Action films are some of the best entertainment an audience could ask for. With explosions, gun fights, and epic storylines, the action genre normally has the audience focused on the hero of the film. Many times there is a sidekick who helps the hero save the day; however, there are some characters that steal the scenes and capture the audience’s attention. Unlike some supporting characters, who can’t exist outside the hero’s story, some are such well-defined, three-dimensional characters that viewers wonder about their history and life. This list is some top action film supporting characters that deserve their own movies.
7 Harry Mansell – Nobody (2021)
The 2021 film Nobody, had the audience’s attention from seeing an average, nine-to-five family man crack, and go on a violent rampage. While trying to save his wife and son, Hutch Mansell, played by Bob Odenkirk, calls in reinforcements from his father and brother. David Mansell, played by Christopher Lloyd, and Harry Mansell, played by RZA, are both from the same violent background as Hutch, and, as a family, they combat the kidnappers in a dynamite climax sequence. It was so popular that audiences wanted to see a sequel.
While the father and sons’ background is laid out in the family business sense, Harry Mansell’s character was someone who had lived through quite a bit in his line of work. He was a character that made the audience wonder how his life differed from that of his son. There could even be a better family history shown in the relationship and interaction with their father. There is a lot of potential in Harry’s character to fully develop in his own movie.
6 Hit-Girl – Kick-Ass (201)
Kick-Ass, the superhero parody from 2010, made waves with its comedic take on how superheroes would look without powers. Average teen Dave Lizewski, played by Aaron Johnson, is inspired by his favorite comic books to become a real superhero. Armed with a costume and batons, Dave assumes the persona Kick-Ass, and takes to the streets to stop criminals. When he gets in over his head, Hit-Girl, played by Chloë Grace Moretz, and her superhero father, Big Daddy, played by Nicolas Cage, become his allies to help defeat the mafia-boss Frank D’Amico, played by Mark Strong.
When audiences first meet Hit-Girl, she is a foul-mouthed, lethal child. Her father trained her to become the best assassin, and hardened her character to a point, but their father-daughter relationship was never cruel. It was an interesting backstory that made audiences see her character for the walking contradiction that she is. While the films showed Hit-Girl continuing the superhero work, it left a lot to the imagination. Her character is a fully fleshed-out hero that could easily make a solo film. Also, seeing how the Kick-Ass films are based on a comic book series of the same name, there is plenty of source material to refer to.
5 Juan Sanchez-Villalobos Ramirez – Highlander (1986)
The Highlander film from 1986 is a classic with one of the best soundtracks. Following the story of Connor MacLeod, played by Christopher Lambert, and his journey through a centuries-long battle. After finding out he’s an immortal during the 16th century, Connor trains under a seasoned warrior, Juan Sanchez-Villalobos Ramirez played by Sean Connery. In 1985, Connor must use all of his training and skill to take down his worst enemy.
Ramirez is an immortal being from 898 B.C. He has been through different cultures, societies, and times. The story potential surrounding Ramirez’s past is immense. Recasting a new actor for the character would be necessary, but there would be a lot of pressure to find someone perfect. Replacing Sean Connery wouldn’t be an easy task, but would be acceptable with the right actor.
4 Kato – The Green Hornet
Starting as a radio show in 1936, The Green Hornet is a popular masked-crusader franchise that follows Britt Reid and his trusted valet, Kato, as they face-off against the criminal underworld. Through the decades, the show spanned multiple platforms such as: television series, movies, and books.
In 1966, the television show adaptation cast Bruce Lee as Kato. With Lee’s martial arts prowess, the series gained popularity and changed the way martial arts were viewed in the US. The mysterious and cool character was seen as a hero tucked away inside a sidekick role. There is room for a solo story within his history before meeting Britt Reid and even at times they are away from each other. With the new movie in the works, audiences could be seeing more of the character, even if it’s not a solo film.
3 Galgo – Expendables 3 (2014)
The Expendables trilogy starting in 2010, was an action hero setup to rule them all. Following a team of mercenaries through the missions they are called to take on; be it toppling a dictatorship, getting revenge for a fallen comrade, and taking on a traitorous terrorist. Bringing together the top names in action movies, the films were full of nostalgia and plenty of violence. Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, and Jet Li were consistent stars alongside many big names having supporting roles or cameos.
Galgo, played by Antonio Banderas, is a Spanish Armed Forces soldier turned mercenary. He is trigger-happy and extremely talkative. His humor and wacky personality makes the audience wonder how he could possibly survive as a mercenary. He is a likable person and has the potential to have good stories surrounding his job. It would be fun to see Galgo in a solo film.
2 Charon – John Wick (2014)
In 2014, audiences fell in love with the Keanu Reeves film, John Wick, about a legendary assassin as he returns to his line of work to track down the people who killed his puppy and stole his prized car. Delving into a world of secret assassins that hide in plain sight was a joyride for audiences. Even seeing the safe-zone hotels was of great interest.
Charon, the concierge at one of the safe-zones, is a well-trained and composed individual. His character draws audiences in with the contrast to the violent, hectic world of hired killing. Seeing him in a solo film, would give audiences a peek into the world of those who work in places like the safe-zones and in support roles.
1 Marvin Boggs – RED (2010)
The 2010 film about retired CIA covert-op agents was a fun action flick. Audiences liked seeing the actors, who were considered older, get into gun-fights and stop a political cover-up plot. Starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich, RED was well-received enough to warrant a sequel in 2013.
Marvin Boggs, played by Malkovich, was an outright crazy character. Being paranoid about being experimented on turned him into a full conspiracy theorist. He had a long file of secret missions that would make for great story potential for a solo film. It is even possible to use the character at any age, and it would still make for an entertaining story.
There are many good action movies that have great heroes; however, they also contain great, well-defined supporting characters. Audiences love these secondary characters and would love to see them exist in the story world outside of the hero’s. With all of these characters with established worlds, audiences could see many new original stories about characters they already love.