"Lesser" 90's Action Filmsby ultimatenexus | created - 1 month ago | updated - 1 month ago | Public
This is a list of action films that are pretty entertaining, but didn't make much of a dent critically or financially. They may have even been box office bombs, or forgotten entirely. Still, if they have any merit, it's that they are still pretty fun to watch on a quiet afternoon with nothing to do. Will be adding to this list as time goes on and I am open to suggestions. There are many that I have either forgotten or just haven't seen yet.
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1. Last Man Standing (1996)
R | 101 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A drifting gunslinger-for-hire finds himself in the middle of an ongoing war between the Irish and Italian mafia in a Prohibition era ghost town.
Votes: 49,955 | Gross: $17.60M
Bruce Willis and Walter Hill unleashing their John Woo tribute in a recycled Kurosawa setting in a Prohibition Era town? I'm game.
2. Soldier (I) (1998)
R | 99 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
A soldier trained from birth is deemed obsolete and dumped on a waste planet where he is reluctantly taken in by a community of defenseless, stranded wayfarers.
Votes: 48,811 | Gross: $14.57M
Sure, maybe it's not a great film by any stretch, but Kurt Russell gives an interesting performance and while the plot is nothing to write home about, its action scenes are still entertaining.
3. Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991)
R | 79 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
Two cops have to work together to bring down the Yakuza, while trying to protect a beautiful woman.
Votes: 14,897 | Gross: $2.28M
An underrated classic schlockfest. This feels like a barebones adaptation of a men's adventure pulp novel. Glorious.
4. The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
R | 121 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A woman suffering from amnesia begins to recover her memories after trouble from her past finds her again.
Votes: 67,365 | Gross: $33.33M
Nobody talks about this one, and that's a damn shame...
5. Passenger 57 (1992)
R | 84 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
An airline security expert must take action when he finds himself trapped on a passenger jet when terrorists seize control of it.
Votes: 41,928 | Gross: $44.07M
Not very good either, but one of the better "lesser" Die Hard ripoffs. Makes a good double feature with Executive Decision. Speaking of which...
6. Executive Decision (1996)
R | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
When terrorists seize control of an airliner, an intelligence analyst accompanies a commando unit for a midair boarding operation.
Votes: 46,390 | Gross: $56.57M
One of the few action films where Steven Seagal dies in the first half-hour and that's good enough for me. What follows after is a fine ride with Kurt Russell in a John McClane-like role... sort of.
7. Timecop (1994)
R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi
Max Walker, an officer for a security agency that regulates time travel, must fend for his life against a shady politician who's intent on changing the past to control the future.
Votes: 51,350 | Gross: $44.85M
As a time travel movie, it's garbage, but as a Van Damme action film, it's pretty good. Watch this with these next three and you're in for the best of 90's Van Dammage.
8. Double Impact (1991)
R | 110 min | Action, Crime
Twin brothers are separated when their parents are murdered but 25 years later they re-unite in order to avenge their parents' death.
Votes: 34,705 | Gross: $30.10M
They never do explain how these two twin brothers raised in Miami and Hong Kong both have French accents... no matter. Double Impact is too much stupid fun for that sort of thing. It's a collection of most of my favourite dumb action tropes, right down to the explosive barrels of fuel stacked uselessly all over the bad guys' warehouses and docks.
9. Sudden Death (1995)
R | 111 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
A former fireman takes on a group of terrorists holding the Vice President and others hostage during the seventh game of the NHL Stanley Cup finals.
Votes: 29,738 | Gross: $20.35M
Sure, Van Damme is game here (haha) in yet another Die Hard ripoff that's better than it deserves to be, but Powers Boothe steals the show!
10. Hard Target (1993)
R | 97 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
A woman hires a drifter as her guide through New Orleans in search of her father, who has gone missing. They discover a deadly game of cat and mouse behind his disappearance in the process.
Votes: 40,550 | Gross: $32.59M
A big cult classic now, with Lance Henriksen giving one hell of a villainous performance, but at the time, most people didn't seem to care.
11. Naked Killer (1992)
R | 89 min | Action, Crime, Romance
A young woman is trained by a martial arts specialist to become a professional assassin.
Votes: 2,017 | Gross: $0.03M
Hard to find an uncut version of this sleazy action classic, but find it and you might enjoy the over-the-top antics that ensue here.
12. Rapid Fire (1992)
R | 95 min | Action, Crime, Drama
When student Jake Lo witnesses a killing, he finds himself caught between two feuding drug lords. Betrayed and set up by the federal agents protecting him, the only one he can trust is Ryan... See full summary »
Votes: 7,519 | Gross: $14.36M
Brandon Lee's second-best solo film behind The Crow, as far as I can tell.
13. Blue Steel (1990)
R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A female rookie in the police force must engage in a cat-and-mouse game with a pistol-wielding psychopath who becomes obsessed with her.
Votes: 11,095 | Gross: $8.22M
Perhaps more of a psychological thriller than an action film, I think this still deserves a spot on here. I didn't even know it existed until I looked back on Bigelow's career.
14. Black Mask (1996)
R | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
A survivor of a supersoldier project must fight his former comrades as a masked hero.
Votes: 10,383 | Gross: $12.49M
A mess in its own right, one release even replaced the original soundtrack with "trendy" hiphop. Somehow it fits this silly little film. Its action scenes are freaking awesome, though!
15. Eraser (1996)
R | 115 min | Action, Drama, Mystery
A Witness Protection specialist becomes suspicious of his co-workers when dealing with a case involving high-tech weapons.
Votes: 96,364 | Gross: $101.30M
The last "good" Schwarzenegger action film, overshadowed by a string of failures and his career in politics.
16. Maximum Risk (1996)
R | 101 min | Action, Crime, Mystery
A cop/flic discovers that he had a twin who just got murdered in Nice, France. In order to find out who did it, he takes his place including the cute girlfriend in Little Odessa, NYC.
Votes: 18,543 | Gross: $14.50M
Couldn't resist adding this Van Damme piece.
17. End of Days (1999)
R | 122 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror
At the end of the century, Satan visits New York in search of a bride. It's up to an ex-cop who now runs an elite security outfit to stop him.
Votes: 99,694 | Gross: $66.89M
Yeah, it's bad, but it's funny as hell. It's Arnold Schwarzenegger versus Satan! Come on!
18. Ransom (1996)
R | 121 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
When a multimillionaire man's son is kidnapped, he cooperates with the police at first but then turns the tables on the kidnappers when he uses the ransom money as a reward for the capture of the kidnappers.
Votes: 110,690 | Gross: $136.49M
Pretty good movie, all things considered. Seems to have been all but forgotten nowadays.
19. Payback (I) (1999)
R | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama
After a successful heist, Porter is shot by his wife and his best friend. They leave him there to die but when he recovers, he seeks revenge and wants his share of the money.
Votes: 124,218 | Gross: $81.53M
I love both versions of this movie.
20. Stone Cold (1991)
R | 92 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A tough Alabama cop is blackmailed by the FBI into going undercover in a violent Mississippi biker gang.
Votes: 6,233 | Gross: $9.29M
Bosworth's acting is atrocious here but the action and Lance Henriksen make up for its mediocre qualities.
21. The Perfect Weapon (1991)
R | 83 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Jeff, a young delinquent, is enrolled by his father in a kenpo school, in the hopes of teaching the boy some self-discipline. Years later, Jeff's mentor, Kim, is being threatened by one of ... See full summary »
Votes: 3,207 | Gross: $14.06M
Jeff Speakman has no charisma whatsoever but it's a fine film to pop in every once in a while.
22. Navy Seals (1990)
R | 113 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
A Navy Seal team must set out to destroy a shipment of US-built Stinger missiles that have fallen into terrorist hands.
Votes: 14,640 | Gross: $25.07M
Action is enjoyable and slightly above par. Despite its shortcomings, it is a minor classic.
23. The Corruptor (1999)
R | 110 min | Action, Crime, Drama
With the aid from a New York City policeman, a top immigrant cop tries to stop drug-trafficking and corruption by immigrant Chinese Triads, but things get complicated when the Triads try to bribe the policeman.
Votes: 16,649 | Gross: $15.16M
One of the better American films starring Chow Yun-Fat. Not as good as Replacement Killers though... but the action is pretty good.
24. The Replacement Killers (1998)
R | 87 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
A troubled hitman seeks aid from a forger to help him get papers to China. However, the drug lord has hired replacements to finish the job, and kill the hitman.
Votes: 25,495 | Gross: $18.97M
Still one of Fuqua's finest in my opinion. Severely underrated.