Was on a page on Yahoo the other day and spotted a guy’s top 100 action movies. Don’t know who he is or what medication he’s on, but I thought that to list 100 “top” action movies was kinda cool–if not a little time consuming. So, before I got into my work here for the day (with the hurricane bearing down) I thought I do this. It’s kinda interesting in conjunction with the post I wrote on badasses as well.
Anyway, here are my top action action movies–just my opinion, and no one else’s.
1. DIE HARD (taking the “best of “title here)
Need I say more? The break out movie for Bruce Willis has been redone gawd knows how many times since it first came out in 1990. Lone out-of-place hero squares of against a team of well prepared, well trained adversaries. I saw this in a theatre and it was the first movie where the audience actually cheered at the end. Has the right amount of humour and tension, and memorable bad guys. If you haven’t seen this… and you like action flicks… go get it this weekend.
2. The Rock
After Die Hard, there were a bunch of clones that popped out, including the sequels to Die Hard. The Rock (Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery) was the one that made me arch my unibrow. Super chemical freaks, Navy Seals, rogue Marines, an old SAS operative… and having throwing them all onto the island of Alcatraz to duke it out. You know the story–if you don’t, go see this movie.
Oh yes. This one was actually a tough one, but after much thought I put it here at number three. This one is the rare exception where the sequel is better than the original. Thrills, suspense, laughs (“Maybe they’re demoralized”–in uncut version) and alien ass-grabbing action. Oh my gawd. Thinking of it now, maybe I should place it at number 2. Don’t know the story? Earth loses contact with a bunch of colonists on a far off planet, and suspects an alien presence, where upon they bring in Ripley as resident expert on the nasty critter, to aid a squad of equally nasty colonial marines being sent to save the colonists. Why did I place it here? The technology in this one limits it a little–where you only see glimpses of the attacking aliens (usually rushing forms and teeth) and that’s the only reason. It’s still a great movie.
4. The Terminator
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s breakout flick. Pumped full of too many one liners to quote. Another flick that the B-movies borrowed heavily from, all done on a budget that should embarrass the big screen noise fests of today. Killer cyborg gets sent back in time to kill off the mom of future pain-in-the-ass adversary. Why is this number 4 instead of number 1? If I had to break this down to .o1’s here, they would all be within .01 point of each other. Howzzat?
5. Terminator 2
Sequel to the above. Old T-800 model gets sent back in time to stop newer t-1000 model. All I’ll say about this one. Was a director’s cut out there, but after watching it, it’s okay to stick with the theatrical release.
This is the highest ranking “recent” movie in my list. A lot of action movies are pretty formulaic. You have opening big action sequence, bit of story, mid action sequence. bit more story, then final action sequence. This one is different. Reminded me a lot of “Killing Zoe” in the way its told (Killing Zoe did not make the list, but I recommend it). Here is Liam Neeson and his on-screen daughter’s birthday party and yadda yadda yadda. I’m actually wondering why any yadda yadda movie is doing in the list. There should never be any yaddda yadda in an action movie. Really. But there is here… about 20 minutes of it. The yadda yadda is something of a sedative–it lulls you into thinking “what the hell is this?” and it works. It got me (shrugs). THEN the action kicks in, and when it does, well, the next 70 minutes seems only like 20. Liam’s daughter goes away on a European excursion and gets abducted, while Daddy is listening in on the cellphone. I think my stomach dropped when the Dad says to the daughter “They’re going to take you” or something to that effect, and then instructs her to leave the phone where it is and shout out what she sees. For me, that was a very difficult part of the flick to sit through… but from there… whoa. It’s like someone strapped a jet engine to your ass and slapped it.
7. Raiders of the Lost Ark
Harrison Ford is one whip lashing flagella in this one. Nazis, Amazonian Indians, truck chases sequences, and snakes (why did it have to be snakes). Another classic that grabs you by the cajones from the get go and doesn’t let up. A real smoker of an action flick. In 1944 (45?) Harrison gets called in to find the lost ark of the covenant, and to get it before the Nazis do.
8.Last Of The Mohicans
One of my favourites. Not number one, but… damn it’s good. Like all of these movies, there’s a certain suspension of belief you have to do, but for me, this worked on so many levels, right up to the fight on the cliff side, and the subsequent, and very unexpected showdown. There’s an energy in this one, of constantly pushing forward.
9. Conan the Barbarian (1982)
Classic sword and sorcery flick that still rules as number one in its division. Arnold in this one as the brooding, contemplative at times, giant swordsman that…. I got no comparisons for this one. The effects are dated by today’s standards (what isn’t) but this is a must for any fantasy fiction folks.
10. Kill Bill 1 and 2.
I consider them the one long movie so why not? It’s my list. Make your own if you disagree so nyah. Hitman (woman) gets killed on her wedding day by old teammates, goes into a years’ long coma, and wakes up mighty pissed. How pissed? I can’t capitalize the words PISSED enough to describe exactly how PISSED she is. Uma Thurman goes hunting for each of the people who tried to off her and gets into fights where she takes on pretty much whole armies, and then more personal one-on-one fights. These flicks were jaw dropping for me.
And that’s it. I did round out my list to 20, so here goes:
11. The Road Warrior
12. Total Recall
13. First Blood
15. Man on Fire
16. Speed/Long Kiss Good Night
17. The Warriors (1979)
18. Midnight Run
19. The Wild Geese
20. Killing Zoe/ The Hunted (both of them)