50 Greatest Movie Action Heroes

Ip Man

The Action Hero: Ip Man was the legendary grandmaster who mentored Bruce Lee to become a great martial artist. Aptly, the role gave Donnie Yen his own chance to shine in this biopic of the teacher's youth.

Most Iconic Moment: Ten black belts. One Ip Man. Guess who wins?

Coolest Catchphrase: "I'm just a Chinese man."

Harry Tasker

The Action Hero: Husband. Father. Covert op for the Omega Sector. Must be hard to maintain that work/life balance, especially when you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Most Iconic Moment: Choosing a Harrier jump-jet to effect a rescue operation - after all, True Lies is a James Cameron film.

Coolest Catchphrase: "You're fired!"

Frank Martin

The Action Hero: Expert driver, aka The Transporter , whose success depends on turning a blind eye to his cargo. Shame, then, that Jason Statham's character can't resist taking a peak at what's in the boot.

Most Iconic Moment: Gaining an advantage over his opponents in a bus depot by filling the floor with oil and wearing bike pedals to avoid slipsliding away with the bad guys.

Coolest Catchphrase: "Have a good life. What's left of it."

Jen Yu

The Action Hero: Zhang Ziyi became a star as the headstrong woman desperate for adventure in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon . No mean feat considering her co-stars were Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh.

Most Iconic Moment: Jen systematically destroys an inn full of warriors who are trying to capture her after she escapes an arranged marriage.

Coolest Catchphrase: "You want to know who I am? I am... I am the Invincible Sword Goddess, armed with the Green Destiny that knows no equal!"

Dominic Toretto

The Action Hero: Vin Diesel's speed freak, introduced in The Fast And The Furious , lives life a quarter mile at a time, and apparently one film at a time - the character having bailed on the sequel before returning to the now six-strong franchise.

Most Iconic Moment: Stealing a vault from a police station and speeding off, with the hefty safe towed behind.

Coolest Catchphrase: "I live my life a quarter mile at a time."

Casey Ryback

The Action Hero: Steven Seagal's character is that rare breed - an ex-Navy SEAL who is also a whizz in the kitchen. That's why, if you're hoping to hold a battleship Under Siege , you should never underestimate the chef.

Most Iconic Moment: Ryback is lured into an ambush to rescue six hostage - he not only frees them, but kills several of the terrorists at the same time.

Coolest Catchphrase: "I'm just a cook."

Lone Wolf McQuade

The Action Hero: Chuck Norris defined his screen persona as the reclusive ex-Texas Ranger grudgingly brought back into the world to stop an illegal arms dealer.

Most Iconic Moment: The climactic hand-to-hand fight with David Carradine's villain, where both stars refused stunt doubles.

Coolest Catchphrase: "My kind of trouble doesn't take vacations."

John Matrix

The Action Hero: Retired Delta Force op played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando , who gets almightily pissed off when bad guys kidnap his daughter to try and force him to assassinate a South American dictator. Why didn't they just ask him politely? Now Matrix is gunning for them.

Most Iconic Moment: Saving the best until last, Matrix faces off against arch nemesis Bennett and impales him on a steam pipe, cuing up Arnie's greatest one-liner. To wit…

Coolest Catchphrase: "Let off some steam, Bennett!"

Charly Baltimore

The Action Hero: Amnesiac CIA assassin played by Geena Davis, who has been living a normal life as housewife Samantha Caine until her past catches up with her in The Long Kiss Goodnight .

Most Iconic Moment: Samantha and Charly's worlds collide when she is attacked by an old nemesis and she incapacitates him by a) throwing a homemade pie in his face and then b) breaking his neck.

Coolest Catchphrase: "Stop being a little baby and get up. Life is pain. Get used to it!"

Ah Jong

The Action Hero: As the titular assassin in John Woo's The Killer , Chow Yun-Fat became an international star for bringing a conscience to the bloodshed - he's driven by the desire to make amends to a singer he accidentally blinded.

Most Iconic Moment: Having completed a hit, seen off the killers sent to betray him and being chased by the police, Ah Jong risks everything to take an injured child to hospital.

Coolest Catchphrase: "Arrest me later! Fight now!"