Good Action Movies 1993
Rejoice, fans of action cinema, as I bring you this list of good action movies 1993. That’s right, we’re focusing on 1993, a year where John Woo debuted in America, Schwarzenegger laid an egg at the box office, and Stallone battled Wesley Snipes while a young Sandra Bullock looked on. And for those of you who want a little real-life historical perspective for 1993:
- Bill Clinton took over as the 42nd President of the United States.
- The Buffalo Bills fell to the Dallas Cowboys 52-17, becoming the first NFL team to lose three consecutive Super Bowls.
- The ATF and the Branch Davidians began a tragic 51-day standoff.
- In Mogadishu, Somalia a conflict between U.S. forces and local militia resulted in 18 Americans and 1000 Somalis being killed. This would later become the basis for the film Black Hawk Down.
Now that you’ve got an idea of what was going on in the world at the time, let’s turn our attention to the big screen for some good action movies of 1993.
Cliffhanger – While its opening moments would be parodied years later in the sequel to Ace Ventura, this Renny Harlin project offered up Sylvester Stallone as a tormented mountain climber who must match wits with a gang of vicious thieves (led by John Lithgow) in the Rocky Mountains. It also features the most expensive aerial stunt ever performed, so be sure and keep an eye out for that.
Excessive Force – Personal favorite Thomas Ian Griffith stars as Terry McCain, a Chicago cop who takes part in a raid and later finds $3 million in mob money missing. The mafia is suitably pissed, and they waste no time in killing off everyone who took part. With only Terry remaining, mobsters start turning up dead left and right, and everyone (including the bad guys), assumes he’s responsible. Co-starring James Earl Jones, Lance Henriksen, Tony Todd and Burt Young. Why Thomas Ian Griffith never became a major action star is beyond me.
Ninja Scroll – When a foe from his past returns to life, ninja Jubei Kibagami must wade through a whole host of bizarre killers (known as the Eight Devils) to gain his revenge, even teaming up with a beautiful female ninja who secretes poison from her body. This animated film from Japan is packed with unusual characters, lethal swordplay, and a mountain of corpses. Hollywood is currently developing a live-action remake, although there’s no way it can match the original.
Hard Target – Jean-Claude Van Damme is a homeless New Orleans resident who agrees to help a young woman (Yancy Butler) search for her missing father. As it turns out, her father was one of the latest victims of a group of men (including Lance Henriksen and Arnold Vosloo) who allow the wealthy to hunt down people for sport. It’s not long before the two sides butt heads, and the gunplay and martial arts are spectacular thanks to director John Woo making his American debut (and becoming the first Chinese director to helm a major Hollywood film). A must-see for action fans, if for no other reason than to see Wilford Brimley as a Cajun moonshiner who’s pretty handy with a bow.
Boiling Point – Wesley Snipes is Jimmy Mercer, a cop whose partner (Dan Hedaya) is gunned down in the line of duty by the latest henchman (Viggo Mortensen) of career criminal Red Diamond (Dennis Hopper in villainous role #632). Like every cop in every action movie, Mercer vows to get revenge. While there’s little doubt how this one will turn out, Snipes is still entertaining as he shoots, kicks, and utters an endless stream of tough-guy dialogue.
Demolition Man – In the year 2032, a dangerous criminal known as Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes) is taken out of a 36-year suspended animation for a parole hearing. He promptly escapes, finding the wimpy residents of “San Angeles” are no match for him. Enter Lt. Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock in an early role): a cop fascinated with the 20th century who suggests that lawman John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone) also be thawed out in order to find Phoenix. From there, Spartan blows up everything in his path, romances Huxley, and tries to figure out how two seashell-like objects are used in the bathroom. Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme were the original choices for the roles, but neither wanted to play the villain.
Point of No Return – The American remake of France’s Nikita, Point of No Return stars Bridget Fonda as a drug addict who murders a cop and finds herself forcibly recruited into a shadowy government agency as an assassin. As she cleans herself up and learns the finer points of killing, she comes to hate her new life and long for a way out. Co-starring Gabriel Byrne, Dermot Mulroney, and Anne Bancroft. Harvey Keitel is great as the kill-you-in-a-heartbeat “cleaner” named Victor, and fans of Nina Simone will be delighted by her multiple inclusions on the soundtrack.
Last Action Hero – While it supposedly lost $26 million, I still consider this film to be one of the best action movies ever made. It’s a brilliant satire directed by John McKiernan (Die Hard), and it stars none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger as the film’s hero, Jack Slater. With its movie-within-a-movie plot, the screenplay is able to run wild with endless jokes and observations about the state of action films, and the excellent supporting cast includes F. Murray Abraham, Charles Dance, Art Carney, Anthony Quinn, Bridgette Wilson, and Anthony Quinn. Arnie as Hamlet? That’s all I need to know.
Sniper – Tom Berenger is a Marine sniper sent after a rebel general, but he’s forced to pair up with an inexperienced SWAT sharpshooter (Billy Zane) with zero kills to his name. Zane’s character is one of the most annoying in action movie history, as he constantly seems to either chicken out or try to kill the hero. Berenger is reliable, however, and the film provides viewers with a glossed-over view of how real snipers get things done. A remake of the film is currently in the works.
Best of the Best 2 – While the first film focused on members of the U.S. National Karate Team fighting in a South Korean tournament, this sequel falls into the action category with illegal underground fights and a hulking boss villain named Brakus (Ralf Moeller). Lovable redneck Travis Brickley (Christopher Penn) gets killed off early on, which leaves his former teammates, Alexander Grady (Eric Roberts) and Tommy Lee (Phillip Rhee), to seek revenge. The critics destroyed this one, so only give it a look if you’re a hardcore action fan.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of Good Action Movies 1993. All of the films discussed can be purchased on Amazon, and the small commission we receive when you buy something helps us stay in business. Here are a few more action movie posts to consider: