[dropcap size=small]P[/dropcap]OW! BAM! BOOM! BANG! Oh, and not to forget walking away from the explosion without looking at it. Thats what actions movies are about, right? Well, it isn’t the same for the greatest action movies. Crizic looks at some of the most adrenaline inducing action movies ever. Here’s a list of 10 best action movies in Hollywood.
10. The Warriors
A cult classic. There’s no shortage of silly cheese here, but there’s something about The Warriors that makes it incredibly watchable. There are no big stars, the premise is laughable, and the costumes are ludicrous. But cannnn weeeee diggggg itttt? Always.
9. Die Hard
Putting an ordinary Joe in the middle of a firefight, confining a terrorist takeover to a single, claustrophobic building and balancing quip-smart dialogue with hard and heavy action set-pieces, Die Hard set the mold and broke it at the same time.
8. Kill Bill
Kill Bill: Volume 1 sees Quentin Tarantino focused solely on action; vicious, stylish, bloody action. With Uma Thurman starring as The Bride who seeks unbridled vengeance after an assassination attempt at her wedding, Tarrantino’s passion for martial arts movies is impossible to ignore here, as the homages to Asian action films are abundant.
7. Top Gun
Throwing in just enough romance to keep the ladies content, a classic 80s soundtrack (“Danger Zone,” “Take My Breath Away”), and more thrilling aerial stunts than a week’s worth of Blue Angeles shows, Top Gun was a massive hit. Tom Cruise skyrocketed to superstardom after playing Maverick, a ballsy navy pilot who rises to the occasion when needed most, and the film was the highest grossing at the box office in 1986.
6. Enter The Dragon
Bruce Lee’s last film, his most famous film, and the defining martial arts film—all in one. It’s Kung Fu at its finest, with Lee delivering kicks, spins, and punches like it was a damn Olympic sport and his goal was to take the gold, silver, and bronze. When Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung are simply the stuntmen in your movie, you know the bar is set high.
5. First Blood
While the bandana-wearing, M60-toting protagonist eventually became an emblem of Reaganite hawkishness, his origin story is shaped by an almost diametrically opposed sensibility: firmly on the side of embittered soldiers isolated by society after the trauma of combat, and critical of America’s weekend-warrior culture for its unforgivably glib attitude toward firearms.
4. The Dirty Dozen
‘Train them! Excite them! Arm them! Then turn them loose on the Nazis!’ If the poster post for The Dirty Dozen didn’t indicate what kind of war movie it was going to be, then nothing did. Lee Marvin leads a crazy deep cast (Charles Bronson, Ernest Borgnine, and Jim freaking Brown!) of macho men in this World War II film that stunned critics with its violence in 1967.
3. The Matrix
To be fair, the central idea of The Matrix is more comfortably old-fashioned and biblical than you might realize: Keanu Reeves’s hero may question his reality at every turn, but so do all saviors of humanity, from Jesus to Batman. What really makes The Matrix fly is the action: With their new “bullet time” technique (essentially a triggered series of hundreds of still photographs taken around a moving subject), the Wachowskis found a way to convincingly “move” the camera within an all-CG environment, revolutionizing action films, music videos and try-hard TV ads for the next decade.
2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Special effects-enhanced action took a huge leap forward with James Cameron’s sequel to The Terminator. T2 was bigger and slicker in every way, and it marked the first use of natural human motion for a computer-generated character, as well as the first partially computer-generated main character. Shape shifting, plenty of gunplay, and the iconic monosyllabic appeal of Arnold Schwarzenegger make this an easy number two pick. And the number one is;
1. The Dark Knight
Christopher Nolan simply captured lightning in a bottle with The Dark Knight. From Heath Ledger’s mesmerizingly maniacal performance as the Joker to Hans Zimmer’s pulse-pounding score, this movie is pure magic, and the best and highly logical action flick Hollywood has given us.