At any given time, there are about 8-10 sure-thing, bankable action stars in Hollywood. These are actors that directors and producers can cast into any role, and they are guaranteed a varied level of success – even if the film ends up being bad.
Then, there are the other actors that pursue roles in action films; they are actors that typically started out in comedy, athletes trying to break into movies, and of course, the B movie guys. The worst, we believe, are listed below. They are the worst twenty action film stars of all time.
Jay Leno- Collision Course
After 17 years of hosting The Tonight Show, Jay Leno became a household name. But before he took over duties from Johnny Carson, he was just another actor/comedian. And in 1989 he stared in the action flop Collision Course. The movie was pitched in the same vein as Beverly Hills Cop, but unlike Murphy, Leno was not as funny on the silver screen as he was off. And thankfully he has since stayed off.
Worst One-liner: “I’m gonna bust your ass!”
Brigette Neilson – Red Sonja
During the Reagan Era, Hollywood seemed to jones for big budget action flicks. The studios didn’t spare any expense when they green lit Red Sonya. Back in the day Brigette Neilson was kick ass hot, but never kick ass. She played a better uptight Russian wife, than she did a kick ass medieval mistress.
Worst One-liner: “No man may have me unless he’s beaten me in a fair fight.”
Bruce Li – Everything He Ever Did
There was an obvious void in Hollywood when Bruce Lee died. To fill that void, certain studio executives decided to release Karate movies with action star Bruce Li. To say the least, the Brucesplotation didn’t last, and Li went back to his first dream, being a P.E. teacher.
Worst One-liner: “WAAAAAAAAA!”
Halle Berry – Catwoman
Halle Berry is hot, and Halle Berry is even a decent actress. But what Halle Berry is not is an action star. She has an affinity for playing comic characters, or sunbathing topless (Swordfish); Berry is best suited for roles where she is not wearing a fitted leather costume with strategically placed tears in it.
Worst One-liner: “White Russian, no ice, no vodka… hold the Kahlua.”
Steve Austin – What Was The Movie Called Again?
For some reason, big white guys on steroids think they can perfect their acting skills in the WWE. Steve Austin is no exception.
Worst One-liner: “Sounds like you’ve had a hard life…good thing it’s over!”
Corey Haim – Prayer For The Rollerboys
By 1991, Corey Haim was on the decline, and rollerblades were on their way to mainstream success. And for some reason, a team of producers got together and thought Haim would be a good fit for the rollerblade-apocalypse movie known as Prayer for the Rollerboys. Haim starred as a kid who helps a gang of ‘bladers save the world. This film simply should not have been created – ever.
Worst One-liner: “Speedbagger… Don’t hate me.”
Dolph Lundgren- Universal Soldier Franchise
Everyone knows that Rocky IV was awesome, and to this day I still think of Dolph Lundgren as a Soviet boxer. But, unfortunately for everyone, this guy continued to put out Universal Solider movies. There were 6 Universal Soldier movies from 1992 to 2012, and if you have seen one, you have seen them all – quite possibly the worst action film franchise of all time.
Worst One-liner: “Dying is easy, rock n roll is hard.”
George Clooney- Batman & Robin
There’s no doubt that George Clooney is a wildly successful actor-producer, but nothing can redeem his performance in Batman & Robin. Some blame Joel Schumaker, others blame the synthetic rubber suit, I just blame the casting director. Clooney is just too pretty to act in a rubber suit. It just wasn’t believable, and frankly, the only good thing to come from this movie was the Smashing Pumpkins opener and closer on the soundtrack.
Worst One-liner: “This is why Superman works alone.”
John Cena- The Marine
What do you get when you put a rapping wrestler in a big-budget action film? Alabama box office gold! Alabama and Tennessee are about the only place this movie did well. Furthermore, I understand it’s important to blow crap up in movies, but when there are more explosions than lines, you can tell the director is trying to hide the fact that his star can’t act.
Worst One-liner: “You married a marine, Kate.”
Shaq – Steel
Shaq can dunk a basketball, Shaq can block a shot, and Shaq can even get a master’s degree, (University of Phoenix) but one thing’s for sure– Shaq can’t act! When Shaq broke onto the NBA scene, Hollywood came knocking on his giant door. Hoping to match his success on the court with box office bucks, Shaq starred in a string of terrible kid-friendly action flicks. When people see his place in the Basketball Hall of Fame one day, hopefully, they’ll be able to forget his terrible excuse for an acting career.
Worst One-liner: “Man, Metal, STEEL!”
Martin Lawrence – Bad Boys I & II
Martin Lawrence was awesome on TV and as a comic. But being entirely honest, we’d rather see him act in drag than in action movies. Will Smith truly carried Bad Boys I & II, as Martin Lawrence was more like an annoying backseat driver than a believable cop.
Worst One-liner: “Damn, it’s the niggras!”
Brendan Fraser – Tarzan
To be honest, playing a thawed-out cave man showed the extent of Fraser’s acting talent. Since Encino Man, however, he hasn’t made much progress in the talent department. That’s not to say his movies aren’t entertaining, because they are. But the fact remains, CGI effects can never replace someone’s ability to act or lack thereof. Or their hair.
Worst One-liner: “Gazangas!”
Nicholas Cage – The Rock
You got to admit, Nicholas Cage carries himself pretty well for a man wearing hair plugs. But just because he carries himself well doesn’t mean he can perform in action films. Enjoying the fruits of nepotism since his start in the early 1980s, Cage (Coppola) peaked early with his performance as a drunk in Leaving Las Vegas.
It wasn’t until Cage was cast in The Rock with Sean Connery that he began this action hero bit. Since then it seems Cage has released at least one crappy action film per year. Nicholas Cage should have stuck to the roles that allowed him to display his true talent as the town drunk that he actually is.
Worst One-liner: “I love pressure. I eat it for breakfast.”
Hulk Hogan – Suburban Commando, and Everything Else
Anyone remember wrestling buddies? Those things were awesome, and if we’re honest, wrestling buddies have about as much acting talent as Hulk Hogan. Given, his target audience was pre-pubescent kids, his acting skills were about as convincing as Uncle Jesse playing an E.R. doctor. Although Hulk Hogan remains one of the most famous and highest grossing wrestlers of all time, his lack of talent for acting remains hideously obvious.
Worst One-liner: “I WON’T be around when this check clears!”
Gary Sinise – Imposter
No offense against Gary Sinise, but he’s a better Lt. Dan than he is a leading man. In 2001, Sinise was cast as the lead in a sci-fi action thriller, Imposter. You can tell the studio that made this mistake didn’t have high hopes for it since they released it in mid-January 2002. The only thing that could have made this movie better (worse?) is if Val Kilmer was cast as the lead.
Worst One-liner: “Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”
Steven Segal- Everything He’s Ever Done (A lot)
When I think of Steven Segal the first thing that pops into my head is the random boob shots that always appear in all of his movies. Anyway, this guy is known more for his quick fighting hands than he is for his acting range. Despite the fact that he is elderly, he is continuing to keep the B-rated, low-budget, action genre alive.
Worst One-liner: [after crushing some guys skull] “Take some aspirin for that headache!”
John Stamos – Born To Ride
There’s a reason Uncle Jessie has been a TV star his entire career, three words, Born to Ride. The plot for the movie is: the Army decides to modernize its horse driven cavalry to motorcycles, and apparently this pisses off Stamos’ character. That’s about it. To emphasize Stamos’ character’s distain, the movies tag line reads, “He was born to break the rules.”
Worst One-liner: “Not the hair, C’mon.”
Triple H – Blade: Trinity
The first two Blade movies were pretty good, and through these films, Wesley Snipes proved he could play a badass vampire slayer. Then Blade: Trinity came out and Triple H from the WWE played a vampire vigilante in pursuit of Blade. Not even the awesomeness of Snipes could redeem H’s performance in this piece of douchebag snuff. Needless to say, this was Triple H’s one and only stab at the big screen, and boy did he suck… sorry, cheap laugh!
Worst One-liner: “Hey, dick-face. You seen my dog?”
Jennifer Garner- Elektra
Now I understand there are plenty of Alias fans out there that love Jenifer Garner, but did you see the fifth season? And did you see the movies in which she played Elektra? She may be the ultimate kick ass fan boy fantasy, but that in no means qualifies her to be an action star. And to make matters worse she married and started a family with one of the biggest douches in Hollywood, Ben Affleck.
Worst One-liner: “Don’t worry. Death’s not that bad.”
Vanilla Ice – Cool As Ice
I am convinced no one in the history of super celebrity rose or fell as fast as Vanilla Ice. People couldn’t get enough of this guy, and then all of a sudden they hated his guts. I kind of feel sorry for the bastard. Truth is though, this guy can’t act or rhyme worth crap, and once his sexy hot whiteness appeal wore off, the public was done. Seems that his terrible motorcycle action movie Cool As Ice, was what kick-started his decline, and for good reason. I believe this movie was only out in theaters for a weekend, and it tanked.
Worst One-liners: “Yeah, whackhead tried to play baseball with my homeboy’s bike!”
“Drop that zero and get with the hero!”
“I’m gonna go across the street and, uh, schling a schlong.”
“Looky, looky in Kat’s black booky.”
“You’re not wasting my time, I’m just cooling.”