The action genre started to gain a significant amount of popularity in a big way in the 1980’s. This carried on into the next decade where many of the biggest stars in Hollywood starred in them. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Harrison Ford were the stand out stars of this genre in the 1990’s.
Terminator 2 is considered by many to be the greatest action movie ever made. It stars Schwarzenegger as a cyborg sent from the future to protect a boy. Since it’s release it has been heavily lauded by critics and fans for it’s set pieces, terrific performances and suspense.
John Woo directed two of the decades most successful action films. Face/Off stars Nicholas Cage and John Travolta as a cop and criminal who must swap faces. Con Air also stars Nicholas Cage as a prisoner who finds himself stuck on a hijacked plane.
The concept of the hijacked plane proved popular in the 1990’s. In 1997 Air Force One featured Harrison Ford as the president of the United States who must fight his way through the famous plane which has been taken over by terrorists.
There were several hybrid genre films that mixed action and science fiction. One of the most memorable examples is Demolition Man. In the movie Sylvester Stallone is sent into the future to stop a criminal mastermind.
One of the biggest sci fi action films of the decade was Independence Day directed by Roland Emmerich. The epic alien invasion film shows the world being taken over by flying saucers. The big scale special effects had a big impact on the future of the genre. Today many of the action films seen in cinemas have the same effects heavy look. It helped to cement the stardom of actors such as Bill Pullman and Will Smith.