My top 5 action movies

10:30 AM

I rarely write about action movies but that doesn't mean I don't watch them - at least once in a while. Most recent action movies are a bit too violent for my taste, so I tend to stick with the older ones - which are a bit violent too. Here are some of the action movies I love:

Die Hard (1)
Maybe an obvious pick but it couldn’t be out of the list. I just like the first one, somehow I haven’t seen the others that many times to judge. It’s amazing how the hero and the villain can be almost complete opposites and I still can’t help but liking both. John McClane is funny, brave, and spends most of the movie barefoot and rocking that white wife beater. The villain is charming, sophisticated, intelligent and European. Pure gold.

I cannot even count how many times I have seen this film. Who would have thought that a whole movie about people in a bus could be so exciting? The pair Reeves and Bullock are cute together and there’s lots of action in means of transportation (buses, subways, elevators?)

Again, there is an interesting contrast between the hero (Mel Gibson) and the villain (Gary Snize). In the beginning, there are alternating scenes showing the same characteristic operating differently in each character. For example, the 1st scene shows us that Mel Gibson’s character is rich, popular, confident and lives surrounded by luxury. The kidnapper’s world is on the other hand poor, dirty and distant. The last shot of this world is an artificial heater. When coming back to Mel Gibson’s world, his son is in front of a fireplace. In Mel Gibson’s world there is piano playing, in the kidnapper’s heavy metal. But not just that, the role of the two women, how they both say they are doing all that for their families, not for themselves. Seriously, I better stop before I re-enact the climatic “Give me back my son!” scene.

A crazy guy behind a telephone can’t be all that bad, right? Well, when the villain has moral motivations it is much more difficult to negotiate with him. This movie reminds me of Seven, almost a lighter version of it. The two female leads are not particularly convincing, but the trio Colin Farrell, Forest Whitaker and Kiefer Sutherland’s voice really deliver it.

Something tricky about action movies is that they can become way too farfetched (Face Off anyone?) However, I think Cellular is one of those movies which are (somewhat) realistic. Like Ransom, it involves a family but also a normal guy that is trying once in his life to do the right thing. They even play with the cliches of the genre, by putting a jaded cop in his last day with that whole “I’m too old for this” attitude played brilliantly by William H Macy.  

As you can see, my top 5 action movies follow a pattern: realistic (as opposed to sci-fi-action like The Terminator or The Matrix) but not connected to any historical fact (like Troy or 300).

What are your favorite action movies?

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  1. OY !!! Action movies make my day!!
    My favorite ones are:

    - Die Hard 1/2/3/4
    - Demolition Man (funny how Stallone pictured things that are actually happening now ...)
    - Under Siege (Stevem Segall at his best!)
    - Delta Force (1) - Chuck Norris & Lee Marvin giving a hard time to some foreign terrorists
    - The Untouchables - Brian de Palma, Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Andy Garcia, Robert the Niro at their best

  2. You also seem to stick to classic action movies and also classic action stars, like Norris and Segall.

    I suggest watching The Expendables. I have already seen it and didn't like it so much, because it was a bit too violent for me, but I imagine you'll like it. Have you seen the trailer for The Expendables sequel? ( Have a nice weekend!


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