Best Action Movies of the XXI Century
The golden era of action movies is a thing of the past, but the genre has not disappeared. Every year, new action movies are released all over the world in various directions – from realistic to fantastic. How do I navigate this flow? I studied action movies released in the XXI century and identified the best and most famous films of this genre from different countries with chases and shootouts. Make yourself comfortable – you are waiting for selected hits for real connoisseurs of action!
5. Ip Man (2008)
Country-China / Director-Wilson Yip | Running time-106 minutes
About: Chinese martial artist becomes a symbol of popular resistance to Japanese invaders
The teacher of the legendary Bruce Lee, a wing Chun master named Yip Man was long overshadowed by his student until director Wilson Yip and action star Donnie Yen turned Yip Man into an international celebrity. Frankly, "Ip Man" had more in common with the canonical action films about the confrontation between Chinese and foreign masters than with the real biography of a teacher from Foshan, but these are the laws of the genre that require cinema to be not only dramatic, but also spectacular. And Donny Yen showed the class in the image of a wise and charismatic master who does not seek to fight to the death, but cannot stand aside when the honor of Chinese martial arts and the entire Chinese people is at stake. The film was so popular that it spawned three sequels and a wave of competing films also celebrating Yip Man.
In preparation for the role, Donny Yen spent several months following a strict diet, learning the Wing Chun style, and asking Yip Man's sons about their father. Although the painting wasn't a biopic, Ian was keen to learn as much as possible about his character, so as to convey not only his martial prowess but also his character traits and behaviours.
Why watch: to learn how to put the Japanese invaders in their place
4. The Elite squad / Tropa de Elite (2007)
Country-Brazil / Director-Jose Padilla | Running time-115 minutes
What it's all about: Young Brazilian police officers join an elite military police squad fighting the drug lords of Rio de Janeiro
Relentless wars in poor neighbourhoods of Brazilian megacities have repeatedly become the subject of Brazilian films that have broken out of the national culture and become international events. In 2007, this thorny path was followed by the dramatic police action film "Elite Squad", inspired by the book by two former members of the BOPE-military police special forces of Rio de Janeiro. The tape frankly reflected the scale of corruption in the Brazilian police and the harshness of those cops who still dare to challenge drug cartels and oppose the force with even greater force. If in Brazil itself "Squad" provoked a heated political discussion, then abroad the film once again reminded us that tense and powerful men's films with spectacular shootouts can be shot not only in English.
During the filming of the film, Rio de Janeiro bandits stole about 90 pistols and submachine guns from the film crew, a third of which were not fake. The police immediately conducted a special operation, but only some of the stolen weapons were recovered
Why watch: to make sure that Rio isn't just hot because of the scorching sun
3. Kill Bill (2003-2004)
Country-USA / Directed by Quentin Tarantino | Duration-247 minutes
About: a contract killer takes revenge on former accomplices for the massacre during her wedding
Having made a powerful debut with Mad Dogs, Quentin Tarantino has become famous as a master of intense "conversational" thrillers with well-written scripts. It was nice, but not enough for Tarantino, and the director took the next step. He shot a sweeping and stylish two-part action movie, where his signature dialogues gave way to perfectly staged and diverse action scenes-from a chamber kitchen brawl to a grandiose bloody battle with dozens of extras depicting Japanese Yakuza mafiosi. Uma Thurman, who played the lead role, was fully rehabilitated for the 1998 Avengers fiasco and created one of the brightest female images in action movies of the new century. The only drawback of the tape was its postmodern semi-seriousness, which made it difficult to fully empathize with on-screen events. Fortunately, it didn't interfere with their enjoyment in any way.
Replacing Uma Thurman stuntman Zoey Bell after the release of "Kill Bill" became a celebrity and began acting as an actress. In particular, she played in Tarantino's films "Grindhouse", "Django Unchained"," The Hateful Eight "and"Once upon a Time in Hollywood".
Why watch: To learn how to take revenge like a real blonde
2. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
Countries-USA, Germany / Director-Paul Greengrass / Running time-115 minutes
What it's all about: A lost former CIA hitman ends his standoff with his former employers
The series of spy thrillers about Jason Bourne has become a natural evolution of the genre. The films of Doug Lyman and Paul Greengrass pitted the lone hero against the most dangerous enemy on Earth-secret agents in the service of the United States. Over the course of three intense thrillers, Bourne fought off his pursuers and tried to understand why the CIA was hunting him, until finally, at the climax of the cycle, he moved the war to enemy territory, to New York. In "The Bourne Ultimatum", the drive and intensity of passions were off the scale, and the battle scenes were more spectacular than ever and, at the same time, relatively realistic, without trying to turn the hero Matt Damon into an "outrageous" superhero. Like the previous film, The Bourne Supremacy, Ultimatum was the clearest demonstration of how shooting with a hand-held camera, in a pseudo-documentary style, can emphasize the excellent work of stunt directors and duels.
If the final Moscow scenes of " Bourne Supremacy "were shot in Moscow, the opening Moscow scenes of" Ultimatum "were shot in Berlin," disguised " as the Russian capital. The creators of the series did not dare to return to Moscow and shoot in the January frosts.
Why watch: to find out how to beat the world's richest intelligence agency
1. Gladiator (2000)
Countries-USA, UK / Directed by Ridley Scott | Duration-155 minutes
What it's all about: A former Roman army general becomes a gladiator slave in the hope of taking revenge on the emperor who betrayed him
For the world of entertainment cinema, the twenty-first century began with an epic historical thriller, and none of the subsequent films of this genre could surpass Ridley Scott's masterpiece. By 2000, peplum (that is, a film about the ancient world) was considered a dead genre, and the director was inspired by films that were released during his youth, in the post-war era. Nevertheless, "Gladiator" looked not only powerful, but also fresh. The latest special effects at that time and an impressive budget allowed the director to send the audience to the Colosseum arena and convey the grand scale and intensity of the bloody performances of Ancient Rome. In turn, Russell Crowe played a stunningly vivid role of a great warrior avenging the death of his relatives, and Joaquin Phoenix was not inferior to him in the role of the sadistic emperor Commodus, one of the best screen villains of our time. It was a reference male film – a harsh and uncompromising saga imbued with true values and rightfully awarded five Oscars, including the Oscar for Best film.
Since the main character of the film comes from the lands that later became Spain, Spanish actor Antonio Banderas was one of the contenders for the main role. However, director Ridley Scott wanted to work with a relatively unknown performer, and he chose Russell Crowe.