The 80s were a time for action films. This was the decade when volatile and gritty action sequences entered films giving rise to stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis with international followings. There were Westerns, war films, science fiction, James Bond and Dirty Harry but they were all what we could call ‘actions’. No large scale damages and destructions, and no sweating brows no muscles, no bruised and bloodied faces, no death-defying stunts that we see in the modern action movies. Granted there were gunfights, fistfights charges and car chases even and people did get murdered in scores, but there were no blood, not any aggressiveness and gore, no collateral damages, and no destructions of infrastructures.
All that changed. The silver screen exploded with deafening noises of explosions, automobile crashes, and firefights. Not-so-good and nice tough guys with shot guns and machine guns in their arms were now common-place. The girls and their men fought side by side. The action films’ growth was a consequence of three factors: development of computer graphics, competition from television progress in filming technology, as well as the filmgoers’ appetite for hardcore action. The 80s were a period of innovation in computers and electronics. Filming equipment and camera together with the development of computer images made it possible for filmmakers to take on action sequences and add special effects which were hitherto.
Back in 1982, Sylvester Stallone as Rambo killed the sheriff that had tormented him for no reason and returned to the town after eluding the local police force from the woods to blow up the town. This was the ‘First Blood’ ever. Rambo became a household name in areas of the world where people understood just a few words not just North America.
A cybernetic organism place the screen, and with flesh tissue on metal endoskeleton came back from the future to avoid the arrival of John Connor, the future leader of humanity. This emotionless and ruthless machine set muscleman Arnold Schwarzenegger on the path. Terminator 2: Judgment Day – its sequel gave a new meaning to the phrase ‘sci-fi activity’.
In 1988, an NYPD cop named John McClane became trapped in a building inhabited by a group of terrorists while he was at a Christmas party with his wife. Single-handedly, with brawn and his brain, he was able to kill of the terrorists and rescue the hostages, including his spouse. Bruce Willis, who began his career as one of the action heroes of this century, has developed into a well-rounded actor.