There are two key components when it comes to action heroes: strength (physical and mental) and a cracking backstory. Serious muscle power combined with a history that makes a character intriguing and relatable makes for an unstoppable hero.
Read on to find out who made our cut...
2. Gerard Butler in Geostorm
3. Ben Affleck as Batman
To take on the role of Batman, Ben Affleck undertook a gruelling fitness programme that saw him bulk up big time for the highly anticipated Justice League. Although he is a superhero without actual powers, Batman enlists the help of Wonder Woman to recruit other meta-humans to form a league to face a mutual enemy. What Batman lacks in superpowers he certainly makes up for in cave, gadgets and, well, money!
4. Charlie Hunnam in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
As a series of fateful events bring Arthur to pulling the infamous Excalibur sword from stone, his destiny is foretold and he must fight for his birth right. An unlikely hero who rejects his path at first, this Arthur has a habit of fighting first and asking questions later, but he’s a man of the people and a loveable rogue.
5. Tom Hanks as Sully
On January 15 2009, Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger (played by Tom Hanks) saved 155 souls by landing a passenger airplane onto the Hudson River. Sure, he might not be the first character to spring to mind when you think of an ‘action hero’, but he is undoubtedly a hero of the highest order.
Hailed by the media as the hero of the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’, Sully struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder from the accident and the media attention, as his actions are subjected to severe scrutiny. As an investigation is undertaken, his job and reputation are put on the line.
6. Alexander Skarsgård in The Legend of Tarzan
7. Tom Hardy & Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road
Post-apocalyptic mastermind George Miller returned with his Mad Max franchise, after the first came out in 1979. This time we follow Imperator Furioso (Charlize Theron) who, fleeing through the Wasteland with stolen precious cargo, encounters Mad Max (Tom Hardy). Although reluctant at first, he eventually decides to help Furiosa on her mission, which leads to plenty of action-fuelled stunts and revved up engines. Not all heroes are men, and this film deserved the six Oscars it was awarded.
8. Jason Statham in The Meg
Based on the New York Times bestselling Meg series by Steve Alten, we follow the story of expert rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham). Oceanographer Dr Minway Zhang (Winston Chao) hires Jonas to save his crew from a pre-historic threat in the form of a shark known as the Megalodon (hence The Meg). We should probably mention though that this shark is 75-foot long... Expect nail-biting, incredible visuals and of course, comedic moments to relieve the tension. Catch the trailer right here, ahead of the film’s release next month.