And in no particular order. But, admit it, for action/adventure fans and for an action/adventure writer, this had to be done at some point, right? First, I think I should explain which elements I look for in a great, not good, action movie.
Fun. Surprise. Escapism. Commitment from the actors and director. Nothing jaded. An ending that satisfies. Humour. And music – the score should compliment and enhance the movie.
Does some of this sound familiar to my readers?
Sit back, smile, forget your worries and enjoy the show. . .
First up, JURASSIC PARK. I’m not going in-depth here, and no doubt have missed a personal favourite or two – maybe even my own. But a few words of explanation will probably help. Dinosaur movies, when done right, have always been cool and this is the literal T-Rex of Dino movies. I bet you remember right now where you were and what you felt when that water first started shaking, eh? One I wish I could watch for the first time yet again.
Next, to mix it all up, I’m going to the first of a few recent gems. KINGSMAN – THE SECRET SERVICE. All the elements are in there – the fun, the humour, the surprise and the awesome ending. The music that literally kills! Who couldn’t have a good time watching this escapist action? Let your hair down. Don’t judge – enjoy. And to top it all off. . .Colin Firth actually rocks.
And on the same lines I must mention THE BOURNE IDENTITY – Matt Damon embracing the role so that he IS Jason Bourne.
FAST AND FURIOUS 6 – Yes, the series had a shaky start but with this, the sixth installment, I think they really rocked it. Great action scenes, adrenaline-fueled ending and some nice character interaction. Also, you can tell the actors really enjoy doing their jobs – a rare commodity these days.
KICK ASS – just a heap of fun. Great story makes you feel for the main character. Funny, shocking, and a music score to destroy almost any rival. One of those scores that choreograph into scenes and actually make them better. Two hours of pure escapist fun and action.
HOT FUZZ – did you enjoy it? I know I did. The humour was spot on, the music blaring at just the right time and the action scenes truly exhilarating. If you don’t remember watch it again with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s and a Diet Coke, but not before you’ve switched your mind off. Great fun.
Returning to our action junkie yesteryears, I’m looking at two of the best – LETHAL WEAPON and DIE HARD. I don’t feel I have to say a lot here. Just watch them at least once a year and enjoy.
And now to somewhere in between the first of the true humorous action features and modern day efforts. SPEED and TRUE LIES. Oh, the fun of both these films at the time, Speed, in particular. Great actors, great stories, fun scenes and that increasingly hard-to-find ‘feel-good’ factor as you sit there in the cinema.
In a nutshell then, I finally found it. The feel-good factor is what we’re after and, at least for me, it exists in every one of these movies. And I do think it’s getting harder and harder to find. Shame.
So I saved the best for last. Any ideas? It may not be your favourite, but I think the original PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN had absolutely everything an action movie could ask for. It had the amazing action scenes all beautifully choreographed in time to the stirring music; fresh, great acting from a fresh, great cast; the laugh-out-loud humour. And an ending to end all endings. So well done, they could never hope to pull it off again. And they didn’t.
Shame. Whilst writing this I was trying to remember the last great film I saw. The last moment I sat in a cinema and got that essential feel-good feeling I mentioned earlier. Not this year and we’re already closing in on September. So, what does it take? Are all the scripts and all the screenwriters in need of some fresh, new ideas. . ?
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