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Your Top Ten Action Movies of the 80's!

Hunter Rider

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Some call it the decade that taste forgot but for action fans like myself it delivered some of the classics of the genre.

The premise is in the thread title. I'm leaving out Indy and classing it as adventure.

10. Commando



Daft as a brush but the quintessential one man army film, Arnie mows his way through eager onrushing groups of bad guys on his way to rescuing his daughter (a young Alyssa Milano), and facing a Freddie Mercury lookalike.

9. Rambo III



Yes the plot is thin while Sly's mullet is out of control, but ohhhhh those action sequences! From the neatly lit cave sequence of Rambo taking on Russian soldiers, to the amazing chopper action both early on and in the finale, every penny of what was at the time the worlds biggest movie budget, is on screen.

8. Lethal Weapon 2



It is a bit more on the comedic side than the first due to the addition of Pesci's Leo Getz and lacks the raw edge and atmosphere, but it's a good development of the duo and when the **** hits the fan it gets awesome as Riggs and Murtaugh put away their badges.

7. Rambo: First Blood Part II



Often denigrated due to it's high body count and hamfisted villainy, the story is actually pretty good both in content and how it provides a soulful journey for Rambo. The action is fantastic, in particular the bow and arrow action when Rambo escapes, the stealthy parts being especially cool.

6. The Killer



If A Better Tomorrow was the genesis and Hard Boiled the zenith of John Woo's bullet ballet masterpieces, then The Killer was surely the film that refined his style. The shootouts are a gloriously stylish exercise in carnage and cool, and the film has a real heartbeat.

5. The Terminator



Essentially Halloween filtered through sci fi, Cameron without the aid of CGI and a gazillion dollar budget shows what he can do as Arnie's terrifying cyborg hunts Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese across Los Angeles through a set of fantastic action sequences. From the first tension filled showdown in a gaudy nightclub, to the memorable cop station massacre to a couple of action packed chase sequences.

4. Predator



This is all about the tension as Arnie and his team are systematically picked off by an alien hunter that stalks them through a South American jungle. It could be hokey and lame, but instead is a tightly woven action thriller with palpable tension. The action sequences such as the village rescue are meticulously executed by McTiernan and the film delivers a hugely satisfying pay-off as Dutch goes native to take on the high tech hunter one on one in the big finale that succeeds due to Mctiernan's ability to stage Arnie vs a man in a suit with perfect shot selection and lighting.

3. Lethal Weapon



Mel Gibson's burnt out reckless narcotics cop Martin Riggs provides the films livewire energy, but the contrast with Danny Glover's world weary Roger Murtaugh makes the film. The hard boiled noir stylings supported by the evocative score and strong story; the action is smaller in scale than some of the others here but it's action you're invested in, the escape and Riggs vs Mr Joshua chase/shootout/fight finale is the highlight.

2. First Blood



For me the strongest story of any film here as it was rooted in a sad reality. Stallone's Vietnam vet Rambo is forced into a fight against an ignorant and brutal local police department in a small town. In the narrative he's cast as the bad guy in an escalating manhunt that sets it's fantastic action in a forest, as a parallel to Rambo's time spent in the jungles of Vietnam. Tthe arrogant sheriffs department completely outmatched by a man they don't understand. Unlike the other movies in the series Rambo avoids killing, he just wants to be left in peace.

1. Die Hard



No surprise here, it is a trailblazer for action cinema, Bruce Willis creates an iconic character in the sarcastic, wisecracking everyman cop John McClane as he goes up against a heist crew inside a skyscraper full of hostages, inclduding his wife. McTiernan crafts the perfect action film with great structure and doses of wry humour as McClane becomes ever more worn down, taking the bad guys out one by one as the stakes rise in superbly paced and executed bursts of action, with highlights being McClane vs Karl and the rooftop sequence.
 
1. Die Hard
2. The Road Warrior
3. Lethal Weapon 2
4. Lethal Weapon
5. Aliens
6. First Blood
7. Predator
8. 48 Hrs.
9. The Terminator
10. Commando
 
Great topic, tough list. As a huge 80's action fan, I don't know If I could even put them in order, I love em all. Some may not even be classified as your typical "action" movie, but here's my top ten in no particular order.

1: Predator
2: Commando
3: Kickboxer
4: Die Hard
5: Aliens
6: Highlander
7: Escape from New York
8: First Blood pt. 2
9: Conan the Barbarian
10: Robocop
 
I guess it depends on what you qualify for "action" movies. Do any movies with decent amount of action count? What if they are in other genre's as well, like Star Wars or Aliens? What about War films? Or is just the cheesy, over-the-top fun Sly/Arnold type movies? Do superhero films count? So for my sake, I'm going with anything with a decent amount of action goes, except for War films:

10. Batman
9. First Blood
8. Robocop
7. Aliens
6. Predator
5. Return of The Jedi
4. The Terminator
3. Die Hard
2. Raiders Of The Lost Arc
1. Empire Strikes Back
 
The 80s is so underrated in general when it comes to most things pop culture. Not because it's by far better than let's say the 90s, but because it's so often unfairly pissed on. Anyway, I will make it a top five to give it more punch.

1. The Terminator
2. Aliens
3. Lethal Weapon
4. Rambo
5. RoboCop
 
In no order

The Terminator
Die Hard
Rambo
Predator
Commando
Lethal Weapon
 
Die Hard
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Killer
RoboCop
Predator
Aliens
The Road Warrior
Conan the Barbarian
The Terminator
First Blood

Honorable mention:
Lethal Weapon
Commando
Rambo First Blood Part II
 
Road Warrior
Terminator
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Die Hard
Robocop
Escape from New York
First Blood
Lethal Weapon
John Carpenter's The Thing (If Aliens counts maybe this qualifies too?)
Empire Strikes Back
 
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For me it goes:
1. Die Hard
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
3. The Road Warrior
4. Lethal Weapon
5. First Blood
6. Predator
7. Lethal Weapon 2
8. Robocop
9. Indiana JOnes and the Last Crusade
10. BEverly Hills Cop
 
The 80s is so underrated in general when it comes to most things pop culture. Not because it's by far better than let's say the 90s, but because it's so often unfairly pissed on. Anyway, I will make it a top five to give it more punch.

1. The Terminator
2. Aliens
3. Lethal Weapon
4. Rambo
5. RoboCop

I think this is because, well for films anyway, there weren't many great 'artistic' films, which was really disappointing, especially after the 1970's were so strong in that category. The '70s were a Hollywood Renaissance and then the '80s hit and the only good films were the commercial type, which, IMO, is why so many people piss on it. The 80's was the blockbuster and teen film era and I think that's great, but the Academy type films that decade were pretty weak. But hey, whenever I want to watch a non-comic blockbuster or a teen film, I know where to go. There's certainly not anything wrong with it, but I think thats where that mindset comes from.
 
1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
2. Aliens
3. The Terminator
4. Die Hard
5. Lethal Weapon 2
6. Predator
 
in no particular order:

1 - First Blood (Rambo 1)
2 - Terminator
3 - Predator
4 - Running Man
5 - Bloodsport
6 - Die Hard
7 - Robocop
8 - Lethal Weapon
9 - Cobra
10 - Aliens
 
In no order

1. Predator
2. Commando
3. Die Hard
4. Lethal Weapon
5. Mad Max 2
6. The Terminator
7. Aliens
8. A Better Tomorrow
9. The First Blood
10. Robocop
 
It's interesting to see the lists and see the variety and quality the decade delivered, there's enough to fill two lists here. Cobra was one I toyed with but went with Commando instead.

I can't believe I forgot about The Road Warrior and Robocop altogether! :wow:
 
Hunter, I support your list although I haven't seen The Killer as of yet. Hopefully it's available on Netflix.

I'd probably add Top Gun to that list in place of The Killer for the time being until I see it.
 
No love for Chuck Norris' " The Delta Force"?
 
Wolverines!!!

Just had to throw some Red Dawn in.
 
Hunter, I support your list although I haven't seen The Killer as of yet. Hopefully it's available on Netflix.

I'd probably add Top Gun to that list in place of The Killer for the time being until I see it.

Have you seen Hard Boiled? That is another movie from the same director that I'd recommend. :up:

Top Gun! Another that could have easily made my list.
 
It's interesting to see the lists and see the variety and quality the decade delivered, there's enough to fill two lists here. Cobra was one I toyed with but went with Commando instead.

I can't believe I forgot about The Road Warrior and Robocop altogether! :wow:
I love Cobra! I never hear anyone talk about that movie. Love Commando too. Man I wish we had movies like this nowadays lol. I also like Lone Wolf McQuade, but I don't think it has as much action as some of the ones already mentioned, but it's a good 80's action flick.
 
1. Aliens
2. RoboCop
3. Terminator
4. Die Hard
5. Lethal Weapon 2
6. Predator
7. First Blood
8. Mad Max
9. Lethal Weapon
10. Top Gun
 
Ranking them it's almost impossible for me, but here are my favorites:
- First Blood
- Commando
- Missing in Action
- Die Hard
- Terminator
- Robocop
- Alien
- First Blood II
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Aliens

Honorable mentions: Delta Force, Cobra, Iron Eagle, Top Gun, Lethal Weapon.

I'd like to take this moment to thank my dad, for allowing me to watch many of those action movies with him :woot:
 
Red Dawn

The Terminator

The Road Warrior

First Blood Part ll

Robocop

Lethal Weapon 2

Platoon

Predator

Aliens

Die Hard
 
Not ranked: My Personal Favorites

1. Aliens

2. Big Trouble in Little China

3. Robocop

4. The Terminator

5. Commando

6. Die Hard

7. First Blood

8. Maximum Overdrive

9. Predator

10. Red Dawn
 
Here's the top 5 best in my opinion:

1. Die Hard
2. Lethal Weapon
3. The Road Warrior
4. First Blood
5. Lethal Weapon 2
 

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