8 Best Action Movies Of The 1980s

8. Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon is the ultimate movie about two mismatched cops €“ one a by-the-book family man, the other a suicidal psycho rocking a mullet €“ whose attempts to apprehend a drug ring lead to gun battles, a kidnapping and a one-on-one smackdown in the mud. You€™ve seen the formula a million times since (Rush Hour, Bad Boys, The Heat etc) but never done this well because the director is Richard Donner (Superman, The Omen) and the script is by Shane Black, the whizz kid who also co-wrote The Monster Squad and played Hawkins in Predator. His specialty is filtering new wine into old bottles and that€™s what he does here, breathing life into characters and situations that in other hands would€™ve felt shopworn. The villains are good too, with Al Leong (also a bad guy in Die Hard) as a silent assassin with a penchant for torture and bug-eyed Gary Busey as a henchman who proves his mettle by burning his arm without flinching. Given Hollywood€™s current immersion in its own back catalogue, it€™s only a matter of time before we get a remake starring Will Smith and Justin Timberlake.

Ian Watson is the author of 'Midnight Movie Madness', a 600+ page guide to "bad" movies from 'Reefer Madness' to 'Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.'