Arty action heroes

By Chris Nashawaty
Updated October 14, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

Now that even Meryl Streep is an action star, The River Wild could inspire a whole tweedy breed of Masterpiece Theatre types to pump up for flicks like these:

*Hugh Grant in Four Weapons and a Funeral The winsome Brit and a posse of school chums indulge in a little paintball hunting — until a Jackson Pollock-obsessed maniac (Gary Busey) sets out to turn them all into human splatter paintings.

*Joan Plowright in Disenchanted April The grande dame goes Van Damme: Armed with only her Jet Ski and a grudge, she leads a crack team of Miami narcs out to stop a Colombian drug lord (Alec Guinness) and keep America smack-free.

*Woody Allen in Take the Bungee and Jump A weekend of fun for a neurotic middle-aged man, a young bungee instructor (Dan Cortese), and his little sister (Anna Chlumsky) goes horribly awry.

*Tony Randall in The Odd Couple 2: High Octane He’s a wizened auto mechanic; she’s a sexy pit boss (Drew Barrymore); together, they’re undercover cops trying to stop the Mob from infiltrating the world of monster-truck rallies.