Action’s Most Ass-Kicking Dads!

By June 15, 2012

Father’s Day is Sunday, and before you say, “oh, crap,” and rush out to buy a gift hoping that you can magically get it to your father in time, I’ve got a better idea for you. Does your dad like action films? Of course he does! Why not spend a little time with good old pop watching the best action films featuring the best heroic fathers. These action dads don’t sit around helplessly when something happens to or threatens their family; they get out and start kicking ass!

1. Film: Taken

    Father: Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson)

Taken is my number one choice because the whole film is about a father, Bryan (Liam Neeson), willing to travel the world and kill a thousand bad guys to save his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), from human trafficking. This film combines the best action elements with the best father elements. Often an action hero’s family is in danger because of his line of work, but Kim is taken (Hey! That’s the name of the movie!) for a reason that has absolutely nothing to do with daddy dearest. In fact, if the baddies had done some research on this particular girl, they may have changed their minds about kidnapping her when they saw that her father has a “very special set of skills.” Mills lived up to his fatherly duty and then some, putting him as the number one action dad. Give this man a cookie!

2. Film: Commando

    Father: John Matrix (Arnold Schwarzenegger)

Commando features another father, John Matrix (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who spends the whole film trying to rescue his adorable little daughter, Jenny (Alyssa Milano), from South American criminals – thugs dumb enough to think it was a good idea to blackmail Matrix into working for them by taking his child. One look at Arnold’s physique in this film should be a good enough warning not to mess with him. This flick is filled with awesome action as well as a plot focused on a father’s love for his daughter. The things our daddies will do for us! A guy stands in Matrix’s kitchen telling him he’s got his child so he must negotiate, “right?” Matrix replies by giving him a bullet to the head. Matrix doesn’t negotiate with terrorists! Period. Even though his profession gets his daughter kidnapped in the first place, that can be overlooked seeing as how he destroys an island full of bad guys in order to get her back.

3. Film: Air Force One

    Father: President James Marshall (Harrison Ford)

Again, here we have a film in which the dad’s occupation is the reason his family is held hostage, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes. Someone has to be the president, and in Air Force One the job falls on James Marshall (Harrison Ford). While taking a trip on Air Force One with wife and daughter on board, terrorists hijack the plane. President Marshall had a chance to escape the plane safely but he said, “not today, motherf***ers!” and stayed in harm’s way just to rescue his family. That’s one devoted papa.

4. Film: Double Team

    Father: Jack Quinn (Jean-Claude Van Damme)

Double Team is one of those films that’s bad and cheesy but in a really fun way. Jack Quinn (JCVD) gets a “good father” recognition because he has to go to great lengths to escape an inescapable island to save his wife and newborn son from an old arch rival. After he escapes (which is no walk in the park), he saves his newborn from rough and tough Mickey Rourke, a tiger, and landmines.

5. Film: Lethal Weapon

    Father: Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover)

Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) always says he’s “getting too old for this sh*t,” but when it comes down to rescuing his daughter from baddies, it turns out he’s more of a spring chicken than he thought. Lethal Weapon is a classic film that is fun to watch any day of the year and also features a good old-fashioned family man with Murtaugh, which makes it especially appropriate to watch on Father’s Day. Unlike some heroes, Murtaugh is still together with his wife and always tries to be home at night for dinner with the kids, so it doesn’t take him long to notice when his daughter goes missing. He gets extra father points for having a crazy partner like Riggs (Mel Gibson), who would wrestle a bear or bite a rabid crack head in order to save his best pal’s family.

6. Film: True Lies

    Father: Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger)

True Lies has multiple aspects that can be enjoyed by not only action lovers, but anyone. It’s touches the romance, comedy, and action genres with a family man hero, Harry (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who tries to protect his family by lying about being a secret agent for the government. When things go wrong (as they always do), Harry must fight to save his wife and daughter from terrorists. Sure, his family is all mad at him at first for lying, but when it comes down to saving their butts, they’re pretty quick to accept his secret job they didn’t know about and love him all the more for it.

7. Film: Live Free or Die Hard

    Father: John McClane (Bruce Willis)

John McClane (Bruce Willis) is one of the most recognized action heroes of all time, but don’t forget that he’s also a father of two. His children don’t play significant roles in the first three films, but when it comes to Live Free or Die Hard (Die Hard 4.0), Lucy McClane (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) gets taken hostage, making it very personal for John. And in upcoming Die Hard 5, John will team up with his son to fight terrorists. Although McClane may not have always been there for his kids growing up, he’s there to save their lives when they get taken hostage (and that’s a pretty important time to show up). Plus, I think he should get a little slack for not always being available since he did save a whole skyscraper, an airport, all of New York, and then the United States from terrorist attacks throughout his films.

8. Film: Lone Wolf McQuade

    Father: J.J. McQuade (Chuck Norris)

J.J. McQuade (Chuck Norris) has a great relationship with his ex-wife and daughter, despite being divorced. They’re living a grand old life until his daughter witnesses something that suddenly marks her as a target for some bad guys. After an attack lands her in the hospital, martial arts expert Daddy Norris comes to the rescue. He makes it his mission to find out who hurt his daughter and open a can of round house kicks to their face. His willingness to help his daughter out of a sticky situation even when he had nothing to do with it scores him a spot on the “Most Ass-Kicking Dads” list. Also, Lone Wolf McQuade is just a freakin’ awesome action movie.

9. Film: 300

    Father: King Leonidas (Gerard Butler)

Wait, why is 300 on the list, you ask? King Leonidas’ family never gets kidnapped, you say? That’s because King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) is the most proactive father around! He doesn’t sit around and wait for enemies or danger to come to him and his family. He meets it halfway! With a potential threat looming in the distance in the form of King Xerxes of Persia (Rodrigo Santoro), King Leonidas marches with 300 of his best warriors to stop the army of thousands upon thousands in their path. King Leonidas not only has a son but also is a father to Sparta, and his proactive daddy duties make it so that neither one is harmed by the Persians. King Leonidas makes the list for being a great father, and well…300 kicks a lot of ass!

This is the Action Chick, and you’ve just been kicked in the ass!

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Katrina Hill is, first and foremost, a lover of all things action. She's been in love with the action genre since a young age, taking influence from action stars both new and old, from Stallone and Schwarzeneggar to Statham, and even independent action stars such as Tony Jaa. Katrina Hill has quickly become known as the go to source for action movie news, reviews, and interviews.