Every decade has its heroes when it comes to the big screen, but while some action stars have managed to transcend one decade after another, others have reached their peak within certain decades and haven’t done much following that time. The 90s action stars that were so revered back in the day are still around for the most part. Some of them have retired, and some have passed on, but all of them are easy to remember since they created an image that people can’t help but hold up now and again to show how things used to be. It’s also very easy to use the 90s when it comes to emulating certain heroes since this was another decade in which the heroes and villains were a bit over the top but were still fun to watch when it came to the action in any given movie. These days the action in movies can vary from horrible and contrived to amazing and absolutely brutal. But back in the 90s, several action stars made it possible to fully enjoy just about every action movie they starred in, at least until they hit their peak, and then started doing straight-to-video productions that kind of ruined their reputations after a while.
Here are five of the greatest action stars from the 90s
5. Steven Seagal
The days there aren’t a lot of people believe in Seagal like they used to, and it has a lot to do with a great number of his stories unraveling since they can look on the internet to corroborate the tales that Seagal has told about his life for so many years. His older action movies are still considered to be among his best, but the idea that he’s still just as popular is laughable since a lot of people have taken to calling him out for his poor behavior off-screen and his less-than-effective work on screen at this time since he’s done next to nothing for his own career ever since, in fact, outside of the 90s, he’s become a huge joke.
4. Jackie Chan
When asking a lot of people, one might hear that Jackie Chan has always been awesome, but he had to earn his reputation just like everyone. He’s been entertaining since he’s kind of like the Swiss army knife of action stars since a lot of people have come to expect that he’s going to use anything and everything that’s at hand to create a stunning visual display during his fight scenes. This was especially true in Rumble in the Bronx and Rush Hour, since he became a whirling dervish of energy that used everything from a car steering wheel to a shopping car to help stay up in a fight, and it managed to impress people in a big way.
3. Linda Hamilton
These days it feels as though people believe that women have been seriously underrepresented in the movies when it comes to taking the lead spot or being given anything that could be described as a significant role. It kind of makes a lot of folks wonder where those people have been all their lives, but it’s fair to think that a lot of folks that are saying this are either too young to remember the likes of Linda Hamilton or have somehow forgotten. Sarah Connor went from being a waitress to being a gun-toting badass, meaning that she more than earned her spot as an action star. Seriously, she was the type of woman that a lot of guys wouldn’t have tangled with back in the 90s.
2. Jean Claude Van Damme
There are a few things to say here, and one of them is that Van Damme, no matter how ridiculous people might think he is, happens to be the real thing when it comes to his training and the fact that he’s competed as a martial artist back in the day. It’s true that he took full advantage of his status as an action star and swung for the fences, but at the very least, he’s a legitimate result of a well-trained and experienced individual making his way into the movies. The only problem is that after a while, if a star doesn’t change the way they shine and evolve past its action roots, they tend to get a little stale. JCVD is still a fond memory to many people in regard to his movies, but these days it’s tough to take him seriously as an action star any longer.
1. Wesley Snipes
Snipes was on fire in the 90s since Blade and Demolition Man made him a favorite to many individuals. But once he hit his peak, especially with Blade, things started to descend and his career hit a low spot since his movies weren’t all that great any longer. The fact that he became part of The Expendables in the third movie wasn’t surprising, but it didn’t exactly revive the magic he had back in the 90s. It is satisfying, though, to remind MCU fans that Marvel’s first black character on screen was NOT Black Panther, as Blade easily beat him by a couple of decades before the MCU was even a thing.
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