The Top Five Action Film Heroes of 2013

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
December 16th, 2013

The Top Five Action Film Heroes of 2013

The action genre is one of the hottest film categories right now, so it's no surprise that paring down the best action heroes of the year isn't easy. Many brave men and women and even a few children proudly battled in films in 2013, but only five can be named as the cream of the crop. These characters took courage, determination, and skill to the next level to the delight of fans everywhere.

Jennifer Lawrence, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"

Katniss Everdeen was actually introduced to the world last year when "The Hunger Games" came out. She has since blossomed into a true hero for men and women, boys and girls alike with her bravery and quiet determination. In "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," she saves many lives, some more than once, and all without a thought to the danger she is putting herself in by doing so. More than that, she is smart and quickly figures out just how the new Hunger Games arena works so that her and her allies can escape its deadlier elements and have a fighting chance at joining the rebellion brewing outside the arena walls.

Matt Damon, "Elysium"

Damon became an action hero when he played Jason Bourne in the series of spy movies bearing the character's surname. He deserved his status, but fans were unsure if he would continue to use it or simply try out another genre. They got their answer with "Elysium," a sprawling, epic sci-fi drama costarring Jodie Foster, in which Damon plays Max Da Costa. Max lives in a dystopic future where poor people live on a rotting Earth and the rich get to live out on a cushy, clean space station called Elysium. When a potential tragedy forces Max into action, he begins to work against this injustice for selfish reasons at first. By the end of the movie, he realizes anything he can do is bigger than himself and makes huge sacrifices to help others, kicking plenty of behind along the way.

Chris Hemsworth, "Thor: The Dark World"

This is Hemsworth's third time playing the God of Thunder, Thor, and he seems to get just a little better at it each time. Sure, he looks and fights great in his homeland of Asgard, but the real fun for the audience is when Thor is forced to cross realms and come down to present-day Earth. He already saved the planet twice before, including in "The Avengers," so watching him do more of the same, against much stiffer and mystical competition this time, is fantastic fun.

Hugh Jackman, "The Wolverine"

Several X-Men and Wolverine movies have been made already, but the latest, "The Wolverine" takes Hugh Jackman's titular character out of his comfort zone and into a completely different country and culture. In doing do, the writers and producers have breathed new life into the character, and Jackman gave his best performance yet with the claws. This version of Wolverine still fights and has a temper, but he is much more soulful and aware of his surroundings, including the people. This awareness translates into a haunted character who still has a few demons to exorcise, but for maybe the first time ever, there's hope that he can indeed exorcise them. This isn't a kinder, gentler Wolverine, though; he is still deadly and his animal instincts are sharper than ever, culminating in some of the more creative and mind-bending fight scenes the franchise has ever seen.

Bruce Willis, "Red 2," "A Good Day to Die Hard," and "G.I. Joe: Retaliation"

Bruce Willis is almost guaranteed a spot on lists like this one as long as he makes at least one action film in the given year, but this year, he made three. In "A Good Day to Die Hard," his character John McClane travels to Russia to save his son Jack (Jai Courtney), with whom he has a very strained relationship. The film seems as if it's meant to help usher in Jack as the heir apparent once daddy John is ready to hang it up. Willis proves that hanging it up would be a bad idea.

In "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," he plays an old timer compared to young costar Channing Tatum, but he teaches him and the rest of the cast how to do things the right way. His character is fearless, always has a plan, and is skilled enough to pull the plan off. He is easily the most competent character on screen, and he always gets his guy. Finally, in "Red 2," he picked up where he left off in the original "Red" and solves big international mysteries while using technology, firing guns, and chasing stuff. He does this all while making the audience howl with laughter, which is no easy feat at all and why he is on this list.