Who has been the biggest action movie star? The action film genre lives in a strange paradox: many times action movies are despised for their scripts and characters, excuses (sometimes bad) to spin one fight or chase after another.
Despite this, the action cinema depends more than any other on its stars. Some actors have defined a certain style of action movies, and their mere presence was attractive enough to watch.
These are some of the greatest action movie actors in history, and the latest movies released:
Arnold Schwarzenegger – Kung Fury 2 (2023)
“Chuache” will be remembered as one of the greatest action stars of all time, if not the most! The papers of him as Terminator y Conan are only the beginning: in his filmography are Commando, Predator, The Running Man, Total Recall, Risky Lies… (and many other very bad comedies and action movies).
Arnold Schwarzenegger became Governor of California between 2003 and 2011, after which he returned to acting, in films like The mercenaries 2 Or the Terminator sequels.
Precisely, his last film was the last of Terminator: Dark Fate in 2019, which was a box office flop and (probably) condemned the franchise to its final end. Schwarzenegger has not returned to work in the cinema, but he has on television, starring in the Netflix action series FUBARwhich will be released in May.
However, a feature-length sequel to the popular 2015 short Kung Fury, which also stars Michael Fassbender, is pending release and was shot in 2019, though Kung Fury 2 still has no release date…
Bruce Lee – Game of Death (1978)
Bruce LeeThe most influential martial artist of all time, who introduced martial arts cinema to the world and opened eyes to the representation of Asian culture in the West, he starred in several Hong Kong action films… several of which were premiered posthumously, as he died at the age of 32.
The most famous of all is Dragon operation (Enter the Dragon), released the same 1973 that he died, the first kung fu film from a major Hollywood studio, one of the highest grossing films of all time ($400 million, adjusted for inflation, would be more than 2 billion dollars, the equivalent of Avatar 2).
Bruce Lee filmed the entire Enter the Dragon, leaving the filming of the Hong Kong film unfinished Game of Deathwhich was later released using all of Lee’s 1978 footage, albeit with a different story.
Jackie Chan – Project X- Traction, TMNT Mutant Mayhem
Bruce Lee’s career was cut short too soon, but another Hong Kong actor took over from Lee as the world’s most charismatic martial artist. In fact, Jackie Chan came to fight with Bruce Lee in some of his latest movies, including Enter the Dragon.
Chan is a prolific actor in Hong Kong cinema, but he also made a big splash in Hollywood, developing a fighting style mixed with la comedia “slapstick” that he conquered the public, something he achieved by turning down several roles that always wanted him as a villain (Stallone wanted him as a villain in Demolition Man).
Chan also tried some dramatic role as in the 2010 remake of The Karate Kid, but today he continues to develop almost his entire career in China, except for some cameo or voice roles in animated films, such as the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from 2023. .
His latest films shot in China to be released in 2023 are Ride Onan action comedy in which Chan defends his beloved horse, or Project X-Traction, a thriller set in the Iraq War starring alongside John Cena. Probably none have anything to do with the rest of the world.
David Carradine – Eldorado (2012)
You almost certainly know David Carradinewho died in 2009 at the age of 72, for his role in Kill Bill. But this actor, the son of legendary actor John Carradine, had a huge career of over 100 movies over sixty years.
Mostly B-movies and martial arts action (one of them, Circle of Iron, was going to star Bruce Lee), although he was also known for the Kung Fu series.
But even after the success of Kill Bill, Carradine continued to work on many B-movies until his accidental death in 2009, many of which were released posthumously.
Eldorado 3D (2012) movie trailer
Based on its release date, Carradine’s latest film was released in home format in January 2012, and is called Eldoradoalso released as Highway to Hell a mixture of comedy, horror and musical that, incredibly, was also one of the last films of Peter O’Toole, who died in 2013.
In fact, director and producer Richard Driscoll was sentenced to three years in prison for defrauding public money from subsidies: he said the film cost 15 million… and it cost 1.5 million. Imagine how it must be.
Bruce Willis – Assassin (2023)
The race of Bruce Willis has had a tragic end. For decades he was one of the most charismatic actors in Hollywood: Die Hard, 12 Monkeys, The Fifth Element, The Sixth Sense…
In recent years (perhaps his last notable film is the Red saga) he was despised by many in the industry for dedicating himself to starring in low-budget films, most limited to the domestic market, in 2022 it was learned that he suffered from aphasia (which has evolved into dementia).
Who knows if his roles in direct-to-video movies like Detective Knight (he came out in eight a year) were due to his need to pay doctors. But watching any of these movies it is clear that Willis could no longer physically perform: He only recited one sentence in each shot, sometimes they were read to him by earpiece, and he was incapable of expressing any emotion. And he is heartwarming.
Bruce Willis is now fully retired. His last role is in Assassinan action and science fiction film that opens in March 2023.
Clint Eastwood – Cry Macho (2021)
The prolific career of Clint Eastwood spans six decades in more than sixty films. In some he acts, in others he directs and in others he does both.
As a director, Eastwood is known for his dramas: No Forgiveness, The Bridges of Madison, Million Dollar Baby, Invictus, Letters from Iwl Jima, Flags of Our Fathers… the list is immense, and most of them are excellent.
But Eastwood rose to fame with the role of “Man with No Name”e” in the Sergio Leone dollar trilogy, and later as Dirty Harry in five films in the 70s and 80s, the most remembered of many action movies: Firefox, Escape from Alcatraz, In the Line of Fire…
Eastwood is not a martial arts expert like many others on the list, but he is the quintessential “tough guy.”
His latest film, and for now his final farewell, is Cry Macho, in which he also stars as a retired “cowboy” after having fallen from grace, a reflection (with some clichés, but beautiful) on masculinity.
Chuck Norris – Expendables 2 (2012)
Chuck Norris scene in The Expendables 2 HD 720p
A student of Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris did not plan to pursue a film career, focusing on his martial arts career, a black belt in jiu jitsu or judo. But they convinced him to appear in Way of the Dragon in 1972, one of Bruce Lee’s films, and in the following years he dedicated himself to action cinema.
Particularly recognized are the Missing in Action trilogy, his most successful films, or the television series Walker Texas Ranger, between 1993 and 2001. His last film was a glorified cameo in The mercenaries 2, with Stallone. He is 81 years old, and it is unlikely that he will appear in any other movie again.
Of course, something more has been lavished on television in recent years, with some cameos in television programs and series (Hawaii 5-0), and an appearance providing image and voice in the 2023 video game Crime Boss: Rockay City.
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