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View Full Version : Top 10 Action films of the modern era


King_Ghidra
08-03-2007, 15:27:04
Define modern era as you want. Venom inspired the thread with a comment regarding the last twenty years, but some might want to include some from just outside that...

maroule
08-03-2007, 15:30:14
There is only one worthy of the title




http://adorocinema.cidadeinternet.com.br/filmes/stallone-cobra/stallone-cobra-poster02.jpg

Venom
08-03-2007, 15:34:04
I would say the late 70s early 80s would define the beginning of the modern era. All the Stallone and Arnold movies of the era with the huge special effects and shit like that.

King_Ghidra
08-03-2007, 15:41:55
Here's the IMDB list for reference and ideas: however it includes stuff from the 60's and 70's that people might want to ignore.

http://imdb.com/chart/action

Funko
08-03-2007, 15:46:19
I will probably think of lots more as people suggest them and I deliberately haven't gone for any 'war films'.

1. Kickboxer
2. Aliens
3. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
4. Terminator
5. Hard Boiled
6. Predator
7. Mad Max
8. Die Hard
9. Commando
10. Top Gun

King_Ghidra
08-03-2007, 15:47:08
First five off the top of my head:

In no particular order:

1) The Killer - John Woo's best ever film. A brilliant film in which assassin faces off against cop in a bullet ballet where the good guys and bad guys aren't as clear cut as you might think.

2) Die Hard - Single-handedly destroyed the ridiculous trend of 80's steroid action films in which the heroes emerge unscathed from every scene.

3) The Matrix - ground-breaking special effects, brilliant concept and brought a lot of the modern trends of the eastern action movies to hollywood

4) Predator and 5) Aliens - making sci-fi accessible to non-nerds (though Predator is still somewhat mired in the arnie mould).


Oh and:

6) Ong Bak - a brutal update of the classic kung fu/fight film concept utilising modern stunt and photography techniques

I guess some might vote for Kill Bill, but tbh i'm not much of a fan of it.

Scabrous Birdseed
08-03-2007, 15:47:28
I think rather than narrowing by years we need to narrow down the genre. I mean, North by Northwest or Goldfinger are clearly action titles while Metropolis (wtf?), Saving Private Ryan, Lola Rennt etc. in my opinion aren't.

Funko
08-03-2007, 15:48:27
Fuck it... my kung fu is probably outside the genre. I'll replace them.

King_Ghidra
08-03-2007, 15:50:26
well i think we mean films in which it's action pretty much for action's sake, not things like war films, slasher flicks etc.

fighting, guns and explosions, but not in a realistic historical sense or in a 'only occurs in 5 mins of the film' sense

King_Ghidra
08-03-2007, 15:52:13
Originally posted by Funko
Fuck it... my kung fu is probably outside the genre. I'll replace them.

you should take kickboxer out because it's shit and gay, not because it's outside the scope

and i would suggest your list is mainly the opposite of the thread idea of the modern action film, i.e. post-arnie

Venom
08-03-2007, 15:53:18
Not really in any order other than the order of how often I can watch the film.

1. Die Hard
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
3. Predator
4. The Matrix
5. Lethal Weapon

King_Ghidra
08-03-2007, 15:53:29
Actually Sin City gets my vote here, though it's borderline on the amount of action.

King_Ghidra
08-03-2007, 15:53:59
Il Mariachi

Funko
08-03-2007, 15:54:20
Hmm. Venom said I would say the late 70s early 80s would define the beginning of the modern era. All the Stallone and Arnold movies of the era with the huge special effects and shit like that.

That's what I was going by.

Funko
08-03-2007, 15:55:03
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
you should take kickboxer out because it's shit and gay, not because it's outside the scope

and i would suggest your list is mainly the opposite of the thread idea of the modern action film, i.e. post-arnie

You missed the ones I took out, I'd already edited out a Jackie Chan and a Bruce Lee that were too early.

Venom
08-03-2007, 15:57:31
I would include the Arnold and Stallone shitfests as the modern action era. Good or bad, they defined action movies in the 80s.

King_Ghidra
08-03-2007, 15:57:47
I'm tempted by Raiders of the Lost Ark, i think it has a human quality which gives it a lot in common with modern action films

But when you think the modern day equivalent is something awful like The Scorpion King or the mummy though...:(

King_Ghidra
08-03-2007, 15:59:20
Originally posted by Venom
I would include the Arnold and Stallone shitfests as the modern action era. Good or bad, they defined action movies in the 80s.

Fair enough, and apologies to funko.

Venom
08-03-2007, 15:59:47
And Aliens kicks all kinds of ass. I hate Alien and Aliens 3 and 4, but Aliens rules.

King_Ghidra
08-03-2007, 16:01:09
Have there been any good gun films post-matrix?

I can't think of anything but shit clones (be that thematic or in the photographic techniques).

Venom
08-03-2007, 16:02:29
I would almost argue that there hasn't been a good action movie for at least 3 or 4 years. We've had movies like LOTR and all, but action wasn't what defined those movies, it was more icing on the cake to some artsy fantasy movie.

Funko
08-03-2007, 16:02:42
Kickboxer is the ultimate western version of the Revenge/Training/Underdog Victory. Incorporating so many kung-fu classics including IIRC (which I might not) drunken training, saving a village, meeting a hot local chick, fighting blind. And the fights are pretty brutal.

Not to mention Tong Po cracking that huge stone pillar at the beginning and the dipping hands in resin and broken glass at the end.

It is gay though, Van Damme is in it.

Funko
08-03-2007, 16:03:19
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
I'm tempted by Raiders of the Lost Ark, i think it has a human quality which gives it a lot in common with modern action films

But when you think the modern day equivalent is something awful like The Scorpion King or the mummy though...:(

Yeah. :(

Venom
08-03-2007, 16:03:42
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
Have there been any good gun films post-matrix?

I can't think of anything but shit clones (be that thematic or in the photographic techniques).

Equilibrium perhaps? Sort of a clone, but more a mesh between the Matrix and Hong Kong action. Which I guess would make it inbred Hong Kong action since that's what the Matrix was a clone of in the first place.

Funko
08-03-2007, 16:06:03
Commando is another controversial choice. It is undeniably a bit shit but I think it's the most extravagant example of how ludicrous they can get. Especially during the extended end of the film when Arnie's stashed guns all around the gardens of that house he's storming.

Funko
08-03-2007, 16:07:00
We've had a few good superhero action movies recently. Spiderman and X-Men particularly.

Funko
08-03-2007, 16:07:45
Spider-Man 1 and X-Men 2 for nomination purposes.

Venom
08-03-2007, 16:08:03
Ah yes, how could I forget Spider-Man, I think I just lost 1000 nerd points for that.

King_Ghidra
08-03-2007, 16:08:57
true. there is that fine line between what venom's talking about where the action is kind of just the icing on the cake rather than the raison d'etre. sin city is arguably in that mould in fact.

Funko
08-03-2007, 16:10:08
I think possibly I think Kickboxer is so awesome because my memories of it are a combination of Kickboxer and Bloodsport.

Venom
08-03-2007, 16:11:11
I think that's why you'll find most good action movies tend to blur that line. Very hard to make a quality, non-stop action movie. Too much shit blowing up and too many one liners.

Funko
08-03-2007, 16:11:39
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
true. there is that fine line between what venom's talking about where the action is kind of just the icing on the cake rather than the raison d'etre. sin city is arguably in that mould in fact.

Yeah. I excluded Pulp Fiction on that basis.

King_Ghidra
08-03-2007, 16:15:02
Something like Jackie Chan's Police Story 3 deserves a shout. I remember thinking that was absolutely outrageous when i first saw it. Plus it 's not just kung-fu it has crazy shit like helicopters flying into trains etc.

Funko
08-03-2007, 16:16:29
New edited list:

1. Aliens
2. The Matrix
4. Terminator
5. Hard Boiled
6. Predator
7. Spider-Man
8. Die Hard
9. X-Men: 2
10. Lethal Weapon

And I should really get round to watching The Killer.

Funko
08-03-2007, 16:21:16
Speaking of recent ones, I thought Casino Royale was really good.

Venom
08-03-2007, 16:24:48
I think this is the modern action movie timeline. early 1980s the modern action film is born out of the advances in special effects technology and the general excess of the 80s. For the most part, the movies, like the decade, are better left forgotten.

1990s. After the action technique began to be perfected, the 90s produced the greatest of the action films as experience, technology, and creativity all came together.

After the boom of the 90s came the current period where everything is a ripoff and/or an over the top CGI induced set piece. Basically an attempt to cash in with the lowest possible effort. Most passable action movies are blended genres, probably in an attempt to appeal to the widest market.

Funko
08-03-2007, 16:26:37
Yeah, good summary. That's at least partly why I liked Casino Royale, it had a bit of a back to basics approach.

King_Ghidra
08-03-2007, 16:29:35
The Bourne Identity was another very good thriller/action flick in a similar vein.

Funko
08-03-2007, 16:37:56
Yeah, good shout. Do they count as action movies?

King_Ghidra
08-03-2007, 16:50:36
in the bourne identity at least there is pretty much non-stop chase action

bourne supremacy is a bit more thrillerish

the thriller/action film dividing line is another thin one.

Venom
08-03-2007, 17:02:29
I would definitely count both Bourne films as action. And they're both good.

Venom
08-03-2007, 17:11:10
Again though, very minimalistic back to the basics type deals. Not many explosions or crazy CGI.

Debaser
08-03-2007, 17:23:32
1. Terminator 2 - More action and less story than the first. And with a Guns 'n' Roses soundtrack.
2. Robocop - Should be number one really.
3. Days of Thunder - No guns or explosions, but the same high octaine, testosterone over substance approach to film making as your average mid-80s Arnie flick. Better than Top Gun.
4. Under Siege - Van Damme's finest hour.
5. Con Air - I hate this film, I think's it's really really shit, but I kind of love it for all the same reasons I hate it. And because I couldn't think of anything else.

Funko
08-03-2007, 17:26:07
Days of Thunder is not better than Top Gun - OPINION!

Debaser
08-03-2007, 17:56:57
I don't know how you can say that, it's exactly the same except it's slightly less overtly gay, and doesn't have that cringy Great Balls of Fire scene.

Venom
08-03-2007, 18:09:03
Oooh Under Siege. I love that movie. Excellent choice. Except it didn't have Van Damme, it had Seagal.

T2 and Robocop are also inspired choices.

Greg W
08-03-2007, 22:25:34
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
I'm tempted by Raiders of the Lost Ark, i think it has a human quality which gives it a lot in common with modern action films

But when you think the modern day equivalent is something awful like The Scorpion King or the mummy though...:( Actually, I'd suggest Sahara or National Treasure would be a better example of modern day equivalents, and I think they were both much better than Scorpion King or the Mummy.

Hmm, off the top of my head, my top 10:

1) Aliens
2) Terminator 2
3) Mad Max (this may be a tad early?)
4) Highlander
5) The Matrix
6) Top Gun
7) Die Hard
8) Lethal Weapon
9) Rocky
10) Raiders of the Lost Ark (probably should be higher, oh well)

I'm awfully tempted to throw Platoon in there, though if Saving Ryan's Privates is excluded, then that should be too.

Nills Lagerbaak
09-03-2007, 08:47:07
How can everyone miss the one film that has made me sit back in my seat with a look of total and utter disbeilief upon my face?

Shaolin Soccer.

Funko
09-03-2007, 09:11:57
:lol:

Even mentioning it makes me laugh.

Funko
09-03-2007, 09:12:25
Originally posted by Debaser
I don't know how you can say that, it's exactly the same except it's slightly less overtly gay, and doesn't have that cringy Great Balls of Fire scene.

NASCAR sucks.

Fistandantilus
09-03-2007, 12:34:58
Total Recall had to be mentioned.

Venom
21-07-2007, 03:38:46
Just found this

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20041669_20041686_20042607,00.html

Like all media lists, and lists in general, it has some odd choices. But the top 10 is pretty solid.