Iconic Roles is a look at some of the best performances in film and television by actors and actresses.
Since making his long-feature debut in 2009’s Star Trek, Chris Hemsworth has made a career out of action movies. The hulking 38-year-old Australian often portrayed characters who don’t flinch when it comes to getting down to business. That said, his upcoming role in Netflix’s Spiderhead will be slightly different than usual. Hemsworth will portray prison overseer Steve Abnesti in Joseph Kosinski’s sci-fi thriller, which hits the streaming service on June 17. Hemsworth will be back to his usual action heroics in Thor: Love and Thunder later this year.
Here are five examples of Chris Hemsworth’s best action movie performances.
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
Rupert Sanders’ fantasy movie twisted the famous Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale by adding much more action to it, trusting Hemsworth to lead some epic battle as Eric the Huntsman. In spite of the initial criticism, it worked, resulting in a pleasant 127-minute watch. The ensemble cast also featured Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Sam Claflin, and Bob Hoskins. The film took home two nominations for Best Visual Effects and Best Costume Design at the 85th Academy Awards. Hemsworth reprised the war-veteran character in The Huntsman: Winter’s War, which didn’t have as much success as the original.
From Oscar-nominee Peter Morgan’s pen, a story about the iconic rivalry between car racers James Hunt (Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl). In 1976, everything could happen on the Formula 1 circuits while the cars were racing at crazy speed. Rush was the first time Hemsworth collaborated with director Ron Howard. The movie also featured a cameo from the Niki Lauda himself. Fans and critics alike approved the film, which grossed almost $100 million at the box office.
In the Heart of the Sea (2015)
While their first collaboration exceeded every expectation, the second time Hemsworth and Howard worked together was not up to Rush. Howard’s historical adventure film saw Hemsworth as Owen Chase, the first mate on the Essex, a whaleship whose fate will inspire author Herman Melville to write his masterpiece, Moby Dick. Hemsworth worked side-by-side with a very young Tom Holland. Although the protagonists delivered solid performances, the movie bombed at the box office and set a trend that saw Hemsworth’s films struggling at the box office outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)
When the occasion to work again with Drew Goddard arose, Hemsworth proved he could be quite a villain too. After their first collaboration in The Cabin in the Woods (2011), Goddard cast the Australian actor as the bad guy in this delightful thriller. Six strangers meet at the hotel named El Royale on a fateful night in the late sixties. Billy Lee (Hemsworth) is a cult leader who causes psychological mischief. Unlike the fans, most of the critics loved this film. Ultimately, The Cabin in the Woods ended its theatrical run, failing to match its $32 million production budget.
After teaming up for Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Hemsworth joined forces with Joe Russo — this time, only serving as a writer — for this high-paced action thriller based on the graphic novel Ciudad by Ande Parks. Former Special Air Service Regiment operator turned black-ops mercenary Tyler Rake (Hemsworth) needs to save an Indian drug lord’s kidnapped son, but things don’t go according to plans. The movie was highly praised for the action sequences and set Netflix’s record for the most-watched original film shortly after its release. The cast also features David Harbour, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Randeep Hooda, as well as Golshifteh Farahani, and Pankaj Tripathi.
What are the best action movie performances of Chris Hemsworth? Let us know in the comments.