The element of intense action was never a part of Bollywood in its initial years. The only action that you could see in the classic films starring Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, or Dilip Kumar was a 1 or 2-minute fight sequences or some breathtaking chasing scenes.

The 50s era was mostly about romance and drama and later Rajesh Khanna changed the face of cinema in the 60s with a series of romantic blockbusters.

Even then, Bollywood was known to follow the trends and the filmmakers were hardly open to experiments. However, in the midst of romantic heroes, there was an action hero in Dharmendra in the industry as well.

Despite his persona and action figure physique, filmmakers hardly cast him for an all-action film. But, the trend changed terrifically when Amitabh Bachchan starred Zanjeer hit the screen in the 70s and a new trend for action films began which has lasted until today.

Today, we decided to pay a tribute to some of the best action-packed films ever produced in Bollywood.

Best Bollywood Action Films of All Time

Although Amitabh Bachchan gets the credit for changing the trend of Bollywood cinema from romantic drama to action drama, Bollywood did produce some actors who got labeled as action stars in the industry as they blend perfectly into this action hero figure with multiple hits.

Some of these actors were Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Salman Khan, Sunil Shetty, Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, and few others.

Our list of best Bollywood action films also includes some of the best films involving these action stars.

Best Old Bollywood Action Movies

The Dawn of Action Saga in Bollywood

As mentioned before, there were action films before Zanjeer as well but the real turn of events came after the release of this Amitabh starrer action thriller. Amitabh Bachchan evolved as the new face and the eventual superstar of Bollywood and got the title of Shehenshah of Bollywood.

Zanjeer (1973)

Movies on Cop Zanjeer Amitabh bachchan
Source : A scene from Zanjeer

It wasn’t like there were any action films made prior to Zanjeer, but this 1973 action thriller film set the wheels in motion for a new trend in Bollywood.

The angry young man avatar of Amitabh Bachchan changed his persona in the industry and helped him evolve from a struggling actor to a superstar.

Directed by Prakash Mehra, the film is a typical Bollywood revenge story, but Amitabh Bachchan’s portrayal of his character took the film to a whole new level.

Deewar (1975)

Amitabh Bachchan in Deewar Coolie
Amitabh Bachchan in Deewar

Deewar is a tale of two brothers following different paths of life, who eventually meet at an intersection between Good and Evil. Directed by Yash Chopra, the film revolves around two brothers; Ravi portrayed by Shashi Kapoor and Vijay portrayed by Amitabh Bachchan.

The love and brotherhood is challenged and builds a wall (Deewar) between them when Vijay ventures into the crime world and Ravi becomes a cop tasked to nab Vijay.

The film is known for its terrific screenplay, unforgettable dialogues, and the persona of Amitabh Bachchan further elaborating his angry young man character.

Sholay (1975)

Sholay Amjad Khan Sanjeev Kumar Still Ye hath Mujhe
Amjad Khan and Sanjeev Kumar in a Famous Scene

Sholay is the legendary Bollywood film that is talked about even today. With the multi-star cast of the film, Ramesh Sippy’s direction, evergreen dialogues, Jai-Veeru’s chemistry, and the ultimate character of Gabbar Singh, the film was purely a masterpiece.

The film is also known for its dacoit-themed action sequences set in the small village of Ramgarh, which resembles Hollywood styled westerner films.

The legacy of Sholay is so huge that there’s no film that can match to its potential till date in Indian film industry, neither in the past nor in the future.

Don (1978)

Don old Amitabh bachchan Double Role
A Scene from DON

Well, if Sholay depicted the Bollywood version of Hollywood westerner films, Don is the Bollywood version of Hollywood mafia films with a little bit of drama and moral values.

The film is about a common man Vijay, who unfortunately looks like a most wanted Underworld Don. To help the police, he agrees to replace the real Don after he dies in a police encounter and help the police nab other gang members.

However, things go south for Vijay, when the only Police officer aware of his reality is dead and now Vijay has to prove his innocence while being on the run from both police and Don’s gang members.

Kaalia (1980)

Kaalia best of amitabh bachchan action film

Directed by Tinnu Anand, Kaalia is a 1980 Bollywood action film starring Amitabh Bachchan in the titular role.

The film is about a young man who is dragged into the criminal world after being convicted for theft and comes out as a fearless and confident man. Out of jail, he decides to avenge his brother’s death and begins establishing his name in the criminal world as Kaalia.

Ram Lakhan (1989)

Ram Lakhan best Bollywood action film

Yet another brothers’ tale after Deewar makes it to our list. This time it is Subash Ghai’s 1989 Bollywood action drama Ram Lakhan starring Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff in the lead roles.

The film is about the bonding between two brothers and their eventual rivalry when both decide to part ways, one of whom choose moral and ethics, while the other longs for power and money.

Eventually, they unite once again at the end to take down the criminal empire of Bishamber, Kesariya Vilayati, and Sir John.

Best Hindi Action Films of 90s

Agneepath (1990)

amitabh bachchan in agneepath

Agneepath Shaped the era of 90s for action film, although it was a disaster, but the reason was the wrong timing of the film, Agneepath was ahead of its time and still considered as the finest Bollywood Action film.

It opened new horizon for action cinema in India, foreign shooting locations, villains in Bollywood becomes more stylish after this film and it establish an Anti Hero genre in Bollywood cinema.

Ghayal (1990)

ghayal sunny deol film 1990

Before Ghayal, Sunny Deol was just another star kid trying his luck in Bollywood. Being the son of Dharmendra, he had huge shoes to fill in and I believe he did make his father proud with several hits in Bollywood and the success ride begun with Ghayal, one of the three Rajkumar Santoshi films that turned him into one of the best action film stars in Bollywood.

The film is about a brother trying to avenge his brother’s death against the crime lord Balwant Rai. The legacy of Ghayal can be witnessed by the fact that the film was remade in several regional languages.

Sustaining Amidst the Romance Wagon of the 90s

The action films trend was at its peak during the 80s but eventually started losing its grip on the romance genre that was ultimately found its place amidst the action hero figures in Bollywood.

This was the era when the 3 Khans dominated the Hindi film industry and almost broke the trend of action films. However, the romance bandwagon didn’t last forever and even though there weren’t so many action films made during the 90s, the ones that were produced in this genre set new benchmarks for the upcoming generation.

Narsimha (1991)

Narsimha sunny deol film

Another Sunny Deol starred film that makes it to our list is Narasimha. Well, there will be a lot of his films on the list of top Bollywood action films.

Besides Sunny Deol, the film also includes Dimple Kapadia, Om Puri, Urmila Matondkar, and Ravi Behl in important roles. The film is about the plight of a young man Narsimha played by Sunny Deol, who takes a stand against the ruthless Bapji, portrayed by Om Puri, and his goons.

The film’s title comes from the Hindu god Narasimha and includes a scene similar to the mythological Narsimha where Sunny Deol is buried inside a pillar and he bursts out of it and beats the hell out of Bapji and his goons.

Phool Aur Kaante (1991)

Ajay Devgn is a renowned actor and one of the only main league stars in Bollywood who has also performed well critically claiming National Film Award for Best Actor couple of times. However, you will be surprised to know that he was launched as an action star through the 1991 action romance Phool Aur Kaante.

The film introduces Ajay Devgn in a bike stunt where he appears standing on two bikes simultaneously resembling the well-known Van Damme’s epic leg split.

This action sequence was a huge hit among the younger generation that it was used later in several films featuring other action stars such as Akshay Kumar as well.

Tirangaa (1992)

Tirangaa nana patekar best film

Tirangaa is one of those films in the Bollywood fraternity that’s considered as one of the best patriotic films of all time.

You can watch the movie running on at least one TV channel on 15th August or 26th January. Starring Nana Patekar and the veteran actor Raaj Kumar in the lead role, the film is about a mission led by the two main leads to foil the plot of Pralayanath Gendaswami, who is planning to attack several parts of India using nuclear missiles. The way they tackle and beat Gendaswami forms the rest of the story.

Vishwatma (1992)

Vishwatma sunny deol best films

Although an action-packed film, the 1992 Rajiv Rai film Vishwatma is known more for its famous music than the action sequences.

The film starred a multi-star cast of Sunny Deol, Naseeruddin Shah, Chunky Pandey, Divya Bharti, Sonam, Amrish Puri, and many others. The film is about a failed police officer, Sunny Deol, who is re-assigned the task of capturing Ajgar Jurrat, played by Amrish Puri, and send to Kenya with Akash Bhardwaj, played by Chunky Pandey.

The duo faces an obstacle in Kenyan Police officer Surya Pratap, who later becomes their ally and the trio nab the whole gang of Ajgar Jurrat and brings him back to India successfully.

Khalnayak (1993)

Khalnayak Sanjay dutt in negative role

One of the marvels of Subhash Ghai, Khalnayak is one of those films that worked merely on the script and its screenplay.

Despite having stars like Jackie Shroff, Sanjay Dutt, and Madhuri Dixit in the film, Khalnayak worked because of Subhash Ghai’s amazing storytelling of a man, who takes the wrong path owing to greed and hunger for power and later gets nabbed by an honest police officer.

The portrayal of Ballu by Sanjay Dutt is considered as one of his best performances in Bollywood alongside Raghu in Vaastav and Munna Bhai in Munna Bhai film series.

Mohra (1994)

mohra best Bollywood action film

Mohra is a fully packed Bollywood masala flick starring Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, Naseeruddin Shah, Raveena Tandon, and Paresh Rawal in important roles. The film was a pure blend of action, drama, romance, comedy, and suspense.

This was the first time that the trio of Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, and Paresh Rawal came together in a film. The trio would later work in several films including the most popular Hera Pheri series.

Besides the fantastic screenplay and action sequences, the film is also known for its music including the popular chart number “Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast” portrayed on Raveena Tandon and earned her the nickname as The Mast Mast Girl.

Main Khiladi Tu Anari (1994)

Main Khiladi Tu Anari Akshay Saif Bromance

Main Khiladi Tu Anari is the 2nd Khiladi film starring Akshay Kumar. Directed by Sameer Malkan, the film is a Bollywood remake of 1991 English film The Hard Way.

The film also stars Saif Ali Khan and Shilpa Shetty in the lead roles alongside Akshay Kumar and is also credited as one of those Bollywood action films featuring Chinese martial arts in Hindi film industry, thanks to Akshay Kumar.

The popularity of the action sequences in the film can be anticipated by the fact that Main Khiladi Tu Anari was reviewed by martial arts critic Albert Valentin on KungFu Cinemas.

Gopi Kishan (1994)

Gopi kishan best action hindi film

Besides Akki and Ajay Devgn, Sunil Shetty was also among the action superstars of Bollywood slowly gaining recognition for his martial art based fight sequences. His 1994 action comedy film Gopi Kishan is one of the best films featuring Sunil Shetty in dual roles.

The film is about twin brothers separated at birth, one of whom is grown as a fearless man, while the other is an immensely fearful person.

The story of the film focuses on how the fearless Kishan helps his brother Gopi, who happens to be a police constable in nabbing criminals and earning him promotions and rewards.

Karan Arjun (1995)

Karan Arjun movie on reincarnation shahrukh khan salman khan

Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan had already established themselves as Bollywood heartthrob in the 90s. It was a brave effort from Rakesh Roshan to cast both these romantic heroes in the 1995 action thriller Karan Arjun.

The film also stars Kajol, Mamta Kulkarni, Amrish Puri, and Rakhee in pivotal roles. The film tried to bring back the reincarnation trend in Bollywood that was prominent during the 70s and 80s.

Jeet (1996)

Jeet sunny deol salman khan karishma kapoorJeet sunny deol salman khan karishma kapoor

Jeet is a 1996 Bollywood action film starring Sunny Deol, Salman Khan, and Karishma Kapoor in the lead roles. Directed by Raj Kanwar, the film is a love triangle between the lead actors.

Despite being a super hit, Jeet is the only film where the two big action heroes of Bollywood, Salman Khan, and Sunny Deol, share the silver screen together in Bollywood.

Diljale (1996)

Diljale best Hindi action movies of 90s

Diljale is a 1996 action romance film starring Ajay Devgn and Sonali Bendre in the lead roles. The film is about a patriotic father and his son Shyam, who is wronged by the justice department dominated by some corrupt officials and politicians.

While the father is killed by the police, the son disappointed with the system joins terrorist Dara’s group and becomes Shaka.

There’s also a romantic angle in the film telling us the love story of Shyam and Radhika, the daughter of the same man behind all the scandal against him and his father.

Ghatak (1996)

Ghatak sunny deol best movies list

Ghatak is yet another successful collaboration involving Sunny Deol, Meenakshi Seshadri, and Rajkumar Santoshi.

The film follows the story of a young man who comes to his brother’s place in Mumbai for the treatment of his father but eventually deals with much bigger problems faced by the residents of colony his brother lives at the hands of a gangster named Katya and his six brothers.

However, he unites the people of the colony and takes a stand and fights fear with fear against Katya and his gang.

Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996)

Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi best action movies of Hindi cinema

Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi is yet another Khiladi series film starring Akshay Kumar. Akshay’s brother Ajay, who lives in the United States, is planning to get married and now Akshay must go to the United States.

When he reaches the U.S., he finds that his brother is missing and the police are on the hunt to arrest him. As Akshay investigates into the matter, he finds himself in the middle of a deadly game of illegal wrestling matches managed by a criminal don Maya.

The film also stars WWE superstars, one of whom is portrayed as The Undertaker in the film.

Ziddi (1997)

ziddi best sunny deol film hindi action movie

Directed by Guddu Dhanoa, Ziddi is a 1997 film about a hot-tempered and stubborn man Deva, who runs his own judgment cell called Deva ki Adaalat and punishes the evil-doers himself as he doesn’t have any faith in justice.

Ziddi stars Sunny Deol as Deva, while Raveena Tandon, Anupam Kher, Ashish Vidyarthi, Sachin Khedekar, and others play pivotal roles in the film.

When his brother and sister are murdered to cover a huge scandal, Deva begins to hunt down the culprits ruthlessly by bringing them to justice in Deva ki Adaalat.

Vaastav: The Reality (1999)

Vaastav Sanjay Dutt Movie Still
Sunjay Dutt in Vaastav

Well, Khalnayak is surely Sanjay Dutt’s best performance as an actor to date, however, I believe Vaastav: The Reality deserves the credit as his best film.

Directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, the film actually revived his career and brought him among the leading stars of the 90s. The film is about a young man, who gets dragged into the criminal world out of dire circumstances and he becomes one of the dangerous hitmen in the Mumbai underworld.

The film tries to draw our attention to the harsh realities of life in Mumbai underworld. Also, the film is said to be loosely based on the life of Mumbai’s underworld gangster Chhota Rajan.

Also Read: Best Bollywood Movies on underworld and mafia

Sarfarosh (1999)

Sarfarosh Movies on Policeman
Aamir Khan in Sarfarosh

Sarfarosh is a 1999 action thriller film directed by John Matthew Matthan. Although Aamir Khan starred in several action films before, he could never establish himself in this avatar because of his image as a romantic hero.

However, Sarfarosh changed it all and Aamir Khan became one of the most versatile actors in Bollywood, who could fit into any role, whether action, romance, drama, or comedy.

The film also stars Naseeruddin Shah in the negative role, whereas Sonali Bendre plays the female lead in the film.

Best Bollywood Action Movies from 2000-2018

The Ultimate Downfall

After a series of hit Bollywood action films in the 90s, there was a drought of action films post 1999 into the new millennium and only a few actors, who were labeled as action heroes such as Sunny Deol, Akshay Kumar, and Ajay Devgn were seen doing action films.

Action films were losing its stake against the flood of both hit and flop romantic, emotional, and comedy films.

Yet, there were few films during this dark phase for Bollywood action films which tried to keep the trend of action alive in the industry.

Indian (2001)

Movies on Supercop Sunny Deol in Indian
Sunny Deol in Indian

Indian is a 2001 action film starring Sunny Deol in the lead role. The film is interesting for two reasons. One of them is the connection between Bollywood action superstar Sunny Deol and South superstar Vijaykanth.

Prior to the 2001 crime drama film Indian, there were two occasions when two films Ghayal and Ziddi, both of them starring Sunny Deol in the lead role were remade in Tamil with Vijaykanth in the lead. However, the 2001 film Indian happens to be a remake of Tamil film Vallarasu starring Vijaykanth in the lead.

Another reason is that the film also marks Sunny Deol’s hit affair with action films after he failed miserably doing romantic films. Directed by N. Maharajan; the film stars Shilpa Shetty as the female lead.

Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001)

gadar ek prem katha
A Still from Gadar Ek Prem Katha

After a good number of failed attempts at romance genre in Bollywood since he was labeled as an action superstar, Sunny Deol found some success with the 2001 romantic action film Gadar: Ek Prem Katha.

Despite being a romantic film, Gadar: Ek Prem Katha is highly known for its action sequences including the famous handpump scene, the shy but fearless character portrayal of Tara Singh by Sunny Deol, amazing screenplay, and impressive music.

The success of the film can be determined by the fact that it clashed with Lagaan at the box office and holds the record as 2nd highest in the number of ticket sales during its theatrical run after Sholay.

Awara Paagal Deewana (2002)

Akshay Kumar in Awara Pagal Deewana Stunt
Akshay Kumar in Awara Paagal Deewana

Most of the action films in the 90s were mainly about fight sequences, where the main protagonist of the film can beat the hell out of 10 – 50 goons all alone.

However, with time, the action element evolved beyond just fighting scenes and included breathtaking stunt sequences as well. One such film is 2002 action comedy Awara Paagal Deewana.

Even though the film is known for its comedy, Awara Paagal Deewana is also popular for the remarkable stunt scenes by Akshay Kumar throughout the film justifying his Khiladi title.

The Hero: Love Story of a Spy (2003)

The Hero Love story of Spy movie on Terrorism
Sunny Deol in The Hero : Love story of a Spy

The Hero: Love Story of a Spy is one of its kind Bollywood spy thriller films. Not that, there were no spy thriller films in the past, but the trend was almost lost in Bollywood until the release of The Hero: Love Story of a Spy.

The film is directed by Anil Sharma and stars Sunny Deol, Preity Zinta, Priyanka Chopra, Amrish Puri, and many others in pivotal roles.

Gangaajal (2003)

Gangajal Movies on policeman
Ajay Devgn in Gangajal

Gangaajal is a 2003 action drama film directed by Prakash Jha. The film explored some social elements such as acid attack and also included a scene resembling the blinding incident at Bhagalpur in 1980. The film stars Ajay Devgn as a newly appointed SP Amit Kumar in Tezpur District (fictional) in Bihar.

After taking up the charge, a rift develops between the SP and local don Sadhu Yadav, portrayed by Mohan Joshi. The rest of the film is about how Amit successfully wins over Sadhu Yadav and brings a new revolution in Tezpur.

Aan: Men at Work (2004)

aan men at work best action films of Bollywood

If Gangaajal explored the criminal activities in Bihar, Aan: Men at Work focuses on smuggling and other illegal activities in Mumbai.

Directed by Madhur Bhandarkar, the film basically follows a group of 4 Policemen including DCP Hari Om Pathak, played by Akshay Kumar, Inspector Vikram Singh, played by Shatrughan Sinha, Encounter Specialist Appa Kadam, portrayed by Sunil Shetty, and Constable Khaled Ansari, portrayed by Paresh Rawal.  Together, they start a war against the crime lords dominating the criminal empire in Mumbai.

Dhoom (2004)

Dhoom heist movies bollywood
Still from Dhoom

While Akshay Kumar took the action to a new level in Bollywood performing deadly stunts, we must also agree that action genre is incomplete without high-speed chases and stunts on bikes.

Well, there are few occasions in Bollywood, where such stunts were explored, but the 2004 action thriller film Dhoom took it to an extreme setting a new trend of intensive action films.

Directed by Sanjay Ghadvi, the film is about a biker gang robbing in the city on high-speed bikes. The film stars John Abraham, Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, Esha Deol, and Rimi Sen in pivotal roles.

Also Read: All-Time superhit Bollywood Heist Movies

Khakee (2004)

Khakhee best action Bollywood film

Khakee, as the title suggests, is a 2004 action drama thriller about men in khaki. Directed by Rajkumar Santoshi, the film is about a team of policemen, who are assigned the task of escorting an accused terrorist from a small town in Maharashtra to Mumbai.

While the task seems simple, it gets messy when the group is ambushed by an unknown group determined to kill the terrorist. The film also portrays Amitabh Bachchan in his angry young man image and features Ajay Devgn and Aishwarya Rai in negative roles.

Besides these stars, the film also stars Akshay Kumar as one of the policemen in the film.

Dhoom 2 (2006)

Dhoom 2
Hrithik in Dhoom 2

The second installment in the Dhoom series, Dhoom 2 takes the franchise to a whole new level roping in Hrithik Roshan as the new antagonist.

Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra reprise their role as Jai Dixit and Ali, whereas Aishwarya Rai is the new Dhoom girl in the film. The film is about a most wanted professional thief known as Mr. A, who robs rare and valuable items from different countries using hi-tech gadgets.

His next target is India and this time, he will face the tough cop Jai Dixit and his partner Ali. Whether he is successful or not forms the rest of the film.

Shootout at Lokhandwala (2007)

Shootout at Lokhandwala
Still from Shootout at Lokhandwala

Shootout at Lokhandwala is a 2007 crime action film based on the real Live events of 1991 Lokhandwala Complex shootout.

Directed by Apoorva Lakhia, the film tells the story of gangster Maya Dolas and his gang leading to the ultimate gun battle between the gangsters and Mumbai Police. The film stars Vivek Oberoi as Maya Dolas, while Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Shetty, and Arbaaz Khan play the cops.

The Revival and New Dawn for Action Films

The South film industry was often limited to Rajnikanth and not many knew about the films or the industries evolving there.

Such ignorance in the Bollywood film audience presented an opportunity for the filmmakers to replicate the success of Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, or Kannada movies by remaking those films in Hindi.

While it was just an experiment and a tried and failed affair in the past, since 2008, the formula to replicate the success of South Indian films in Bollywood actually started working with huge numbers at the Box Office.

In addition to that, it also helped in reviving the career of Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar in Bollywood and the former is currently the top bankable superstar of Bollywood delivering guaranteed success and breaking records at the Box Office.

Ghajini (2008)

Aamir Khan in Ghajini

Bollywood already tasted success with hit South Indian remakes in Hera Pheri and Tere Naam, however, it was the 2008 action psychological thriller Ghajini that brought in the trend of the remakes of action masala movies from the South in Bollywood.

Ghajini is the official remake of the Tamil film of the same name, also directed by A.R. Murugadoss. The film stars Aamir Khan in the lead role, whereas Pradeep Rawat plays the titular role and the main antagonist in the film. It was one of biggest hits in Bollywood until the record was claimed by Aamir’s another film 3 Idiots.

Race (2008)

race film on brothers

Race is a 2008 action thriller film directed by Abbas-Mustan. In the same genre as Dhoom series, Race is also an action-packed masala Bollywood film that tries to replicate the high-speed chases and Hollywood themed action.

The film stars Saif Ali Khan, Akshay Khanna, Katrina Kaif, and Bipasha Basu in the lead roles. Race is about the rivalry between stepbrothers and how they betray one another in the race for life and fortune.

Kaminey (2009)

Shahid Kapoor Double Role in Kaminey
Kaminey directed by Vishal Bhardwaj

Directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, Kaminey is a caper thriller film starring Shahid Kapoor in a double role.

The film is about the rivalry between a pair of twin brothers, one with a stutter and the other with a lisp; over the course of a single day. The film also stars Priyanka Chopra as the female lead.

Wanted (2009)

Wanted Salman Khan Remake of Pokiri
Wanted Remake of Pokiri

While Ghajini reopened the doors for South Indian remakes, the 2009 action film Wanted creates a trend in Bollywood followed by several successful hit films that were official remakes of South Indian films.

Wanted is an official Hindi remake of Telugu super hit Pokiri with Salman Khan as the lead protagonist in the film. The film also revives the career of Bhaijaan and he goes past the likes of Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, and Akshay Kumar becoming the most bankable star in the Bollywood history.

Dabangg (2010)

Salman khan in Dabangg telugu remake of Dabang is Gabbar SIngh

The success of Wanted was repeated in Bhaijaan’s 2010 action film Dabangg. Directed by Abhinav Kashyap, the film tells the story of a corrupt but fearless cop Chulbul “Robinhood” Pandey, portrayed by Salman Khan.

The film stars Sonu Sood as the lead antagonist of the film, while Sonakshi Sinha makes her debut from this film as the female lead.

With the success of South Indian action film remakes, a new trend for masala action films started in Bollywood and Dabangg is one of the first films in that category.

Singham (2011)

Singham Supercop of Bollywood
Scene from Singham

Another successful South Indian remake in action genre is the 2011 action film Singham. Directed by Rohit Shetty, the film is the official remake of 2010 Tamil film Singam and features Ajay Devgn in the titular role.

The film also stars Kajal Aggarwal and Prakash Raj in pivotal roles. After the huge success of the film, Ajay Devgn was designated with the title of Singham (Lion) of Bollywood.

Also Read: Best Bollywood Movies about Policeman and Supercops

Don 2 (2011)

Don-2-gangster film
SRK in Don 2

The second installment of Shah Rukh Khan starred Don series, Don 2 also makes into our list of top Bollywood action films. Shah Rukh Khan reprises his role as Don from the previous film and is now the King of Asian underworld.

Directed by Farhan Akhtar, the film is about a heist organized by Don, but after being betrayed by Vardhan, he must now team up with the police in exchange for immunity and save the hostages. Besides King Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani, and Lara Dutta also reprise their roles from the previous film.

Ek Tha Tiger (2012)

Ek Tha Tiger 2012 film on spy

Another Salman Khan starer film on our list of best Bollywood action films is the 2012 action thriller Ek Tha Tiger. Directed by Kabir Khan, the film is about an Indian spy code-named as Tiger, who falls in love with a Pakistani spy while on a mission.

While both have nothing to do with one another allegiance towards their agencies anymore, they must elope together to live peacefully as both their agencies are now on the hunt for them. The film stars Katrina Kaif as the female lead opposite to Salman.

Rowdy Rathore (2012)

Rowdy Rathore remake of Vikramarkudu Telugu film
Source : Rowdy Rathore Trailer

Rowdy Rathore is yet another South Indian remake that is featured on our list. Directed by Prabhu Deva, Rowdy Rathore marks as the 2nd film on the list under the direction of Indian Michael Jackson.

Starring Akshay Kumar in a dual role, the film is basically about ASP Vikram Rathore, a fearless cop taking charge in Devgarh, a village troubled by the antics of the local goon Baapji and his son.

Out of dire circumstances, Vikram Rathore dies and now his lookalike and small-time thief Shiva must replace Vikram Rathore in Devgarh and save the residents from the tyranny of Baapji and his brother. Unlike the ruthless and sincere Vikram Rathore, Shiva is a rowdy and hence the title Rowdy Rathore.

Bang Bang! (2014)

Hrithik in Bang Bang Stunts
A Still from Bang Bang

While many filmmakers were either remaking South Indian films or trying to create the similar magic of the typical masala action film, there is also the 2014 action comedy Bang Bang! The film is an official remake of Hollywood film Knight and Day.

Bang Bang! stars Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif as the lead, whereas Danny Denzongpa plays the lead antagonist of the film. The film is about an Indian spy, who is undercover as a jewel thief in order to nab the most wanted criminal Omar Zafar.

Kaabil (2017)

Kaabil Revenge drama review BOllywood film

A crime thriller, directed by Sanjay Gupta. It seems to be partially inspired by Lee Ho-Jeong’s 2014 action thriller film, Broken.

The protagonist is Rohan [Hrithik Roshan], a blind man who falls in love and gets married to Supriya [YamiGautam], who is also blind. On a fateful night, while returning home, they get accosted by a drunken local gangster, Amit [Rohit Roy].

It only ends in a heated exchange. But, the other day, Amit sneaks into their house with his friend and gang rape Supriya.

Unable to bear the trauma and changes in Rohan’s persona, she commits suicide a few days later. He now wants to exact revenge against the hoodlums.

Your Turn!

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