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 that I live to work on :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.


FIGHT 
DING!  These movies are all about the fighting. No matter what style, fighting has to be the character(s)' central focus.  There are lots of movies with great fight scenes (like The Quiet Man, They Live, etc.) but they are not "Fight Movies". I included some fight movies featuring Martial Arts here because they are either very mainstream or because it's more about Fighting more than it is about what style of fighting they use. 

ACTION MOVIE
SUBGENRE

FIGHT

ROCKY (not "Action")

EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE

ROCKY II (not "Action")

ROCKY III (not "Action")

THE KARATE KID (1984)

ROCKY IV (not "Action")

BLOODSPORT

ROCKY V (not "Action")

LIONHEART

FIGHT CLUB (not "Action")

GLADIATOR

UNDISPUTED

ROCKY BALBOA

UNDISPUTED II: LAST MAN STANDING

NEVER BACK DOWN

BLOOD AND BONE

THE KARATE KID (2010)

UNDISPUTED III: REDEMPTION
(see Buddy movies)

NEVER BACK DOWN 2: THE BEATDOWN

WARRIOR (not "Action")

 

 

 

Rocky (3 Dec 1976)
One of the most inspiring characters ever created on film.  Technically not an Action Movie, but because it's Sylvester Stallone, we don't care. It's still Action to Action Movie Freaks. Like all really great movies, it has a great theme song.

Every Which Way But Loose (20 Dec 1978)
Clint Eastwood upped his coolness with this movie as he played a brawler, "Philoe Beddoe", at an age that was a little older than we would expect, and made it look good! It's a great comedy and Ruth Gordon and an orangutan steal the show. "Poor, defenseless old woman . . . " LOL

Rocky II  (15 Jun 1979)
Now that Rocky's a hometown hero, it makes him seem real that when he runs, people just start following him. You know you would. It's hard to think of any character more loved in American film than Rocky Balboa.  He had to come back and prove it wasn't a fluke. It's a real knock-down, drag-out match and we hang on every second.

It says a lot for boxing movies and a whole lot for Sylvester Stallone as a Writer/Director, Actor, Fighter, and  that the images from the Rocky movies are so iconic.

Any Which Way You Can  (17 Dec 1980)
The sequel to  Every Which Way But Loose starred William Smith (pictured at right) and a really long fight scene, but I prefer the original.  Looking back the movie was funny but the music was mostly sappy.  Too sappy for a "fight" movie. Still, it was fun and we were hungry for fight movies.

Rocky III  (28 May 1982)
The Rocky/Apollo bromance and workout montage in this movie made it all the more devastating when Apollo is killed in the next. People make fun of this montage but they love and they eat it up. Two words" Footwork and 'Tips' (if you know what tips are, you must be my age). Carl Weathers was great as Apollo Creed—add Mr. T. and Hulk Hogan and Holy Eighties!  It's amazing how each Rocky movie is great for its own reasons. 

So why wasn't Carl Weathers one of The Expendables . . . ?

ROCKY III TRAINING MONTAGE
 

The Karate Kid (22 June 1984)
I included the Karate Kid movies here (rather than under Martial Arts) because they are all about learning to Fight. To me, the style is not as important as the lesson.

Rocky IV  (27 Nov 1985)
I love this movie so much because of his workouts. They juxtapose the high-tech robotic look of Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago against Rocky using rocks and logs to work out. It's so inspiring. You don't need a gym and all that equipment to work out. Stallone just kept upping the fitness level.  One thing people remember from this movie is the line "I must break you" which was in the trailer but not in the movie (don't you hate when they do that?). I never get tired of watching this  movie.

Bloodsport (26 Feb 1988)
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Rocky V  (16 Nov 1990)
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Lionheart (11 Jan 1991)
I remember thinking: at last, a movie where Jean Claude Van Damme's accent fits in, as he is a Legionnaire (French Foreign Legion). It's Jean Claude doing what he does best kicking the shit out of someone. He really takes a beating in the last fight but the he turns it around and gives it back just as bad. This movie tugs at the heartstrings and JCVD is a sentimental hero to his dead brother's little girl. He was 30 at the time and in the best shape of his life (although he's been in the best shape of his life his whole life). They put him up against an assortment of fighters but they are not match for him. JCVD fans will always enjoy re-watching this one.

Fight Club (11 Jan 1999)
A masterpiece, brilliantly written, acted, and directed.  Also not "Action" but we don't care!

Gladiator (5 May 2000)
Yes, these men are Soldiers, but I put this movie here under Fight rather than Super Soldier because there's a mix of men and it's not so much about who they are as what they do. This movie is a bridge between Conan The Barbarian and 300. After Conan we wanted more warriors but we really didn't get satisfaction until this movie, then 300 took it to another level. This movie is always enjoyable for the fight scenes.

Undisputed (23 Aug 2002)
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Rocky Balboa  (20 Dec 2006)
Sylvester Stallone knows what Rocky fans wanted. This movie was the only way it could end. It was heartfelt and meaningful. If there is one thing Rocky was all about, it was heart.  He embodied what it means to be a fighter. "[I]t ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward." The theme song never fails to inspire. There's no question that Rocky fans would go see Rocky XV or XX. Such great movies with great life lessons and values. It's about what it means to be who you are, and doing what it takes to be a Champion.

Undisputed II: Last Man Standing (28 Feb 2007)
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Never Back Down (14 Mar 2008)
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Blood and Bone (20 Sept 2009)
A Michael Jai White tour de force with a small but memorable performance by Gina Carano. Michael Jai White is so impressive you have that "is he real" feeling?!

"Call me."

The Karate Kid (11 June 2010)
Twenty six years apart, the Karate Kid movies are responsible for millions of kids wanting to learn how to fight, learn self defense. It's all about identifying with the underdog and rooting for him to be triumphant. You can't beat that formula. We can all relate to wanting to be better, self-reliant, a winner. If only we had Jackie Chan to teach us how.

This time around it's Kung Fu. They should have just called it the Kung Fun kid because there's no karate in it. Audiences would have  understood. We're not that dumb.

"Everything is kung fu."

Undisputed III: Redemption (17 Jun 2010)
This movie is about fighting but I think we enjoy the Buddy relationship most, so I put it under Buddy Movies.  It's more about their camaraderie and how their friendship grows. By the end of the movie,  you care about them, and the fact that they are fighters is only important as what they went through together.  It's a Bromance in the best way and you just want to see what adventure the two of them would have next (except we can't because one of them has a family to go home to).

Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown  (2011)
This was Michael Jai White's directorial debut. I got to see it at ActionFest 2011 as Michael Jai White nervously presented it as a "little rough" and that he was still tweaking it. I think he was being modest as it seemed professional and no flaws were obvious. It's enjoyable for the fight scenes. A bit too much sex for me, but guys won't complain about that. Michael Jai White is as impressive as ever and schools (literally and figuratively) some younger men who are more than impressive themselves.  I think anyone who doesn't like the movie is being unnecessarily harsh. Larnell Stovall is the fight choreographer and the fight scenes deliver!

Warrior  (9 Sept 2011)
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Action Movie SUBGENRES
ADVENTURE |  ALL FOR LOVE  |  ARNOLD MOVIES |  BOND  |  BUDDY  |  CHASE  |  FIGHT  |  GRRRL POWER  |  HEIST
MARTIAL ARTS  |  REVENGE  |  SUPER COP
|  SUPERHERO  |  SUPER SOLDIER