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The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time

Warning: You may get an adrenaline rush just from reading this list.

Photo: Rafael Hidalgo, Zimbio

Anyone who's taken a shot at creative writing knows how laborious it is to come up with the perfect name for the protagonist. If name doesn't fit, you're starting at a disadvantage with the audience. Action movies know this well — no genre is more aware of the importance of connotation than the action genre. If you're gonna have a badass hero, you have to give them a badass name.

But that begs the question: Which or favorite our gun-toting, butt-kicking, witty-one-liner-giving heroes has the MOST badass name? We rounded up a bunch of contenders and submitted our votes to create a top 50.

Our stipulations:
1. Superhero names are out. That's too easy.
2. Gender shouldn't sway you one way or the other. (In our estimation "John" and "Ellen" are a wash.)
3. Slight bonus for puns and sheer ridiculousness
4. It's just about the names. (Though it was bound to seep in subconsciously, we tried our best to divorce the rankings from specific character traits and the quality or nostalgia factor of the movies involved. Otherwise John McClane would win in a landslide.)

Basically the rankings come down to this question: If you were given a card with two of these names on it and told you were going to have to fight one of them to the death, which would you pick?

The more intimidating the name, the higher it lands in the rankings. We good? All right, then let's get to the list. (Prepare for lots of Stallone and Schwarzenegger.)

  • Chev Chelios

    The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time
  • Ellen Ripley

    The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time
  • John McClane

    The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time
  • Dutch

    The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time
  • Charly Baltimore

    The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time
  • Ash Williams

    The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time
  • Johnny Utah

    The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time
  • Han Solo

    The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time

50. Handsome Rob
Jason Statham, The Italian Job (2003)

49. Bob Lee Swagger
Mark Wahlberg, Shooter (2007)

48. Terry Leather
Jason Statham, The Bank Job (2008)

47. Jason Bourne
Matt Damon, The Bourne Identity (2002)

46. Chev Chelios
Jason Statham, Crank (2006)

45. Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle
Gene Hackman, The French Connection (1971)

44. Ford Brody
Aaron Taylor Johnson, Godzilla (2014)

43. Jack Reacher
Tom Cruise, Jack Reacher (2012)

42. Ellen Ripley
Sigourney Weaver, Alien (1979)

41. John McClane
Bruce Willis, Die Hard (1988)

40. Stephen "Bull" McCaffrey
Kurt Russell, Backdraft (1991)

39. John Cutter
Wesley Snipes, Passenger 57 (1992)

38. Robert Rath
Sylvester Stallone, Assassins (1995)

37. Dutch
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Predator (1987)

36. Katniss Everdeen
Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games (2012)

35. Marshall Lawson
Stevan Seagal, Attack Force (2006)

34. Toll Road
Randy Couture, The Expendables (2010)

33. Frank Dux
Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bloodsport (1988)

32. Charly Baltimore
Geena Davis, The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)

31. Ash Williams
Bruce Campbell, Evil Dead/Army of Darkness (1981/1992)

30. Johnny Rico
Casper Van Dien, Starship Troopers (1997)

29. Jericho "Action" Jackson
Action Jackson (1988)

28. Mace Windu
Samuel L. Jackson, Star Wars: Phantom Menace (1999)

27, Johnny Utah
Keanu Reeves, Point Break (1991)

26. Han Solo
Harrison Ford, Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)

25. John Matrix
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Commando (1985)

24. Lisbeth Salander
Noomi Rapace/Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009/2011)

23. Slim Hiller
Jennifer Lopez, Enough (2002)

22. John Spartan
Sylvester Stallone, Demolition Man (1993)

21. Mason Storm
Steven Seagal, Hard to Kill (1990)

20. John Shaft

Richard Roundtree, Shaft (1971)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time

19. James Bond

Various, (1962-present)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time


18. Chance Boudreaux

Jean-Claude Van Damme, Hard Target (1993)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time


17. Frank Shatter

Chuck Norris, Hellbound 1994

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time


16. Beatrix Kiddo

Uma Thurman, Kill Bill (2003)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time


15. Lincoln Hawk

Sylvester Stallone, Over the Top (1987)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time


14. Cataleya Restrepo

Zoe Saldana, Colombiana (2011)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time


13. Axel Foley

Eddie Murphy, Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time


12. Memphis Raines

Nicolas Cage, Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time


11. Stacker Pentecost

Idris Elba, Pacific Rim (2013)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time


10. Max Rockatansky

Mel Gibson, Mad Max (1979)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time


9. Frank Bullitt

Steve McQueen, Bullitt (1968)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time

8. John Rambo

Sylvester Stallone, First Blood (1982)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time


7. Jericho Cane

Arnold Schwarzenegger, End of Days (1999)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time


6. Rooster Cogburn

John Wayne, True Grit (1969)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time


5. Joseph Dredd

Karl Urban, Dredd (2012)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time


4. Xander Cage

Vin Diesel, XXX (2002)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time


3. Marion "Cobra" Cobretti

Sylvester Stallone, Cobra (1986)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time


2. Conan the Barbarian

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Conan the Barbarian (1982)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time


1. Snake Plissken

Kurt Russell, Escape from New York/L.A. (1981/1996)

The 50 Most Badass Action Hero Names of All Time

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