With John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum just starting to hit cinema’s, I thought I would take a look back at the best action films the 10’s had to offer. The last nine years have brought us many great titles that could make their way onto this list, but to make it even harder, I have to bring that huge selection down to just five. As always this is strictly based on my opinion alone, with box office sales and IMDB having no factor. So without further a do, these are my picks for the 5 best action films since 2010. Be warned, there will be a lot of great movies missing out.
The Raid 1-2:
Okay, so I might be cheating a little here, but Gareth Evans’ martial arts double, works just as well as solo outings as they do when viewed together. Where the first focuses on a single location drug bust, the second expands on scope and budget. Both films providing something that is refreshing and full of glorious moments that would put many western action movies to shame.
A saga that allows character development and story to take a backseat, in order to make way for the execution of its relentlessly brutal action sequences, some of which are the best ever put to film. Despite not having a great deal in regards to telling a fully engaging and timeless story, the way in which both films handle the combat is so powerful, it essentially manages to change the martial arts genre for the better.
The Raid saga is hardcore and action heavy but incredibly pleasing and achieves far more than you would ever ask it too. To put it simply, if you’re looking for something fast paced and easy to follow without having the need to completely switch off, then look no further, because there’s enough energy in these two films to fill a franchise running ten or more years.
Nicolas Winding Refn’s debut English speaking title is his best piece of work to date. A vibrant, neon infused action/thriller that has Ryan Gosling at the helm in a role that he completely makes his own. Much like its lead performer, Drive is stylish, slick and scintillating. From its opening shot, with the luscious backdrop of the L.A. night scene to accompany a melodious techno soundtrack, you know you’re in for a ride.
What makes Drive so great is just how much it holds up on countless rewatches. From start to finish it is invigorating. Car chases, intense action and a great soundtrack to boot, it’s hard to not fall into the world of Refn’s glamorous vision. It manages to perfectly blend an 80’s aesthetic with a modernised L.A.
Ever since its release in 2011, it has remained one of the biggest highlights from this decade and like I said back then, I’ll say again, Drive is one of the best films of this century.
Not only one of the best action films of this decade, but one of the best films from a franchise that’s spanning almost 60 years. Daniel Craig’s third entry into the long running Bond franchise has been a clear standout, even 7 years after its release, it’s still as relevant now as it was when it hit theatres.
After the underwhelming Quantum of Solace, Skyfall fixes a lot of issues. Most noticeably its poorly written villain dilemma. Very rarely has a Bond film been recognised for how it utilises its villains, but Javier Bardem’s portrayal of Raoul Silva is rightfully considered the best of the lot. Pitted up against a damaged Bond, the lead character is given a challenge far further from anything we’ve seen from the franchise before hand.
An enthralling story, a beaten Bond, a franchise best for its villain and stunning set pieces from start to finish, it’s easy to understand why Skyfall is held in such high regard. This is a Bond film at its best.
After the wrap up of his beloved ‘Cornetto trilogy’, Edgar Wright’s next directional project is one of the most wonderfully original films in years. The perfect use of a booming soundtrack to steer an incredibly delightful set of car chase sequences, well written characters and a brilliantly sharp script.
Beat for beat, Baby Driver is one of the most charismatic and exciting films in recent memory. Unfortunate publicity timing may have effected this movie’s sales, but you have to view this film for what it is and the high level it consistently hits throughout.
Every actor brings the goods in front of screen, but the likes of the visuals and sound editing going on behind screen add to the incredibly authentic and rich experience. Baby Driver takes Wright’s artistic style and ramps it up to 11.
Mad Max: Fury Road:
Thirty years after Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, George Miller brings back his franchise and reinvents it for a modern audience. In comes Tom Hardy to play the lead role in a film that is just pure, adrenaline fuelled, fun. A two hour car chase filled to the brim of explosions, beautiful imagery and enough craziness to make you feel like you’re living out Mel Gibson’s wildest fantasies.
Another film where its plot feels arguably irrelevant, but still does nothing to dampen the overall vibe or execution. It does exactly what you would want it to by steamrolling its way through one action scene to the next, but in the most energetic of ways. With an eye watering colour palette to accompany the backdrop of a harsh, dystopian desert, the imagery is crisp and stunning.
Miller goes full throttle, never taking his foot off the pedal. His vision is fierce and forceful and provides us with an action film that will stand the test of time. Mad Max: Fury Road is a timeless classic, that was responsible for helping redefine a genre that was content on playing it safe.
So that’s my list, what did you think? What movies definitely needed to be included? What would your top 5 look like? Drop a comment below.