By James W, Monday 19th February 2018
The 1980s were a boom time for the all-action tough-guys in cinema. From Arnie to Sly they packed out theatres and took our breaths away with more punches per minute than Ali in his prime. To celebrate our very own action-packed nights Fridays at 11pm, here’s our very own tough guy top 5.
5. Jean-Claude Van Damme
"The Muscles from Brussels", the man with the most famous mullet of all time, JCVD, or to give him his full name Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg, is a martial arts master who brought his magic to the big screen with the help of Chuck Norris who got him a small role in Missing In Action in 1984. The rest is history. His signature 360 kick lead to a roster of high-octane flicks including Cyborg (1989), Double Impact (1991) and teamed up with Dolph Lundgren for Universal Soldier in 1992. Though after a turn on Friends saw his career dive a bit he’s made a subtle comeback with films such as JCVD (2008) and Pound Of flesh in 2015.
4. Mel Gibson
Hollywood’s most famous Ozzie (even though he was born in New York) Mel Gibson’s career has had more ups and downs than a kangaroo being chased by a rather large dingo and battled many inner demons. But concentrating on his screen achievements he has been in some of the best action movies of the last 39 years or so. It's his second feature, Mad Max in 1979 which catapulted him into the limelight and really hit the big time starring alongside Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon in 1987. Though he soon journeyed into family films and directing he still dips his toes into the action genre now and again such as in The Expendables 3 in 2014.
3. Harrison Ford
Everyone’s favourite carpenter, Harrison Ford is the no nonsense actor who doesn’t suffer fools on and off the screen. His resume is a list of celluloid heroes from Han Solo in the Star Wars Saga to the continuing adventures of Indiana Jones, Ford brought a lot of brains rather than brawn to his films but could use his fists when needed. Blade Runner (1982), Patriot Games (1992) and Air Force One (1997) gave him the chance to flex his muscles and with another Indiana Jones in the pipeline, he shows no sign of slowing down!
2. Sylvester Stallone
Actor, director and writer, Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone, Sly to his friends, Mr Stallone to you and I, has been behind some of the biggest action franchises ever. Catapulted into the spotlight in Rocky in 1976 (which he also wrote) Sylvester also helped bring David Morrell’s anti-hero John Rambo to life in First Blood in 1982. He went on to star in loads more movies such as the very underrated Over The Top (1987), Cliffhanger (1993), Get Carter (2000) and The Expendables series of movies which started in 2010.
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Once known as the Austrian Oak, this former body building champ dominated the box-office for years, often earning pay days bigger than his biceps. From The Terminator in 1984 to Predator in 1987 he trampled on the competition with a wry smile and knowing glint in his eye. Let’s not forget his other work though Raw Deal in 1986 is a prime example of how to do action movies as well as The Running Man in 1987 and True Lies in 1994. Though his time as Governor of California kept him away from the cameras he returned to the big screen in The Expendables in 2010. We, he did say he would be back!
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