Rewind: The 10 Best Action Films of the 1980s

The action films of the 1980s were decisive in creating a new era of cinema for decades to come. Some of these classic films inspired many of the movies up through the present day.

Movies released in the 90s took inspiration from what worked in the previous decade, in which several iconic action films were released. Today we'll discuss the some of the best action movies released during the '80s. The beginning of several box office franchises began in the '80s, some of which are still making sequels today and are referenced throughout popular culture.

If you are tired of whatever you’ve been doing, whether it is playing entertaining card games online or video games, it may be time to binge watch some action movies as another type of entertainment.

In that case, this post has shootouts, explosions, escapes, and chases. It has everything you need for a night of non stop action and in the way 80s fans love it: exaggerated, detonating, perfect for grabbing a bucket of popcorn, turning up the volume, and going for a cinematic ride.

Die Hard (1988)

John McTiernan's action-thriller movie Die Hard was released in 1988. In the film, Bruce Willis plays New York City police officer John McClane, who travels to Los Angeles to see his estranged wife, Holly Gennero (Bonnie Bedelia), at her company's holiday party in the made-up Nakatomi Plaza.

The partygoers, including Holly, are taken hostage by a bunch of terrorists commanded by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), and the joyful atmosphere swiftly devolves into mayhem. As the LAPD and FBI fail to rescue McClane, he ends up being the only option left for the hostages.

While attempting to get back in touch with his wife, McClane utilizes his cunning and abilities to defeat the terrorists and rescue the hostages.

Die Hard is frequently recognized as one of the greatest action films ever produced. It was a critical and financial triumph upon release. The film has become a classic in its field thanks to its creative narrative, sharp language, and exciting action scenes. In the decades after its premiere, it has inspired many other action films and generated a number of sequels.

Escape From New York (1981)

From acclaimed director John Carpenter, Escape from New York is set in the future (1997), when New York has become a giant prison.

However, the president's plane crashes in the middle of the place, and condemned war hero Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) is promised to be freed if he manages to rescue the politician from there – a scary place and impossible to escape.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

A sequel to Mad Max, this film follows the character after he takes revenge for his family's death in the first film. He continues driving through Australia's post-apocalyptic streets and plans to steal oil from a campsite.

However, his plans change, and he decides to become a defender of the local community.

Aliens (1986)

The sequel to Alien introduced us to the Xenomorph creature, one of the most famous alien creatures in cinema. The film tells the story of a woman, the sole survivor of a space tragedy. After 57 years of rest, she awakens to discover that the site of everything that happened to her ship has been colonized - and she wants to return to rescue people.

It turns out that a dangerous alien race has taken over the colonies.

Highlander (1986)

After a sword fight in a New York City parking lot, a piece of an antique weapon is left at the crime scene. Forensics specialist Brenda Wyatt finds this object and starts an investigation to find out what happened.

They don't realize this is linked to centuries-old battles between immortal beings.

First Blood (1982)

The movie of the iconic character played by Sylvester Stallone. Inspired by the 1972 novel "First Blood," by David Morrell, it tells the story of a war veteran who suffered trauma while imprisoned in Vietnam and escaped the jungle.

However, when he arrives in town, he cannot adjust and is unfairly stopped by a sheriff. He runs, but he begins to be pursued like a criminal - and then he begins to battle not only with the police but with the army.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

This is the race between archaeologist Indiana Jones and the Nazi army to find the Ark of the Covenant. This ancient relic contains the ten commandments and promises invincibility to its owner.

The Terminator (1984)

James Cameron's 1984 science-fiction action movie The Terminator starred Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The film is set in a dystopian future when robots have assumed control of the globe following a nuclear war commanded by an AI system called Skynet. A soldier called Kyle Reese (Biehn) is sent back in time to 1984 by the human resistance movement led by John Connor to prevent the creation of the machines by preventing Sarah (Hamilton), Connor's mother, from being murdered by the Terminator, a cyborg assassin (Schwarzenegger).

Skynet sends the almost unbreakable Terminator, which is wrapped in living tissue, back in time to kill Sarah since she will give birth to John Connor, the leader of the human resistance in the future. The film focuses on the action-packed chase between the Terminator and Reese as they try to save Sarah and halt the emergence of Skynet.

When the movie was first released, The Terminator was a critical and financial success and has since gained cultural significance. The movie's actors, plot, and special effects received excellent reviews, and it inspired a number of sequels, notably the hugely popular Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Blade Runner (1982)

Inspired by Phillip K. Dick's book, "Androids Dream of Electric Sheep," this film follows an android hunter who needs to eliminate all androids of an advanced lineage, which are increasingly resembling humans. A film that addresses the ironic theme of how humans deal with ethics, morals, and what makes us human.

Karate Kid (1984)

John G. Avildsen directed the coming-of-age movie The Karate Kid in 1984. In the film, Ralph Macchio plays Daniel LaRusso, a young man who travels with his mother from New Jersey to Los Angeles.

He quickly discovers himself the target of bullies from the Cobra Kai dojo, all of whom are proficient in karate, led by Johnny Lawrence, played by William Zabka. Daniel asks Pat Morita's character Mr. Miyagi, the maintenance worker of his apartment complex, for assistance in order to protect himself.

Mr. Miyagi uses unconventional techniques, including polishing automobiles and painting fences, to teach him karate and important life principles.

The story follows Daniel as he trains with Mr. Miyagi and gets ready to compete in a karate match against his bullies, including Johnny. Daniel picks up valuable lessons along the road about self-control, endurance, and the actual purpose of karate.

When it was first released, The Karate Kid had both critical and economic success, going on to become a treasured 1980s classic. A timeless tale that continues to be loved by new generations, the movie's themes of overcoming challenges and standing up to bullies have struck a chord with viewers. The fact that it has inspired several sequels, as well as a current Netflix TV series Cobra Kai, shows how beloved this classic film continues to be.

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