Action films have been with us in some form or another since the very first movies, where we saw swashbuckling pirates, and sheikhs of the desert battling it out in swordplay. Modern action films are some of the most expensively made movies that have ever been and crammed full of special effects that test the very limits of our imagination. The first great action movie was probably The Great Train Robbery in 1903. It was an American Western film that was only twenty minutes or so long but had the audience on the edge of their seats it was so revolutionary and exciting. Today things have changed so much, that action films come in many genres and here we have a look at some of the very best.
Fast and Furious
The first action film is more of a series of films as it is the Fast and Furious series. Fast 7 took $1.5 billion dollars at the box office which made it the fifth highest grossing film in history in the rankings. But the franchise was running out of steam until Justin Lin reinvented it with Fast 5. The talented director saw the potential of the franchise and took it out of the ghetto streets into a mainstream action movie. He also developed the screen relationship of Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel who together combine to play out the plot of good cop, bad villain with some highly comedic moments.
Martin Cambell was responsible for revamping the 007 series with his remake of Casino Royale in 2006. The plot holds closely to the original, but the characters are far more developed and the action far more realistic. The opening sequences are legendary not just in Bond movies but in action cinema. This is a top-notch action film of the highest caliber and the sequel Skyfall probably has even more action. The scene in Scotland where the ancestral home is destroyed by a military helicopter bearing down its fierce firepower is awesome and is 007 at its very best.
Not all action films have to have explosions and racing cars to be included in this genre of film. Gladiator which was released in 2000 took action films back to the early days when swordplay and hand-to-hand combat was the order of the day. This swords and sandals epic loosely follows the story of Maximus who was an actual General of the Roman period the film is based upon. The characters are wonderfully played by Richard Harris, Russell Crowe, and Joaquin Phoenix. Gladiator works on every level as a great action movie, from the epic battle scenes in the forests of Germany to the single-handed combat sessions in the arenas. Of course, there are many blood-spattered defeated foes, but these are a consequence of the many realistic fights that happen during the course of the movie.Gladiator is one of the greatest action movies of all time, and the direction by Ridley Scott makes the film incredibly exciting but also believable. Gladiator became the inspiration for many spin-off historical action films, but remains the biggest and the best.