My top five action flicks

Last updated 05:00 02/12/2013

DIE HARD: Does action get any better?

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Perusing the blu-rays at a second hand store (as you do) and I came across Bad Boys for a fiver. Oh yeah, that takes me back. Remember when gun fights took place in a plane hanger full of propane? Remember when Michael Bay films had shots that lasted more than five seconds? Remember when Martin Lawrence got top billing over Will Smith?

A ride home and 118 minutes later and it was all over, and it was OK. Not great but worth a re-watch. Naturally it got me thinking about classic action movies, the thrill rides that were a staple of the 80s and 90s but are now perhaps a dying genre.

So here, in no particular order, are my top five action movies:

Die Hard

Obviously. It is pretty much perfect as an action movie, an interesting story, a relatable good guy, one of the best screen villains ever and a whole bunch of memorable secondary characters. If you ever forget which of the sequels are worth watching remember this simple mnemonic: Yippee (first film = awesome) Ki (second film = meaningless) Yay (third film is back on form!) Mother (fourth film = dropped the 'R' rating so 'mother' is all you get) and, of course, Russia.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

The opening scene alone puts it on the list. Too many classic scenes to mention. Perhaps only let down by the somewhat iffy 'just close your eyes' ending. They don't make films like this anymore, seriously, the same people tried and they failed.


Surely this is sci-fi/horror? I hear you say. No way. This is non-stop action through and through. Cameron takes a great film and makes a better sequel, a feat rarely done. Has any guy not tried to do the "Game over man ... game over!" line, complete with voice breaking? Be sure to check out the director's cut if you haven't.

Mission Impossible 3

If you can get over the whole 'Tom Cruise is creepy' thing then you will realise that this is not only the best film in the series but one of the best action films ever. A great script, some awesome action scenes, interesting choices from the director (who'd have thought a 30 second shot of him just running would make great viewing?) and Hoffman as a very non-cartoony cartoon bad guy. They even had the nerve to not show the key action scene of him stealing the rabbit's foot.

The Avengers

This film was made for me. I love superhero films, I love origin stories, Joss Whedon is a God and I could have handled Scarlett Johansson being tied to that chair for the whole movie. The film had me at "He's adopted" and I left the theatre grinning. Keep your sad and depressing Dark Knight Rises, this is exactly what an action movie should be - fun.

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So that's my list. Disappointed I couldn't get the underrated Romancing the Stone in there somewhere and definitely some personal favorites jumping ahead of known classics (ahem ... Star Wars).

What would be on your list?

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