CATEGORIES Features
This June, Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher are teaming up for the romantic action film 'Killers' in which they play newlyweds who learn the honeymoon is over when the hitmen show up. Jen Kornfeldt (Heigl) finds the love of her life in Spencer Aimes (Kutcher), the dashing and handsome man of her dreams. But only after they get married does he reveal a big secret from his past: he was once a government super-assassin, who has made many enemies. As Jen tries to learn the truth about his former profession and somehow settle into domestic bliss with her husband, mysterious figures from Spencer's past come to collect a multi-million dollar price on his head. And to make matters worse, they still have to entertain the in-laws.

Heigl and Kutcher certainly aren't the first cinematic couple to get a little of both kinds of action, so to speak. To warm up for their arrival, we present the best romantic action films that came before them.
This June, Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher are teaming up for the romantic action film 'Killers' in which they play newlyweds who learn the honeymoon is over when the hitmen show up. Jen Kornfeldt (Heigl) finds the love of her life in Spencer Aimes (Kutcher), the dashing and handsome man of her dreams. But only after they get married does he reveal a big secret from his past: he was once a government super-assassin, who has made many enemies. As Jen tries to learn the truth about his former profession and somehow settle into domestic bliss with her husband, mysterious figures from Spencer's past come to collect a multi-million dollar price on his head. And to make matters worse, they still have to entertain the in-laws.

Heigl and Kutcher certainly aren't the first cinematic couple to get a little of both kinds of action, so to speak. To warm up for their arrival, we present the best romantic action films that came before them.

'Jewel of the Nile' (1985)
In this follow-up to 'Romancing the Stone' (see below), Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner return as Jack and Joan, now officially an item and traveling the world together. 'Jewel' had nearly the same box-office success as 'Stone,' but critics weren't as enthused as fans. While neither Douglas nor Turner was thrilled to make a sequel, they were contractually obligated to do so -- and still had enough chemistry to make 'Jewel' a fun desert romp in its own right.

'The Spy Who Loved Me' (1977)
... or any James Bond movie, really. 007's appeal stems largely from his capacity for romance in the most dangerous of situations. The movie runs counter to Bond's typical love 'em and leave 'em routine, with Barbara Bach starring as Anya "Triple-X" Amasova, a sultry Russian secret agent who must join forces with 007 (Roger Moore) to fight the baddies. Among them is the infamous, aptly named Jaws (Richard Kiel), a gigantic man with metal teeth and a grumpy disposition. Between Anya's ability to kick ass and Bond's ultra-suave charms, 'The Spy Who Loved Me' is packed with subtle wit and charm.

'Speed' (1994)
Before Sandra Bullock was a twinkle in the Academy's eye, she played Annie Porter, who found romance with a hot-shot LA bomb squad specialist (Keanu Reeves) while trying to keep a city bus from blowing up. Sixteen years after it arrived on the big screen, 'Speed' still feels fast-paced, and remains what could arguably be called Bullock and Reeves' best movie ever.

'The Bourne Identity' (2002)
With Matt Damon as amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne, this first film in the franchise not only won Damon accolades, but also laid the foundation for the blockbuster film series based on Robert Ludlum's bestselling novels. In 'Identity,' Jason is pulled from the Mediterranean with no memory of who he is. As he begins to connect the dots of his perilous situation (being on the run from the CIA and all), he meets a pretty gypsy named Marie (Franka Potente), whom he pays for a ride to Paris -- aka the most romantic city on Earth. It's no wonder, then, that Jason and Marie get hot and heavy as the bullets fly and intrigue mounts. The Bourne trilogy was successful for a reason, and this movie is still the slick, seductive ride that it was when it first arrived in theaters.

'True Romance' (1993)
Christian Slater's performance as an awkward-guy-turned-murder-accomplice-on-the-run gives viewers a glimpse not only at his under-appreciated acting, but also at the brilliance of Quentin Tarantino's writing, just a year before the release of 'Pulp Fiction.' Slater plays Clarence Worley, whose life changes dramatically when he falls for a prostitute named Alabama (Patricia Arquette) and accidentally steals a suitcase full of cocaine (oops!). Naturally, the two take the drugs and run -- but not without mobsters on their trail, led by an especially scary-looking Christopher Walken. Arquette and Slater are believable as a hapless pair who may not be the sharpest knives in the drawer, but have a romance so hot that it feels like nothing can touch them -- not even the law.

'Romancing the Stone' (1984)
When romance writer Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) heads to Colombia to save her kidnapped sister, she finds herself on a dangerous hunt for hidden treasure, armed with nothing but her sister's map and a squeamish sensibility. Luckily, bad-boy Jack Colton (Michael Douglas) swoops in under a hail of bullets to guide her ... in more ways than one. Sure, Joan wishes Jack would be more of a gentleman, and Jack probably wishes she would stop talking, but who can resist a little romance in the jungle? Apparently, Fox couldn't: The studio released a sequel the following year.

'The African Queen' (1951)
Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn play the mismatched lovers in this classic from John Huston. Bogart is Charlie Allnut, boozy captain of the titular steamer ship, while Hepburn is Rose Sayer, an upstanding missionary's wife sister living in an East African village during the first World War. Their paths collide in proper fashion when the Germans invade and Charlie offers to take Rose to safer environs. Their nasty animosity aboard soon transforms into romance, as they not only strive for survival on treacherous waters, but also lay the foundation for future on-screen couples who find love during war.

'True Lies' (1994)
Long before the planet Pandora was even a fictional blip in the universe, James Cameron directed this story of a man who lives a double life as a spy. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays agent Harry Tasker, who sends a few of colleagues to kidnap his wife's (Jamie Lee Curtis) lover. Suddenly, it's clear that he's not really a boring computer salesman, and his wife gets a taste of the adventure she's been missing. 'True Lies' is an adventure for viewers, too, despite the fact that Curtis and Schwarzenegger are somewhat less than convincing as a couple.

'North by Northwest' (1959)
Cary Grant lends his glamor to Alfred Hitchcock's story of survival as Roger Thornhill, a New York City ad exec who's mistaken for a government agent by foreign spies. As he sets out to find the real man behind his nightmare and clear his name, the beautiful Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint) comes to his aid, but she may not be everything that she appears. Before high-tech effects ruled the action genre, Hitchcock proved that romance and action are possible, even without green screens.

'Mr. and Mrs. Smith' (2005)
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie began their tabloid-fueled romance on the set of this film, playing a husband and wife who both lead double lives as top-secret assassins. After years of spy intrigue and near-death experiences, their covers are finally revealed to one another when they are both sent to take out the same target. They must figure out who set them up before they turn on each other. The real-life romantic tension between Jolie and Pitt was so evident that it makes this film even hotter.