Good Action Movies 1987

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 10:39 pm

As the 1980s drew to a close, the action genre exploded in popularity. After reading this list of good action movies 1987, you should be able to see why. Everyone was getting in on the act, from Mel Gibson and Eddie Murphy to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan. As a testament to their starpower, it should be noted that all these performers are still in the public eye (although not always cast in a positive light). If you like gunplay and fistfights, be sure to sample these as soon as possible.

The best way to get these films is to become a member of Netflix. They’ve got over 100,000 movies to choose from, and there are never any late fees. It’s the wave of the future, so why not go ahead and get with the program?

Beverly Hills Cop II– When one of his old pals on the Beverly Hills police force gets shot (by Brigitte Nielsen, no less), wiseass Detroit cop Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) heads to L.A. to catch a gang of bank robbers and arms smugglers. It’s hard to remember the days when Murphy starred in films not aimed at kids, but this sequel remains an entertaining companion to the original smash hit. Pop culture references abound, and Judge Reinhold was at the peak of his powers.

Lethal Weapon– Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) is a cop on the edge. Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is a cop who’s days away from retirement. When they become partners, it doesn’t take long for the sparks to fly. And when they get on the trail of heroin smugglers who happen to be deadly mercenaries, well, things get all kinds of crazy. A near-perfect buddy cop film with lots of hand-to-hand goodness from Gibson. The final showdown between he and Gary Busey now seems like a dream match between two of the craziest bastards in Hollywood.

Predator– Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his soldiers are sent into the jungles of South America for a routine rescue operation. But things are more complicated than expected, especially when an alien shows up who likes to hunt human beings. Perfectly melding sci-fi and action, this classic features memorable performances (and dialogue) from Arnie, Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura, Bill Duke, and more. Trivia: Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally supposed to play the Predator, but he looked too small when compared to many of the muscle-bound stars.

Project A Part II – Jackie Chan returns as Dragon Ma in the sequel to the runaway Asian hit, Project A. This time he’s assigned to a district filled with corrupt cops, and he must take on local criminals as well as vengeance-minded pirates. Maggie Cheung co-stars, and there’s plenty of comedy to go around (including nods to Buster Keaton and the Marx Brothers).

Extreme Prejudice– Nick Nolte is a Texas Ranger, and Powers Boothe is his former pal turned drug dealer. Directed by Walter Hill and written by (among others) John Milius, the film is intended as something of a tribute to The Wild Bunch, and there are definite parallels between the final scenes of the two films (both taking place in Mexican towns and involving wholesale slaughter). Nolte is excellent as the hardass hero, and the supporting cast includes Rip Torn, Michael Ironside, Clancy Brown, Maria Conchita Alonso, and William Forsythe.

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A Better Tomorrow 2– John Woo and Chow Yun-Fat team up once again for this bullet-riddled sequel. Hundreds of people are killed throughout the film, including 90 in the climactic shootout. Our man Chow even shoots one villain 40 times (you can never be too sure). And don’t miss his manic tirade involving a bowl of rice. Way over the top, even for a John Woo film.

Death Before Dishonor– I always enjoy seeing movies that appear somewhat silly with the passage of time (like every Stallone movie co-starring those danged Commies as the villains), and this Fred Dryer (TV’s Hunter) vehicle certainly qualifies. Fred plays a Marine who must spring into action when terrorists overrun an American compound in the Middle East and take hostages. What follows in plenty of bloodshed and some of the worst examples of Arab stereotypes ever committed to film. Still, it’s an entertaining shoot-em-up, just as long as you don’t take it too seriously. Brian Keith and Paul Winfield co-star.

RoboCop – Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) is an honest cop working the futuristic steets of Detroit with his partner, Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen). When a gang of criminals (led by Kurtwood Smith) kill him, Murphy is taken by the requisite evil corporation and turned into a cyborg cop with only a sliver of his former memories intact. Big guns, lots of social commentary, and plenty of mayhem from director Paul Verhoeven. Several sequels would follow, although none were as good as the original.

Armour of God – Jackie Chan plays his version of Indiana Jones (known as Asian Hawk) in this action-adventure flick. After tracking down and selling a few pieces of the legendary Armour of God, Hawk learns that his old flame has been kidnapped by a religious cult. When they demand the complete Armour of God as ransom, Hawk and a rival must team up to get all the pieces and save the girl. Chan came close to dying in real life during shooting, as a broken branch sent him falling 15 feet, his head colliding with a rock and sending a piece of skull into his brain.

The Running Man – Based on a short story by Stephen King, this is yet another example of a Schwarzenegger film that blended action and science fiction (it also worked well in Total Recall). Arnie plays Ben Richards, a former soldier convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sentenced to hard labor. But he gets a chanceĀ at freedom when he agrees to participate on The Running Man, a futuristic television show where convicted criminals try to avoid being hunted down and killed. Richard Dawson (Family Feud) plays the slimy host of the show, and other co-stars include Maria Conchito Alonso, Jesse Ventura, Jim Brown, Yaphet Kotto, and Mick Fleetwood (yes, the drummer of Fleetwood Mac).

That concludes our list of good action movies 1987. We’ve got plenty of other articles dedicated to films from specific years, or you can just become a member of Netflix and watch action flicks until you pass out. We do get a commission if you become a member, but any cash we get goes right back into the site.

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