DVD Release DateThe Best Blue Collar Action Heroes of 2023

The Best Blue Collar Action Heroes of 2023

The Best Blue Collar Action Heroes of 2023

Action movies are an absolute thrill, stirring up our sense of adventure and reminding us that heroes can be found in the most unexpected places. Just think about iconic characters like Sarah Connor and John McClane – they prove that you don’t need extraordinary abilities to be a true hero. Sometimes, it’s the everyday person who possesses the power to save the world and ensure everyone’s safety.

Thanks to their popularity, Hollywood has created a whole sub-genre dedicated to these incredible action heroes who come from humble backgrounds. And it’s no wonder why – these characters are so relatable that we can’t help but imagine ourselves in their shoes, fueling our belief that anything is within our reach. So, let’s take a moment to celebrate these remarkable individuals who embody an unwavering spirit of never giving up.

1. Jack Burton – ‘Big Trouble in Little China’

Jack Burton - 'Big Trouble in Little China'
When it comes to unique stories, you can’t find anything more original than John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China. This fantasy action flick follows the journey of Jack Burton (played by Kurt Russell) as he helps his friend Wang Chi (played by Dennis Dun) to rescue his fiancée from a group of bad guys. Their mission takes them into a supernatural world beneath Chinatown, where they must confront the thugs and an ancient sorcerer named David Lo Pan (played by James Hong).

Despite being just a humble truck driver, Jack faces skilled enemies and navigates through this wild adventure. With a combination of physical fitness, quick-wittedness, and courage, he goes head-to-head with Lo Pan in an extraordinary battle. One of his most impressive moments is when he catches a throwing knife in mid-air and hurls it back at the sorcerer. Definitely not something you’d expect from a guy behind the wheel!

2. Sarah Connor – ‘Terminator’

Sarah Connor - 'Terminator'
In the first installment of the Terminator franchise, released in 1984, we meet Sarah Connor, a young college student working as a waitress to make ends meet. Her life is pretty ordinary, until a relentless and highly advanced robot, known as a Terminator, starts hunting her down. This thrusts her into a future war between humans and machines.

While Sarah’s involvement in the battle is largely due to her destiny of giving birth to a son who will become the leader of the human resistance, she also becomes a hero in her own right. She faces the upheaval in her life with remarkable bravery and fights the T-800 with impressive skills and strategy. We see more of her resourcefulness in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, where she uses both her intelligence and physical strength to protect her son, John.

3. Naru – ‘Prey’

Naru - 'Prey'
In the Predator franchise, we’ve seen countless heroes go head-to-head with these formidable alien hunters known as Yautja. They usually rely on advanced weaponry and combat tactics to stand a chance. But in the 2022 prequel called Prey, Naru, played by Amber Midthunder, takes a different approach. She manages to defeat a Predator using only determination, a solid plan, and the assistance of her loyal dog.

Set in 1719, Naru is trained as a healer among the Comanche people. However, she refuses to stay on the sidelines while a creature mercilessly slaughters her fellow tribe members. Although the Predator in this particular film is not as technologically advanced as the ones we’ve seen before, the humans still find themselves outmatched. Except for Naru, that is. She cleverly sets traps to lure the hunter in and skillfully turns its own weapons against it, ultimately saving herself and everyone else involved.

4. John McClane – ‘Die Hard’

John McClane - 'Die Hard'
NYPD Detective John McClane, played by Bruce Willis, seems to have the worst luck ever. Whenever he’s off duty, he somehow manages to stumble into dangerous situations. In the movie Die Hard, McClane decides to go to the Nakatomi Plaza during Christmas to try and patch things up with his wife, Holly, portrayed by Bonnie Bedelia. However, things take a turn for the worse when the cunning villain, Hans Gruber, played by Alan Rickman, holds everyone in the building hostage to steal untraceable bearer bonds. It’s now up to McClane to navigate his way through the floors and vents of the building to save his wife and the other captives.

One of the things that make McClane stand out in the Die Hard series is his resourcefulness. Despite being a cop, he finds himself working alone without any tools or prior preparation. Even without a gun or extensive special forces training, he manages to use his surroundings to his advantage and successfully rescues numerous innocent people.

5. Jack Traven – ‘Speed’

Jack Traven - 'Speed'
Technically, Jack Traven, played by Keanu Reeves, is just doing his job in the movie Speed when a moving bus becomes a dangerous ticking time bomb. He’s a member of the bomb squad in the LAPD, so disarming explosives is his area of expertise. But, let’s be real, climbing all over a speeding bus, keeping the passengers calm, and trying to discreetly disarm a bomb without alerting the criminal holding the detonator? Yeah, that’s definitely not in his job description.

Despite being pushed well beyond what’s normally expected, Jack manages to impress us with his exceptional physical strength and resourcefulness. In the climax of the film, he even finds himself maneuvering through a speeding subway car.

6. James Dalton – ‘Road House’

James Dalton - 'Road House'
In the movie Road House, we meet James Dalton, played by Patrick Swayze, who works as a bouncer at a nightclub called the Double Deuce. While he may seem like an average worker, Dalton has a mysterious past involving a man he had to defend himself against. But his job is not just about checking IDs and maintaining order among the intoxicated patrons.

Things take a turn when a powerful businessman named Brad Wesley, portrayed by Ben Gazzara, starts causing trouble for the club and its employees. This doesn’t sit well with Dalton, and when Wesley goes too far by attempting to blackmail him into working for him because of his violent history, Dalton decides to take matters into his own hands.

Transforming into a one-man army, Dalton takes on all of Wesley’s goons and defeats them. It’s clear that Dalton possesses skills far beyond those of an average club bouncer. Despite his heroic abilities, Dalton chooses to return to his position at the Double Deuce instead of pursuing a career as a special agent or superhero, which he could easily do.

7. Stanley Goodspeed – ‘The Rock’

Stanley Goodspeed - 'The Rock'
In the movie The Rock, Dr. Stanley Goodspeed, portrayed by Nicolas Cage, may not fit the typical image of a combat-oriented FBI agent. Instead, he specializes in chemical weapons and is dispatched to Alcatraz alongside a team of fellow agents to counter a threat posed by terrorists intending to unleash poison gas.

Despite his initial role as a chemical consultant, Stanley emerges as a bona fide hero, exceeding expectations. Supported by John Mason, played by Sean Connery, he finds himself engaged in more than just chemical-related tasks. From thwarting rocket launches to battling Marines, Stanley proves to possess remarkable courage. While his primary duty is not to engage in physical combat or take down adversaries, he demonstrates exceptional adaptability and willingly assumes a full commando role when circumstances demand it.

8. Coffy – ‘Coffy’

Coffy - 'Coffy'
In the 1973 blaxploitation film Flower Child Coffin, also known as Coffy, we meet a nurse named Coffy, played by Pam Grier. Working in the emergency room, she witnesses firsthand the devastating impact of drugs on the local community. When her sister falls victim to a pusher and becomes addicted, Coffy decides she has had enough and takes matters into her own hands. During the day, she provides assistance to those in need at the hospital, but at night, she transforms herself into a sex worker to infiltrate the world of drug dealers and eliminate them.

Coffy is a true working-class vigilante, fulfilling her important role as a nurse while simultaneously employing a completely different skill set to eradicate the harmful drug trade in her city. Her commitment to her mission is unwavering, as she even takes justice into her own hands when she discovers that her boyfriend, Howard Brunswick, played by Booker Bradshaw, is corrupt. In a rather memorable act of retribution, she delivers a shot to his groin.

9. Max Rockatansky – ‘Mad Max’

Max Rockatansky - 'Mad Max'
The Max Max film series takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where survival is every man for himself and gangs control the open road. Our hero, Max Rockatansky (portrayed by Mel Gibson), is a former police officer who has become a vigilante, taking on the troublesome gangs.

Max’s police training definitely comes in handy when it comes to dealing with these gangs. But what sets him apart is his extraordinary driving skills and ability to fight hand-to-hand. It’s clear that Max has gone beyond his duty as a police officer to adapt to the brutal conditions of this new world.

Max’s sense of justice is harsh but fair. He seeks vengeance against the gang members who brutally killed his wife and child. His mission is driven by a desire to bring justice to those who have wronged him and create a better world in this post-apocalyptic chaos.

10. Kevin Flynn – ‘Tron’

Kevin Flynn - 'Tron'
Many people turn to video games as a means of escaping reality. In the 1982 film Tron, software engineer Kevin Flynn, played by Jeff Bridges, takes this concept to a whole new level. While attempting to investigate the computer company ENCOM’s system, Kevin finds himself literally transported into a video game. It may seem like a walk in the park for a skilled programmer like Kevin to face off against binary code, but he quickly realizes that the programs he encounters are much more formidable than he anticipated.

Kevin is forced to tap into skills he has never utilized in his everyday work of sitting in front of a computer screen and typing. He must compete in a series of dangerous games, using his newfound abilities to navigate the digital world. Despite not being an action hero in the real world, Kevin manages to emerge victorious, showcasing his resilience and resourcefulness.

Tron explores the idea of escaping into a virtual world and the unexpected challenges that come with it. Kevin’s transformation from an ordinary software engineer to a digital hero highlights the power of adaptation and the surprising capabilities we possess when pushed out of our comfort zones.

11. Beck – ‘The Rundown’

Beck - 'The Rundown'
The Rundown” is a 2003 action comedy film featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in a unique role as a “retrieval expert” rather than the typical super-soldier or military leader. He travels around, tasked with collecting debts for a loan shark, relying on his imposing size and physical abilities to intimidate debtors into paying up. However, when he is assigned to retrieve the boss’s son, Travis (played by Seann William Scott), from Brazil, things take an unexpected turn.

Set in the mining town of El Dorado, Beck (played by Johnson) quickly discovers that the local magnate, Cornelius Hatcher (portrayed by Christopher Walken), is not willing to let Travis go easily. As Beck navigates his way through the jungle, he finds himself facing off against resistance fighters, treasure hunters, and the general perils of the wilderness with the expertise of a seasoned professional. Dwayne Johnson’s ability to handle action-packed scenes comes as no surprise given his physical prowess, but it’s certainly a departure from his character’s usual experiences