Top 10 Action Heroes of The 90s

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Are you ready for the ultimate nostalgia as we reminisce about the top 10 action heroes of the 90s; a time when action movies were actually good?  With fair yet tough decisions, Arnold Schwarzenegger (“I’ll be back”), Bruce Willis (“yippie-ki-yay”) and Jean-Claude Van Damme (the muscles from Brussels) have all earned a well deserving place in our top ten action heroes of the 90s list.

If you were lucky enough to grow up in the 90s or even the 80s, you should think yourself lucky as these were the action hero decades, with the only movie coming close recently being The Expendables – they just don’t make them like they used to. Below you will find our run down on best of the bunch and keep in mind the two statements below:

Action: “The fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim: “demanding tougher action against terrorism”.”
Hero“A person, typically a man, who is admired for courage or noble qualities.”

10. Jackie Chan

When someone thinks of Jackie Chan, they tend to picture him as a comedian actor from Hong Kong, but that’s what’s great about him. His diversity as an actor has allowed him to combine the best of both worlds and he has successfully made action films funny – such as Rush Hour. Remember: You don’t have to be busting out of your shirt and kicking everyone in the face to be an action hero.

Some of his best films include:

  • Wheels on Meals (1984)
  • Heart of a Dragon (1985)
  • Supercop (1992)
  • Rumble in the Bronx (1995)
  • Rush Hour (1998)

9. Tommy Lee Jones

As well as being a successful action hero, Tommy Lee Jones also attended Harvard and worked in underwater construction. Tommy Lee Jones, although has some amazing films under his belt, the one that defined him in our eyes is Under Siege, alongside Steven Seagal. We can also not forget his part as Chip Hazard, a toy soldier in the movie Small Soldiers.

Some of his best films include:

Men in Black (1997)

The Fugitive (1993)

Small Soldiers (1998)

Under Siege (1992)

Space Cowboys (200)

8. Steven Seagal

People have always been torn between Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme; you either love one or the other and apparently you cannot like both. Although we are more lenient towards JC, Steven in his own rights has made classic action movies such as Under Siege and Marked for Death. Seagal started even started learning martial arts when he was only 7. He is also a guitarist and producer, making him more than a one trick pony.

Some of his best films include:

  • Marked for Death (1990)
  • Hard to Kill (1990)
  • Under Siege (1992)
  • The Patriot (1998)
  • On Deadly Ground (1994)

7. Dolph Lundgren

When someone thinks of an action hero stereotype, Dolph Lundgren should always make the list. The Swedish actor, director, and martial artist has starred alongside action movie legends such as Van Damme and Sylvester Stallone in movies Universal Soldier and Rocky 3. His one-lines such as “if he dies, he dies” and his action skills is what has made him so successful. If that wasn’t enough, the guy even has an Engineering degree.

Some of his best films include:

  • Universal Soldier (1992)
  • Rocky IV (1985)
  • Red Scorpion (1988)
  • Men of War (1994)
  • Joshua Tree (1993)

6. Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes, a guy from the South Bronx in New York City first got our attention starring alongside of Sylvester Stallone in Demolition Man. Although we will admit we haven’t watched a great deal of films starring Snipes, sequels such as Blade (with his vampire slaying skills) is what has earned him a place on our top 10 action hero list.

Some of his best films include:

  • Blade (1998)
  • Demolition Man (1993)
  • Money Train (1995)
  • Passenger 57 (1992)
  • Boiling Point (1993)

5. Mel Gibson

 

Although Mel Gibson now likes to play with Beavers, the Lethal Weapon franchise is what made us categorise Mel as an action hero. What isn’t to love about Mel Gibson and Danny Glover playing a veteran cop and suicidal cop? After all, you don’t need to blow up a helicopter with a car or avenge your brother to be classes as an action hero.

  • Braveheart (1995)
  • The Patriot (2000)
  • Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
  • Payback (1999)
  • Ransom (1996)

4. Bruce Willis

Yippie-ki-yay, Bruce Willis! Although his action hero skills don’t stop with John McClane, Die Hard is one of our favourite action hero films of all time and it even counts as a Christmas film which is a plus. Who wasn’t going to love the idea of a guy taking matters into his own hands when terrorists strike? What some of you won’t realise is apart from playing a New York cop, Bruce is also a musician.

Some of his best films include:

  • Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995)
  • Last Man Standing (1996)
  • The Fifth Element (1997)
  • The Jackal (1997)
  • Armageddon (1998)

3. Jean-Claude Van Damme

Come on, who else did you think was going to win? Van Damme has the whole action package: Revenge seeker, honour upholder, pain deliverer and not to mention amazing fighting skills and a great body. With his famous splits, roundhouse kicks and muscles it was clear from the get go that Jean-Claude deserved to be at number one. You know what to expect from a Van Damme film; if action is your kind of genre then Van Damme is your man.

Some of his best films include:

  • Kickboxer (1989)
  • Bloodsport (1988)
  • Time Cop (1994)
  • A.W.O.L (1990)
  • Universal Soldier (1992)

2. Sylvester Stallone

With franchises such as Rambo and Rocky that have been going for decades you know that Sylvester Stallone has built up a loyal action hero fan base over the years. What some people don’t know is as well as being a successful action hero; Stallone has also dabbled in directing, writing and producing movies too – some of which included Rocky and Rambo.

Some of his best films include:

  • Lock Up (1989)
  • Cliffhanger (1993)
  • Rocky III (1982)
  • Rambo: First Blood (1982)
  • Demolition Man (1993)

1. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Say the words “I’ll be back” to anyone and straight away they will say Arnold Schwarzenegger – it has to be the most famous quote in action hero history. Arnold Schwarzenegger is not only a successful action hero, but he can also add Governor, professional bodybuilder and businessman to his CV. Also, what Rambo and Rocky is to Stallone, Predator and Terminator is to Arnie.

Some of his best films include:

  • Predator (1987)
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
  • The Running Man (1987)
  • Total Recall (1990)
  • Last Action Hero (1993)