the art of film and its ability to rethink old ideas, the time has come where his movies are slowly but surely starting to resurface thanks to various remakes such as the one that features former WWE star Batista that is appropriately entitled Kickboxer.

Even though Jet Li has suffered a from a multitude of injuries that have occurred in his many years of acting, as well as a six year battle with hyperthyroidism, he is still very much in the acting game and is going strong. Having recently starred in The League Of Gods, which was a huge hit at the Cannes Film Festival, he proves that you can seriously conquer any hardships that come your way - all you have to do is what it badly enough. He is also set to take part in the third installment of xXxxXx: The Return of Xander Cage as one of many who will be fighting Vin Diesel (Raif). Either way, a Jet Li movie can always promise and deliver great acting and extreme action, enough to satisfy any adrenaline junkie. But, this should be of no surprise because he has literally been studying wushu, a Chinese form of performance martial arts, since the age of eight.

12 Jason Statham

As much as Jason Statham may not be someone who you would want to mess with, he is definitely one of the most adored action heroes in Hollywood. He got his debut thanks to pairing up with Guy Ritchie in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, but his career has come leaps and bounds since then. If you were to think that he was anything but ordinary you would be wrong. His reckless attitude and gratuitous swearing means that there is never a dull moment. Despite never having had professional acting training, the combination of being a street merchant whose living depended on a form of street theatre and professional athleticism makes him a perfect for the roles that he acquired.

11 Clint Eastwood

Let's just be honest here, Clint Eastwood is one of Hollywood's leading men you just can't seem to get enough of. From being cast as Blondie in the classic Western film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly to playing Harry in action-thriller Dirty Harry Clint Eastwood has simply embodied some of Hollywood's most iconic characters out there. That being said, he is one of Hollywood's living legends and is surely one of the reasons why action movies are the way that they are. Put it this way - the tough guy image and gritty voice has served him well over the years and has since shaped the image of action heroes up to 40 years his junior! Sure, in his progressing years he may have stepped away from the spotlight and has successfully tried his hand at directing and producing films, but he will forever be remembered as the man who can do anything. To read about his next project based on a real-life war hero click here.

10 Sigourney Weaver

No, Sigourney Weaver hasn't been in a whole bunch of action movies but her ability to embody Ripley, the iconic protagonist from the Alien franchise, makes her more than worthy of holding this particular position. When you consider that there have already been 4 Alien films and a fifth one is on its way, you can simply see the impact that the movies have had on the industry and the lee-way that it has with its fans. Its newest instalment may be disrupting the timeline as it occurs right after Aliens, the second movie, but all of those involved are extremely excited to get the ball rolling. However, for those of you who are fans of the franchise you may be saddened to hear that despite the fact that it will be coming out you'll probably have to wait at least a few years before you'll be able to see it. Either way, Sigourney Weaver may not be in her "prime" but she has not stopped making quality films and her upcoming work will surely not disappoint.

9 Will Smith

Will Smith is one of those actors that Hollywood and those who love their films just can't get enough of and you can't really blame them. When you take into consideration that he has had a starring role in huge films including the Bad Boys and Men In Black franchises, I, Robot, Suicide Squad, and the original Independence Day, all you really need to do is put two and two together and it's easy to see why he made it onto this list. His unmistakable charisma that appears both on and off-screen as well as great looks and unmissable talent means that he'll be in Hollywood for as long as he wants and will always have fans, no matter how old he gets. His love for fame and the joy that his presence brings others makes him one of those actors that everyone adores and that's exactly the way it should be, no matter how famous you may become.

8 Vin Diesel

Given, Vin Diesel may not fall under what it takes to be considered a leading man in the eyes of Hollywood but by making his own opportunities and having a smart attitude toward his career choices he is definitely one of the most beloved action heroes out there. With everything from the Riddick and xXx franchises to the beloved The Fast and the Furious series of 7 (thus far), he is known as one of those actors who will either go big or go home and that's the way he likes it. The way in which he makes sure that each film that he makes an appearance in will be a quality one is an admirable move for any actor, but how he defies all odds trumps it all. By not falling under any specific ethnicity or general "type" for that matter, it was very hard for Diesel to step into the professional acting biz but now that's he's in, there's no looking back.

7 Sylvester Stallone

Sure, Sylvester Stallone may not be in as many movies now as he was even a decade ago but his name means so much that it was impossible not to include him in this list. From embodying iconic characters like Rocky and Rambo to being an outright box-office draw, it's hard to think action movie and not have him come to mind. After you consider that he's been in a multitude of movies that have made tens of millions of dollars in cinemas alone like Demolition Man, Death Race 2000, Driven, The Expendables etc. it's easy to see why these two are just meant to be. While he may not have always been a huge guy who you would immediately associate to action-packed scenes, he's worked super hard to be where he is today and no one can take that away from him. Given, he may not look or sound like a superstar, especially considering his less than perfect face and obscure voice, but by pairing it with the right sort of characters he has become an icon in action history and his heart is full of joy because of it.

6 Angelina Jolie

In a world dominated by men, Angelina Jolie is one of very few women who can actually star in an action movie and have it generate millions upon millions of dollars. Because of her mix of absolutely beauty and intelligence, you know that whatever you're going to be seeing will not be a mindless 1½ hours filled with loads of explosions and no plot. This woman with a gun will make sure that females feel powerful but ensure them that they can remain sexy at the same time. After starring in films like Salt, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Wanted and the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider series, she has proved on more than one occasion that she can bring a lot to the table and, in turn, have it be a huge success. With an appeal to the males and females in the foreign and domestic markets she can proudly say that she has not had a movie flop in over a decade. While she may be a mother and humanitarian first and an action hero second, at least in today's day and age, there is no doubting that she can come back into the game any time that she chooses to and will blow our minds every step of the way.

5 Mr. T

While he may now be best known for his famous catch phrase of "I pity the fool!" Mr. T, who may also be known as Laurence Tureaud to his diehard fans, was quite the star back in the 1980s and his celebrity status has definitely stood the test of time. With his Afro-Mohawk hybrid hairstyle, gold chains and built physique, he is truly one-of-a-kind. Given, he may not wear his iconic piece of jewelry anymore as he feels it unfair to those who have lost it all, he will still succumb to the desires of the wardrobe department and wear them if need be. That being said, nothing will ever quite live up to his memorable performance in action-filled pieces like The A-Team or when he played Clubber Lang in Rocky III but he will be loved forevermore by those who love high intensity movies and will never be the one to disappoint.

4 Arnold Schwarzenegger

Sure, his most recent "accomplishment" may have been his ability to govern the state of California, thus resulting in him becoming one of the States' prominent political leaders but his ability to kick some serious butt had never changed. With his humble beginnings, he thought of bodybuilding as a means of bettering his own life but what he got was so much more than that. Embodying roles in iconic films like the Terminator franchise, Predator and Conan, Schwarzenegger has definitely become one of Hollywood's most recognizable faces and we honestly wouldn't have it any other way. Besides, when you consider just how amusing his accent and enormous figure are, especially while saying iconic lines like "I'll be back" or "Get to the chopper" there is absolutely no reason as to why he wouldn't make it onto this list. 

3 Tom Cruise

Yes, Tom Cruise may be viewed as a bit of a whack job, and that's putting it nicely, but his ability to draw the audiences in and, in turn, give them an amazing action movie, or any movie for that matter, is absolutely undeniable. It may be hard to take him seriously, especially after all of the craziness that has been connected to him for the past decade or so, but that still hasn't stopped the audiences from lining up to watch his next flick. The simple fact that he performs approximately 95% of his own stunts and has risked his life countless times just for the sake of the movie is absolutely mind blowing but well thought out. His job is to entertain the boss, the audience, and it's one that he's been doing since the early 1980s. There is never a dull moment with this overall nice guy who seems to have a limitless amount of energy and a secret access code to the fountain of youth.

Sure, Hugh Jackman may not be in a ton of action movies, but those that he does choose to appear in are always amazing. From embodying the title role in Van Helsing to being the epitome of Wolverine in the X-Men and Wolverine franchises he is simply an actor who can literally do anything that is thrown his way. He did such a great job that if they do decide to recast the role the chosen actor will have some huge shoes to fill. From absolutely transforming his body to fit the role to putting on a stellar performance, every single movie that he makes is bound to be a special one. Besides, he's one of the nicest guys in real life which is nothing short of an added bonus. Hey, when you consider that he's even gone as far as to helped swimmers to shore while he and his family were on a beach in Sydney then you know that he's a special man in more ways than one.

2 Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford may not be the Hollywood hunk that he once was but his good looks, free-spirited attitude and talent has made him one of those actors who can simply transcend time. Given, he may have always been a carpenter first and an actor second, but his trade soon became just another tool in his toolbox. Sure, he may have depended on it until his mid-to-late 30's (that's when his career really took off) but after he embodied Han Solo in the first Star Wars movie there was no stopping him. The once struggling actor has become the face of unmistakable characters like Han Solo, Indiana Jones and President James Marshall in Air Force One and has earned his place in Hollywood the old fashioned way: hard work. It may not have always been a walk in the park and he was even recorded to have mixed-feelings with playing Solo (he later said that he loved playing him), but the wait seems to have been totally worth it. Through thick and thin Harrison Ford always stayed true to himself and that honesty shaped him into the incredible actor that we see today.

1 Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan may be a native to Hong Kong but his name has since made a home to those living all around the world. Because of his ability to marry impeccable action sequences with an amazing plot and the perfect dash of humor, all of the movies that he has made an appearance in are bound to either be a sure-fire hit or cult classic. But, what makes him extra special is how he does most of his own stunts! Despite his ever-increasing age, he is currently 62, a majority of the action sequences that involve Chan's character are actually performed by the stuntman-actor himself! His perseverance and need to continue his craft no matter the pain that he may be in at the time is unlike any other actor out there and that is a quality that we can all admire. Besides, his infectious smile and wonderful personality make him who he is and, in turn, someone who you can't help but simply fall in love with.


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The 15 Best Action Heroes Everyone Adores