Most recently, Entertainment Weekly released a list of the 25 best Action movies of all time, what with the re-emergence of John McClane in his safe for everyone in the age of 13 sequel: “Live Free or Die Hard.” Of course, number one was indeed “Die Hard,” with the sad omission of “The Professional,” but we weren’t short changed, with titles like “Kill Bill, Vol. 1,” and “Mad Max,” and “Lethal Weapon.”
So, I being the big fan of lists, decided to consider my favorite action films of all time, and as you’d guess, I made a list. Not of the top ten, but more of the top five, just to keep it lean and tender for this return to the blogs. So, without further ado, here are my top five action films of all time:
Sho “˜Nuff, Camp is abound in what is easily one of the best action movies ever made in Walter Hill’s depiction of Inner-city gangs taking place in New York city. The plot is simple but extremely action packed as a famous and beloved gang kingpin is assassinated, and the blame pinned solely on the small Coney Island gang, The Warriors. Though their numbers are slim, they’re attacked by almost every gang in the city, with a high bounty on their head, and prove their worth engaging in some brutal bouts, including one of my favorite on-screen brawls, where the Warriors go toe to toe with the Roller Skating punks in a subway bathroom. Beyond that they have to tussle with painted base ballers, and knife wielding lesbians, just to get to their home turf in Coney Island. There’s not a single dull moment in the film.
You know it, you love it, I almost never stop talking about it, this is Brandon Lee’s swan song to the action-horror genre, as a rocker who returns from the dead to wreak bloody vengeance on the gang members who took the lives of him and his wife. Most appealing about this film is that we’re supplied with villains who carry their own presence in the likes of Tony Todd, Bai Ling, and Michael Wincott respectively, without ever drowning out the sheer morbid appeal of the painted up Eric Draven. One of the best scenes in the film, behind the knife fight, is Draven just painting the walls with blood as he crashes a gang summit, and helps the body count rise.
Assault on Precinct 13
I speak of the original masterpiece, not the watered down remake that shit on screens back in ’05. This is a time where Carpenter’s standing as a filmmaker was clear. He was gritty, he loved Westerns, he knew how to create scores that were simple but eerie, and he wasn’t selling off his films like it was a Garage sale. Once again a film consisting of a gang element, “Assault on Precinct 13″ involves a man who kills a vicious gang member after murdering his daughter on a street corner. He seeks refuge in a run down precinct in an abandoned part of the city, and now a bunch of off duty cops and a small group of vicious prisoners have to fend off against an endless supply of violent gangsters aching to break in. Though, oddly enough, there are fans of the remake, Carpenter’s original has many things in its favor including a rather chaotic story, and Napoleon Wilson who becomes a hero you just love to hate. For equal impact, check out “Straw Dogs.”
Sure, others may have their preference for the “Dirty Harry” films, but I personally prefer the first, which ends up being much more of a tale of this under appreciated cop, rather than the story of foiling this vicious murderer. He’s Dirty Harry because he has to do all the dirty work, and he almost gets no praise for risking his life, even when it includes stopping Scorpio from massacring a school bus filled with children. Eastwood is great here helping to pave the opening as one of the greatest moments in film history as he stops a bank robbery single handedly, even though he has to interrupt his lunch doing it. I hate when that happens.
This is yet another film I’ve written about numerously, and I’m not ashamed to continue harping on this. Anything with Steve McQueen is almost a guaranteed win, and even at his worst, the man is always on. McQueen is Doc McCoy, a thief who has just been released from prison thanks to his wife, and is now being called to duty again to rob another bank, and goes Rogue. “The Getaway” is a pure road flick following McCoy and his wife Carol across the country to get to the Mexican border, while being tailed by the authorities, as they continue to get themselves into hot water. Many people prefer McQueen’s other action films like “Bullitt,” and “Nevada Smith,” but for my money, Peckinpah’s entry into the McQueen legend is by far the best.
So, let’s hear it, what’s your top five?
See ya next Tuesday, kiddies.
Posted on June 19, 2007 in Blogs by Felix Vasquez Jr.
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