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MCU Actors' Most Violent Non-MCU Roles, Ranked By Sheer Ownage

October 22, 2020 1.2k votes 200 voters 20.2k views14 items

List RulesVote up the best non-MCU action movies from your favorite MCU stars.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought fans countless heroes and villains with otherworldly skills who duke it out in explosions of CGI violence and mostly bloodless mayhem. However, that kind of over-the-top action and wild, super-powered combat is expected from movies based on comics, and the dozens of recurring characters who populate the MCU are expected to get their hands dirty with some serious fighting.

However, for many of the actors who have established their careers with their involvement in the MCU, their roles as superheroes (or villains) aren't even their most brutally violent. Whether it's a past role as a gunslinger or mercenary or a more recent role (that came after their time in the MCU) as a black-ops hitman or a sword-wielding zombie slayer, many Marvel stars have shed their share of blood in roles outside this particular comic book universe.

  • Chris Hemsworth In 'Extraction'
    Photo: Netflix

    While Chris Hemsworth has earned worldwide fame as the Norse God of Thunder, Thor, more recently, he took on a more grounded, gritty, and savage role in Extraction. Hemsworth stars as Tyler Rake, a former Australian special forces soldier turned wet work mercenary who is hired to rescue Ovi, a drug lord's kidnapped teenage son.

    In an effort to protect Ovi from the forces conspiring to eliminate him, Hemsworth spends three days fighting, stabbing, and shooting his way through wave after wave of hired goons in the streets of Bangladesh.

    Bloody good?
  • Chris Evans In 'Snowpiercer'
    Photo: RADiUS-TWC

    In a role that's a far cry from the clean-cut Captain America, Chris Evans stars as Curtis Everett, the reluctant leader of a burgeoning revolution, in 2013's Snowpiercer. Set on a train carrying the last remnants of humanity, roaring through an apocalyptic future, Evans's character is part of the lower class of society at the rear of the train. They are oppressed and manipulated by the elites in the front of the train, and they decide to revolt.

    The film is a dark and bitter vision of the future, and Evans's role in the revolt sees him slaughtering an army of enemy soldiers, via hatchet, with violent abandon. He's a man who will do anything - seriously, anything - to survive, even when it haunts him to his core.

    Bloody good?
  • As Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson exudes confidence and competence as the MCU's go-to spy operative. However, in 2014's Lucy, Johansson gives a nuanced, scared, desperate performance as a woman - obviously named Lucy - forced to become a drug mule and surgically implanted with a package containing an experimental nootropic superdrug. After it leaks into her system, she finds herself becoming stronger, faster, and smarter, to an inhuman level. Her mind expands to the point where she becomes telepathic, telekinetic, and bent on revenge against those looking to harm her to retrieve the chemicals.

    In one of the most memorable moments, Lucy uses her newfound powers to defeat a hallway full of armed goons by essentially forcing them to levitate in the air, trapped in convulsions as she casually walks past them. This proves to be just the beginning of her true power.

    Bloody good?
  • In the MCU, Bradley Cooper provides the voice of the sarcastic, brilliant, and short-tempered Rocket Raccoon - a character responsible for some of the most creative and exciting action sequences in the Guardians of the Galaxy films. However, Cooper's greatest feat of action movie badassery came in 2010, when he brought his leading man charm and good looks to the big-screen portrayal of Templeton "Face" Peck in The A-Team.

    While Cooper's character gets by largely on his wit and charisma, one scene in the film cements it as the pinnacle of his action career: shooting down reaper drones with a tank-mounted machine gun as the he and his crew drop through the air inside the tank, which is parachuting down to earth. It's utter madness in the best possible way.

    Bloody good?