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Top 10 Worst Action Movies

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script Written by Fred Humphries. Action? What action? C'mon, you can do better than that! Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 worst action movies. For this list, we cast our eye over flicks that were intended to be good blockbuster action hits, but that didn’t even end up meeting our – and most others’ – expectations. We’re excluding those films that are intentionally awful in that “so bad they’re good” type of way. Special thanks to our users mca690, David Forret, reeceymoo2, mac121mr0, arimazzie, pacman1865, Randy Vee, thenewjord50, XRJ92 and Kadeem Gomez for submitting the idea on our Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Worst Action Movies

Action? What action? C’mon, you can do better than that! Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 worst action movies.

For this list, we cast our eye over flicks that were intended to be good blockbuster action hits, but that didn’t even end up meeting our – and most others’ – expectations. We’re excluding those films that are intentionally awful in that “so bad they’re good” type of way.

#10: “A Good Day to Die Hard” (2013)

This utterly unnecessary fifth instalment of the “Die Hard” franchise sees John McClane team up with his estranged son Jack to stop a generic Russian villain from seizing uranium for a by-the-book revenge plot. Arguably the worst “Die Hard” film entry, the script and story are uninspired at best as Bruce Willis’ character feels desperately out of place in a 21st century setting. By now, we know that McClane is indestructible, but the suspension of disbelief is pushed to the max in some ludicrous action sequences.

#9: “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” (2009) The follow-up to Michael Bay’s first live action “Transformers” was, somehow, another box office smash. This time, Sam Witwicky and the Autobots have to stop an ancient Decepticon from destroying the sun. With typical Bay-isms throughout this two-hour-plus monstrosity, it’s a loud, disorienting mess riddled with offensive stereotypes and no human elements whatsoever. It’s almost all CGI and it began to set the tone for the equally gratuitous movies that followed. Why audiences keep flocking to see this franchise remains an enduring mystery.

#8: “Bangkok Dangerous” (2008)

A remake of a far superior Thai film from 1999, this crime thriller sees Nic Cage playing a contract killer who betrays his own set of morals by beginning to care for a couple of locals he comes in contact with. Cage isn’t as brilliantly unhinged in this one – instead, he and the rest of the cast turn in wooden performances in a woefully slow-paced film, which is completely in contrast to what the action flick’s title might have led you to expect from the critical and box office bomb.

#7: “xXx: State of the Union” (2005)

Known as “The Next Level” outside North America, the sequel to “xXx” replaced Vin Diesel with Ice Cube and follows an implausible plot targeting the President of the United States. The first, likely benefiting from Diesel’s popularity from “The Fast and The Furious,” was a box office hit whereas this one lost over $40 million. You can see why; Ice Cube is a flabbier, unfeasible action hero while the cool, real stunts from the first were replaced with CGI-heavy action. Diesel is apparently returning for a third film, though we’re not too sure if anyone is really that excited for that.

#6: “Far Cry” (2008)

Based on the video game of the same name, this action disaster follows a group of mercenaries trying to survive on an island ravaged by mutants. Director Uwe Boll has a track record for this degree of awfulness, with “Alone in the Dark” and “Bloodrayne” being two in a long line of flops. It is unclear where the estimated $30 million budget has been spent, as the sci-fi flick completely butchered the video game’s legacy. It made less than $1 million back and to this day no one knows why Boll is ever trusted with any movie property. It should perhaps be emphasized that this movie is supposed to be set in a tropical paradise, yet they shot it up in Canada, which is a far cry from tropical, that’s for sure!

#5: “Abduction” (2011)

Taylor Lautner plays an 18 year old who finds out his past is not what he had previously believed it to be, and he soon becomes an unlikely target for Serbian terrorists. Not knowing what sort of film it wants to be, “Abduction” gets caught in a limbo between a Bourne style thriller and a tween, Twilight-esque action movie. Lautner is pretty terrible himself, but the script does nothing to help him. Perhaps only fans of the lead will find any enjoyment from this predictable action thriller that brings absolutely nothing new to the genre.

#4: “Batman & Robin” (1997)

In this superhero flick, Mr. Freeze wants to cover the world in ice and Poison Ivy wants to repopulate it with mutant plants… which doesn’t quite make sense, especially as they’re working together. Nothing is particularly logical or good in this comic book adaptation that was clearly rushed to market, which makes us think of the not-so-great “Catwoman” movie of 2004. George Clooney didn’t seem like he wanted to be there as Batman and being Robin nearly killed Chris O’Donnell’s career. Nominated for a slew of Razzies, director Joel Schumacher has apologised for the film that will always be remembered for its inordinate amount of bad humor and, of course, bat nipples.

#3: “Speed 2: Cruise Control” (1997)

Hey, the first film worked well, so let’s do exactly the same thing, except on a boat. A terrible plan and the film’s quality reflects as much. Somehow contriving to make a high-speed thriller on a cruise liner boring, it seems that without Keanu Reeves, the franchise is doomed. Featuring on numerous worst sequel lists, the action is painfully obvious and dumps all over the relationship Reeves and Sandra Bullock forged in the first instalment. We never thought that a scene in which a ship crashes into a town could be so dull, but “Speed 2” made us believe it.

#2: “Ultraviolet” (2006)

Featuring the hardest leading name to remember in film, this action sci-fi flick follows Violet Song Jat Shariff as she fights to protect those infected with a disease that causes vampire-like symptoms from a government intent on wiping them out. Heavily edited to become a PG-13 movie, it is totally incomprehensible, failing in every facet that would make a reasonable action film. The unlucky Milla Jovovich is caught up in another dystopian future, and she’s probably as sick of it as we are.

Before our top pick angers critics around the world, here are a few dishonorable mentions.
- “The Mod Squad” (1999)
- “The Avengers” (1998)
- “Steel” (1997)
- “Double Team” (1997)
- “Daredevil” (2003)

#1: “Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever” (2002)

Recording an astonishing zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes, this ‘rival agents turned friends’ flick was a shambles on every single level - most painfully for those who invested in the film, as it recorded a $50 plus million loss at the box office. Being generous, the story is incoherent, while the gratuitous explosions and brainless action are a lame attempt to distract from the lack of plot or wit. Comfortably one of the worst films of any genre, please do not waste your time with this car crash of a movie.

Do you agree with our list? What action movie can you not stand to sit through? For more entertaining top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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