Action movies have a star-studded past, but there are only a few actors who have committed their careers to a genre built on bloodshed and destruction. Much like action stars of the past, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, and Charles Nelson Reilly, these actors/actresses listed below are the ones you can count on to star in the ass-kicking flicks of today.
- Jason Statham
This hard working machine pumps out an average of three to four action films a year. They may not all be Academy Award winners, but they are entertaining as hell and Statham can demolish any terrorist, drug dealer, or corrupt cop in the world (and essentially has), earning him a spot as Stallone’s right hand man in The Expendables films. He started in 1998 with roles in British crime films, including Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. He now has 35 titles listed on his IMDB page. Some of his best work can be seen in the Crank series, The Transporter series, and The Expendables. In 2012, we’ll see him in Safe and The Expendables 2, and you can look forward to his thrillers Hummingbird and Parker in 2013.
- Michelle Rodriguez
This hard-hitting lady hasn’t done anything but tough-gal roles since she started. Society keeps the pressure on women to be thin, often making them too sickly thin to be believable as an ass-kicker, and not just any actress can step into a heroine role and pull it off. They have some muscle to back up their menacing looks, and Michelle Rodriguez has both the “don’t mess with me” look and the firm physique to back it up. Some of her earliest work was in Girlfight, Resident Evil, and The Fast and the Furious. Coming up, she’ll co-star in a run of sequels: Resident Evil: Retribution, Machete Kills, and The Fast and the Furious 6.
- Sylvester Stallone
Sly is one action hero who has withstood the test of time, and even though he might be retiring relatively soon, he’s still pumping iron and pumping out the action films. Stallone started making films in 1970! The Rocky and Rambo franchises rocketed him to fame, and he followed those up with many more big hits. He is a huge reason why the ‘80s action films became so iconic and, unlike his major competition from that time period, Stallone has stayed on the action movie circuit, with his latest creation being the action packed powerhouse The Expendables. The sequel comes out this year, and he will star in Bullet to the Head and The Tomb in the next year.
- Milla Jovovich
When I think of female action stars, Milla Jovovich comes to mind before any other. Like Michelle Rodriguez, Jovovich is one of the few females who carries a powerful look and has plenty of experience kicking ass. Her first and most memorable action were in The Fifth Element and Resident Evil. Soon she will come out with several more ass-kicking flicks, including the fifth installment of the Resident Evil series (Resident Evil: Retribution) and The Winter Queen.
- Gerard Butler
Gerard Butler may not be the first person action aficionados think of when asked about action stars, but his action-packed resume makes it clear he’s not to be forgotten. Somewhat of a sleeper candidate, Butler got his action start with Reign of Fire in 2002, and then played alongside Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. It was Butler’s role in 300 as the iconic King Leonidas that really got people’s attention, with a body as cut as a diamond and his ruthless fighting moves. After dabbling a bit in other genres, he came back to action with Gamer and Law Abiding Citizen. He seems to be gaining momentum too, with at least four action films due to come out in the next few years as well as a couple of sports films.
What do you think? Which actors are today’s top action stars? Not of all time but now.
This is the Action Chick, and you’ve just been kicked in the ass!
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