10 Established Actors Who Completely Failed At Being Action Stars

All heart, no muscle.

John Cusak action
Paramount Vantage

Who among us didn't try to replicate the things they saw in movies when they were little? If you were into action movies, that included highly-choreographed fist fights, reckless car chases, and repelling off exploding rooftops with a firehose wrapped around your waste. Ya know, typical action hero stuff.

Now, if you were given a chance to actually play out those stunts on the big screen, wouldn't you take it? Hollywood actors are people too, it turns out, and so it's only natural many of them would be drawn to the spectacle of action films and the chance to hurl themselves off a moving train and onto a bad guy's throat.

And surely any expertly-trained thespian could make the easy transition into the "dumbest" of all genres. Right? Well...maybe not so much.

You do have to give Hollywood credit for tossing a bunch of big name actors against the action hero wall to see who sticks, though. After all, could anyone have imagined Bruce Willis transforming into John McClane following his stint on Moonlighting? Or that a 60-year-old Liam Neeson punching wolves in the face would be so engrossing?

But for every Willis and Neeson, there are just as many well-known actors who have tried and failed to make an impact on the brawny genre.

10. Ice Cube

John Cusak action
Screen Gems

Attempts: Anaconda (1997), Three Kings (1999), All About the Benjamins (2002), Torque (2004), xXx: State of the Union (2005), Ride Along (2014), Ride Along 2 (2016)

Ice Cube is not an action star, nor has he ever been an action star. Is he capable of realistically reenacting the violence he used to rap about in NWA? Sure. We can't ignore Boyz N The Hood and Dangerous Ground. But to suggest the man behind classics like "It Was A Good Day" was ever primed to follow in Sylvester Stallone's footsteps is just silly.

For starters, only one of the movies listed above is generally looked back on with fondness, and it's the least action-oriented of the bunch. Three Kings is more black comedy than war movie, though Cube acclimates himself well enough to the role. The Ride Along movies are decent buddy cop movies in the mold of the Lethal Weapon sequels, but again, the action is secondary.

His true action vehicles have ranged from purposefully ridiculous (Torque) to insultingly sloppy (All About the Benjamins) to, well...whatever the hell Anaconda is. And if you needed any proof that Cube can't hang with the action crowd, his flabby attempt at filling in for Vin Diesel in the xXx sequel should put that debate to rest.

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Jacob is a part-time contributor for WhatCulture, specializing in music, movies, and really, really dumb humor.