Action is a time-honoured genre. Here is a list of awesome action movies you can watch right now to divert your attention in these stressful times.
I have included action movies that have a coherent plot and well-rounded characters. After all, just action is rarely enough. We also need a good story and relatable characters in order to fully enjoy an action movie.
1. Mad Max: Fury Road: Amazon Prime Video
The movie that is most representative of its genre, Fury Road is simply the best action movie ever made, bar none. The stunt work in this George Miller directorial is mind-boggling, and if you look at its behind-the-scenes clips, you will realise the movie had an insane amount of practical effects and actual people rather than CGI.
2. Die Hard
While there are at least four good movies in the Die Hard franchise, none of them come close to the original, Die Hard. The film is a great watch for anybody, not just action movie fans, with a superb performance by the late English actor Alan Rickman. A true action classic.
3. Enter the Dragon
Of course, a list made of action movies will always be incomplete without Bruce Lee. Enter the Dragon, the martial arts and acting legend Lee’s final film, still holds up well after nearly five decades.
4. Seven Samurai
Japanese filmmaking legend Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece The Seven Samurai, released in the 1950s, remains the gold standard by which today’s action movies, especially those geared towards Easters martial art traditions, are judged by. The film has influenced many filmmakers, and to date, nobody has come close to what Kurosawa did seven decades ago.
5. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: Amazon Prime Video
An instant animated classic, Spider-Verse is not just one of the greatest superhero movies ever made. It is a labour of love by countless talented people in Hollywood who came together to create a work of art. It is a feast to the eyes with action sequences that would either be too expensive or impossible to do in live-action. It uses the medium’s strengths to its fullest.
6. The Matrix: Amazon Prime Video
A movie whose action sequences were inspired by Chinese and Japanese martial arts, The Matrix was more than a damn good science fiction movie. It featured and popularised the now-widespread bullet time visual effect. The stunt double of Keanu Reeves in the film, Chad Stahelski, eventually went on to direct him in John Wick series. Which reminds me…
7. John Wick: Netflix
This series really represents the rage of a man who avengers the death of his pet in the most brutal way imaginable. The movie and the series is cathartic in many ways. The action scenes are amazing and mostly realistic.
8. Mission: Impossible — Fallout: Amazon Prime Video
While you can watch any Mission: Impossible movie to enjoy some class-leading stunt work (some of it by Tom Cruise himself), Fallout in my opinion is the zenith of the series. Apart from Cruise, Henry Cavill complements the iconic action star with moves of his own. The restroom fight scene looks authentic in a way that it is a lifelike brawl in which the brawlers use every tactic to get at their adversary.
9. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
Although it is fantasy, The Return of the King has some of the most iconic battle scenes in any movie ever. The Battle of the Pelennor Fields, particularly, stands out. Even as the Witch-king of Angmar advances towards a fallen Gandalf to finish him, a horn sounds to the east. That is the horn of Theoden and Eomer’s Rohirrim, the horselords, and this is the cinematic moment most directors can only dream of. The expressions, the colour scheme, the music, the light, the effects, everything is just perfect.
Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine is one of the best superhero movies ever made. This is the Wolverine movie we needed and deserved. A no holds barred film filled with ample gore and eye-popping action, a compelling desolate setting, and marvellous work by Jackman and Patrick Stewart in their last hurrah, Logan is fantastic.