The 80s are known for their extravagance and over-the-top nature. It was an era of big hair, bold colors, and even bolder action movies. This decade birthed some of the most iconic action heroes ever created, who fought their way through danger with guns blazing and fists flying. And of course, no 80s action movie would be complete without some unforgettable action scenes. In this article, we’ll take a trip down the memory lane and revisit the 10 most iconic action scenes that cemented the place of 80s action movies in cinematic history.
1. The Terminator – The Mall Chase
The Terminator is an iconic movie that introduced us to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played a cyborg assassin sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor. The mall chase scene is breathtaking because it showcases the unstoppable nature of the terminator. He pursues Sarah through the crowded mall, taking out anyone that gets in his way with effortless ease. The scene culminates in a face-to-face showdown between Sarah and the terminator, which leaves us on the edge of our seats.
2. Die Hard – The Rooftop Jump
Die Hard is the quintessential 80s action movie, and it delivers on every level. Bruce Willis’ portrayal of John McClane earned him worldwide recognition, and his daredevil rooftop jump in the movie will forever be etched in our memories. McClane escapes from the explosion of the building by leaping off the rooftop with a fire hose tied around his waist, sending him crashing through a window several floors below. It’s a heart-stopping moment that’s hard to forget.
3. Raiders Of The Lost Ark – The Truck Chase
Raiders Of The Lost Ark was an adventure movie like no other, and it remains one of the most beloved movies of all time. Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones, who embarks on a quest to find the lost Ark of the Covenant. The truck chase scene is one of the most thrilling action sequences of all time. Indy chases down a truck on horseback and climbs onto the vehicle as it speeds along a narrow mountain road. The fight scene that ensues is a cinematic masterpiece.
4. Predator – The Jungle Showdown
Predator is an action-horror movie that pitted Arnold Schwarzenegger against an alien predator in the jungle. The movie had a lot of intense moments, but the jungle showdown takes the cake. Arnold’s character, Dutch, sets up an elaborate trap to take down the predator, and what follows is a brutal fight to the death. The tension is palpable, and the action is non-stop.
5. Lethal Weapon – “I’m Too Old For This Sh*t”
Lethal Weapon is a buddy cop movie that follows the adventures of a reckless cop and his cautious partner. The “I’m Too Old For This Sh*t” scene has become an iconic part of pop culture. Danny Glover’s character, Roger Murtaugh, is fed up with the chaos that seems to follow his partner everywhere. When a bomb goes off, he utters the now-famous line, cementing his status as one of the most relatable action heroes of all time.
6. Commando – The Final Showdown
Commando is a movie that’s not afraid to turn up the violence to 11. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character, John Matrix, is a one-man army on a mission to save his daughter from kidnappers. The final showdown between Matrix and the villain Bennett is a spectacle to behold. The two engage in a knife fight that’s so intense, you can practically feel every blow. It’s an action-packed scene that leaves you breathless.
7. Robocop – The Final Showdown
Robocop is a sci-fi action movie that explores what it means to be human. The final showdown between Robocop and the villainous Clarence Boddicker is a masterclass in action movie choreography. The two characters engage in a brutal fistfight that culminates in a showdown at the steel factory. The sparks fly, and the tension is high as Robocop takes on Boddicker and his gang in a thrilling finale.
8. Rambo – The Explosive Ending
Rambo is a movie that’s all about excess. Sylvester Stallone’s character, John Rambo, is a Vietnam War veteran who takes on an entire town. The explosive ending of the movie sees Rambo blowing up an entire section of town with a machine gun and a flamethrower. It’s a scene that’s both outrageous and exhilarating, capturing the essence of 80s action movies perfectly.
9. Bloodsport – The Kumite
Bloodsport is a martial arts movie that stars Jean-Claude Van Damme as Frank Dux, a martial artist who enters a martial arts tournament called the Kumite. The Kumite is the climax of the movie and is an epic showcase of Van Damme’s fighting skills. The scene is a thrilling ballet of kicks, punches, and sweat that will have you cheering for Frank every step of the way.
10. Beverly Hills Cop – The Shootout
Beverly Hills Cop is a comedy-action movie that follows the adventures of Detroit cop Axel Foley as he investigates a murder in Beverly Hills. The shootout scene at the end of the movie is a masterclass in blending humor and action. Foley takes on a team of heavily armed criminals armed only with a banana in his hand. It’s funny, exciting, and unforgettable.
These are just a few of the many iconic action scenes that defined the 80s action movies. They were the epitome of bold, breathtaking, and sometimes outrageous cinema. The 80s was a decade that celebrated excess, and the action scenes in these movies reflected that. They showcased the skills of some of the greatest action heroes the world has ever seen and inspired generations of filmmakers to come. Which one of these action scenes is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!
And that’s a wrap! If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out some of our other pop-culture pieces.