The 10 Best Action Movies for 1992

Monday, February 15, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Looking for the 10 best action movies for 1992? My friends, you’ve come to the right place. 1992 wasn’t exactly the best year for action films, but it did include a couple that made superstars out of men like Wesley Snipes and Steve Seagal. All the motion pictures listed below are guaranteed to include a certain amount of gunplay, explosions and hand-to-hand combat, so fans of the genre should be more than pleased. You can rent these action movies from Netflix, and we’ll even get a little commission in the process.

Lethal Weapon 3 – While it was my least favorite film of the franchise, it still manages to rank as one of the 10 best action movies for 1992. Riggs (Mel Gibson), Muztagh (Danny Glover) and Leo Getz (Joe Pesci) return, and this time their joined by tough-as-nails Internal Affairs officer Lorna Cole (Rene Russo). Sparks fly between Riggs and Cole, and the whole gang has to take on a corrupt ex-cop who’s selling stolen guns and ammo to the highest bidder.

Hard Boiled – The last Hong Kong film from director John Woo, Hard Boiled features a tough cop nicknamed Tequila (Chow Yun-Fat) teaming up with an assassin/undercover cop to take down a crime syndicate. Filled with lots of stylistic slow motion violence, the famous bullet-riddled climax takes place in a hospital filled with innocent patients and newborn babies.

Passenger 57 – On his way to a new job, former cop John Cutter (Wesley Snipes) gets caught in the mid-flight rescue of terrorist Charles Rane (Bruce Payne). Cutter is having none of that, and he fights back against Rane and his heavily-armed accomplices. This is the film that made Snipes an action movie star. It also features one of my favorite tough guy film lines, as the African-American star exclaims, “Always bet on black.”

Batman Returns – Michael Keaton returns as Batman, and Tim Burton returns as director (making this the only sequel he’s ever helmed). This time around, the Caped Crusader must thwart the evil plans of The Penguin (Danny DeVito) and the romantic advances of the leather-clad Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer). Christopher Walken also puts in an appearance as the money-hungry tycoon Max Shreck. This would mark the last time that Keaton donned the costume, as Val Kilmer would take over in Batman Forever.

Under Siege – Steven Seagal is Casey Ryback, a military badass who’s been busted down to serving as the cook aboard the USS Missouri. When the ship’s second-in-command (Gary Busey) helps a group of mercs take control of the ship (and the nuclear weapons onboard), it’s up to Ryback and a former Playboy Playmate (Erika Eleniak) to save the day. Tommy Lee Jones stars as mercenary leader William Strannix, and one of the film’s highlights includes a knife fight between the craggy-faced Jones and Seagal. A monster hit, Seagal would never duplicate the success of this film.

El Mariachi – The first film in the Mariachi Trilogy, this movie also marked the debut of writer/director Robert Rodriguez. Shot for only $7,000, it tells the story of a young man who dreams of being a mariachi like his father and grandfather before him. But when he goes looking for work in a small Mexican town, he crosses paths with an escaped convict and his guitar case full of weapons.  They accidentally exchange guitar cases, and it pulls the musician into a deadly game of revenge.

Rapid Fire – The late Brandon Lee stars in this forgotten action film about an art student (Lee) who witnesses a mob killing. Placed in protective custody, can he survive long enough to testify? The film got a lot of negative reviews, but it still makes the list due to 1992 being a dry year for action films. It’s always nice to watch Lee in action and think about what his career might have been like, and it’s a hoot to see Powers Booth play a character named Mace Ryan.

Gladiator – Okay, it’s more of a sports movie than an action film, but I already mentioned that 1992 was a pretty dry year. As it is, this movie does include a number of decent fight scenes. James Marshall and Cuba Gooding Jr. star as teens fighting for an underground boxing promotion, and the climactic in-ring showdown between Tommy Riley (Marshall) and former undefeated boxer and fight promoter Jimmy Horn (Brian Dennehy) is worth a look.

Diggstown – Gabriel Caine, a con man (James Woods), and Honey Roy Palmer, an over-the-hill boxer (Louis Gossett Jr.), join forces to take down the treacherous John Gillon (Bruce Dern), a tyrant who controls almost everything in the city of Diggstown. Caine and Gillon make a bet: Honey Roy must defeat 10 Diggstown boxers within a 24-hour period. If he does so, Caine wins all of Gillon’s money. But besides all the boxing action, there’s plenty of out-of-the-ring skullduggery to go around. Woods is great as a fast-talking con-artist, and who wouldn’t like to see Bruce Dern get his comeuppance (after all, he killed John Wayne in The Cowboys)?

Universal Soldier – Two soldiers, Private Luc Deveraux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) and Sergeant Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren), kill each other in Vietnam, but this is just the beginning of their story. Their bodies are preserved, and they resurface 29 years later as part of the Universal Soldier program. While their memories are supposed to have been wiped, the two mortal enemies begin to remember what went down in Vietnam, and it once again leads to a balls-to-the-wall clash between the psychotic Scott and the noble Deveraux. A hot-yet-nosy reporter (Ally Walker) is caught in the middle. Tiny Lister, Ralph Moeller, and Michael Jai White co-star as other unstoppable killing machines. If you really like this film, you should check out Universal Soldier: Regeneration, which recently released on DVD. Van Damme and Lundgren make their return, and MMA fighter Andrei “The Pit Bull” Arlovski stars as the next generation of Universal Soldier.

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