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Who is your greatest movie action star of all freakin time!
ozoneocean at 8:52PM, Sept. 26, 2007
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All acting is play acting. If it's in a film, none of it is as real as it looks on screen. Whether ability is real or entirely simulated is irrelevant. It's how it looks that matters. And again, if all an actor can claim is impressive feats in one single sub-genre of the action genre, that's not much of a claim. We may as well pick out all the kings of each sub-genre and elevate them overall based on that limited mastery.

Ok, Clint Eastwood is one of the masters of the Western and general pistol firing gun toting shoot 'em dead action sub-genre so on the strength of that I now claim his ascendency over ALL action stars.
Or maybe Chow Yung Fat? Or Beat Takeshi?

No, actually I don't because that is silly. But that is what I'm trying to say. ;)
While opinions are fine and these discussions are much like "who would win in a battle between a shark and a TIGER", some justifications have more merit, weight, and substance behind them than others. Plus, I like to argue the point and I think I've proposed a LOT more good and varied candidates with much more interesting justifications :P
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:28PM
marine at 10:56PM, Sept. 26, 2007
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Mel Gibson - Mad Max. The Road Warrior. Beyond Thunderdome. Lethal Weapon 1-4. Braveheart. The Patriot. Probably some more in there to. He's the man.

Clint Eastwood - The Man With No Name from the Dollars Trilogy (Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly) AND Dirty Harry. He was in a couple other movies like The Gauntlet and stuff like that. How can you not love the guy?

Roddy Piper - You watch him and Kieth David fight in They Live, tell me he's not an action star.

Tom Savini - Watch Dusk Til Dawn and tell me he doesn't rule the screen in every scene he's in. He's the guy with the dick gun.

Atonio Benderez - Desperado alone is enough to mention him on such a list.

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jgib99 at 10:59PM, Sept. 26, 2007
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Gotta agree with everyone that said Bruce Lee.

How about Jason Statham? The guy was pretty damn good in the Transporter movies and Crank.
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mlai at 11:25PM, Sept. 26, 2007
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@ Midge:

Woah woah wait. Don't go around saying stuff like "JC isn't a real martial artist." Actually this topic comes up a lot in MA forums and it always turns into a flamefest.

Being a MA is more than just about looking badass while beating ppl up onscreen. You know JC's techniques when he filmed Snake Fist, and Drunken Fist? He came up with them himself. He's a martial artist.

Not to mention he arguably invented freerunning about 20 years before the French ever thought about how cool it'd be if they ran across Parisian rooftops like ninjas.

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FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
Armagedon at 12:05AM, Sept. 27, 2007
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Didn't Chan used to basically do his own stunts? Such as jump off buildings, do the usual ninja wall climb and all the major action stuff? The movie that constantly keeps coming into my mind where he did a lot of tough action stunts would have to have been Rumble in the Bronx.
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TheMidge28 at 4:52AM, Sept. 27, 2007
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mlai
@ Midge:

Woah woah wait. Don't go around saying stuff like "JC isn't a real martial artist."

mlai, I am not just going around saying this. He himself stated he is just a highly trained acrobat. I am not trying to start a flamefest I am merely quoting him. Yes he may have developed fighting styles for a movie but many people who do train…and to be honest I am not one them and the first to admit that…can clearly see the distiction in what is being portrayed on screen as opposed to what a true martial artist is able to do.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:21PM
DAJB at 5:29AM, Sept. 27, 2007
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It all depends on how you define an “action” star. A lot of the debate here has tended to assume that “action” is synonymous with “martial arts”. Or that the term “martial arts” only includes oriental martial arts. The field is sooo much wider.

No one's mentioned, for example, Steve McQueen. Or even Harrison Ford. Or Mel Gibson. They're all examples of stars who made their names in high adrenaline, action-fuelled movies. Whilst they obviously didn't have the same mastery of oriental martial arts as Bruce Lee, their films have done far more to define the action genre and they are all real stars, in that they are known to more than just the small circle of fans who happen to like high-kicks accompanied by even higher-pitched shrieks.


last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
TheMidge28 at 6:04AM, Sept. 27, 2007
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I agree with you OO and DAJB brings good points to the discussion.

It is a matter of taste.

I think its true there are a great number of actors who have created a great catalog of movies which have high octane action. I guess it would be good to define criteria as to what would define a great action star if we are going to debate the topic. Because we can go on and on saying this is what I think and this what you think but honestly it just boils down to opinions. Which is fine in a discussion which I think is what it is intended to be but OO wants to make it more of a debate and having their opinions backed up.

Am I right OO?

But for me a true action star has “the street cred” so to speak as to what they are doing on screen has some basis in reality. That's where I find Bruce Lee, Jet Li, and Tony Jaa to be awe inspiring.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:21PM
polo at 6:22AM, Sept. 27, 2007
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TheMidge28
I agree with you OO and DAJB brings good points to the discussion.

It is a matter of taste.

I think its true there are a great number of actors who have created a great catalog of movies which have high octane action. I guess it would be good to define criteria as to what would define a great action star if we are going to debate the topic. Because we can go on and on saying this is what I think and this what you think but honestly it just boils down to opinions. Which is fine in a discussion which I think is what it is intended to be but OO wants to make it more of a debate and having their opinions backed up.

Am I right OO?

But for me a true action star has “the street cred” so to speak as to what they are doing on screen has some basis in reality. That's where I find Bruce Lee, Jet Li, and Tony Jaa to be awe inspiring.


This man here has articulate what i was trying to say damn you ozoneocean!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
kingofsnake at 6:45AM, Sept. 27, 2007
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Armagedon
Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li all have their marks on the kung fu action (of course I'd like to add Chow Yung Fat to this catagory as well… Kung Fu Hustle owns).

Chow Yun-Fat wasn't in Kung-Fu Hustle… You must be thinking of Stephen Chow…different guy.

If I had to say greatest action hero of all time I'd say John McClaine.

But if it's greatest action star of all time, then it's Jackie Chan hands-down. Maybe Tony Jaa will be there some day, but he's only got two starring features under his belt, they were really good, but that hardly makes him the best of all time. His stunts are good, but compared to jackie…just watch jackie fall from the clocktower in project A four times, or the fight with the electric saws in mr. nice guy. Bruce Lee movies, I tend to find disappointing. I always heard how awesome Bruce Lee was, but then when I caught the most well known of his movies, Chinese Connection, Fist of Fury, and Enter the Dragon, as a martial arts movie buff I found them dissapointing. The choreography is so slow and hokey. I don't think it reflects any lack of talent on Bruce's part, it's just they were really at the genesis of the art at that point, they they didn't know what they needed to do to make it great.

Jackie Chan has something like 70 action movies under his belt, and they run the full gambit of action movies. Yes, alot of them are kung-fu/comedy but alot of them are also serious suspense/cop movies. John Woo might've never made movies like Hardboiled if Jackie wasn't around doing Police Story to show how it could be done. I think Jackie gets alot of flak from American audiences because his american movies are pretty tame, but Jackie's ambition in american cinema has always been as a comedian, not as a action star. He does one or two action moives in hong kong every year and they're still amazing, whether they have a more serious premise like New Police Story or a cliche ridiculous one, like Rob-B-Hood.

You gotta give props to Sammo Hung too though. The reason so many of Jackie's 80's films are so good is because his stunt team and Sammo's stunt team were constantly trying to out do each other to be the best stunt team in hong kong. It was that competition that made the stunts in police story 2 and black dragon so insane. I've been finally getting my hands on the Lucky Stars series lately, and they are so much fun to watch. Theres nothing like seeing Jackie, Sammo, and the incredibly talented but unfortunately internationally not well known Yeun Biao all on the screen together. I think it's cause of his name, if he'd gone with “Tommy Yen” or something american's could pronounce you'd be seeing his name on far more often in the states.

@mlai:
Probably Jackie being humble. He's not the best martial artist in the world but he IS a martial artist. If you look at his early movies, he does a martial arts form somewhere along the line. Sorta like Tony Jaa in the begining of Ong Bok. Jackie Chan is a performer first and foremost. But to say he's not a martial artist is just silly. He knows and can perform it real life situations multiple martial arts forms.

@DJAB: I don't think that people are assuming it has to be “martial arts action movie star” (at least I'm not.) It's just when I think of action stars I thinkof Bruce Lee, Sonny Chiba, Jackie Chan, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood , Jet Li, Cow yun-fat, Aronld Schwazenegger, Sylveater Stallone, etc etc. and when I think of who's the greatest on the list, who has the most impressive action sequences and the most of them, alot of the great martial artists are near the top.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
mlai at 6:56AM, Sept. 27, 2007
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I was waiting for someone to mention Steve McQueen. He's so cool! Him and Sean Connery are the (Caucasian) ppl onscreen I gawked at when I was a tot.

Someone
He himself stated he is just a highly trained acrobat.
He's also Chinese. Which means he's not gonna go around bragging about himself.

There are different types of martial artists IMO. Are you gonna say a stereotypical ninja isn't a martial artist? But who else besides JC can be a ninja? Does he have to act all badass and stern in order for ppl to acknowledge his skills? He can't be the friendly neighborhood ninja?

He was trained as a classical Chinese opera acrobat as a child. Their training makes Shao Lin look like day camp. Their artform is also heavily infused with true MA, but with showmanship. It's like Joe Schmoe picking a fight with (young) Hulk Hogan because, LOL, WWFers aren't real fighters. Nevermind that he was 6'4“ + 295 lbs, trains daily, and can ”accidentally“ break your neck in a ”mock" chokehold.
============================

@ KingSnake:

Are you Asian? Not many Caucasians know about the childhood troupe brothers relationship between JC, Sammo, and YB. I wouldn't know either if my dad wasn't a big fan of these guys and also always laments how YB didn't achieve the status of JC and Sammo, even though he's just as talented (in MA and acting) and more handsome than both.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
kingofsnake at 7:09AM, Sept. 27, 2007
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ozoneocean
"who would win in a battle between a shark and a TIGER"

Where are they fighting?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
mlai at 7:32AM, Sept. 27, 2007
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kingofsnake
Where are they fighting?
In space.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
kingofsnake at 8:26AM, Sept. 27, 2007
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mlai
@ KingSnake:

Are you Asian? Not many Caucasians know about the childhood troupe brothers relationship between JC, Sammo, and YB. I wouldn't know either if my dad wasn't a big fan of these guys and also always laments how YB didn't achieve the status of JC and Sammo, even though he's just as talented (in MA and acting) and more handsome than both.

No, I'm itallian/irish american, I'm just a huge fan of martial arts films, I have a shelf full of them, like literally the length of an entire shelf. I think part of the problem with Yuen Biao is that, especially in his younger days, he didn't have the on screen natural charisma that jackie had, even though his kung fu is a good step better (doubt me? Watch Knockabout.)

You know who's paticularily awesome is Hwang Ing-sik. He's the guy that helped teach hapkido to all these guys (he was like a couple years ahead of them.) Check it

He has a dojo in Canada now
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TheMidge28 at 8:29AM, Sept. 27, 2007
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as to JC being humble about his training and skill as just an acrobat, from the interview I saw it was not under that pretense. It was a straight out discussion of his skill and it was him advising that he was not trained in martial arts and just a very skilled acrobat. I agree that being an acrobat does take a lot of skill which works for JC but the contention is the reality that he is just a very skilled acrobat and not a skilled fighter in reality.
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kingofsnake at 8:34AM, Sept. 27, 2007
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TheMidge28
the contention is the reality that he is just a very skilled acrobat and not a skilled fighter in reality.

I can not express in words how untrue this statement is. It's like saying “kevin bacon wasn't in footloose.” I'm not upset by it, I'm just astounded at it's wrongness.

He's trained in hapkido, judo, tae kwon do, kickboxing, and more. I mean, he's traied in matial arts, how do you define martial artist?

his website
During Jackie's time at the school, he learned martial arts, acrobatics, singing, and acting

What more do you want?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
TheMidge28 at 8:54AM, Sept. 27, 2007
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kingofsnake
TheMidge28
the contention is the reality that he is just a very skilled acrobat and not a skilled fighter in reality.

I can not express in words how untrue this statement is. It's like saying “kevin bacon wasn't in footloose.” I'm not upset by it, I'm just astounded at it's wrongness.

He's trained in hapkido, judo, tae kwon do, kickboxing, and more. I mean, he's traied in matial arts, how do you define martial artist?

his website
During Jackie's time at the school, he learned martial arts, acrobatics, singing, and acting

What more do you want?

I am corrected.

From all the media I have read and seen, he had never portrayed himself as having history in training.

I willing to admit when I am wrong.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:21PM
DAJB at 10:25AM, Sept. 27, 2007
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It's like saying “kevin bacon wasn't in footloose.”
Exactly. Kevin Bacon just wishes he wasn't in Footloose.

;)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
mlai at 10:27AM, Sept. 27, 2007
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You might have meant (past tense) that he doesn't have street cred. If we're going to research street cred, then Bruce has to be doubted as well because a lot of his is dubious.

I just think street cred is a irrelevant way of measuring an actor. A great actor will be thinking about what he can do for his next movie, not whether he can go out and beat up some schmuck so he looks badass on his rap album.

JC is like Michael Jordan in all of Asia. A guy like him would rather just say “I don't fight” on TV, rather than get involved with pissing contests with thugs looking for 15 minutes of fame.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
TheMidge28 at 12:39PM, Sept. 27, 2007
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mlai
You might have meant (past tense) that he doesn't have street cred. If we're going to research street cred, then Bruce has to be doubted as well because a lot of his is dubious.

I just think street cred is a irrelevant way of measuring an actor. A great actor will be thinking about what he can do for his next movie, not whether he can go out and beat up some schmuck so he looks badass on his rap album.

JC is like Michael Jordan in all of Asia. A guy like him would rather just say “I don't fight” on TV, rather than get involved with pissing contests with thugs looking for 15 minutes of fame.

um…I don't know how dubious Bruce's street cred is…but I am not going to make any more sweeping generalizations as to each actors backgrounds.

as to it being a relevant or not…as for an actor I would agree. I don't think Sir Ian Mckellan who is a great actor shouldn't be discreditted as a great actor for his poor fighting skills. that goes for any actor. But I think for a butt-kicking action Star…acting is really for me quite marginal. Arnold Schwartnegger in his hayday couldn't really act himself out of a paper bag. But I wouldn't question how rockin' he is as an action star.





last edited on July 14, 2011 4:21PM
polo at 1:15PM, Sept. 27, 2007
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I'm just throwing this out there…what about Will Smith!?
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
ozoneocean at 1:21PM, Sept. 27, 2007
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-Will Smith I would consider a fake action star. Another guy like Nicholas Cage that either wants to, is is being squeezed into that role by others. He doesn't fit it. He's simply too good an actor and is utterly wasted in action films.

I think that has mostly gotten stuck in the groove of fighting stars rather than action stars… :(

Not to say they're not both of course, but it's like talking about what's the fiercest predator of all time and then just talking about different species of big cat.

So I still say Kurt Douglas as the king of the classics.
For the modern action stars it is hard to go past Jacky Chan… (only for the Chinese films)

But there are other greats. Johnny Weissmuller Jr was a pretty good Tarzan, and Steve Reeves was BRILLIANT as Hercules. -A role which he made his OWN and mastered much better that that TV fop Kevin Sorbo ever could have, not to mention all his other great Roman, Greek, and Arab themed historical/mythological/fantasy action action films.
Indeed, Steve Reeves, although no where near as good an actor, could probably pip Kurt Douglas to top spot in my view.
 
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DAJB at 3:06PM, Sept. 27, 2007
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TheMidge28
I don't think Sir Ian Mckellan who is a great actor should be discreditted as a great actor for his poor fighting skills.
“Poor fighting skills”?!!

He took down a balrog, I tells ya!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
Armagedon at 3:16PM, Sept. 27, 2007
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Armagedon
Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li all have their marks on the kung fu action (of course I'd like to add Chow Yung Fat to this catagory as well… Kung Fu Hustle owns).

Chow Yun-Fat wasn't in Kung-Fu Hustle… You must be thinking of Stephen Chow…different guy.

lol oops my bad… sorry bout that. I was semi close… Chow is in both their names… and they both have done kung fu action :D
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
kingofsnake at 3:55PM, Sept. 27, 2007
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Armagedon
lol oops my bad… sorry bout that. I was semi close… Chow is in both their names… and they both have done kung fu action :D

Just barely…

Chow Yun-Fat actually isn't a martial artist. He's generally more well known for his gunfight type roles. He's had to learn some for Crouching Tiger, but thats basically it.

Stephen Chow is also not a martial artist, not even a little. He's a comedian. Kung Fu hustle was the only kung-fu movie he's ever done, unless you wanna count shaolin soccer. All his kung fu is based around special effects. He's really more of a student of film than a martial artist.

They're both fine actors who can make people THINK they are kung-fu stars without actually knowing kung-fu. Thats pretty impressive. The only other actor I can think of who's pulled that off is Mel Gibson in lethal weapon.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
marine at 4:59PM, Sept. 27, 2007
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I tell you what, Charlton Heston. Watch Ben-Hur and tell me he's not an action star. Specifically two BIG action scenes stand out in my mind, the fight on the boat and the final chariot race. Its a pretty great dramatic film too, and has some great unintentionally comedic stuff.

Spartacus I'd also recommend, like Ozone said, Douglas in his day was the man.

I'm surprised no one mention Vin Diesel yet. Tripple X is one of the best over the top action movies ever. Fast & The Furious had some cool car stuff in it, but he didn't really do anything there. Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick had him doing some cool stuff. Plus he was in a movie game that didn't suck. That alone is impressive. He's even done the goofy kids comedy movie. The Rock is just now doing his goofy kids comedy movie.

What about the transporter guy and Jet Li? They've been in some cool stuff. And the Rock too. I loved him in the remake of Walking Tall. Scropion King, that was a pretty good one for him too. He's got the new movie coming out from the donnie darko guy too. Looked interesting. Eh.

Jackie Chan I'd also recommend, Rumble in The Bronx is probably my favorite of his. But its hard not to recommend his other stuff like Who Am I, Drunken Boxer, Operation Condor, Twin Dragons. He's in a weird area where he still makes really awful movies that have horribly generic and stupid premises and he also does mainstream buddy cop formula stuff like Rush Hour or Shanghai Noon.

Steven Seagall, now theres a guy I like. Every movie he does is EXACTLY the same. The only difference is how squinted his eyes are, if he attempts to use a goofy accent, and the amount of people he kills. He's averaging one direct to dvd movie a year now, and has some of the most outragous and crazy hero moments you'v ever seen in a movie. Such as his latest movie about an invisible jet that gets stolen. In one scene he runs while firing a machine gun one handed and looks almost bored. Somehow he kills all the bad guys and doesn't run out of ammo. Another scene has him kill a bunch of guys robbing a gas station with his pistol, then he lays his pistol down and pulls out a knife, you think “Oh he wants to knife fight him” No. He throws the knife into the guys neck. Another good scene is him sneaking out of a military base, he hides under the truck, then a guy looks he's not there, camera shows the top of the truck somehow he climbed up there. Seagall only wieghs about two hundred and eighty pounds and is at least fifty something by now. As long as he makes movies, I'll keep watching them. I love it when stuff is funny and it wasn't meant to be, like Uwe Boll this generations greatest action director.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:52PM
mlai at 6:19PM, Sept. 27, 2007
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@ KingSnake's Hwang Ing Sik video:

OMG I remember watching that movie! When I was a wee tot! I remember it because it was my first Hannibal Lecter moment. The way he hits ppl was like the quick draw of a gunslinger. Really well filmed.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM

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