Celebrating B Movies, Cult Films, and Indie Classics.

80’s Action Stars: Continued Relevance For A New Millennium

by  |  May 30th, 2013  |  Blog

Arnold Schwarzenegger as, ‘John Matrix’ in the hit action classic, ‘Commando’ (1985)!

Recently I discovered that there is a sequel coming up for 2010’s Red. I hadn’t seen the original movie, but the cast were a lot of truly awesome actors and actresses that had made their marks as super stars in the 1980s, such as Bruce Willis (Hudson Hawk) and Mary-Louise Parker (Naked In New York).

And speaking of Bruce Willis, I got to thinking about an action movie series that at first I had heard nothing but bad reviews about, but when I got to see it I found  that I actually liked it a lot (and it starred a large group of action stars that I have loved since I was a kid!)

What is that movie you might be asking…. That movie is, The Expendables (2010)! Now this movie, stars and or had cameo scenes with  such amazing 80’s and 90s’s action stars such as, Sylvester Stallone (Nighthawks), Jet-Li (Lethal Weapon 4), Dolph Lundgren (Universal Soldier) & Eric Roberts (The Pope Of Greenwich Village) to name a few…

Now if you were a child of the 80s or the 90s and are a Action movie fan (which fortunately I am proud to say that I am!)  Then you grew up watching the exploits of  Bruce Willis, or Arnold Schwarzenegger (True Lies) or even Chuck Norris (Delta Force) (to name a few…), but noticed at the start of the new millennium that these actors and actresses movies have seemed to be in decline (well for the most part that is up til recently that is! )

You see, a few years ago I watched the movie, The Expendables (2010) and have since come to realize that not only is this movie great, but these action stars are not only still extremely relevant, but that Hollywood gives their aging talent some times an unfair shake…

What I mean by this is that with actors and actresses such as Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street) & Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games) coming to prominence in the new millennium it seemed like these aging super stars of the 80’s end up on the back burner…

Well I am here to say that these actors are still incredibly relevant!

First off I wanted to say that I know that all great things must eventually come to an end and that the previous generation will eventually have to make way for the next generation, but these action movie stars of the 80’s mostly come from a time when special effect weren’t all mostly CGI, and the talent that they brought to these movies from the early parts of their career in my opinion still aren’t really matched by a lot of modern day talent, and I can personally attest to seeing that they have brought the same level of talent to their newer movies as well!

And you know, early on in the new millennium I started noticing updated sequels to classic action films that hadn’t seen sequels since the early 90s or even 80s! Such great examples are: Live Free Or Die Hard (2007) and A Good Day To Die Hard (2013), (both of these movies being movies that brought the, Die Hard movie series, a series that hadn’t seen prominence since the sequel that Bruce Willis did in 1995 with Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction) called, Die Hard: With A Vengence back to life!

Scenes from the movie 'Die Hard' (1988) and the most recent sequel, A Good Day To Die Hard (2013).  This series helped bring Bruce Willis to prominence, but also is a classic 80s action movie series that kind of died out in the mid 90's and came back again in the new millennium!

Scenes from the movie ‘Die Hard’ (1988) and the most recent sequel, ‘A Good Day To Die Hard’ (2013). This series helped bring Bruce Willis to prominence, but also is a classic 80s action movie series that kind of died out in the mid 90’s and came back again in the new millennium!

Another one is, Rambo (2008) a movie which starred Sylvester Stallone as the lead character, ‘John Rambo’ as the traumatized Vietnam veteran through out the entire, ‘Rambo’ series!  Now the reason I mention this is because the first in this series is, First Blood (1982) and the last sequel to hit before 2008 is Rambo 3 (1988)!

With that said I am gonna admit it here and now and say that I thought bringing these old dead series back to life after decades was a horrible idea… That was until I saw some of these movies!

The truth is, is that I didn’t think the more recent Rambo movie was the greatest movie, (it isn’t a great movie, but it is fun, and if you are a fan of the series  then it will make it even better! The best thing about this movie is Sylvester Stallone, I kind of felt was able to slip back in to the roll of Rambo very easily, and even though the movie wasn’t the best of the series, it was great to see where he ended up after the events of 1988!

That is just one example, of the movies that these classic actors have done in the new millennium that really brought prominence back to these amazing action heroes!

Ultimately folks what I am trying to say is that with some actors you kind of have to suspend your disbelief to get past the horrible acting no matter what the movie genre you are watching in are… But I have found that no matter the movie genre they are working in, such as a Science Fiction movies (as is the case with Arnold Schwarzenegger with, The 6th Day), or even an animated movie, (as is the case with Jean-Claude Van Damme (Time Cop) with Kung Fu Panda 2) in the end these action stars bring to the movies that they are doing, a realistic talent that just makes the movie even better and I believe it is what helps make these action super stars movies such timeless classics, (rather you are watching these movie in the 1980s or 2013!)

Please enjoy this small cross section of some truly great 80s action movies:

1. The trailer for, The Delta Force (1986) starring: Chuck Norris (Code Of Silence):

2. The trailer for, American Ninja (1985) starring: Michael Dudikoff (Tron):

3. And last but certainly not least, the trailer for Road House (1989) starring: Patrick Swayze (Red Dawn):

Nathan Strack


Nathan Strack is a Writer/Director/Filmmaker & Owner/Founder of: Hell In Space, Strack Web Design Service & Strack Store.

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