Rambo: Last Blood is set to close the final chapter of the long and bloody story of John Rambo. Though the series started as a relatively small thriller, it has grown into a violent and hard-hitting action series with an enormous body count. While the series still has plenty of fans after nearly 40 years, some think the character has outstayed his welcome.
We have seen plenty of action heroes brought back over the years for further adventures. There is always a risk that these aged badasses don't pack the same punch as they used to back in the day. However, there are also a few heroes we'd love to see make a return to the big screen. Here are some action heroes who should have stayed in the past, along with some who could still make a successful return.
10 Stay In The Past: The Terminator (Terminator)
For a long time, Arnold Schwarzenegger was the undisputed king of the action movie genre. While he has plenty of iconic roles, the most memorable is certainly Terminator in James Cameron's sci-fi action series.
The role seemed tailor-made for Schwarzenegger and he became a star as a result of it. While he will be appearing in the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate, it feels a bit like they are running this character into the ground. There are a lot of places this franchise could go without Schwarzenegger, and that might be more interesting than the sequels we have been getting.
9 Make A Comeback: Conan (Conan The Barbarian)
Schwarzenegger might be too old to play the Terminator any more, but now seems like a great time for him to return to his first action hero role as Conan the Barbarian. Conan is a powerful warrior who seeks revenge in a world of dark sorcery.
Though we did get a remake starring Jason Momoa several years back, it was a disappointment. For years we have been teased with the possibility of a third film with Schwarzenegger returning as an old and fragile --if 'fragile' is the word where Schwarzenegger's concerned-- Conan. That sounds like a fun and unique action film we'd love to see.
8 Stay In The Past: John McClane (Die Hard)
For many, Die Hard is the best action film ever made. A large part of its success is due to its central hero, John McClane (Bruce Willis). McClane is a tough New York cop who finds himself taking on a group of villains on his own at a corporate Christmas party.
We have had four sequels to the film over the years, and an apparent prequel is on the way. However, it's becoming quite clear that the people making these movies have forgotten what made McClane so great in the first place. His vulnerability has been replaced with superhero abilities and Willis seems bored with the role now.
7 Make A Comeback: Johnny Utah (Point Break)
Point Break might be seen as a silly action movie, but it is, in fact, a solid, high-adrenaline action film featuring Keanu Reeves in one of his first action hero roles. Reeves plays Johnny Utah, a young FBI agent tasked with infiltrating a surfer gang that moonlights as bank robbers.
Reeves is one of the few 90s action stars that can still kick butt in a believable fashion to this day. With the popularity of the John Wick films, now might be a great time to bring back Johnny Utah for another extreme adventure. If director Kathryn Bigelow returns as well, it could be something special.
6 Stay In The Past: Indiana Jones (Raiders Of The Lost Ark)
Indiana Jones is a definitive cinematic hero for an entire generation. The archaeologist-adventurer was a throwback kind of hero, though given an extra bit of charm thanks to an amazing performance by Harrison Ford.
Jones has returned in several big screen adventures over the years (some better than others), and there is always talk of a fifth film on the way. However, with Spielberg and Ford unwilling to recast the character, it might be time to admit that Indy's era is over.
5 Make A Comeback: Max Rockatansky (Mad Max)
The Mad Max series is one of the most ambitious film franchises ever made. Helmed by the brilliant George Miller, the Australian films follow the silent and intense Max Rockatansky, a former cop living a nomadic life in the post-apocalyptic wasteland.
Mel Gibson gave life to the role in the first three films, before Tom Hardy took over in the amazing Mad Max: Fury Road. Despite the franchise being around for 40 years, we're still dying to see the next installment of the absurd and mind-blowing adventure.
4 Stay In The Past: Martin Riggs (Lethal Weapon)
Mad Max is the film that started Mel Gibson's career, but it was Lethal Weapon that made him a superstar in America. The 80s buddy cop movie starred Gibson and Danny Glover as mismatched detectives. Gibson certainly had the showier role as Martin Riggs, the always-unpredictable cop.
With four films in the series, there has been talk of a fifth film for a while now. However, it seems unlikely that the character will return. Gibson is not the beloved leading man he once was and the Lethal Weapon series proved that recasting the role doesn't work either.
3 Make A Comeback: Snake Plissken (Escape From New York)
Though he is not always ranked with the likes of Stallone and Schwarzenegger, Kurt Russell is an iconic action star as well. Certainly, his most famous role is Snake Plissken in John Carpenter's Escape from New York.
Snake is an outlaw in a futuristic society, given a shot at freedom by going on a dangerous mission for the government. He is the perfect anti-hero and a complete badass. Even though sequel Escape from L.A. was a let-down, the rumored third film, Escape from Earth, sounds like a lot of fun.
2 Stay In The Past: Harry Callahan (Dirty Harry)
Clint Eastwood might be a quintessential Western hero, but Harry Callahan remains his most famous role. Harry is a tough San Francisco detective who plays by his own rules. Eastwood played the role to perfection, giving us one of the most memorable cinematic lawmen of all time.
Part of the fun of the series is how Eastwood continued to return to the character with five films in the series. As fun as it would have been to see an aged Eastwood return to the role, that time has likely come and gone. It’s hard to imagine the character would still have the same edge nowadays.
1 Make A Comeback: Ellen Ripley (Aliens)
In the Alien franchise, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) started off as a woman just trying to stay alive as a deadly xenomorph terrorized her ship. However, in the sequel, Aliens, she transformed into a real action hero. She became the leader of a group of marines, fought the alien queen and saved the day.
Ripley appeared in four Alien films but hasn’t appeared in the franchise since Alien: Resurrection in 1997. While the recent films are interesting in their own ways, they do seem to be missing such a strong hero as Ripley. Maybe her return could reignite the franchise.