With the release of the Ready Player One movie on the 29th, you might find yourself wondering how your psyche will handle the shock of going straight from the bitter cold (figuratively) nothingness that is winter in Hollywood, to the action-packed, full-on fantasy thriller world that Ready Player One promises to be. Don’t worry, you’re in luck! We have carefully compiled a list of action flicks (in no particular order) to get your blood pumping fast enough to remember that the sun will come back as it does every year. The crops will grow as they have for millennia and the quality of new releases will once again gradually rise throughout spring and peak in the summer, leaving us fully prepared to endure the hardship of yet another cold (figuratively) Hollywood winter.
1) Stardust (2007)
Easing us into this list of action-packed flicks is Stardust. While it may at first seem like more of a fantasy film than an action movie, and it is, it has more than enough fast-paced, heart-pounding moments to deserve a spot on this list. Without giving away too many spoilers (for a movie that released over 11 years ago) what I can tell you is that you are in for quite a treat if you choose to give this one a watch tonight. It has everything. Action, adventure, magic, flying boats, evil, betrayal, and it’s all stunning, visually. It’s one of those films that halfway through when you go to reach for your drink without even thinking about it, you might find yourself suddenly thinking “Oh yeah, I’m watching a movie.” Fully immersive, and not without its much-needed breaks for humor and romance. A definite must watch for those just easing back into fast-paced films.
2) Men In Black (1997)
If you’re a fan of both action and sci-fi, then Men In Black is an absolute must. It’s got everything a movie fan might want. Action, aliens, comedy, aliens, romance, aliens and even ALIENS! Plus, there’s really no beating the combo of Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith acting side by side. The contrast of serious to silly is an overarching theme of this film. However, it is on a list of action movies for a reason. the fate of the planet is at stake. Agents K and J set out on a quest through New York to find a tiny galaxy dangling precariously from the collar of a common house cat. A task that already sounds impossible, but when you add that fact that there are evil aliens bent on destroying the world that after the same galaxy, things start to get interesting. Throughout the film, there are countless lasers, gadgets, alien fight scenes and an overwhelming sense of impending doom for all of human civilization. What else could a movie lover want?
3) Tropic Thunder (2008)
Join Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr. and a slew of other A-list actors in this meta, comedy action movie about war movies based on war books based on made up war stories. If that was a little bit too much to follow, I don’t blame you. However, I will blame you if it’s complicated premise keeps you from enjoying the full force action flick that is Tropic Thunder. Set in Vietnam, these prissy, Hollywood actors are more than just out of their element. In fact, at times, they’re downright out of their minds. When the director of the film takes the actors into the real backwoods of Vietnam and is subsequently turned into a fine red mist after stepping on a discarded 1970s era land mine, the boys are on their own. Convinced that it’s all a tactic to make them believe they are in danger, the movie’s lead, Tug Speedman (Ben Stiller) pushes deeper into the woods and discovers more than just the ending to the ultimate Vietnam war movie. He finds himself.
4) Hot Fuzz (2007)
If you were a fan of Shaun of the Dead, you’re going to love Hot Fuzz if you haven’t already been lucky enough to have watched it. A London constable is transferred to a snooze of a town outside the city and is struggling to adjust to the more slow-paced lifestyle. All he wants is to be back in the city where the action happens, but then things start to get strange. At first, it’s just an out of the ordinary accident or two. Things that could easily be explained by coincidence. However, as he spends more time in the small town, the frequency and unusual circumstances of the “accidents” begin to make Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) wonder if there might be more at play than the eerily quiet townsfolk want him to think. With a trusty sidekick (Nick Frost) they take to the streets, determined to find the answers they’re searching for, no matter what it takes. And that’s good because it might just take everything they’ve got. With no shortage of laughs or nail-biting action sequences, Hot Fuzz is a must watch for those preparing for the action movie event of the season.
5) Oldboy (S.K. – 2003) (U.S. – 2005)
Oldboy is an amazing story. A man is taken against his will after being bailed out of jail yet again and is then dragged to a small room where he is kept alone (besides the company of a television) for 15 years and drugged whenever he is in contact with other people. However, one day he is set free and invited to track down the man that kept him prisoner for so long. This is all well and good but anybody that knows of the movie Oldboy already knows what all of this is building up to. The fight scene. The miraculous fight scene in which the recently escaped prisoner is met in a narrow hallway filled with about 50 guys all bigger than the last and all ready to do what they have to do to keep him from getting through. Shot in one continuous tracking shot through the hallway, we can see him losing, winning, being stabbed, hitting people in the face with claw hammers and more. SPOILER ALERT, he wins the fight and opens the elevator door to, you guessed it, MORE armed guards. However, that fight is mostly implied, cutting straight to a shot of the star exiting the same elevator by walking over the unconscious bodies of his aggressors. Turns out, being held against your will for 15 years can do powerful things to a person. Who knew?
There you have it. The top five action/adventure movies available to watch now on Netflix. Any one of these movies is sure to help get you started in your path to preparing for the high level of action in store for you when you buy your ticket to go see Ready Player One next week (if you haven’t already). Actually, now that I think about it, I can’t remember exactly where I left my tickets. I’ll have to go look for now, but maybe I’ll see you there! In the meantime, check out some of these fun flicks on Netflix!
By: Bill L. Wallis