Action movies are some of the most fun you can have at the theater. The main reason for this is likely because audiences don’t have to do a lot of thinking or follow a bunch of convoluted plotlines when they go to an action movie. They just need to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Typically, action heroes are known as protagonists who use fists and guns to achieve their goals—punching and shooting their way through any problem they encounter until the final showdown with the big boss. However, even this long-standing trope is changing as we’re now seeing hyper-intelligent action heroes like Jason Bourne and Taken‘s Bryan Mills gaining heavy popularity.
But whether you like em’ big and burly or quick and clever, one thing an action hero always has to be is tough, and the following are 12 toughest S.O.B.s we’ve ever seen on screen.
12. Mad Max
Max Rockatansky is a former cop and expert driver who seeks revenge against the gang that killed his wife and daughter. Before the apocalypse, it was Max’s job to keep the highways of Northern and Western Australia safe from the road gangs that rose to power after the government collapsed.
Fueled by melancholy rage in The Road Warrior, Max becomes much more cutthroat as most of the oil in Australia has dried up and acquiring it is usually a life or death situation. And by the time of the second sequel, Thunderdome, Max has become so tough that he’s battling mutant monstrosities gladiator-style for Tina Turner’s amusement.