Action Movie Characters Who Woke Up And Chose Violence

Over 400 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of Action Movie Characters Who Woke Up And Chose Violence
Voting Rules
Vote up the characters who decided going on the warpath was the only option.

Action movies are chock-full of characters whose lives are full of wall-to-wall violence, but for the most part, the main characters are pushed to the brink of sanity before a switch flips in their heads and the bloodshed begins. That's not the case with the fierce characters collected here; each and every one of these action movie characters woke up and chose violence before pouring themselves a hot cup of coffee.

These characters made the decision to go on the warpath without thinking through any other options. Heck, most of them don't even have a plan of attack - they simply want to bring the pain to the people in their lives who've done them wrong.

Choosing violence doesn't mean all of these characters are assassins or ex-military dudes with a score to settle. They're restaurant owners, insurance salesmen, and even an undead manifestation of a crow, but which of them is the most unabashedly violent?

  • John Wick - 'John Wick: Chapter 2'
    Photo: Lionsgate

    John Wick 2 begins with the world's greatest assassin in goblin mode putting the hurt on some jerks who have his car and it doesn't slow down from there. After Wick is double-crossed by Italian crime boss Santino D'Antonio, a $7 million prize is put on Baba Yaga's head, leading every assassin in New York City to track him down.

    With everyone gunning for Wick, he has no choice but to just start taking people out with everything from knives to a pencil. This is a man who chooses violence and doesn't draw a line between the "right" or "wrong" kind - anyone in his way is going to be carved up and left like trash on the street.

    274 votes
  • After this disgraced former CIA agent moves down to Mexico and takes a job as a bodyguard to Lupita "Pita" Ramos, the daughter of a successful automaker, the last thing he expects is to choose violence. That's before he sees her abducted in the middle of the street.

    The moment Creasy learns the local police and a pair of gangs are all trying to make a little cash off of Pita's abduction, our hero goes sicko mode and starts taking out anyone and everyone who stands between him and the girl he was hired to watch. Creasy isn't really a planner - he just keeps going in the direction of Pita, spurred on by what little information he can find.

    Creasy pretty much burns through most of the gangsters in his immediate area before taking a bullet to the chest, but he's so intense the injury doesn't stop him until he's made sure Pita is safe in her mother's arms.

    287 votes
  • When Eric Draven wakes up from a year-long dirt nap after he and his girlfriend Shelly Webster were slain by a creepy goth street gang, he is ready to rock and roll. And by "rock and roll," we mean put the hurt on everyone who's responsible for his death.

    Aside from having the vague knowledge he has some kind of magic crow abilities, Draven doesn't have much of a game plan going into his spree of vengeance. Rather than learn about the gang or put together a plan to take everyone out, Draven just tears through skeevy dude after skeevy dude until he has a chance to throw the gang's leader from the roof of a church. It rocks.

    195 votes
  • When his daughter is killed in a London bombing by the Irish Republican Army (IRA), Chinese-born Ngoc Minh Quan pleads with Scotland Yard to bring her killers to justice, but when he gets brushed off one too many times, he takes matters into his own hands. Step one? Blow up the office of the deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, who just so happens to be a former IRA member who's stalling on bringing the perpetrators of Quan's daughter's death to justice.

    After giving the former IRA member a taste of his own medicine, Quan goes on a legit killing spree. He sneaks into the London hiding spot of the gang members associated with the original bombing and takes all of them out one by one in a brawl that would make John Wick smile, leaving only the group's leader alive so she can face the punishment of law enforcement. Unfortunately for her, Scotland Yard also chooses violence and takes her out so they can spare themselves the political fallout.

    115 votes
  • William “Bill” Foster, a recently laid-off defense contractor, is really not having a good day. He's just trying to get to his daughter's birthday party in Venice - the only problem is he's hit LA traffic on the hottest day of the year and his AC has gone out. It's not ideal. Rather than take an L and drive in the heat, Foster goes on a rampage across the city.

    As Foster makes his way west, he takes out his anger on anyone and anything that gets on his nerves. A fast-food restaurant that's stopped selling breakfast? They get shot up. A lazy road crew who's not doing their job? You better believe your boy Foster shoots at them with a rocket launcher (he misses, sort of). Even phone booths don't stand a chance when Foster is in the vicinity. This movie is about as close as you can get to someone having a complete mental breakdown without getting hurt.

    218 votes
  • Beatrix “The Bride” Kiddo just wanted to have a nice, quiet life, so of course she was ticked off when a group of assassins - who also happen to be her former coworkers - shows up at her wedding rehearsal and puts a bullet in her head. After waking from a coma, Kiddo goes into revenge mode and just straight-up starts murking people. 

    The most planning she does is write up a list of people who've wronged her and get a specific sword made, but other than that, she kind of just goes into everything blind. First, she goes straight to Japan where she takes on the Yakuza and scalps fellow assassin O-Ren Ishii. And there's no pausing. Kiddo goes from slicing up her old friend to flying to the US where she travels the nation wiping out her old frenemies. It's pretty much a nonstop kill-a-thon until Kiddo manages to kill her old boss and lover, Bill.

    171 votes