Related Videos

Top 10 Action Movies Without a Love Interest

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Mark Shiffer While most action movies have the cliched damsel who falls in love with the hero, these films bucked the trend and had nothing of the sort. WatchMojo presents the top 10 action movies that don't have a love interest. But what will take the top spot on our list? Aliens, Mad Max: Fury Road, or Terminator 2: Judgment Day? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Big thanks to jackhammer for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Action+Movies+Without+A+Love+Interest

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Who has time for romance when you’re this busy kicking asses? Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 action movies without a love interest.

For this list, we’ll be sticking with feature films that are big on punches, kicks, headbutts, elbow drops, trips, bicycle kicks, excessive parkour, guns, shooting, bullets, count downs, explosions, car chases, and helicopters, with no time left over for hugs, kissing, sunsets, or hand-holding. Also, a SPOILER ALERT might be in order.

#10: “The Bourne Supremacy” (2004)

This time around, our favorite amnesia patient - Jason Bourne - finds himself still lacking in the memory department but excelling in his particular brand of beating-people-uppery. The film does tease us with the possibly of a romantic arc or at least a sexy detour with Marie, but this comes to an abrupt end thanks to a botched attempt by the baddies to end the franchise early by taking out our titular hero. This change in plans keeps the action set at 11 and lets Bourne focus on kicking ass and trying to remember names - Russian, CIA, or otherwise.

#9: “Hot Fuzz” (2007)

This straight-faced action satire features Simon Pegg as London beat-cop PC Nicholas Angel - an officer so good at his job he outshines his entire unit. Rather than use him as an example of excellence in law enforcement, Angel’s superiors opt to derail his career by reassigning him to the countryside - but that’s just when things get interesting. Arriving in a model town with a sinister underbelly, Nicholas stumbles into a community rife with petty villainy, childishly motivated murder, swans and car chases. Interestingly, Pegg and co-writer/director Edgar Wright had planned to include a love arc, but instead gave the bulk of that dialogue to Sgt Angel’s naive but big-hearted partner PC Danny Butterman, resulting in a genuine, well rounded friendship – or bromance, if you will.

#8: “Dredd” (2012)

Fans of hunky dudes and hot ladies have plenty to look at here but there isn’t a hint of romance between this film’s leads. Set in a futuristic, dystopian United States, Keith Urban’s Judge Dredd and Olivia Thirlby’s Judge Anderson’s are too busy fighting for their lives against thugs, punks, and drug pushers to assess if there’s any hormonal spark between them. All that time spent not doing the horizontal bop frees up Anderson and Dredd to track down leads and crack a massive drug operation wide open – and maybe to take out a few bent Judges along the way.

#7: “John Wick” (2014)

The master of the cinematic “whoaaa,” Keanu Reeves stars as a loner ex-hit man, forced out of retirement. Why does he come out of retirement?, you ask. To avenge the theft of his vintage Ford Mustang and death of his dog, of course. But not only does the film avoid becoming a country song, it also doesn’t provide the recently widowed John Wick with a love interest. Instead, the film churns up action worthy of its Asian and wild-west influences, while Reeves trained with SWAT and Navy SEAL teams and studied both Japanese and Brazilian jiu-jitsu as well as Judo to play Wick as an authentic bad ass.

#6: “Predator” (1987)

When you have a film overflowing action, warfare, a lethal alien, and some of the manliest men who have ever manned, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for spiritual companionship. Let’s face it; you can’t save the day with your pants around your ankles. Designed by special effects legend Stan Winston with friendly input from “Terminator” director James Cameron, the film’s villain looked like no alien ever before seen... when you could see it that is. Banking on a good dose of innovative special effects and a healthy sprinkling of muscle mass, “Predator”’s unrelenting and un-side-tracked action was a massive hit with audiences and spawned a franchise that’s still thriving decades later.

#5: “Lethal Weapon” (1987)

Alright, yes Danny Glover’s Roger Murtaugh is a married man but, to be fair, he’d already put a ring on it long before this movie came around. His partner, Mel Gibson’s Martin Riggs, meanwhile is a traumatized and suicidal widower. While a romance with that kind of backdrop could be complex and even thought provoking, these reluctant partners have murders to solve, drugs to bust, and pimps to whack. In lieu of love, the film does visit love’s polar opposite - porno and hookers - but these blips only serve to fill out the seedy world our heroes are investigating. It’s up for debate if Murtaugh really is too old for this... stuff, but watching him and Riggs bust heads and find common ground is a satisfying ride nonetheless.

#4: “Rambo” (2008)

Twenty years since his previous outing, cinema’s favorite Vietnam vet returns to the big action big screen. The ultimate loner, John Rambo is this time contracted to lead a team of mercenaries and rescue a group of missionaries from a pack of Burmese soldiers. Although the plot is in a large way set in motion by Julie Benz’s Sarah Miller - who even encourages Rambo to finally return home - the film doesn’t provide any romantic or sexual motivations for its lead and even avoids employing the well-used action movie trope of setting up a female character to be little more than the hero’s reward.

#3: “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)

Tom Hardy is hot. Charlize Theron is hot. Decades of movie logic tell us that these two will soon be topless and bouncing in and out of frame, but this 2015 blockbuster doesn’t follow that route. Instead of having our leads bed each other, “Fury Road” sees Max and Furiosa work together to escape a cult and find sanctuary in a dismal dystopia. The movie even provides us a five-pack of damsels in distress, a naked lady, and a guy named Erectus. And while most films would give into at least one of these temptations, “Fury Road” stays on course leaving Furiosa to live a better life and Max to continue his journey alone.

#2: “Aliens” (1986)

Where “Alien” was a horror film masquerading as a sci-fi, its sequel is an action film masquerading as a sci-fi. With Ellen Ripley as the sole survivor of the previous film’s expedition, “Aliens” shatters three action film expectations by having no romantic arc, a strong female lead... and Paul Reiser in a supporting role. “Alien” probably could have shoe-horned in cheap, emotional threads, but as it was already saddled with bumbling marines and a slimy business man with little value for human life, a love interest for Ripley would just gum up the works. The film knows this, however, and instead delivers the only thing we really want: Sigourney Weaver kicking alien ass.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Tropic Thunder” (2008)
- “The Boondock Saints” (1999)
- “Dirty Harry” (1971)

#1: “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991)

Ah, the movie that could have been. A world-weary Sarah Connor and a reprogrammed T-800 learn to settle their differences, and, in time, learn to love. Is the world ready to accept the reformed robot and his human bride as they become a family and raise her troubled, delinquent son? From the people that gave you “The Terminator,” it’s “Terminator 2: Wedding Day.” … … … Anyway, so that didn’t happen. Instead viewers had to make do with an unforgettable motorcycle scene, game changing special effects, and a try-as-you-might unhateably cool Robert Patrick, whose T-1000 threatens to destroy and steal the show from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 from title to credits. Oh well, you win some you lose some.

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs