With the day one polls up (still plenty of time to vote in those) it is time for a little preview the four matchups of day two, which have potential to be a lot closer than the day one matchups have been so far.
4. Sean Connery vs 29. Russell Crowe
It was impossible to deny the original James Bond a spot on this list. However, most people wouldn’t envision him being so high up on the list. But even putting James Bond aside, the Scotsman had himself a very impressive action film career with films like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Untouchables (where he has a great line ‘you’re mucking with a real G here, pal), Highlander, The Hunt for Red October and The Rock, where he was easily the best part. Sean Connery is a real action heavyweight.
Speaking of heavyweights (yes, that is a fat joke), Russell Crowe might be one of the accomplished actors on this list, having won an Oscar for his action film, Gladiator. But Rusty’s action film resume is as girthy as his waistline. Crowe has played a ruthless skinhead long before Edward Norton did (Romper Stomper), a humanised virtual reality entity with the personalities of many serial killers (Virtuosity), a dangerous outlaw (3:10 to Yuma), motherfucking Robin Hood (Robin Hood…duh) and the guy that not only built a giant ark and got two of every single animal ever, but also fought giant rock monsters and shit (Noah…I don’t know if that second part happened, that movie was stupid as fuck). A large body (heh) of work in the action movie industry for Rusty.
13. Will Smith vs 20. Denzel Washington
Rapper-turned-sitcom star-turned-Bad Boy Will Smith got the start of his action career at the hands of the biggest hack in Hollywood, Michael Bay in Bad Boys. Big Willie then became the face of the shallow, explosion-laden blockbuster action movie…and it was awesome. Men in Black was great. Independence Day was incredibly fun although maybe overrated due to MURICA factor. I, Robot ignored deep themes of what it means to be alive to entertain us with MORE ACTION! It sounds like I am shitting on Will, but I’m not. I genuinely love a lot of his movies (the action ones, his dramas are yawn-inducing) and he released a very good action movie Bad Boys For Life THIS YEAR! There was a reason every movie he touched turned to gold.
Now, Denzel might own the most controversial position on this bracket. But, Denzel is a real actor and if he ever saw this poll, he’d probably demand he be removed. But the fact remains, the man, when he does action movies, is incredible. A lot of them came from teaming with one of the more underrated directors, Tony Scott. They teamed up five times (Crimson Tide, Man on Fire, Deja Vu, The Taking of Pelham 123 and Unstoppable). Fun fact, Quentin Tarantino said Unstoppable is one of the best movies of the last decade…high praise. But Denzel has many more action films under his belt as well so, no matter how good of an actual, proper actor he is, he is still an action star.
12. Harrison Ford vs 21. Vin Diesel
Han Solo and Indiana Jones are two of the biggest characters in, not only action movie history, but just movie history in general. Of course, they are played by one man; Harrison Ford. Even if we put those aside, he was Jack Ryan in two movies, he was in The Fugitive and Air Force One, and he will be filming a new Indiana Jones movie next year, when he was be 79 years old. If I am even alive at that age, I will be lucky not to shit my pants day-to-day. Harrison Ford is going to still be Indiana fucking Jones.
Not to be outdone, Vin is also the face of multiple action franchises; Riddick (the first film, Pitch Black is legitimately good and way underrated), xXx and of course, The Fast and Furious franchise, which is a fucking behemoth. He has done a bunch of solo action films as well, but I feel like only A Man Apart is good. Okay, so Vinny is outdone buuuuuuuuut can the new blood beat the old dog? We will find out.
5. Mel Gibson vs 28. Mark Wahlberg
Mel Gibson has two of the best action franchises to his name; Mad Max and Lethal Weapon as well as a bunch of standout solo action movies with the likes of Payback, Ransom, Maverick, Conspiracy Theory and Braveheart. Gibson could’ve been with the likes of Stallone and Arnie if he hadn’t decided to get boozed and tell the world he hates Jewish people. Not a smart career move. He has since gotten sober and has started making action films again, some of them like Blood Father and Get the Gringo are even quite good.
Bostons second, possibly third favourite son, Mark Wahlberg was the second highest grossing actor of last year, behind giant slab of beef Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Whatever Marky finds himself in, he makes major bank from it. I think what hurts the former rapper and underwear model is lately his propensity to appear in cheesy family comedies with the Daddy’s Home movies and Instant Family. But with him being in greats like The Italian Job, Four Brothers, Three Kings and 2 Guns, he absolutely deserves to be a part of this bracket. One thing I have to get off my chest though is the two Transformers films he appears in suck so bad. Like, they’re literally the worst. Fuck those movies. Ahh, I feel better now.
There it is, the matchups from Day 2. Who are you picking to go through? Make sure to follow The Sportcodex on Twitter to not miss any of the polls. Happy voting!