Action Movie SUBGENRES

ADVENTURE |  ALL FOR LOVE  |  ARNOLD MOVIES |  BOND  |  BUDDY  |  CHASE  |  FIGHT  |  GRRRL POWER
HEIST
  MARTIAL ARTS  |  REVENGE  |  SUPER COP |  SUPERHERO  |  SUPER SOLDIER

This is a huge, ongoing project  :D  If a movie that you think should be in a category is not there,
it's probably because I haven't gotten around to re-watching it to be sure. Same thing, if you see any glaringly wrong placements
of films in categories, please email me:  ripley@actionmoviefreak.com. For a list of movies, see my Hit List.



All For L♥VE 

100 PROBLEMS* . . . Action was never so desperate as when it's done All For Love.  These movies take our hero to the extreme for love (or sex).  What will a man (or giant ape) do for love?  Once he sets eyes on your girl, he's going to steal her away. Yeah, it's bad enough that he's going to beat you, but your chick's gonna find him irresistible. Sucks to be you.  We get to watch the lengths to which he'll go to have, save, or God Help You, if you killed or harmed his chick, avenge his love. 

It can also be brotherly or sisterly love, protecting your family or your child—that drives you.

(*Just in case you don't recognize the reference: It's the Jay-Z song 99 Problems "If you're having girl problems, I feel bad for you, son. I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one.")

 


ACTION MOVIE
SUBGENRE

All For L♥VE


KING KONG
(1976)

SHARKY'S MACHINE

ROMANCING THE STONE

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2

GONE IN 60 SECONDS

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Mission: Impossible III

Casino Royale

Knight & Day

FAST 6

3 DAYS TO KILL

THE EQUALIZER

JUPITER ASCENDING

 



Not technically "Action"
Kalifornia
NATURAL BORN KILLERS
True Romance

King Kong 1976 Movie Poster

Sharkey's Machine movie poster

Romancing The Stone movie poster

Mission: Impossible 2 movie poster

casino-royale-movie-poster

 

 

 

 

 

King Kong 
 (17 Dec 1976)

The opening of this movie sets up a really exciting premise. I love the whole feel of it right up until you find out it's a giant monkey (sigh), but it's a great movie, and until 2005, was the best Kong ever.  I liked Mighty Joe Young but it's too heartbreaking. (Come to think of it, I couldn't watch the demise of Kong in the 2005 version either.)  It's just hard to love a movie that has animal cruelty and exploitation as the heart of the story. Even if it makes a strong anti-cruelty message, it's still hard to watch. I'd prefer some weird made-up evil and dangerous creature we can hate and kill. Like a zenomorph! Oh, yeah . . . and
Kong was a perv! He couldn't help it. Jessica Lange had such star power. She was so beautiful, especially in the beach landing scene. Charles Grodin was surprisingly awesome and appropriately cartoonish in his role. The characters are all a little exaggerated but it works really well. They dangle Jessica  like blonde bait and the poor, dumb animal follows along. It's an adventure, it's a tragedy, and it's All For Love.


Sharky's Machine 
 (18 Dec 1981)

Burt Reynolds as Sharky falls hard for Rachel Ward as a call girl named "Dominoe with an 'e'." The villain is played by Henry Silva who was also in Code of Silence and Above The Law, and he is really good at being super creepy.  The time spent on  the voyeuristic one-way surveillance Sharky does on Dominoe serves to show how lonely he is and makes her seem all the more vulnerable. Rachel Ward is stunning and ultra-feminine in that perfect
(Let's Get) "Physical" way of the 1980s. Sharky falls hard for Dominoe, but she is killed before she can give up the life she's living and go and live a 'normal' life in a house with a (not-so) 'nice' guy. After so much beauty, the kill scene seems ungodly gruesome.  Like Sharky, you feel you know her.

Brian Keith and Charles Durning were part of a boys' club cast that includes many popular character actors, like Bernie Casey.  Durning is great as the angry, screaming Police Lieutenant that became so clichéd in this era, it got comical. Loved the metaphysical angle. Based on the novel by William Diehl (who also wrote Primal Fear that Edward Norton was so good in), Sharky's Machine is as good now as it was the first time I watched it.  IMDB lists a remake of Sharky's Machine as "in development". I hope whoever takes it on knows how important/cool Arch's philosophy is, and how it saves his life. This really adds a sense of desperation to the movie. The villain must be super creepy, and the soundtrack should keep you on edge. The girl must be heart-stoppingly beautiful and have something vulnerable that brings out a protective instinct (the watching makes Sharky fall in love). Sharky must do something romantic like the wood carving. His strength contrasted with his vulnerability is also a killer. He should be ruggedly handsome but not a dandy. A man's man. This could also be a Super Cop movie because when you watch it you think, they couldn't pay me enough and it takes a special kind of person to put their life on the line to do this shit.

Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in Romancing The StoneRomancing The Stone 
 (30 Mar 1984)

A cross between and Action Adventure and a Romance Novel, this treasure hunt was great fun as we watched the mismatched pair fall in love. Michael Douglas was 40 and Kathleen Turner 30 and both were as good as the silliness of the material would allow.  Danny DeVito was funny as well. Romancing The Stone emerald

It's been a long time since there was anything like this (not counting Harrison Ford and Anne Heche in Six Days Seven Nights, the closest we've come is Knight and Day.) 

There was a listing on IMDB for a 2011 remake . . . Even if you're not old enough to love the Doobie Brothers joke, it's still a lot of fun (but more for women than men).

John WOo and Tom Cruise on the set of Mission: Impossible 2Mission: Impossible 2
 (24 May 2000)

Love is not convenient when you are on an impossible mission but it finds Tom Cruise anyway when he crosses paths with Thandie Newton. This movie was impressive in its visuals (as you would expect from John Woo). Tom really impressed in his stuntwork. You could not tell if and when it was ever not him. The motorcycle chase scene is really something until the fight on the beach and then Tom's performance is kinda jaw dropping. What a Bad Ass!
 I love Tom Cruise for his role choices and the values so often exhibited in them. 

 Mission: Impossible 2 has the added bonus of being a John Woo film with all the stylistic beauty that entails, and the out-of-hand creative action sequences.  Mr. Woo's final cut was 3 1/2 hours. How I would love to see that!

 

Gone in Sixty Seconds
 (9 June  2000)

Brotherly love drives this cult classic Action Movie. They put a timer on the heist of 50 cars, and then connected the dots with some fantastic stunt driving. The movie won the Taurus Award for BEST DRIVING by Chuck Picerni, Jr. (Stunt Coordinator) and Eddie Yansick (double for "Memphis"). This movie is fun every single time you watch. Nicolas Cage is as entertaining as ever and it features a fantastic supporting cast, including:  Delroy Lindo, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi, Timothy Olyphant (he does a lot with a small part and punches up some plain dialogue), Robert Duvall, Vinnie Jones, Scott Caan, Michael Peña, and a cameo by the screenwriter, Scott Rosenberg (he also wrote Con Air).

This movie fascinates me. First, for being so negatively criticized when it first came out. I liked it then—it seemed to me that it was picked on for all the things people call "Action Movie clichés" when they don't get those things are exactly what make an Action Movie great. Since then it has grown in popularity and everyone loves the "Let's roll" moment (classic Cage). Funny how the ending scene is such a Fast-and-Furious-family moment, as if someone saw it and wanted to build a movie off that. The action (like in Con Air) is fantastic: The construction chase is original, over the top, and first rate.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith
(10 June 2005)

Brangelina.  So easy on the eyes for men and for women, this movie nonetheless delivers most of the Action Movie Essentials. There's a great car chase! Angelina Jolie rocks that. There are massive explosions, a great fight scene, a high killcount, a shootout, and camaraderie and dominance of a different kind—and it's all great fun to watch.  The movie keeps you guessing a little.  It's like Spy Kids for adults, a total fantasy! It left me wondering what the movie would have been like if the two main characters were not widely considered the two best looking and sexiest people on the planet.  Would there have been as much interest? I doubt it. The appeal is all them, and their chemistry plus the real life drama/gossip of the time that this movie led to their being a couple.  A lot of credit has to go to Angelina Jolie because she holds her own here against Brad Pitt and makes it looks believable. She gets the better of him several times.  The women have to love that (plus the matching outfits)!  It's enjoyable every time you watch it, and that's the highest praise.  

Mission: Impossible 3
(5 May 2006
)
This movie was ahead of its time and not appreciated for how incredible it was. The action sequences were advanced, even watching it today, it seems up to date.  Back then audiences took the quality of the film as something related to what they perceived was Tom Cruise's ego. What kind of bullshit backlash is that for giving us something so incredible?  I never tire of watching the M:I movies. Whatever you like about Action Movies, this movie has it. 

The opening is hard to watch and then you see the how they got to the that point and it's even harder.  It has a happy ending you didn't think was possible—beyond fairy tale.  My hubbie the secret agent. What lengths will a man go to rescue his fiancée?

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale in blue bathing suit in Nassau, BahamasCasino Royale 
(17 Nov 2006)
Yes, it's a James Bond movie, but with a twist. Yes, there are "Bond girls", but this time, the real eye candy is Bond. First they show us how all-out in great physical shape he is with not only one hell of a fist fight, but then they cut to the intense chase scene using Parkour, and if that wasn't enough, show him in that unforgettable Grigio Perla blue bathing suit. This is clearly not the soft Bond of the past, who required so much suspension of disbelief. Not only is he now physically up to the challenge, he's razor sharp mentally, and no more crazy gadgets.  At every turn, he uses his powers of deduction as much as his strength in a script is as intelligent as it is action packed. 
Read more.


Knight & Day
(23 June 2010)

Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz proving they can still do it . . . I liked the movie a lot. So much that I think it would have been better with unknowns, but that's another posting.

 

 

Fast 6
(23 May 2013)

Dom and Letty. Their passion has carried us through several movies. In true movie magic, they bring Letty back from the dead. We love those twists.

The lengths a man will go to for the woman he loves is what this movie is all about. When it's a spectacularly strong and daring man, expect more than just fireworks and chemistry. Vin Diesel is so hot in this, he's combustible!  Read more.
 

 

3 Days To Kill
(21 Feb 2014)

If it says "Luc Besson", I'm there. The best part for me was how perfect Kevin Costner was. It's an Oscar-worthy performance, but because it's Action, and it's understated, it will go unnoticed.  Another great surprise was that it's not just an Action Movie, it's a great movie, period.  

Read more.
 

Denzel Washington and Chloe Grace Moretz in The EqualizerThe Equalizer
(26 Sep 2014)

The love of his dead wife and protective feelings for a young Russian girl who is forced into prostitution makes Denzel Washington's character Robert McCall come out of hiding and let loose his avenging angel/bad ass side as he takes on and takes down the entire Russian mafia.  

Read more.
 

Jupiter Ascending
(6 Feb 2015)

Channing and Mila. In a sense, it was just like The Matrix, in reverse. Jupiter is 'the one'. Earth, where she is an ordinary girl, is real life, and being Queen is the Matrix. Jupiter just wants to get out of being Queen and get re-inserted back into her real life. And, like The Matrix she finds her true love. The best line in the movie has to be when she says "I love dogs. I've always loved dogs." And, at that moment, we couldn't agree more. Channing Tatum is so likeable, so everyman-yet-unattainable. He's that boy-next-door, all-American hunk, good guy we all had a crush on. Take that to the bank, because whatever else you think is going on, that's what's selling here.   Read more.
 


Action Movie SUBGENRES
ADVENTURE |  ALL FOR LOVE  |  ARNOLD MOVIES |  BOND  |  BUDDY  |  CHASE  |  FIGHT  |  GRRRL POWER  
HEIST   |  MARTIAL ARTS  |  REVENGE  |  SUPER COP
|  SUPERHERO  |  SUPER SOLDIER