Action movies make you sit on the edge of your seat the entire time, waiting for all the fight scenes, never knowing when someone is going to get shot down, or there’s going to be an explosion or someone is going to die. Yet in between all the action, a good movie should also have a good plot as well.
Tango and Cash. From beginning to end, this movie is full of car chases, gun battles, fights and explosions. In between, we get to know Tango and Cash, two cops who are as different as light and day. Tango wears stylish clothes and plays the stock market. Cash is more casual and he’s a slob. But as different as they are, they also have a few things in common. They are the two best narcotics cops in L.A., they both get railroaded by a common enemy, a man who is tired of them messing with his drug business, and of course a girl. Tango’s sister and Cash’s new love interest. This movie is full of twists and turns, not to mention humor.
Lethal Weapon. A movie that defines “buddy-cop”. This movie is about a suicidal yet clever cop named Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) who is paired with family man and veteran cop Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover). Between wild car chases, jumping off buildings with a suicidal man and psychotic rants, Riggs begins to heal from the recent death of his wife and to start trusting someone…his new partner. After Riggs is almost killed by Mr. Joshua, a very lethal and psychotic man played by Gary Busey, they begin investigating Shadow Company. Murtaugh’s daughter, Rianne is captured by the Shadow Company and in an attempt to rescue her, both Riggs and Murtaugh are taken prisoner and tortured. They manage to escape and go after the remaining members of Shadow Company which culminates in one of the best fight scenes ever between Riggs and Mr. Joshua.
Speed. From the elevator scene in which a crazed, retired bomb squad specialist named Howard Payne (played by Dennis Hopper) holds a bunch of executives hostage to the bus full of people that is rigged to explode if the bus goes below 55 mph, to the final fight on the subway this movie is filled with action. Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) manages to save the executives before the elevator goes plummeting to the bottom of the building. Then, on the bus, after the driver is shot, Jack is assisted by Annie Porter (Sandra Bullock), a woman who takes over driving the bus while Jack figures out how to get everyone off the bus without the bomb exploding. Jack realizes that Payne is watching everything that is going on inside the bus and rigs the feed so that it loops and loops, making Payne think everyone is still on board while Traven gets the other passengers off. Then, he and Annie escape as well. But not before a lady who tries to get off the bus while the injured bus driver is leaving gets crushed beneath the wheels of the bus.
Payne figures out the ploy and kidnaps Annie setting off a chase through a subway. Payne and Traven fight on top of the subway car until Payne’s head hits a tunnel light, decapitating it. The subway derails and crashes onto Hollywood Boulevard but Annie and Jack manage to survive and kiss while stunned citizens look on.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. While most people wouldn’t consider this an “action” film, I think there’s more action going on in Sherwood Forest than out on the streets of other movies. There are plenty of fights, most notably Nottingham’s attack on the rebels in Sherwood Forest and then again when the rebels fight back and storm the castle. With a cast full of amazing actors such as Kevin Costner, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Morgan Freeman and Cristian Slater this is the best Robin Hood movie ever made.
The Three Muskateers. Another “action” movie set way, way back. It centers around D’Artagnan (Chris O’Donnell), a young man who leaves home to become a muskateer like his deceased father. He eventually makes friends with Athos (Keifer Sutherland), Porthos (Oliver Platt) and Aremis (Charlie Sheen) and the three try to thwart the insidious scheme of Cardinal Richelieu (Tim Curry) and Lady Sabine DeWinter (Rebecca DeMornay) to form an alliance with enemy England by killing the King. This movie not only has action, but a sad love story (Athos and Lady DeWinter were once wed until he found out she was a criminal), lots of humor and a happy ending. What more could a movie goer hope for?