5 of the Best Action Stars of the 2000s

Terry Sheridan

credit: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life

Action movies have been changing over the years and as a result, action stars have had to change as well. In some cases, the same formula can work and the same result might await the movie in question. But as things change, the actors have to hone their skills and make sure that they can meet the demands of each movie they take on, which means that they have to go harder, start doing their own stunts when it’s allowed, and in some cases switch things up occasionally to make certain that they don’t become another actor that’s been forgotten because they couldn’t adapt to the new ideas that are coming along. There are plenty of older action stars that have done what they could to adapt and have stuck around for a while, but the truth is that they’re under constant threat of being replaced with new talent that’s always on their way up. There are plenty of actors from the 2000s that are still around, but a few of them hit their peak back in the day, and it’s been more and more obvious as the years have rolled by. 

Here are five of the best action stars from the 2000s. 

5. Jason Statham

Credit: @jasonstatham

A lot of people might think about The Transporter movies when it comes to Jason Statham since it feels as though these were his biggest movies of the 2000s era. But Crank was definitely one of his strangest roles, even if it was also one of his simplest since the assassin, Chev Chelios, wasn’t a difficult character to figure out. He killed people for a living, he was a jerk to a lot of people, and he’d been injected with a synthetic poison that was going to shut down his adrenaline and kill him eventually. The whole movie was a series of adventures that were geared around the quest that Chev took to settle his affairs and kill the person that had killed him. That’s what made this movie great, it was a thrill ride with a well-defined plot. 

4. Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

credit: @TomCruise

Cruise has been a star for a long time now, and his efficiency as an action star has been building for decades. But the moment that he was seen in the Mission: Impossible movies it was clear that this role was going to carry him further than others had done. He’s been a part of several action movies that include drama, hints of comedy, and many other cinematic elements. The interesting thing is that as Cruise has aged, he’s only gotten better in the eyes of a lot of people, but in the eyes of others, he might need to retire eventually, despite the fact that he’s still efficient as an actor and has continued to push successful stories onto the big screen, barring The Mummy of course. 

3. Dwayne Johnson

credit: Ballers

Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, was kind of born to be a star, but up until his move to Hollywood, he had a tremendous following in the WWE. Given the fact that the likes of Hulk Hogan and a few others didn’t make a successful move to the movies, it was believed by some that Johnson wouldn’t go that far. But seeing how he’s become one of the biggest names in Hollywood at this time it’s fair to say that a lot of people were wrong in their initial assessment, which is cool to see since Dwayne has been a part of the action scene for quite a while. It’s interesting to note that he’s been quite skilled at comedy and drama as well. 

2. Donnie Yen

credit: John Wick 4

Donnie Yen is another person that’s been around for a while but has gained worldwide attention within the last couple of decades. The action scenes that he’s performed during his time on the big screen have been amazing enough that they’ve gained the attention of millions of fans, and while the story of Ip Man was highly fictionalized in numerous ways, it was still highly entertaining and spawned three more movies. Apart from this, Yen has been a real force in action movies in the years since as he’s even shown up in a Star Wars movie and will be seen in the next John Wick movie in 2023. It’s not certain how long he’ll be a part of the action scene, but every movie he’s been a part of has been a pleasure for the fans. 

1. Angelina Jolie

credit: Eternals

Angelina Jolie hasn’t always been an action star, but she’s been one of the more alluring members of this genre since her introduction as Lara Croft. Her appearance in Wanted, and her role in Mr. & Mrs. Smith has made it clear that she can perform in an action role every bit as effectively as she can do drama. What she’ll continue to do in the years to come is hard to say, but as of now, her recent appearance in the MCU has made it clear that she’s still an efficient action star. 

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