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Greatest Action Heroes [Videos]

They kick ass and always bring us some of those great one liners.  That is why they are the timeless heroes that we can’t help but cheer for.

Photo by Getty Images

The other night I caught a special on ABC called Best in Film: The Greatest Movies Of Our Time.  Being a huge movie junkie I was immediately sucked in.  They counted down everything except what I really wanted to see.  The greatest action hero. There have been so many of them, but only a few can make us cheer every time they do something awesome on screen.

When Rambo kicks some hillbilly ass in First Blood or when Dirty Harry says that famous line; those kinds of things give me goose bumps no matter how many times I see them.  The thing about a great action hero isn’t just how much ass they kick, it’s how they can connect with the audience.  Some may put Steven Seagal on their lists, but you won’t find him here.  I never bought into his movies.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

One of my personal favorite action stars (along with most the rest of the world) is Arnold Schwarzenegger.  He may have lost his touch these days,  but you can’t deny that he has some of the best action roles of all time.  His one liners are timeless.  I think that when I am an old man I will still hear people quoting him.  Conan the Barbarian, The Terminator, Predator, Total Recall, his action resume is one of the best ones in the business.  So how will Arnold fair on my list?  He will definitely be near the top – that’s for sure.

We have so many to look at too.  Harrison Ford has left some pretty memorable roles as well.  Han Solo and Indiana Jones are two of his most beloved characters.  Jean Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris and these days we have The Rock, or Dwayne Johnson.  I think that The Rock may be this generation’s action guy.  Him or Jason Statham.  Both are making some pretty awesome movies.  I don’t think they will crack my list, but perhaps a future list.  So since ABC didn’t countdown the greatest action heroes, I have decided to take a crack at it.

10. James Bond
Many have played the role over the years but the Bond that is most remembered is played by none other than Sean Connery.  Not only did he beat super villain ass with high tech gadgets but he also managed to land the hottest women in the process.

9. Snake Plissken
Played by Kurt Russell this anti hero is a fan favorite.  “Call me Snake”, what a line.  Maybe he is a bad guy, maybe he isn’t but he sure does kick some ass. If Escape from New York wasn’t enough Snake was back to Escape from LA years later and still bad ass as hell.

8. Dirty Harry
How many times have your heard the famous words from Inspector Harry Callahan said in your life time? “Go ahead, make my day”. He is probably the most feared detective on the force, and why not. Dude walks around with a 44 magnum and is not afraid to put a bullet in your ass, punk.

7. Han Solo
The first of Harrison Ford’s great characters.  When George Lucas cast Ford in the part I don’t think he knew the impact he would have on the sci fi community.  He is an asshole, a bad ass and likable all at the same time.  Star Wars wouldn’t have been as cool without Han.

6. Sarah Connor
In the first Terminator movie she plays the victim who is tormented by Arnold’s classic villain.  In Terminator 2 she is a jacked up crazy woman with a mission.  She is out to stop the machines at all cost.  “No fate but what we make”.  She fought until the end and turned her son into the leader he needed to be.

5. Dutch (Predator)
The leader of the group of commandos who got way in over their heads against an enemy from another world. Arnold as Dutch is one of the best roles of all time. I mean seriously, look at the fire power they are using against some jungle drug lords. Plus that opening scene with Carl Weathers when they arm wrestle in mid air is constantly reenacted by me and my friends.

4. John McClane
An everyday guy thrown into a crazy situation. He is a complete underdog and manages to take down an entire terrorist group, and without shoes of for most of the time. A true American hero, John McClane is awesome.

3. The Terminator (Terminator 2: Judgment Day)
Back from the future to save young John Connor, Arnold’s role as the hero in this one is nothing short of spectacular.  He even learns humanity and makes the ultimate sacrifice at the end.  Not only is he a great action hero, but it turned into one of the most iconic roles of our time.

2. John Rambo
Do I even need to say anything about him? Besides Rocky this is Stallone’s greatest role. Harassed by some jerks in a small town at first, then he heads back over to Vietnam to find some POW’s and kick some ass. Even the latest Rambo film was full of crazy action.

1. Indiana Jones
Not a soldier, but a teacher who finds himself in all kinds of crazy trouble. I think Indiana Jones is the greatest action hero of all time. Maybe it’s the way Harrison Ford plays the character, but Indy is just awesome. I do choose not to remember The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull because it was terrible, but the first 3 Indy movies are classic.

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