Although Karl Urban is currently most recognized for his captivating portrayal of Billy Butcher in Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys, he has undeniably established himself as a prominent figure within a multitude of beloved franchises. With a significant presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, contributions to Robert Kirkman’s creations, roles in Riddick, Star Trek, J.R.R. Tolkien’s universe, the Red series, and even Dredd, Urban has effectively become a cherished actor among fans of various geek-oriented genres. Let’s dive into the best Karl Urban movies of all time.
The Chronicles of Riddick
As Fast and Furious moves further into the sci fi and fantasy realm, Diesel has also embarked on a unique trilogy of sci fi fantasy adventures that provide their own unique kind of fun. Beginning with his character in the sci fi horror film Pitch Black, Vin Diesel worked with director David Twinhey on two somewhat unusual sequels. These movies intricately combine the fantasy elements of high fantasy games like Dungeons & Dragons with the complex worldbuilding that is often associated with the Star Trek sci fi universe.
In a world where Disney’s live-action remakes often feel like watered-down, shot-by-shot replicas that offer little originality, David Lowery’s “Pete’s Dragon” stands out as an exception. This film took the source material to a whole new level, providing a more organic narrative and true-to-life character portrayals.
As a result, “Pete’s Dragon” not only lived up to the original’s lackluster quality but also reinvented itself as a modern-day fairytale classic. Actor Karl Urban’s performance as the villain injected an unexpected amount of menace into the film’s environmentalist themes, adding an extra layer of intrigue to what would normally be a family-friendly story.
In recent years, Bruce Willis has primarily been associated with direct-to-video-on-demand genre films. However, in the case of the 2010 DC comic book adaptation “Red,” he had the opportunity to demonstrate why he is regarded as one of the finest action stars in the industry. In “Red,” Willis portrayed Frank, a retired assassin compelled to come out of retirement and reunite with his former comrades.
Karl Urban played a compelling supporting role as William Cooper, a government agent tasked with tracking down Frank. As the story unfolds, Cooper begins to question not only Frank’s motives but also the motivations of his own employers, adding a layer of intrigue to the narrative.
The Bourne Supremacy
When Paul Greengrass took over the director’s chair from Doug Liman (who had directed “The Bourne Identity”), he introduced a new style to the Bourne series. Greengrass’ approach to chaotic action scenes was meticulous and purposeful, which set him apart from many imitators who often confused chaos with a lack of directorial skill.
In “Bourne Supremacy,” Greengrass gave one of the most relentless action sequels ever made. Of all the threats posed by Matt Damon’s character, “Jason Bourne,” Karl Urban’s “Kirill” is one of the most memorable. Their final confrontation evolves into an epic battle that ranks among the best in film history.
The first two Thor movies stuck closely to Norse mythology, but Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok rocked the boat with its Led Zeppelin-infused, genre-bending approach.
Karl Urban’s portrayal of Skurge, the executioner turned hero, stole the show. When he realized Hela’s sinister intentions, he sacrificed himself in an epic act of awesomeness. It was a bummer to see him exit the MCU after his debut, especially since Thor: Love and Thunder could have used his awesome presence.
Karl Urban Upcoming Projects
Karl Urban will play Johnny Cage in the upcoming sequel, Mortal Kombat 2. The film is set to start filming in Australia this summer, with familiar faces Chin Han and Joe Taslim returning. Urban seems like a great fit for Johnny Cage’s Hollywood action star persona, though we’ll have to see if he can nail the split punch. Written by Jeremy Slater (Moon Knight), more details on the film are yet to come, but in the Mortal Kombat universe, death is rarely the end for characters.