Action movies, the best so far of the 21st century


What do you think of when action movies are mentioned to you? The vast majority will remember the spectacular eighties and nineties films starring actors such as Sylvester Stallone, Arnold schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Chuck Norris. They all covered the genre with glory, but the truth is that the formula was obsolete several years ago.

Action movies have struggled to find their way ever since. But there are many actors and directors who have collaborated enormously to refresh the genre.

It’s hard to talk about a new golden age, but great action movies allow us to dream that it will not be long in coming. Do you want to know which ones we mean? We present them below.

The best action movies

Mad Max: Fury Road (Dir. George Miller, 2015)

action movies

George Miller achieved world fame with Mad max. That catapulted Mel Gibson’s career and ushered us into a post-apocalyptic world dominated by violence. The creative seemed cut out for these types of action films, but decided to abandon them to try his luck with romantic dramas, dreamy pigs and dancing penguins. It took more than 25 years for Miller to return to his origins with Mad Max: Fury Road. But every minute of this movie was worth the wait.

Beyond a powerful desert survival story, the Australian director presented a spectacular catalog of characters. They reflected the best and worst of human nature: Furious was the fight for a higher good; Joe matters pure evil; while the harem captured female strength in a violently male-dominated world. Special mention for Tom Hardy. His quasi-silent interpretation of the Road Warrior earned him the respect of all those fans of the original saga, perfectly capturing the values ​​of a character willing to do anything to preserve hope in a world desperate for it.

Finally, we cannot forget about the spectacular visual effects. These almost completely rescued the practical technique. In addition, they offered some of the most impressive action sequences in movies. These feats were recognized by the Academy itself, which awarded him six Oscars – all technical – and four more nominations. These included Best Direction and Best Picture. Today we know that Miller is already preparing a sequel titled Mad Max: The Wasteland. It will star Chris Hemsworth, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Anya Taylor-Joy as a furious young woman.

Kill Bill (Dir. Quentin Tarantino, 2003)

Action movies have historically been dominated by men in lead roles. However, some filmmakers have achieved memorable results by trying their luck with almost entirely female stories. Such is the case of Kill bill, located among the great masterpieces of Quentin Tarantino. The film takes us into the tragedy of a retired murderer who only longed for a normal life and whose illusions were shattered by her old boss.

This event will introduce our bloody bride on a violent hunt against all those who annihilated those she loved the most, including her unborn child. This story guaranteed a true place in history because of its exquisite characters and great plot. Also for fusing spectacular action sequences with all kinds of reflections on pain, life and death.

Perhaps the best example of this is the Superman monologue narrated by David Carradine in one of his most memorable works. Oddly enough, this gem of cinematography didn’t rack up a single Academy Award nomination. However, not even this could avoid the appreciation of the public who are eagerly awaiting a sequel. As told by Tarantino himself, this would follow the revenge of the now adult daughter of Vernita Green against the girlfriend.

You may also be interested in: Best action movies on Prime Video.

The tiger and the dragon (Dir. Ang Lee, 2000)

Ang Lee had already exhibited his talent before The tiger and the dragon, but this film marked his consolidation among the great directors. It showed that action movies did not require exclusively old American heroes, but good stories that unleashed all kinds of emotions among the public.

To achieve this, the Taiwanese led us through a world of adventures inspired by old Chinese legends and broke all the laws of physics with some of the most fantastic action sequences seen in recent years. The film conquered audiences around the world, but also a critique that sheltered it until it became one of the most successful films in the history of the Academy Awards. Four Oscars and six nominations may not sound so spectacular, but things change when we consider that The tiger and the dragon it was the fourth film to compete simultaneously for the peg for Best Film and Best Foreign Film. It might not win the top accolade, but it still sealed its place among the great action movies of history.

The Dark Knight (Dir. Christopher Nolan, 2008)

The last 20 years have been dominated by superhero cinema. Some adaptations have been good, others have been disappointing, but few have managed to transcend their own genre. The Dark Knight is one of them. The most curious thing is that to achieve this, Christopher Nolan ignored the fantastic elements of the subgenre to enter a realistic city, but no less chilling before the threat of a sadistic clown whose only desire was to see the world burn.

The film guaranteed a place in history with the impressive work of Heath Ledger as Joker, winner of the first histrionic Oscar in superhero cinema and who reached the status of legend with his death a few weeks after the premiere. Not even this was enough for The Dark Knight it obtained the coveted nomination for Best Film of the Year, but at least it contributed to the Academy admitting more competitors in subsequent installments.

The best action movies.

Skyfall (Dir. Sam Mendes, 2012)

Maybe Royal Casino was Daniel Craig’s first big appearance as James Bond, but Skyfall marked his absolute consolidation as one of the best agent in the entire franchise alongside the legendary Sean Connery. Not an easy mission in 55 years of history! Much of the success was due to the wonderful work of Sam Mendes, who respected what Martin Campbell and Marc Forster did by presenting a heroic agent, but vulnerable to the ingenuity of his adversaries.

And this is where we stand up to Javier Bardem, whose fantastic work as Silva immediately placed him among the best villains in the entire franchise.

Bourne: The Ultimatum (Dir. Paul Greengrass, 2007)

action movies

Matt Damon is one of the most prolific actors in contemporary cinema and whose qualities have successfully carried him through almost every genre including action movies. The actor entered the genre with Unknown identity, an acceptable adaptation to the homonymous novel by Robert Ludlum, but far removed from the glories of other heroes. Everything changed with the arrival of Paul Greengrass to the franchise, whose documentary experience offered us a more grounded sequel, but no less spectacular.

Consolidation for both came with The ultimatum, final installment of the planned original trilogy and that showed a hero fully aware of his abilities and willing to do anything to avenge the death of Marie (Franka Potente). These elements were complemented by a great script by Tony Gilroy, who took care of all the details to create a complex story without leaving a single loose end. Needless to say, Jason Bourne now lies among the great heroes of action movies.

You may also be interested in: Best action movies on Netflix.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (Dir. Brad Bird, 2011)

action movies

Everything seemed to indicate that Tom Cruise‘s film career was nearing its end, as the last numbers at the box office were increasingly removed from his old glories. However, the timeless action movie hero just needed a suitable project to relocate him among the most popular actors in the film industry and the answers came with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. The film directed by Brad Bird – debuting in live action after a great time through animation with The iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille– refreshed the team with the debut of Jeremy Renner as a potential heir to the series; He harnessed the qualities of Michael Nyqvist to make him one of the most disturbed villains in our history; and finally explored the most challenging mission of the franchise by showing a group lacking in resources in the face of the demise of the IMF.

But if they still want more, Ghost protocol the streak of stunts truly spectacular – not to say crazy – made by Tom Cruise, with a risky climb up the almost 830 meters of the Burj Khalifa. One of the must-see action movies for lovers of the genre.

John Wick (Dir. Chad Stagelski & David Leitch, 2014)

action movies

It seemed that the one-man-army had disappeared, until Liam Neeson resumed his foundations with his Relentless search, even though she wandered more around the thriller than action. The absolute return of the subgenre would come only a few years later with John wick, who led us through the vengeance of a retired assassin whose scant life was taken from him by the absurd ambitions of a young criminal leader.

The film represented the debut feature of Chad Stagelski and David Leitch, who have been on the right track ever since: the former directed the sequels. John wick 2 and John Wick 3 – Parabellum; the second did a good job with Atomic and Deadpool 2. Special mention for Keanu Reeves, whose qualities allowed him to play what many consider the best antihero of recent years. And it is that John Wick is a man of few words and who prefers to express himself with his violent combat techniques.

The best action movies.

13 killers (Dir. Takashi Miike, 2010)

action movies

It is strange that a remake it surpasses the original film, but there are rare occasions when it happens. Such is the case of 13 killers, a reinvention of the Eiichi Kurdo film of the same name, about a group of thirteen warriors hired to end the violent Akashi clan. The film was applauded for its good adaptation to events in 19th century Japan, but also for wisely using its technical resources to deliver some of the most realistic action movie sequences in Japanese cinema. And unlike many other Asian filmmakers, Takashi Miike employs virtually imperceptible CGI and presents battles so perfectly choreographed that it is easy to forget that we are watching a movie.

Baby Driver (Dir. Edgar Wright, 2017)

action movies

Edgar Wright exhibited his command of comedy in the Ice Cream Trilogy, but how would it work in action movies? The Brit offered some good sparks in Hot fuzz (2007) and Scott pilgrim (2010), but his true litmus test would come with Ant-Man. Or at least that was what we thought, until the filmmaker broke relations with Marvel Studios over creative differences.

Fortunately we could already know the qualities of Wright in the genre with Baby driver. What is its charm? The film forgets the clichés of action movies to delve into the story of Baby –also known as Miles–, a young man forced to begin a criminal career characterized by spectacular car maneuvers, an impressive soundtrack and the always dangerous allies. The tape quadrupled your initial investment, so it only seems like a matter of time before Wright finished work on the sequel.

The entry Action Movies, the best so far of the 21st century was first published in Cinema PREMIERE.


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