Hollywood is cutthroat and not always fair. Not all good talents get cast in big-ticket films. Many such promising actors continue their careers in B-grade films or in supporting roles for bigger celebrities. Yet, they shine in whatever screen space they are given. These stars remain underrated and oblivious to the larger public consciousness. Even though they have the required acting skills, physique, and commitment, they never make it big. Reasons for this may include rampant nepotism in the film industry, bad luck, weak network, or lacking in other areas. Nevertheless, any of their other shortcomings don’t eclipse their acting prowess. A few minutes of watching them act in films is usually enough to gauge their talent. In this light, we discuss and rank underrated action movie icons. Do watch their work, If you haven’t, and let us know your opinion in the comment section.
1. Danny Trejo
Danny Trejo rose from humble beginnings. He worked as a manual laborer on construction sites as a foreman. Later in life, he was jailed. While out on parole, he was spotted and cast by a director in a film. Impressed by his raw looks, he looked like a tough guy. That started a long and illustrious career in action movies. He has been in hundreds of them, almost ubiquitous! Yet he is rarely given his due. His wealth of experience isn’t rewarded with better roles. This is sad, for he is a great action hero who has performed well over the years. The high point in his career was in the film Machete, where he played a Mexican cop who is on a quest to save a kidnapped young girl.
2. Gerard Butler
Sure, Butler does have a few big hits to his name. Yet, much of his work is in B-category films, where he has given many awesome performances. His work is more often than not derided by critics, yet the audiences seem to love him. He is truly an icon for action films and has several classics to his name. For some reason, the big studio and directors don’t give him work. We all know and love him for his classic performance as Spartan King Leonidas in 300. How a man of his caliber and talent is underutilized is baffling! He makes the number 2 spot on this list.
3. Frank Grillo
Grillo is one tough cookie! He looks tough as a rock and has solid acting skills too! He has given good performances in a few blockbusters, but much of his work is in the B category. Furthermore, he gave his best performance in the Netflix production, Wheelman, where he plays a driver who was a part in a failed bank robbery. Moreover, he shined in his role as the Villain Brock Rummlow of the MCU, even though his part was a short one.
4. Maggie Q
One of the most badass actors on this list, Maggie Q has given many top-notch performances. She has had lead roles in Live Free Or Die Hard and Mission Impossible 3. Time and again, she has proven her acting prowess. Yet, she hasn’t had much of a success so far as big-budget movies go. This has to change! Her best role was that as Cyberterrorist Mia Linh in Live Free Or Die Hard. She was signed for a couple of productions that were shelved and is waiting to bag a big film.
5. Scott Adkins
Scott Adkins is a regular fixture in many solid direct-to-video action films. He is quite reliable and gives a good performance almost every time. Despite having an impressive psyche, good acting skills, and a martial arts background, he isn’t given many opportunities by the bigger banners. This is sad. Although he has starred in a few blockbusters, he was in a small role there, so that does not count. He aims to be the next James Bond, well good luck to him!