The 1980s set the bar high for action films, and it was easy to see why. Non-stop action filled with visceral gun fights, brutal deaths, massive explosions, iconic one-liners and badass protagonists proved to be a recipe for success at the box office, and turned many actors and directors into household names. But the 1990s proved that this trend was only going to continue, as it produced some of the greatest action films of all time.
It was also an intriguing time for action films as studios wanted more of the same blockbuster success, but this time gave them bigger budgets and introduced us to new actors that would become the biggest action heroes of today. What’s more is that films were starting to use both practical and CGI effects, producing mixed results.
But the path to cinematic glory remained the same; give the audience the same exhilarating entertainment they had always enjoyed, and you would be swimming in the cash.
So if you are in the mood to watch something that will blow your socks off, you will certainly not be disappointed with this list of the greatest action films the 1990s had to offer.
20. Bullet In The Head (1990)
John Woo helps get the decade up and running with a film that not only has the guns, explosions and body count you would expect from an action film, but which also has some strong emotional weight to it. Set in 1967, the film follows three childhood friends, Ben, Paul and Frank, as they grow up together as part of a gang in Hong Kong.
Things look like they are about to slow down for them when Ben gets engaged to his girlfriend, but when a rival gang leader tries to steal the money for the reception, Frank attacks the gangster in retaliation and ends up killing him. In order to lose the cops, the three friends decide to go to Vietnam where they also hope to make money as smugglers during the war.
But unfortunately, the three friends' attempts to earn their fortune quickly spirals into a painful and deadly battle for survival as they get on the wrong side of other gangsters, the Vietnam army and the Vietcong. As their friendship is put to the test on multiple occasions, you will be glued to your screen eager to find out whether or not they will survive.