The 1980s was a decade symbolized by its sheer magnificence and opulence. The same is true for the Hollywood movies that came out during the 80s. The over-the-top action, overflowing adrenaline rush and excessive explosions were a staple of nearly all the big budget 80s action movies. You know exactly what we’re talking about if you grew up watching a few of these. So let’s take a deeper dive into the cheesy world of 80s action movies and countdown the top action movies of the 80s.
1. Tango and Cash
80s action movies and buddy cop movies are a pair made in heaven and the first proof of it on our list is Tango and Cash. This is a story of two cops who are wrongfully accused of murder, decide to join forces to take on the criminal who’s actually responsible. See what we mean?
2. Die Hard
John McClance (Bruce Willis), an off-duty police officer is pulled back into action while visiting his wife during her office Christmas party when a group of bad guys led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) take over the Nakatomi Plaza and take everyone hostage. That’s one of the top action movies of the 80s for you.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is at his best in this movie where he and his merry band of soldiers are being hunted by an advanced alien for sport. Now they must not only ensure their survival but also try to kill this otherworldly offender who dared to harm Arnie and his boys. This one is easily one of the top 10 80s action movies of all time.
4. Rambo: First Blood
No list of best action films of the 80s is complete without the mention of this Sylvester Stallone classic. Stallone plays a former soldier whose hand is forced into combat by the local sheriff who is hell bent on capturing him at any cost.
5. Big Trouble in Little China
One of the wackiest 80s action movies, this movie is about a truck driver who gets dragged into the mysterious world of Chinatown where he is pitted against an ancient sorcerer. This movie has all the elements required to deliver a hit 80s action movie. Be it martial arts or some brilliantly laid-out puns, this movie is a must-watch, no-brainer for all the action fans.
6. Lethal Weapon
One of the best action movies from the 80s, Lethal Weapon, also happens to be a buddy cop movie. The brash Mel Gibson and ever-so-careful Danny Glover are a perfect pair, match them with over-the-top action, explosions, shootouts and a drug angle and you have the perfect 80s action movie recipe.
The 80s was the decade of kickass movies and Arnie was one of the forerunners of this movement. In this classic movie, Arnie plays an ex-elite commando who’s trying to get his daughter back from a bunch of bad guys who have kidnapped her. This is another one of the top action movies of the 80s.
This 80s action movie is the story of an honest police officer who ends up losing most of his body in a tragic blast. Fortunately, the wonders of 80s science retains his brains with a brand-new bulletproof body. Given this miraculous second chance, he uses it to tackle the bad guys with more honesty and fervour. Can it get any more classic than this?
9. The Terminator
We all know the story of this one, don’t we? A human sent back in time to save the leader of the human resistance from a terminator who’s also sent back in time to kill her. This is not only one of the best action movies from the 80s but also one of the best movies of all time. Period.
10. Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark
No list of top action movies of the 80s is complete without a mention of the Indiana Jones movies. This movie has all the makings of a perfect action movie - whips, Nazis, snake pits, and Harrison Ford.