action movie freak    

Action Movie SUBGENRES


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: For a list of movies, see my Hit List.


raptor attacking Jar Jar BinksPASS THE POPCORN! Action Adventure Movies are our feel-good Saturday-matinee favorites. The Action is mixed with a journey to someplace exotic with dangers unknown: Maybe an island shaped like a skull, the desert, or a journey backward or forward in time.  Whether set in the past, present, or future, Action Adventure movies take us to places we've only imagined—The trick is getting back alive. My favorite part about Action Adventure is that it usually happens to ordinary people like you and me, and gives us that what-would-you-do element? . . .  Run!








Indiana Jones and

Jurassic Park

Indiana Jones and




Lord of the Rings


Lord of the Rings


KING KONG (2005)

Indiana Jones and THE

The Mummy


Dark of the Moon





Jason and the Argonauts movie poster

Raiders of the Lost Ark Movie Poster

Tron movie poster

Jurassic Park Movie Poster

Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom movie poster

The Lost World: Jurassic Park movie poster

Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade movie poster

The Mummy movie poster showing the face of the mummy in sand above the pyramids in shadow

The Mummy Returns movie poster

Jurassic Park III movie poster showing the shadow of a pteradactyl on a brushed alumninum plate with the movie name as a logo with the roman numeral three looking like scratches from talons

Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring movie poster

The Scorpion King movie poster

LOTR: The Two Towers movie poster

King Kong 2005 movie poster showing King Kong the giant ape crouched down on top of a skyscraper looking down at the girl he has captured

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull movie poster showing Indy with his whip standing backlit by a glowing crystal skull

The Mummy Tomb of The Emperor movie poster showing Brendan Fraser and Jet Li with the villain and the army in the background

Clash of The Titans movie poster showing Perseus with his sword screaming as he hold up the severed head of Medusa to kill the Kraken

Planet of the Apes 2001 movie poster


Jason and The Argonauts 
 (19 June 1963)
I saw this movie on TV as a child and it impressed me as much as
Enter The Dragon would later. The skeletons were sooo cool. Even if the special effects seem a little cheesy now, there is still SO MUCH in this movie to wow you. If you consider yourself an Action Movie Freak, but you've never seen this, it's required watching. Here are some of the creatures:

Jason and The Argonauts creature Jason and The Argonauts creature Jason and The Argonauts creature-armed skeletons Jason and The Argonauts creature-gargoyle Jason and The Argonauts creature-Colossus Jason and The Argonauts creature-Medusa


Raiders of the Lost Ark scene where Indy shoots the man with the big knife
Raiders of the Lost Ark
 (12 Jun 1981) 
I go back and forth on whether this or Predator or Aliens is my favorite movie. I paid to see this movie 11 times when it was in theaters. The first 8 times I got there late and didn't know there were spiders! (What can I say? I had to take the bus.)

This is the first movie I recorded just the sound of and tried to memorize all the dialog. I still look for ways to bring
"Asps, very dangerous—you go first"

into conversation. Judging by YouTube, the scene where Indy uses a gun against the guy with the big knife is many people's all-time favorite Action Movie moment.

Still can't believe it didn't win Best Picture!  [Chariots of Fire did. When was the last time you watched Chariots of Fire? (All anyone remembers from that movie is, as Bruce Almighty put it, "cue the cheesy inspirational music.") And Warren Beatty won Best Director for Reds. The next year Spielberg didn't win for E.T. The Extraterrestrial in either category again. Gandhi won. (Are you under 45? Never saw Gandhi, right?) The Academy seems to use movies to endorse socio-political ideals like with Kevin Coster's "Indians Are People Too", I mean Dances With Wolves (or as Pauline Kael called it "Plays With Camera") and ignores Action Movies altogether.  But, I'm ranting.]

This movie is crazy fun and I will never get tired of it.  The pacing is perfect. Everyone in it is really good, but Ronald Lacey stole the show as "Herr Mac" aka Major Arnold Toht. He even has a fan site
[chortling] Frauline Ravenwood, let me show you . . . what I am used to."


YES! (open the fridge) For the release of the Blu-ray set they brought back Raiders in IMAX Friday, Sept. 7th, 2012, and all 4 movies—movie marathon—on Saturday, Sept. 15th. Both were awesome and I got to see Raiders twice!  (Everyone got this free cool idol badge from AMC :D.)



Tron stand alone video game
 (9 July 1982) interior of 1980s era video game arcade
There are movies that are so different, they stand out in time and mark a transition. When TRON came out, video game arcades were just springing up everywhere, but California (as usual) was way ahead. Most people didn't use computers in their jobs or everyday lives yet, let alone know what a hacker was. It was beyond cool at the time. The look of the movie and the idea was so different, it's hard to compare to something. It marked a new age we knew was just ahead—A better, more technological future. So off we all went to the local video game arcade to blow our paychecks in quarters or tokens and develop "pac wrist" or "pac elbow". But who cared about pain or money?! All that mattered was getting to the next level and beating the high score.  Tron's look was unique and seemed to stand alone until The Matrix and its green code. 


Jurassic Park scene where the t-rex roars in the lobby as the banner reading When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth falls to his feet
Jurassic Park

 (11 June 1983)
DINOSAURS! At last!  How long did we wait for this movie and how much did we want it?! Kudos to Steven Spielberg for making our childhood movie wish list come to life. When the brontosauruses came on screen, we were right there in the field with the actors, mouths agape. 

The T-Rex banner-drop scene is perfection. I shake my head in admiration every time I watch. This movie is one of the best reasons to own surround sound.  When the vibration shakes the water in the cup, you feel the bass, and the T-Rex breathing down your neck. 

Indiana Jones And The Temple of Doom
Mola Ram villain from Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom is dressed in robes with an animal teeth choker and a hat made from a bull's skull with the horns still attached and a shrunken head ornament with feathered headdress in the center is holding up a still-beating heart he's just ripped out of the chest of a live victim as the heart catches fire in his hand because the victim's body is now catching fire in a flame pit far below (23 May 1984)
Mola Ram toyMola Ram toyMore fun with Indy. I really didn't think he needed a kid's help but I am sure kids ate it up. The beauty and the genius of the opening sequence impresses me every time I watch it. I loved the ingenuity of the inflated raft escape. 

It was pretty intense when they sacrificed that poor slob (his flaming heart at right) and OMG Indy, snap out of it!  Near the end I was thinking how people would love this move to be a theme park ride where they take that railway car through the mine. Steven Spielberg detractors can say whatever they want, I think he's got an overdeveloped sense of fun and I'm just glad he shared it with the world. How loved is this movie?  Toy rule: they don't make toys for the movies no one likes. Aw, cute little baby Mola Ram (Amrish Puri) LOL so sick!


The Lost World: Jurassic Park  
 (23 May 1987) a hand on a sheet of cracked glass showing a far drop to rocks and waves down below
I could watch this anytime just for the cliff scene, but there are so many great scenes! I went to see it 3 times in theaters and even though I knew how it would turn out, the vehicles hanging off the cliff, the bird's eye view of sure death below, the cracking glass, and the vehicles falling down around them kept me on the edge of my seat. Jeff Goldblum is so awesome with his reluctance, sarcasm, and understandably horrified perspective.  I like the angle that it's now a rescue mission—Just put  it right up front that this is going to end badly. It started and ended a little like King Kong (1976) which I liked: The idea of going on an
expedition and all the preparation that goes into that, and then bringing the giant animal back on a ship to wreak havoc on the streets. The scene where the T-Rex lumbers around the town is so well done, I love that people got eaten (without that, the animal is just an amusement. It 'brings the mistake home'.) There are moments sometime in a movie where it's just so good you're in disbelief, loving every second of it. The T-Rex in the town in one of those scenes. (Spielberg seems to always deliver amazement.)


Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade  
 (24 May 1989)
Sean Connery and Harrison Ford tied together in the fire scene in Indiana Jones and The Last CrusadeHarrison Ford and Sean Connery. Who else could play Indiana Jones' Dad if not James Bond? I thought it was kind of gross they both slept with the same girl though. Doesn't seem to bother the male fans. (This seems to be most fans' favorite Indy movie, but Raiders is mine). The banter between father and son is enjoyable and
Sean Connery seems to be having a great time with it.

Watching it again at the Movie Marathon in Sept. 2012, I thought the tank chase scene with Indiana on horseback was about as good as it gets.  When they blow up a troop transport full of Nazi soldiers at close range with the tank gun, it was Rambo-esque!

The best part of these movies is message. This one in particular is poignant because he's a treasure hunter and it's a lesson about greed. Loved the mix of eras (World War II and The Crusades). As always, it delivers in exotic locations as well.


The Mummy  
 (7 May 1999)
Brendan Fraser on his seeming signature fine line between handsome leading man and big goof. In this movie, he teetered into leading man status. He was beautiful to look at [ la George of the Jungle but at some point between Bedazzled and The Mummy Returns (was it Monkey Bone?!) he seemed to get sillier]. In this, I really liked him. The special effects are visually creative and a huge part of the movie, and with Oded Fehr and Arnold Vosloo as man candy, it's over the top. For the guys, Patricia Velasquez and Rachel Weisz are gorgeous in costume. Ancient Egypt and archaeology movies are fascinating to many of us. The opening sequence of ancient Egypt is beautifully brought to life with a pyramid in the background*  and the sphinx in the foreground. As only video can do this justice, here is the opening of the movie next to the real-life, present-day site.

  aerial photo of Thebes

*In the intro., they show a stripped-surface present-day Giza pyramid with the tip being the only part with the original facing. Back then, the entire surface would have have been covered with a smooth surface of that polished white limestone and gleamed like ice. The city is referred to as Thebes, but Thebes is not where the pyramids are, this looks like Luxor. However, Thebes was the capital city back then, and all that really matters is it's breathtaking.  [IMDB has a crazy-huge list of 'errors' that do not detract from the enjoyment of the movie. It's mostly stuff that you don't notice the first time you watch because you're caught up in the action, however, if and when you do notice, it breaks the spell and brings you back to reality, and that's never good. Still, artistic license, and . . . WOW!]



The Mummy Returns 
 (4 May 2001)
So take the first movie and add
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
. Please sir, can I have some more? It worked so well, they made The Scorpion King as a spin off. So, all I'm talking about is who is in it. And that's why we enjoyed it so much!  Loved the catfight, but while the women moved with practice, they did not move with intent. Still , always enjoyable.

a look exchanged by the star-crossed lovers and villains of The Mummy Returns, the high prient Imhotep and Anck Su Amun, the mistress of Pharoah Seti I


Jurassic Park III 
 (18 July 2001)
This movie is still entertaining every time I watch it for the dynamic of the characters if not everything else.  It reminds me of why everyone liked the TV show "Lost".  They wander around in the jungle and are incredibly stupid. This movie appeals to our interests in archaeology, paleontology, exploration, genetics, and you know you were just waiting for it, it has  . . . Pterodactyls! 

"What was that?"
"It's a Tyrannosaurus?"
"I don't think so."
"It sounds bigger."

The movie is a study in persistence and bravery. While the special effects seem a bit unreal at times, most times they are flawless. Nothing detracts from your enjoyment of the events happening onscreen.  You still squirm in your seat and root for the characters to hurry up and not get eaten!  The scene at right is movie magic, and I'm happy that I still marvel at what it must take to create a scene like this and make it look so real. I'm also grateful for the creative imagination that knows this is one of our deepest, primal fears (the "moveable feast")—Like I said in the Adventure subgenre intro: "Run!"

IMDBPro lists Jurassic Park IV for 2014, to be directed by Joe Johnston.


The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring
 (19 Dec 2001)
The Walkabout movies aka Gorgeous Men with Long Hair movies.  I liked parts of these movies, but I wanted more Action more often.  It's like nitpicking an incredible meal just because you want more!


Kelly Hu in The Scorpion KingDwayne Johnson as The Scorpion King
The Scorpion King 
 (19 April 2002) 
All Hail The Scorpion King!  It's more than a little bit fairy-tale cheesy but it delivers for an
Action Movie Freak, WAY BETTER than I had any reason to expect.  It's just a Rock vehicle, right?  No, it's so much more.  The fight scenes are awesome, especially the one in the tent!  From the even-a-girl-has-to-say-"Good-God!"-HOT Kelly Hu as The Sorceress, to the underappreciated scenes with the incredible wall of strength Michael Clarke Duncan, this movie is very entertaining, is always great to watch, and has a great ending :) It's like a really great brownie. It's not trying to be chocolate mousse.  Eat your awesome!


The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers
 (18 Dec 2002) 
The Hobbit
was my and a lot of other people's favorite book growing up, so, of course, I loved these movies. They are such big productions with great special effects, not to mention a great cast of gorgeous men, but keeping it true to the material made the structure a little dull. It was a "massive achievement" but I wanted more fight scenes and less hobbits walking.  You  know you were laughing when you watched that scene in Clerks II.

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King
 (17 Dec 2003)
Sad to say, but my enthusiasm for these movies had completely cooled by the time I saw this one.


National Treasure
 (19 Nov 2004)
This is a nearly perfect movie.  The story is great. It has so many cool elements:

  • I love Nicolas Cage in it.
  • It's so much fun to unravel the mystery as we go.
  • The history is fascinating.
  • The Heist is great!
  • The opening action scene of the ship discovery under the ice is very 'Clive Cussler' (it beats me why more of those novels haven't been made into movies).  This is the stuff we love Action Adventure for!
  • Sean Bean is enjoyable as a nemesis and gives a good Chase.
  • The "treasure of all treasures" is ridonkulous! (A good thing but not believable, hence the "nearly perfect" rating).
  • And, the humor makes this movie. It's great fun. In large part it's the script, but the fun is equally attributable to Justin Bartha who kinda qualifies as a Whiner, making the Camaraderie and Dominance/Buddy elements thoroughly enjoyable.

    Twenty minutes in there's a huge explosion and we know the set up:  They have to stop 'the bad guy' from stealing The Declaration of Independence.


King Kong
 (14 Dec 2005)
It satisfied! And Adrien Brody and Jack Black didn't ruin it by being over the top. In fact, Jack Black was perfect in this role! It had that element of excitement about going on an adventure that the 1976 version had.  I didn't mind the implausibility of the Action either, it was just THAT much fun!  The kind of movie you want for a  Saturday afternoon matinee; that makes you feel like a kid again.



Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull
(22 May 2008)
Such anticipation for this movie. I thought they handled him aging very well. I liked Shia LeBeouf. It was very Saturday matinee in the way that King Kong was.  Not believable at all in parts (the Jeep sword fight) but enjoyable nonetheless.


The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor  
 (1 Aug 2008)

Haven't seen it yet.


Clash Of The Titans  
 (2 Apr 2010)

Haven't seen it yet.


 (9 July 2010)
Hats off to Roberto/Robert Rodriguez (and to Alex Litvak, Michael Finch, Jim Thomas, and John Thomas) for even trying to do this. It had to be a daunting experience knowing expectations would be super high because the first movie is cult-classic popular. So, can you leave your love of Predator at the door, and still enjoy this movie? Yes you can! Adrien Brody is not Arnold (sigh), and yet he does do a good job. Can't believe I'm saying that, but I didn't hate him in this, and he held the movie through until the end. And, no, they did not kill him first, like I jokingly hoped (sort of). So what did Predators deliver on like the first movie? For starters, The Simple Setup:  Let's "jump in" . . .


Transformers: Dark of the Moon  
 (29 June 2011)
The first Transformers was great, but the popular opinion of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was not favorable. This third installment makes up for it. I don't think anyone (well, any
Action Movie Fans or Freaks) will gave a damn about the plot. There was so much 3-D action, my eyelids were fluttering like Nicolas Cage in Lord of War watching the ammo fly and hearing the sound of money! Cha-Ching! Cha-Ching! Cha-Ching!  If you didn't go see it in IMAX, you missed out on probably the most amazing Action Movie sequence to date.  Thanks to Michael Bay, the 3-D was JAW-DROPPING UN-BAY-LIEVABLE !

Watch more on Vimeo from   Read my article.  

All hail Michael Bay:



Woola the dog from John Carter of MarsJohn Carter  
 (9 Mar 2012)
I enjoyed it so much more than Avatar.  It was fun to watch all the way through. I forgot there were special effects—when I wasn't being amazed by the whole the look of it!  I wasn't pulled out of the fantasy even once. It's the kind of feel-good Saturday-afternoon Adventure film you hope to see. Loved Willem Dafoe in it!  Taylor Kitsch was great too (love the 70s hair). In fact, everyone was really good. I liked the character of the Princess, but the 'dog' "Woola" stole our hearts.

Willem Dafoe and Taylor KitschThe costumes and sets were beautifully designed and creatively detailed. The ships, the weapons, and the planet . . . the whole thing gave me an original Star Trek TV series feel, like Capt. Kirk had been beamed down on a planet to fight strange creatures until the ship figured out how to get him back, but in the meantime he shows them how wise he is and saves everyone. That kind of good-feeling/fun.

There are rumors about a sequel . . . Read more.  If you want a sequel, check out the Facebook page, and follow them on twitter:  @JohnCarter2Fans and @BacktoBarsoom

On IMDB, John Carter: The Gods of Mars is now listed as "in development".


Star Trek Into Darkness  
 (16 May 2013)
"You don't respect the Chair, and you know why? Pike and Kirk
  Because you're not ready for it."

Owch! Star Trek Into Darkness starts out with the same relational conflict and performance angst that the first movie did. And this movie, like the last one, does a stellar job of capturing the dynamic of the crew from the original TV Series.  This is what we crave in Star Trek. The various characters are all brought to life in the same quirky ways: The supremely confident Captain, the infuriatingly logical and belligerent Science Officer, the mother-hen cantankerous Medical Officer, and the drama queen pull-a-rabbit-out-of-a-hat Engineer. They have their ways that get on each other's nerves, but they have mutual respect because are all incredibly good at what they do.  Getting this right is essential because it's not Star Trek without it. 

Read more.


World War Z  picture of ant swarm behavior alongside zombie swarm from World War Z movie
 (21 June 2013)
ln a word, World War Z is an intense zombie movie.  Not your typical zombie movie in the traditional vein in terms of an all-out gross-fest of gore (although the zombies are truly disgusting and terrifyingly fast and vicious), but more of an taut, emotional journey of the lead character to save the world.  The movie opens with a surprisingly powerful video montage of various recent events, interspersed with images of animal and insect attacks and swarm behavior. It's a comment on the current human condition world wide. Being in Miami, I couldn't help but catch the attack on Ronald Poppo, sadly and tellingly listed on Wikipedia as the "Miami Cannibal Attack".  The credits perfectly set the stage for the carnage to follow . . . Read more.


Tim Roth at Thade in Planet of the Apes 2001


Planet of the Apes  
 (27 July 2001)
Much of this movie hinges on the unrelenting viciousness of Tim Roth's character, "Thade".  How much of being a glorified hero is the other side of the coin from a really 'good' villain . . . This movie builds and builds until that epic moment when the two groups face off, then, suddenly, the apes begin to run on all fours, fast.  Surprisingly fast.  Keeping ahead of horses fast.  And the battle rages until . . .. . . Read more.



Action Movie SUBGENRES

Fellow Freaks 

87Eleven Action Design | Chad Stahelski + David Leitch
The Action Elite  Eoin Friel
Action Fanatix
ActionFest  (please bring it back . . . ) | Aaron Norris, Bill Banowsky, Dennis Berman
Action Reloaded  | Jeff Turner
Alex in Wonderland | Female Action Films/Girls WIth Guns list
AvP Central
AllOuttaBubbleGum  | Brenton Haysom + Tyler Hanson
  Artemis Women in Action Film Festival
Black Ops | Toys
  City on Fire
Exploding Helicopter
Explosive Action
Headquarters 10 | Matthew Kiernan
  Herve Attia
IMCDb Internet Movie Cars Database
IMFDb Internet Movie Firearms Database
IMPDb Internet Movie Plane Database
Iron Dragon TV Action Fest
John J. Rambo
Kain's Korner/Kain's Quest | Brenton Haysom
The London Action Festival  Year 2: June 21-25, 2023
Magnolia Pictures
Man In Hat  | Peter Kaplowski
Fandango Movie Clips
Outlaw Vern
Poisonous Monkeys
Predator The Hunted
Rantbo's Repository Ty Guy on Letterboxd | Ty Hanson
Ric Meyers
The Riddick Archive
Screen Junkies
Stallone Zone
The Stunt Pod

Xombie Dirge
Star Store
zeroplate at CHUD


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