The Marvel Cinematic Universe introduced a lot of heroes and villains. They have various skills that are used in explosions of CGI violence and bloodless mayhem. But this type of action and wild combat is expected from movies based on comics. Many recurring characters populating the MCU are expected to get their hands dirty with some serious fighting. The actors who established their careers by involving with MCU have also shed their share of blood outside this universe.
1. Scarlett Johansson – Lucy
Scarlett Johansson is well known for her role as Natasha Romanoff since her first appearance in Iron Man 2. In 2014’s Lucy, Scarlett Johansson gave a nuanced, scared, and desperate performance as a woman named Lucy. Her character becomes stronger, faster, and smarter when an experimental nootropic Superdrug leaks into her system. In one of the scenes, Lucy uses her powers in defeating a hallway full of armed goons. She makes them levitate in the air and trapped in convulsions when she casually walks past them.
2. Samuel L. Jackson – Shaft
Samuel L. Jackson played the role of iconic Blaxploitation hero John Shaft in the 2000 reboot, Shaft. In the climax, Shaft and his allies engage in a complete firefight in the streets of the Big Apple. This leads to an Old West-inspired showdown between Shaft and the kingpin. This is the same man who played the role of Nick Fury in MCU movies.
3. Jeremy Renner – The Bourne Legacy
Jeremy Renner is well-known to all of us. He has appeared as Clint Barton/Hawkeye in MCU movies. He played the role of a different and unrealistic government super-soldier in The Bourne Legacy. He was seen giving his best in some fight sequences. He threw people around rooms, grappled with gunmen, effortlessly climbed into the roof of a large house with parkour prowess. He also fakes his own demise and avoids getting blown up by a predator drone in one fell swoop.
4. Chris Evans – Snowpiercer
Chris Evans as Captain America was a character that left a good impression on all the MCU fans starting from Captain America: The First Avenger to Avengers: Endgame. He was also seen as Curtis Everett in 2013’s Snowpiercer, who was the reluctant leader of a burgeoning revolution. The film was a dark and bitter version of the future. Evans’ role in the revolt saw him slaughter an army of enemy soldiers using a hatchet with violent abandon. He is a man who will do anything to survive, even if it haunts him to his core.
5. Bradley Cooper – The A-Team
Bradley Cooper appeared in 2010’s The A-Team as Templeton “Face’ Peck. Cooper’s character became famous mostly because of his wit and charisma. But in one of the action sequences, he was seen shooting reaper drones with a tank-mounted machine gun when he and his crew drop through the air inside the tank. The tank was parachuting down to Earth. Bradley Cooper is the one who did the voiceover for the character of Rocket in MCU.
6. Dave Bautista – Spectre
The James Bond franchise has a long history of giant bad guys with eccentric personalities and violent tendencies. Dave Bautista, who is well-known for playing the role of Drax the Destroyer in MCU movies, is also there on this list. He was seen in 2015’s Spectre as Mr. Hinx. The character was a silent mercenary introduced in a scene where he crashes a man’s skull with his bare hands in a fancy business meeting. He later paired with Bond in hand-to-hand combat onboard a train.
7. Zoe Saldana – Colombiana
Three years before playing the role of Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy, Zoe Saldana was seen in the 2011 thriller Colombiana. She portrayed the role of Cataleya. Her parents are killed by an underworld boss when she is a child. She goes to her mob-connected uncle in Chicago and trains to be a mercenary as a teenager. This character of Saldana was much better with firearms. She proved to be an unstoppable force of nature when it comes to revenge.
8. Chris Hemsworth – Extraction
Chris Hemsworth has been appreciated for his performance as Thor in various MCU movies. He recently played a grounded, gritty and savage role in 2020’s Extraction. He portrayed the role of Tyler Rake. Tyler is a former Australian special forces soldier turned wet work mercenary. He is hired to rescue Ovi, a drug lord’s kidnapped teenage son. For protecting Ovi from forces planning to kill him, Hemsworth spent three days fighting, stabbing, and shooting his way through groups of hired goons in the streets of Bangladesh.
9. Chris Pratt – The Magnificent Seven
Our favorite Peter Quill/Star Lord, played by Chris Pratt in MCU was seen as a cowboy dud named Josh Faraday in the 2016 remake of The Magnificent Seven. The character helped to protect the town during the villains’ assault and gunned down thugs in the street as they swarm his crew. He left his sharp wit behind since he puts an uncharacteristically straight face for the film’s brutal final showdown.
10. Michael Douglas – Falling Down
Michael Douglas is a name that is known by all the MCU fans since he played the role of Hank Pym in Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp. He was seen as a mentally unhinged William “D-Fens” Foster in the 1993 action thriller Falling Down. After ditching his car in a traffic jam, he walks in Los Angeles with his briefcase and lashes out at the things that have bothered him. He smashes a convenience store for overcharging, holds up a fast food restaurant for lying about the quality of the meals, and blows up a construction site with a bazooka.