If you believe every other movie having action is an action flick, then you are absolutely wrong. In fact sometimes it is very hard to set the ground rules for an action movie, let alone be good or bad. For the purpose of the list, action movies are defined as the ones which would obviously have action scenes in them and the movie wouldn’t make sense if those scenes got eliminated from it. That is to say, the action will move the plot forward. Undoubtedly, Hollywood action movies are the most sought after even after many generations. They are full of excitement, adrenaline rush and pure entertainment. As the year goes on, more movies will be released and will be added to your favorites list. But I can promise you with this list to give you a bird eye’s view on the hundreds of great action movies of all time. Alas! I had to select the top 10. These movies might not have made it to your list but they surely have some great action and a must go-go for a one time watch.
10. Raiders of the lost ark
The blockbuster rule book was re-written by Steven Spielberg with this action adventure masterpiece. Harrison ford had to go through a series and non-stop roller coaster of thrills, spills, chills, Nazis, the wrath of god and snakes…lots of snakes. He looked another hero with a rumpled fedora and bullwhip who was cherished and adored by the audience. He even rode an Arabian stallion when the Nazis pinched off the ark from him only to have Indiana wrest it back in a thrilling truck chase through the desert.
When john Rambo roared, “Live for nothing, or die for something”, we had goose bumps. Listen to him and you will feel the most inspirational talk being talked into you. The movie franchise needs no prior introduction. With Sylvester Stallone as john Rambo flexing his muscles and growing wisdom, Rambo seems to be the perfect superhero in love for his country. There have been four movies so far namely first blood, first blood part 2, Rambo 3 and Rambo. If you are a Stallone fan, then it is needless to mention the adrenaline rush of this movie, seeing Rambo blow up an entire battalion of Burmese soldiers to pieces, quite literally with a .50 caliber machine gun.
8. Mission: impossible
A film operating in such a paranoia and betrayal, that nothing ever feels real or even genuine. Tom cruise plays an undercover agent, Ethan hunt who avenges the betrayal. It is based on the 1960s TV series and boasts of some impressive set pieces. The CIA vault is a breath-taking raid. With the exaggeration of blowing up a chopper with a chewing gum cum explosive, watching tom cruise do that brings the movie to a satisfactory conclusion.
7. Crouching tiger, hidden dragon
The film castes some of the ethnic Chinese actors, based on a novel written by wuxia novelist Wang Dulu, the martial arts and action sequences were choreographed by Yuen wo ping. Surprisingly, a foreign movie crouching tiger had managed to become an international success with four academy awards in its kit including the best foreign language film. Over the years the film has been praised for its martial arts sequences, story and cinematography. What makes it exciting is the epic sweep, the contrast between the backdrop of imperial china’s epic beauty and the action scenes. Truly speaking, the movie is an Ang lee’s epic martial arts masterpiece.
6. The good, the bad and the ugly
You see Clint Eastwood on the movie poster and an instant thought crops up in your head to just go and watch him kick those bad guys. The good, the bad and the ugly is set in the backdrop of American civil war battles and hangings. The plot revolves around a bounty hunting scam and two men joining in an uneasy alliance. The three gunslingers compete to find a fortune buried in a remote cemetery. The film is set amid the violent chaos of gunfights, hangings, battles and prison camps. The movie was last in the dollars trilogy and the best one. Immensely entertaining and beautifully shot, the movie is a spaghetti western. The musical score hit number one spot on the British pop charts with the horse foot.
5. Die hard
To what extent would you go if your wife has been kidnapped and taken hostage among several others by a ruthless German terrorist? With little help from the authorities outside, the NYPD officer john mcclane has a mountain of problems to climb. Bruce Willis acts as the fearless police officer trying to save his wife and shedding the image of an actor who could act only in the comic movies. The most thrilling scene was one where a white vested Bruce Willis stealthily work his way through the nakatomi plaza taking the bad goons one by one.
4. Kill bill
When this movie was released, the director Quentin Tarantino was questioned whether he could direct an action sequence. Isn’t it an irony seeing the movie coming as a shocker? The movie is Tarantino magnum opus, a master class in fight choreography and a myth-inflected bloodshed. The action scenes are of such clear-eyed intensity that the audience would be put to thinking that he has been making this his entire life. Uma Thurman plays the bride, the avenging mother, widow and killing machine. She is at the heart of the narrative and has never been better. Lucy liu plays the charismatic villainess with her own powerful back story. The film’s climax house of blue leaves sequence ranks among one of the most epic fight scenes of all time. The bride battles a small army of sword-wielding assassins called the crazy 88s.
3. The Matrix
The wachowski brothers’ creation tops the sci-fi lists but the matrix had such a huge impact on the action genre as a whole, its place cannot be discounted. The late 90s blockbuster contained a deep, philosophical core, that could easily be ignored by those who were simply interested in watching leather-suited superheroes kicking some bad rear suited guys. When Neo realizes he is more than just an average human, he chooses to stay and fight agent smith in the underground station. The action scene is one of the most thrilling on-screen rush inducing in the years. The matrix busted on the screen with a huge fanfare of critical acclaim, but its sequels couldn’t buy them.
2. Enter the dragon
When it comes to action, how can a Bruce lee movie not make it up the list? Enter the dragon is a 1973 martial arts action film. The film was released posthumously after six days of lee’s death. Among the stuntmen for the film was Jackie Chan. Bruce lee directed the film’s opening shaolin monastery fight sequence. The film bore a special place in lee’s heart as he not only wanted it to be an action flick. He wanted the film to express the beauty of the Chinese culture. His role is also based on similar lines where he plays martial artist possessing great philosophical insight into the arts and not to mention unmatched physical prowess.
1. Terminator 2: Judgement day
James Cameron’s ground breaking action thriller Judgment day is epic, expansive, bright and the destruction is on an entirely grander scale. The effects are legendary, not to forget the T-1000 which can become metallic goo and can transform into almost anything he wants. He is still one of the most impressive and scary villains ever. The trucks were real when they flew off those bridges for the chase scene. But the best action scene in the movie was when the two terminators meet in a shopping mall. They proceed to kick each other’s butts reducing the infrastructure around them to rubble. The action genre was reinvigorated with this blockbuster containing a deep core that could easily be ignored.