All-Time Action Heroes
By Gunner Glam
When it comes to movies, some will make people laugh and some will make people cry. Studio Brow would like to share the top characters who make adrenaline rush and keep folks on the edge of their seats.
Alien – Ellen Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver) – Ripley is introduced in Alien (1979) as a warrant officer aboard the Nostromo, a spaceship from planet Thedus returning to Earth. Placed in stasis, she awakens after receiving a transmission of unknown origin from a nearby planetoid. Following their landing, an unknown creature infiltrates the ship, and kills every member of the crew. Ripley is the only member to escape from the Nostromo prior to its explosion, which she deliberately commenced to kill the monster. However, she discovers that the Alien is also aboard the ship’s shuttle, but expels it into space before putting herself in stasis for the return trip to Earth.
Tomb Raider – Lara Croft (played by Angelina Jolie) – Although she had not been a fan of the character, Jolie considered the role as a “big responsibility,” citing anxiety about fans’ high expectations. Producer Lawrence Gordon felt she was a perfect fit for the role. Jolie trained rigorously for the action scenes required for the role, occasionally sustaining injuries. Her training focused on practising the physical skills necessary to perform the film’s stunts. The difficulty of the training and injuries discouraged her, but she continued working through production. Jolie also encountered difficulties when working the guns, bungee jumping, and manoeuvring with the braid. West had not anticipated that Jolie would do her own stunts, and was impressed, as was stunt coordinator Simon Crane, by the effort she put into them.
Underworld – Selene (played by Kate Beckinsale) Beckinsale stated that it was markedly different to her previous work and said she was grateful for the change of pace after appearing in “a bunch of period stuff and then a bunch of romantic comedies.” Beckinsale said, “It was quite a challenge for me to play an action heroine and pull off all that training when [in real life] I can’t catch a ball if it’s coming my way.”
The Brave One – Erica Bain (played by Jodie Foster) As radio show host Erica Bain (Foster) and her Indian fiancé, David (Naveen Andrews), are walking their dog at Stranger’s Gate in New York’s Central Park, they are attacked by three violent criminals. David dies from his injuries, but Bain survives. Angry and traumatized, she attempts to purchase a gun. Unwilling to wait the month required to obtain a notice of approval, she acquires a pistol illegally, and is drawn into a world of vigilantism, killing random criminals and attempting to track down the thugs who killed David.
Machete – She’ (played by Michelle Rodriguez) Also called Luz, a taco-truck lady with a rebellious spirit and revolutionary heart. Rodriguez was the first actor to be cast in the film who wasn’t in the film’s original trailer. Machete (played by Danny Trejo), with the help of Luz (Rodriguez), the leader of an illegal immigrant aid movement known as the Network, recruits Padre (Cheech Marin), Machete’s “holy” brother.
First Blood – John Rambo (played by Sylvester Stallone) was deployed to South Vietnam in September 1966. He returned to the U.S. in 1967 and began training in the Special Forces (Green Berets) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In late 1969, Rambo was re-deployed to Vietnam. In November 1971, he was captured by North Vietnamese forces near the Chinese-Vietnamese border and held at a POW camp, where he and other American POWs were repeatedly tortured. Rambo escaped captivity in May 1972, but was then re-deployed. At some point in his military career he also apparently received training in flying helicopters. Rambo received his military discharge on September 17, 1974. Upon his return to the U.S., Rambo discovered that many American civilians hated the returning soldiers from Vietnam, and he claimed himself along with other returning soldiers were subject to humiliation and embarrassment by anti-war “hippies” who throw garbage at them, call them “baby killers,” and exclude them from society. His experiences in Vietnam and back home resulted in an extreme case of post-traumatic stress disorder. At the same time, inner questions of self identity cause Rambo to lash out at society rather than handling difficult situations in a “civilized” manner. This is where First Blood picks up from.
Die Hard – John McClane (played by Bruce Willis) In the first Die Hard film in 1988, John McClane is an Irish-American detective with the New York City Police Department and has been an on the force for 11 years. At the beginning of the first film, he is recently separated from his wife Holly Gennero (Bonnie Bedelia), who is using her maiden name. Holly moved to Los Angeles several months earlier to pursue a career, leading to their separation when McClane stayed behind (to officially cope with some open cases but unofficially because he didn’t expect her to last). They have two children, Lucy and John. On Christmas Eve, McClane visits his wife at her workplace at the Nakatomi Plaza. Simultaneously, Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) initiates his plan to steal $640 million in bearer bonds and takes the Nakatomi Company employees, including Holly, hostage, posing as terrorists to draw attention away from the theft, their final plan being to blow up the building and make it appear as though they died with the hostages in the explosion. McClane escapes detection and manages to hide throughout the building, killing the terrorists one by one.
They Live – John Nada (played by Roddy Piper) After a budget of approximately three million dollars was raised, Carpenter began casting the film. For the crucial role of Nada, the filmmaker cast professional wrestler Roddy Piper, whom he met at WrestleMania III earlier in 1987. For Carpenter it was an easy choice: “Unlike most Hollywood actors, Roddy has life written all over him.” A nameless unemployed drifter, referred to as “Nada” (Piper), finds construction work in Los Angeles and befriends fellow worker Frank Armitage (Keith David), who leads him to a local shantytown soup kitchen. There Nada notices strange activity around the church and procures an untouched, hidden box. At an alleyway he opens it to find it contains black sunglasses and takes a pair, which reveal the true look of an alien race controlling what people see and think, while disguised as human beings.
Army of Darkness – Ash Williams (played by Bruce Campbell) created by director Sam Raimi. Ash has faced off against his loved ones inside an abandoned cabin as they are possessed by “deadites,” the evil souls of the dead. He was named the 24th Greatest Movie Character of All Time by Empire Magazine. In the film, Ash is accidentally transported to 1300 A.D., where he must battle an army of the dead and retrieve the Necronomicon so he can return home. Ash must also defeat his alter-ego known as “Bad Ash” who is leading the Army of Darkness to steal the Necronomicon (Book of the Dead).
Terminator 2 – T-800 (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) A Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 Terminator, is the main antagonist in the original Terminator film. An identical Series 800 Model 101, having been reprogrammed by the resistance in the future, is one of the protagonists in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Schwarzenegger plays an updated T-850 unit, with the same outward appearance as the Series 800. His character is destroyed at the end of each of these films. The fourth installment, Terminator Salvation, reveals the origin of the 101 Model.
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