Wrath of Man: Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie’s Action Schtick Holds Up

The iconic tough-guy duo continue to knock out solid action thrillers that you have to love to watch…

We as an audience have bore witness to many great actor/director collaborations in movies over the years. John Woo & Chow Yun Fat. Tony Scott & Denzel Washington. Isaac Florentine & Scott Adkins. Many great collabs. Ones I’d like to add are the collabs between Guy Ritchie & Jason Statham. Both men broke onto the scene with the British gangster comedy Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, which led into two more movies together, Snatch and Revolver.

But after that, their careers led them into completely different directions. Ritchie continued having a hand in gangster comedies, while also working on massive tentpole flicks, such as Disney’s Aladdin, while Statham went on to become one of the biggest action stars in the world, with roles in such great action movies like Safe, The Transporter, Hobbs & Shaw, and The Meg. So when word got out that both men would be reuniting for a new film called Wrath of Man, it was cause for celebration. Especially after the trailer was released. Now that the film is out, does it hold up to their previous work? Let’s find out!

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UAMC Reviews Wrath of Man (2021)

Mysterious and wild-eyed, a new security guard for a cash truck surprises his co-workers when he unleashes precision skills during a heist. The crew is left wondering who he is and where he came from. Soon, the marksman’s ultimate motive becomes clear as he takes dramatic and irrevocable steps to settle a score.

Just to let the cat out the bag early, I really loved this movie! This is easily one of the very best Jason Statham movies ever made! No exaggeration. Statham is at the top of his game in an incredibly efficient movie with a better than ever Ritchie at the helm doing what he does best. I think what I like most about it is it’s basically two movies in one: a revenge movie and a heist movie, and both movies are absolutely superb.

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Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham at Their Best

Let’s break it down a bit first: this film features a really fantastic cast of actors, who include Holt McCallany, Josh Hartnett, Jeffrey Donovan, Scott Eastwood, Eddie Marsan, Laz Alonso, Niamh Algar, Darrell D’Silva, Babs Olusanmokun, & Andy Garcia, and frankly, they all do exceptional work. But the obvious star of the show is Statham, who is absolutely incredible in his regular Statham style self. The man completely oozes swagger, grace, and badassery 100% of the time he is on screen, and it is always glorious to behold.

And that is most assuredly thanks to Ritchie, who directs the proceedings phenomenally. When I first saw the trailer, my initial thought was how was he going to integrate his usual style into this action film, and I’m here to report he does it beautifully! This is definitely a Guy Ritchie movie, complete with amazing cinematography and non-linear storytelling beats. The film is even Broken up into parts, which are:

  • A Dark Spirit
  • Scorched Earth
  • Bad Animals, Bad
  • Liver, Lungs, Spleen & Heart

Admittedly though, it’s not like most Guy Ritchie movies. Why is that? Because this one is vicious.

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But How Ultimate is it?

That leads into my next part: the action. Now, this isn’t an action packed movie. On the contrary, there’s really only 2 sequences of action: once in the beginning, and again at the climax, with some shootings and torture here and there. But that’s fine, because the action is perfectly done, and bloody as hell. This is one mean ass movie. Quite possibly the meanest thing Ritchie has made in his career so far. While watching, it kind of reminded me of the serious tone of Statham’s Parker done in the visual style of the last Statham/Ritchie film together, Revolver. And if you ask me, that’s a sensational combo.

Are there any drawbacks? I will say that the attempt at Ritchie-like dialogue in the beginning doesn’t work as well when coming from a bunch of Americans. To be honest, it sounded very forced. But it’s gone in a jiffy, so no major worries.

All in all, this immediately goes to the top of my list of favorite Statham & Ritchie movies. It’s an absolute awesome time, and a great reunion between two great collaborators. Let’s just hope this movie is really successful, so we can see more like this from these two. You heard me, guys? I want more!!!

The Paper Tigers: Ultimate Martial Arts Action Never Gets Old!

Enter the middle-aged ultimate action martial arts stars!

Getting old sucks. It really does. While we all know no one stays young forever, the inevitability of old age creeping up on us with the quickness can be profusely sad. Take it from me. I just turned 37, and while that may not seem old, it sure as hell feels it. The things I was able to do effortlessly in my youth feels like a herculean effort nowadays. It’s not fun. 

But it’s not all bad. There’s a grace in aging that people don’t think about. Yes, your body gets slower and weaker, but the mind and heart get stronger through the grace of wisdom that comes with maturity. You just have to be willing to take those steps. The steps along the path of virtue. There’s a new film coming out that preaches just that. And that’s why I resonated so much with it. That film is called The Paper Tigers.

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UAMC Reviews The Paper Tigers

Three Kung Fu prodigies have grown into washed-up, middle-aged men, now one kick away from pulling their hamstrings. But when their master is murdered, they must juggle their dead-end jobs, dad duties, and old grudges to avenge his death.

The Paper Tigers is truly a fantastic film from Writer/Director Quoc Bao Tran, which stars Alain Uy, Roger Yuan, Mykel Shannon Jenkins, Roger Yuan, and Master Ken himself Matthew Page. A Martial Arts Comedy Drama, I’ve already seen comparisons to the Netflix smash Cobra Kai, and they’re not entirely without merit. Both deal with men well past their primes dealing with a current life altering situation, and also features martial arts. But that’s where I feel the comparisons end.

And while I feel that if you enjoyed that particular show, you will dig this, I resonated with The Paper Tigers more, as the movie has more to say regarding their characters (although I do love Cobra Kai, that’s not a knock). Also, if anybody is out there going “Oh this is just a Cobra Kai ripoff”, this was in development well before that, as evidenced by the proof of concept short The Challenger, also directed by Tran and starring Martial Club’s Andy Le & Zero Gravity’s Ken Quitugua, who also appear in the film, which was made back in 2015, 2 years before work on Cobra Kai began. So there.

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Alain Uy, Ron Yuan and Mykel Shannon Jones

But enough about that, let’s break it down. First the cast: the 3 tigers, Danny (Alain Uy), Hing (Ron Yuan), and Jim (Mykel Shannon Jones), are absolutely wonderful together, with such great chemistry. I loved every scene showcasing all 3 men, but particularly Yuan, who I feel is the heart of the movie. After making a name for himself throughout the years with bit parts in action movies such as Ring of Fire II: Blood & Steel, Drive, and Blood and Bone, just to name a few, it was nice to see him get a big role in a movie that really showcases how good of an actor he truly is.

Credit must fully go to writer/director Tran, whose witty script and excellent direction made such a terrific gathering of performers possible. And I’m not just talking about the acting. Oh no, I am not.

Now, being that the film is about martial artists, you’re obviously expecting to see some martial arts wizardry, and baby, do you see it. We really get some superb fight choreography, all perfectly shot and edited. There’s not a whole lot of it, which is no big deal, because the story is great enough to hold your attention, but when it does comes, it certainly packs a punch. Immense kudos to the stunt coordinator Sam Looc, and action director Quitugua and their entire team for giving us some of the best fight sequences of the year.

In Action: Action Movie Fans Get Caught in an Action Movie

But How Ultimate is it?

Are there any drawbacks? Just one: the inclusion of Matthew “Master Ken” Page. Look, I love me some Master Ken. His videos have brought me insane amounts of joy. But he really feels out of place at times, like he’s acting in a different movie than everybody else. Also, his character causes the tigers unnecessary grief just to be petty, which made him very unlikable to me. Master Ken was a real prick in this.

But other than that, this movie brought me tremendous joy as I watched it, and I highly recommend it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to check if I can still do a roundhouse kick myself. Just let me make sure 911 is ready to be called first. Wish me luck.

In Action: Action Movie Fans Get Caught in an Action Movie

A self-help guide on how to kick ass your way out of an action movie of your own creation.

When one spends a lot of time watching and discussing action movies (you know, as one does when you run an action movie blog), the inevitable thought creeps into your head – what would I do if I were in an action movie?

You know, like what if I were a retired John Matrix trying to live peacefully in a cabin in the woods and my daughter gets kidnapped by chainmail mercenaries? Or what if I’m going to visit my wife for a swanky office Christmas party in Nakatomi Plaza and German radicals take everyone hostage?

What would you ACTUALLY do? Thankfully, none of the horrific, yet often comical plot points have come up in real life (yet), but I recently came across a movie which explores this very subject. The story is called In Action, and it’s story of two bumbling screenwriters who, while drafting their next action flick, are swept up in an ultimate action plot of their own.

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UAMC Reviews In Action (2021)

In Action was written, directed and stars Eric Silvera and Sean Kenealy as (I’m assuming) basically versions of themselves. 30-something aspiring screenwriters who have been swept up with normal life, however still yearn to tell that one great cinematic story. In Action follows the duo through their creative process as their love of action movies past fuels a narrative that grows wilder idea by idea.

It’s clear too that these dudes know their action, as 80s and 90s action movie references fly fast and often as the two banter incessantly from scene to scene. There’s plenty of references to Arnold, Bruce, Chuck and Seagal sprinkled throughout – as well as plenty of action movie innuendos and t-shirts to boot.

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Action

What really makes In Action interesting though is how it handles its own action. From a plot perspective, it hits all the notes just right. However, this isn’t a 100 million dollar blockbuster starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and it’s not even a sub-million dollar DTV actioner starring Scott Adkins. It’s a true DIY indie which appears to be entirely shot from the clever arrangements of one apartment room in New York.

At every turn though, Eric and Sean (both the filmmakers and characters) find creative ways to tell a story which is full of action, intrigue and banter, but without any of the characteristic genre elements like fights, car chases or explosions. In many ways, it’s a very self-aware film that allows the viewer to imagine all your favorite action stunts and stars making cameos – but just barely off screen – as our leads share their fanboy reactions.

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But, How Ultimate is it?

From an Ultimate Action Movie Club perspective, which is all about watchability and all those great over-the-top elements which one can cheer for on screen with friends and beer, the movie might lack the pyrotechnics but is loaded with action ethos. You feel yourself rooting for our action filmmakers-turned stars as they would for Chuck Norris or Van Damme.

And even without the big action, they do a surprisingly great job of working within their means to create scenes which look quite real and very cinematic. (For example, there’s a car chase scene which looks to be just the duo sitting together on folding chairs as if they were on an improv stage – but is filmed with so much motion and movement and fantastic sound design that it kinda, actually, really works.)

Ultimately, I would absolutely recommend In Action to both my filmmaking friends as well as my most die hard Die Hard aficionados. It comes from an earnest and heartfelt place which truly respects the action genre, and shows a masterful understanding of the plots, characters and tropes which make action so enjoyable. Honestly, if they were ever to remake the film with a bigger budget and a capable stunt crew, you might even get a damn action franchise out of it!

In Action is currently available for pre-order on iTunes and is set to release on May 11th, 2021. Check it out!

Michael B. Jordan Takes His Shot in ‘Without Remorse’ (2021)

It’s worth a shot! UAMC Reviews the latest action thriller iteration from the Ryanverse

Far from a perfect film, Amazon’s Without Remorse is a satisfying, action-driven start to a John Clark franchise that’s resting on Michael B. Jordan’s shoulders. The action is tight and intense but the adapted story falls way short of the source material, almost entering into the schlock zone of the late 80s and early 90s. I wasn’t expecting the artisanal weaving of political and global security threads essential to the fabric of the “Ryanverse.”

The threat in Without Remorse can be simply summarized in one or two lines of dialogue, which Guy Pearce delivers in the third act. For the sake of ultimate action, however, I am compelled to overlook its flaws and recommend Without Remorse so you can get acquainted with literary and cinematic legend John Clark, marvel at the close-quarters action set pieces, and appreciate the clandestine underworld that features a rogue spook hell-bent on revenge.

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Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse (2021)

After a successful hostage rescue, John Kelly and his SEAL Team’s world get FUBAR’d in violent and tragic ways. After escaping death, Kelly seeks revenge on the hired guns that murdered his pregnant wife and members of the team. “All I need is a name,” Kelly asks of Karen Greer, the team’s commander. From there, the hunt is on and the trail gets muddied. The CIA-backed mission stinks and operative Robert Ritter smells about as fresh as a locker room after an eight-hour mission in Aleppo. A series of “enhanced interrogations” lead Kelly to do what has to be done for his family and his country.

Jordan carries this movie from start to finish and embodies the spirit of John Clark vis-à-vis John Kelly. Going in, I was skeptical if he could pull off the intensity we saw in Willem Dafoe’s portrayal in Clear and Present Danger. Jordan never misses a beat and delivers an admirable performance that’s consistent with what we’ve seen and read about the character. He can go from having a chit-chat about the mission to choke-holding a fool and firing off his service weapon next to the chump’s head in the next breath. Rest assured, Jordan has the chops to pull it off convincingly. The character is put through absolute hell and we are along for the ride throughout the whole emotional and physical rollercoaster. I strongly advise the studio to stick with Jordan at all costs if this budding franchise is to truly flourish.

As for the rest of the cast, it’s a Tom Berenger DTV-esque group of barely average. They really try to make Jodie Turner-Smith happen but this isn’t the right role for her. She plays Admiral Greer’s niece, Karen Greer, and she’s in charge of Kelly’s SEAL team. Yes, women are now able to go through SEAL training and they should be given the opportunity but none have pinned on the Trident so far, much less reached a command position. Turner-Smith lacks the fire and tenacity required for a woman who will eventually make that happen. Guy Pearce is similarly lacking as the Department of Defense Secretary and seems incapable of what the story has planned for him. Jamie Bell’s Robert Ritter comes the closest to matching Jordan’s performance and the snake-in-the-grass character that he plays. He is a great “company” man and an effective counterbalance to Jordan’s motivation and storyline.

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Michael B. Jordan Brings the Action

Michael B. Jordan with Director Stefano Sollima on the set of WITHOUT REMORSE Photo: Nadja Klier © 2020 Paramount Pictures

I know, I know, the real reason you’re adding this to your watch list is the action and Without Remorse won’t let you down. From the Rambo-like opening to the cold-blooded ending, the action maintains the thrilling pace and makes you hungry for more. We even get to see Adonis Creed make a brief appearance as Jordan takes on a few prison guards in riot gear with just his t-shirt wrapped fists. For the first half of the running time, the action comes fast and in spurts but after an hour, we are treated to a wonderful, running sequence of room-to-room combat and enemy sniper action that ends with a real bang. With more than one extended underwater survival scene, Director Stefano Sollima pulls out all stops and creates action out of all four elements: air, fire, water, and earth.

If that name sounds somewhat familiar, Stefano Sollima also directed ZeroZeroZero and Sicario: Day of the Soldado. In fact, Without Remorse shares a lot of DNA with Sicario 2 as Taylor Sheridan was brought on to write the screenplay. Both revolve around clandestine operators and a vengeful freelance spook who cross borders to carry out violent extra-judicial missions on behalf of shadowy interests. Sicario 2 has a better overall narrative compared with Without Remorse where the story seems to be an afterthought. The source material is gritty and much darker than the Jack Ryan novels. The movie captures that tone but it could’ve been pushed a bit more. An opportunity exists to plumb the depths in the planned sequel.

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But, How Ultimate is it?

Regardless of weak writing, Sollima is staking his claim as a competent action director that prioritizes the characters over the blood and guts. Although we see plenty of shootings, stabbings, and broken bodies in Without Remorse, the actual acts are quick and often off screen. Sollima spends more time on the aftermath, pain, and suffering that result from these actions, which is an interesting choice that better serves the character arc. At certain times, Sollima pulls away from the hand-to-hand combat or puts a visual barrier in between the audience and the character, almost like it’s too painful to watch. That style may not work for some action junkies but I found myself sympathizing more and feeling Kelly’s desperation.

Without Remorse gets dinged with an underdeveloped narrative and a generally weak supporting cast but gets an overall unit citation for its lead, action, and style. Stay tuned through the credits as we get a little teaser of things to come, which I hinted at in my last review. The John Clark sequels have real potential and will likely continue to build upon the action and character elements for which Without Remorse lays the foundation. Give it a watch and let Amazon know there is a huge appetite for action on streaming!

Rising Sun: How Wesley Snipes and Sean Connery (Barely) Missed the Mark

Marred with controversy upon its release, we look back at Rising Sun (1993) to see how it ultimately stacks up today.

Back in 1993, Wesley Snipes and Sean Connery starred in Rising Sun, which was a movie adaptation of the Michael Crichton novel by the same name. The book was a best-seller, with Crichton being well known for his fascinating stories such as the Jurassic Park series. Not only this but Rising Sun was directed by Philip Kaufman who was the director of the Indiana Jones series. With this in mind, Rising Sun was created on solid ground.

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What is Rising Sun about?

So what was this movie about? The plot revolves around an escort that mysteriously died in the building of a Japanese corporation. It is up to Connery and Snipes to solve the murder, with the former playing John Connor and Snipes playing Webster Smith, both being detective partners in Los Angeles. Although the film was based on crime solving, the title also suggests a deeper meaning; as the story often delved into the cultural differences between Japan and the USA.

Another key feature of Rising Sun is the character development between the pair. In a typical cop-movie fashion, it explores the relationship between Connor and Snipes, with Connor being an old-school cop with old values, whilst Smith shows the newer side to policing. During the early ’90s, a number of similar films were released that centered around police partners, so Rising Sun was nothing new in this sense.

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How did Rising Sun do commercially and critically?

Overall, Rising Sun did well at the box office, but this wasn’t a surprise given the circumstances. Back then, Snipes and Connery meant an almost guaranteed financial success. It cost a reported $35 million to produce, and grossed over $107 million globally. This turned a healthy profit. However, in fairness it could have been a disaster of a movie with these two involved, and still generate a solid profit.

At the time of release, Rising Sun was released to mixed reviews. One reason for this was that it was branded ‘racist’ by some critics due to its supposed ‘anti-Japanese’ message. Of course, relations between the two countries are not bad, but at the time there was some tension there. In brief, some claimed that this movie was actually a propaganda piece. Whilst this criticism may have been valid at the time, I’d say that looking back it’s not really relevant anymore and so isn’t as applicable. With this critique out of the way, it turns out that Rising Sun is actually a decent film and has decent pacing throughout.

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So, why did Rising Sun have such anti-Japanese themes?

As touched upon, Rising Sun did have some genuinely anti-Japanese themes at times and this didn’t sit well with many. Again, as mentioned this is all in the past now and the two countries are quite close. However, back in 1993, there was a genuine concern that Japan was trying to replace the USA in terms of global power. For instance, Japanese countries such as Sony were beginning to dominate the electronics industry, whilst Japanese businesses started to invest heavily into US businesses. Some argued that this undermined the US economy.

A book named The Coming War With Japan was released that predicted a literal war. Thankfully, this never materialized and these days can be put down to paranoia. However, at the time these ideas weren’t viewed as crazy. Interestingly, this sentiment can now be applied to modern-day China, albeit critics will tell you that today’s theories are probably more appropriate. This shows that Rising Sun was relevant to its time, and also that the claims of US propaganda were probably true.

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How does Rising Sun hold up these days?

Re-watching Rising Sun nearly 30 years later, it’s clearly dated in some parts. For instance, there’s a scene with Connery and Snipes which shows advanced technology that uses Photoshop-type techniques. This is almost comically dated by today’s standards. However, in fairness, back then this would have looked visually striking.

Not only this but the general filmography also looks old. For instance, the camera work seems grainy at times, the baggy suits scream ’90s and the entire vibe seems like a bygone era. With this said, it’s difficult to imagine that this year was released merely 2 years before Heat. Whilst it’s harsh to compare it to such a classic, the point remains that the cinematography doesn’t hold up as well. In fairness to Rising Sun though, it does capture the little details nicely though. Although it’s dated now, the smaller things like Wesley Snipes watch shows that a lot of thought and attention went into getting the props and costume work on point to make it feel more realistic.

In terms of its soundtrack, Rising Sun also delivered. The entire composition was created by Toru Takemitsu. Takemitsu was mostly known for his work in Japan and gained a reputation for creating moody, atmospheric scores. In this movie, he used the Urhu, a Chinese string instrument to create tension and mystery. It was a good idea to involve Takemitsu in the project and as a result, the soundtrack was spot on. In an era where many soundtrack’s failed, this one hit the right notes.

Elsewhere, Rising Sun’s plot is still more than good enough. For instance, it combines the formula of action and thriller nicely and the chemistry between Connery and Snipes has been done before but it still works well enough. This film is also just over 2 hours long, so it’s not short but the pacing is good enough for it to work. Lastly, the twists and turns throughout should keep enough people entertained and make it a bit more interesting.

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The legacy of Rising Sun

Sadly, the legacy of Rising Sun will always be tainted by anti-Japanese sentiment. However, if you can put these ideas aside and focus on the actual film then it is very much enjoyable and a solid flick. It’s no surprise that Connery’s career continued to be successful, whilst Snipes also kept hitting home runs during this time period. Although their success wasn’t based on Rising Sun, it certainly didn’t harm their careers either and proved their versatility in different roles too.

In conclusion, Rising Sun is a good film, although it’s certainly a bit different too. Whilst this film isn’t considered a classic, it’s by no means a poor film either. Because of this, if you want a bit of nostalgia and want to be reminded of life in LA during the ’90s, then Rising Sun may be worth a go.

Steel Frontier: Another PM Entertainment Ultimate Action Classic

Joe Lara, Brion James and Kane Hodder knock out some UAMC-worthy PM Entertainment!

The prolific PM Entertainment group flooded the home video market in the 1990s with low-budget  flicks. Their work is unparalleled in output frequency, dumbness of scripts, but also awesomeness of low-cost action sequences. Most PM films used a standard action thriller template, but occasionally they ventured into the Sci-Fi genre, and films like CyberTracker and Hologram Man were all more than solid entries in their back catalogue.

Another one was Steel Frontier, their only excursion into post-apocalyptic cinema. Steel Frontier may seem like another schlocky action flick, but it turns out to be a far above average production for PM standards, and a pretty entertaining B-movie on its own. And I’ll be honest, I’ve always had a weak spot for it among all the PM movies I’ve enjoyed or endured, so this article may be a bit biased.

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UAMC Reviews Steel Frontier

In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, the town of New Hope is the last safe haven for righteous people to rebuild civilization, until it is invaded by General Quantrill’s posse “United Regime Deathriders”. Lone gunman Johnny Yuma arrives at the scene, and gets entangled in the struggle of the townspeople against Quantrill’s motorized gangsters.

Many post-apocalyptic films have a Western vibe, but Steel Frontier literally paints it’s post-apocalyptic canvas with a ton of classic Western tropes. Director and writer Joe Hart does not proceed with subtlety in mixing the genres, poker games in a saloon are thrown together with radioactive giant rats and desert mutants. While I doubt there was much artistic ambition behind this approach, it gives the whole thing a naive charm, and almost has the innocent vibe of a kids movie if it was not for the R-rated violence.

The terrain of an abandoned steel mill provides an awesome backdrop for most sequences with some additional shots in the desert, and a giant junkyard for old tires that turns out to be a darn cool location for a couple of scenes. And instead of having one or two long action sequences with complete boredom in between as in many other PM films, Steel Frontier gives us a lot more variety in the action department. There’s plenty of classic Western-style action with fistfights and gun duels, and in the finale Yuma even goes all Django on his enemies with a big-ass machine gun.

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PM Entertainment at its Best

The gunplay is mixed with the traditional PM stuff, such as two awesome car chases in the desert and all sorts of things exploding. The absolute highlight of the action set pieces is the detonation of a huge chimney. It’s one epic beast of an explosion with a giant mushroom cloud, and had the honor of being the largest thing ever to be blown up in a PM production.

Joe Lara plays Johnny Yuma, and his character looks exactly like that is the only name which would fit for him, with a stylish long coat, waving long hair, and a perfectly groomed beard. Lara had a bit of a run in the 1990s with other entertaining DTV actioners like Hologram Man and American Cyborg: Steel Warrior. In addition to his movie jobs, he’s also a self-proclaimed musician, falconer, pilot and ex-model. In Steel Frontier he passes through every scene with a fairly mild-mannered attitude and a smile on his lips, certainly not your usual Max Rockatansky impression, but somehow it works.

The other big name in the film is genre specialist Brion James, who delighted action fans throughout the 1980s and 1990s with many great villain roles, and who left us too soon in 1999. It’s almost always fun to see him in a bad guy role, and in Steel Frontier he gets to go all in as leader of Team Evil. His role is not that big, he shows up in the beginning, leaves it up to his bunch of homicidal maniacs to thoroughly screw things up, and returns just in time for the big finale with a massive grudge against Yuma.

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But, How Ultimate is it?

The film also features a couple of odd moments that every good B-movie needs, and of which I’ll mention just two to raise your appetite. The fact that Yuma has a Gatling gun hidden in the small seat of his motorcycle, which only he can activate remotely by calling its name “Angel”, is a nice touch. And during the finale, a woman defending the camp faces one of the bandits. They seem to recognize each other, and he stutters “Mom?”. Both set out to hug each other, but the kid is shot in the back three seconds later by one of his fellow gang members, who in return gets shot immediately by the mother. That is Ancient Greece level of epic tragedy right there.

Just like in virtually every PM film, there is not much originality to be found, but the mix is as good as it ever got for them. Steel Frontier moves at a good pace with plenty of action and other thrills, has a nice variety of sets, and only slightly cheesy dialogues. And if you can enjoy the simple pleasures of explosions and car stunts, it’s almost a must watch.

Traxx (1988): Shadoe Stevens is the Ultimate Self-Aware Action Star

Shadoe Stevens is Traxx and Traxx is Shadoe Stevens!

Generally speaking, I feel like with most movies – and action specifically – by about 30 minutes in I have a pretty good idea how the movie is going to go. We met the good guy, we meet the bad guy, we meet the girl and we see the obstacles that are going to be put in place before everything can come together in the end.

However, I recently watched Traxx for the first time and I gotta say… Shadoe Stevens you simply outdid yourself with this one! Also, I have to say, wtf dude?? I don’t think I’ve seen a movie more awesome, funny, confusing and frustrating since Hudson Hawk. But this was somehow much better and worse at the same time.

So, for those who have seen Traxx, or those who still need to, let’s take a look at this odd, yet ultimate action concoction that sees Mr. Stevens shines as the self-inhabiting action star who drives this movie so gloriously off of one ultimate cliff after another.

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Shadoe Stevens: Marketing Extraordinaire

Before we get too lost in the insane world of Traxx, we have to talk about Mr. Traxx himself, Shadoe Stevens. I went in to the film knowing nothing about the movie or him, which I generally prefer. But in this case, I wish I knew a little bit about Shadoe first. As far as the action star look, ability and persona goes – he has it. But it’s how he really presents himself that is wholly unique.

From the best of my ability to research, Mr. Stevens was a popular 80s radio DJ who parlayed his charisma and creativity into a self-launched attempt to become an action star. Also, according to his probably self-written bios he was a marketing wizard responsible for some hugely popular advertising campaigns. In more recent times Stevens has found success both in radio as well as the beloved announcer of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

With Shadoe Stevens though, we have perhaps the first truly self-aware action star. And not just in the sense that the man knows he’s starring in an action movie, but he / his character is very much THE movie if that makes sense. For example, in one scene Shadoe gets the girl and while making love – as he climaxes – the film climaxes as well with papers magically flying from drawers and a water fountain erupting with him.

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Great Action and One Liners

The film overall tries for an unique blend somewhere between comic parody and sincere action which I really commend for the effort. It’d be easy to say it doesn’t work because the awful awkwardness of several scenes, but in many others it’s a great juxtaposition that is truly funny and different. The best example might be one where he’s “cleaning up the town” and warns patrons of a strip club to get out. As they file out one by one he shakes their hands and reminds them that if they come back “he’s gonna kill them.”

There are plenty of other great one-liners and set pieces that are just truly killer action. Stevens looks like a solid mashup of every 80s action star himself with his Mel Gibson hair and Wings Hauser face. He looks cool on a motorcycle or behind a machine gun (as he shoots up a city, presumably, hopefully with blanks?) and clearly contains the ability to crack a joke even if they all don’t land.

We also have great roles from solid character actors like Priscilla Barnes, Willard E. Pugh, John Hancock and Robert Davi (plus a cameo from Wally Amos!?) all with memorable scenes and lines themselves. Yet, at best, it’s uneven in terms of each actor being a bit confused as to what type of movie their characters are supposed to be in.

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But How Ultimate is it?

The question remains though, is this a good ULTIMATE action movie? By definition, all action movies are ULTIMATE if they’re simply fun to watch with friends on a Friday night, and I’d say without a doubt this certainly fits that bill. However, do be warned that it might certainly cause confusion and even frustration if you’re like me and expect to have ANY idea how the movie might work from scene to scene.

I think, however, what makes the movie truly worth watching and talking about is Mr. Shadoe Stevens himself. I’ve never seen an action star with so much command of the very movie that he’s in. I know it has a different writer and director, but it really feels like Shadoe was pulling the strings behind every single element of this production. 

Shadoe is Traxx. Period. So much so that by the film’s climax he’s wearing a Traxx shirt with his likeness as the lead character! I love that so much. There’s even a few moments where his shirt appears to be clearly based on the pose he’s currently striking with his gun in hand. While Leslie Nielsen might pull this off as a gag, with Shadoe (I mean Traxx) it works on such a different – perhaps more ultimate – level.

Watch Traxx damnit!

10 Reasons ‘Over The Top’ is a Must-See Action Movie

Great casting, badass semi-trucks, big muscles, killer fight scenes and epic action make Over the Top an ultimate must-see!

It was the summer of 2000. The school year had just ended and there was a week between the end of 2nd grade and the start of day camp. We only had one television set in the house and my older brother Marcus was in charge of the remote control whenever we weren’t outside playing. At that age, all I wanted to watch were the sports highlight reel shows. What could be better than a touchdown, a home run, or a slam dunk? Marcus, on the other hand, had other plans; he was a movie buff long before I was.

Being denied the chance to see the best plays of the day, I was forced to watch an afternoon special of “Movies for Guys who like Movies.” This was a series on network television in the late 90’s and early 2000’s that focused on action films with great fight scenes, car chases and explosions. I’ll never forget the summer afternoon when Marcus assured me that I’d find the upcoming film entertaining. He said it was a forgotten classic featuring Sylvester Stallone called Over The Top.

At that young age, my knowledge of Sylvester Stallone was limited to his portrayal of Rocky Balboa in the Rocky franchise. I honestly had no idea he acted in anything else. On the age of eight years old, on a summer afternoon Over The Top became one of my favorite films. A movie about semi-trucks and an arm-wrestling tournament was right up my alley. Without further ado, here are the top ten reasons Over The Top is a must see movie for anyone who loves action films.

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10) The Underrated Cast

Sylvester Stallone was one of the biggest movie stars of the 1980’s. His portrayals of the underdog boxer, Rocky Balboa and the Vietnam War veteran, John Rambo, catapulted him to superstar status. However, Stallone isn’t the only A-list actor from the era to appear in Over The Top. Robert Loggia had become one of Hollywood’s elites after important roles in An Officer and a Gentleman and Scarface.

His portrayal of Lincoln Hawk’s rich father-in-law was the latest in a string of box office roles he enjoyed in the 1980’s. Susan Blakely, who played Christina Hawk, had already received a Golden Globe Award for best actress in a television mini-series when she was cast for the film. These were three of the elite performers of their day and one of the reasons this film is worth seeing.

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9) Classic Power Ballads

Anyone who’s ever seen the cult-classic Footloose, starring Kevin Bacon, will have the lead song from the soundtrack forever etched in their memory. “Footloose” was performed by Kenny Loggins and is as much a part of the film’s lore as the movie itself. Similarly, Loggins performed a song for the soundtrack to Over The Top that cannot be separated from the viewing experience of the film itself.

In a pivotal scene close to the film’s climax, Loggins delivers the perfect 80’s power ballad titled “Meet Me Halfway.” The song’s placement is perfect because Lincoln Hawk told his son Michael “The world doesn’t meet you halfway” in an important teaching moment earlier in the film. Although this song by Loggins isn’t nearly as famous as “Footloose,” it fits Over The Top just as well as his previous song fit its namesake.

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8) Protagonist Trying to Rectify his Mistakes

For reasons known only to him, Lincoln Hawk left his wife when their son was only two years old. Although his wife, Christina, has come to terms with him, not everyone else in the family is so quick to forgive. His son, Michael, initially resents his father after learning that he is alive and wants to be a part of his life. Lincoln’s father-in-law, Jason Cutler, refuses to forgive him and even goes so far as to refer to him as a deserter. Lincoln is a man trying to right the wrongs of his past and turn over a new leaf. This is a story about failure and redemption that everyone can relate to, not just action fans.

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7) Valuable Lessons About Humility

Eventually, Michael Hawk begins to warm up to his father and dialogue ensues. Being raised by his well-to-do grandfather, Michael has been attending the best military school available to a twelve-year-old. Lincoln Hawk on the other had is a blue-collar truck driver who doesn’t quite like his son’s know-it-all attitude. When twelve-year-old Michael tells his father that it doesn’t take much intellect to drive a truck, Lincoln responds by making his son get in the driver’s seat.

Initially intimidated by the proposal, Michael leaves the experience with an appreciation for how difficult his father’s job actually is. Everyone has a different set of strengths and weaknesses and intelligence manifests itself in a multitude of ways. Lincoln Hawk teaches his son that degrees and accolades are not the true measure of an individual’s worth. It is a valuable lesson that no one should forget.

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6) Excellent foreshadowing

When Lincoln Hawk pulls into a diner along the highway to grab a bite to eat with his son, his reputation proceeds him. Confronted by a rival arm wrestler, he is forced to take the challenger to task in front of young Michael. After finishing the job, he is then confronted by Bull Hurley, the reigning arm-wrestling champion and the most respected man in the sport. This is how Michael learns that his father is not just a truck driver, but one of the most respected arm-wrestlers in the country whose got his eyes on the Championship tournament set in Las Vegas. This is a foretelling scene for anyone watching the movie, as it won’t be the last time Lincoln Hawk and Bull Hurley cross paths.

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5) Harrowing Excursion Initiates Film’s Climax

Although he initially balks at his newly discovered father’s involvement in his life, Michael Hawk eventually has a change of heart. However, his grandfather business tycoon Jason Cutler, remains vehemently opposed to Michael having a relationship with his father. After returning to his grandfather’s mansion, Michael decides to make his way to Las Vega to see his father compete in the arm-wrestling tournament. In an epic get-away, Michael sneaks out of a window, steals a pickup truck, drives to the airport, and becomes a stow away on a flight to Las Vegas. His efforts pay off and he is able to make it to the tournament in time to see his father perform.

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4) Classic Motivational Speeches

While on the road with his son, Lincoln Hawk spots a few teenage kids having fun at an arcade. Lincoln proceeds to tell the biggest kid in the bunch that his son can beat him in arm-wrestling match and that the two of them should square, best two out of three. To sweeten the deal, Lincoln tells the kid he’ll give him ten dollars if he can beat Michael. Being at least a year younger than his opponent, Michael loses the first match and finds the experience discouraging. However, after being told he must face the challenge head on, Michael proceeds to beat the bigger kid twice in a row, winning the bet and finding new-found self-confidence.

Later, at the arm-wrestling tournament in Las Vegas, Lincoln tells Michael there’s a possibility he might not win the final match. Michael won’t tolerate his father’s self-doubt and reminds him of his own words following the incident at the arcade. Lincoln concedes that his son is right and reassures him that he will enter the championship match confident, with an expectation of emerging victorious.

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3) Protagonist Who Refuses to Give Up

More than anything, Lincoln Hawk wants the chance to raise his son Michael. The winner of the arm-wrestling tournament will receive a large some of money and a brand-new semi-truck. Being a truck driver by trade, Lincoln would have the resources and the knowledge to not only start his own business but gain custody of his son with the spoils from the tournament. Aware that a victory for Lincoln Hawk would mean a reunion between he and Michael, Jason Cutler summons him to his suite in Las Vegas. He offers him $500,000 and a new truck if he drops out of the tournament and promises to stay away from Michael. Lincoln refuses. After beating up Mr. Cutler’s security guard (played by legendary wrestler Terry Funk), he storms out of the suite and proceeds to rejoin the tournament.

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2) Seemingly Insurmountable Odds

Bull Hurley, who had a run in with Lincoln Hawk at the diner, is the undisputed arm-wrestling champion of the world. He hasn’t lost a match in five years. Lincoln Hawk has made a name for himself in unsanctioned events, but in the professional ranks he is a newcomer. It is Hurley that Lincoln must face in the championship showdown. If ever there was a David vs. Goliath scenario in a sporting event, this would be it. No one in attendance believes Hawk has a chance to beat Hurley.

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1) Suspense Filled Climax

Bull Hurley is not just bigger than Lincoln Hawk, he’s clearly stronger. During their match, Hawk slips out of Hurley’s grasp and is almost disqualified. To ensure this does not happen again, the referee orders the two competitors to be bound together with Velcro straps. In an epic back and forth that sees Hawk almost succumb to the champion’s strength, the challenger is able to overcome the odds and gain an improbable victory.

The arena goes wild after witnessing an upset for the ages. Lincoln Hawk has done it. He’s not only the new arm-wrestling champion of the world, he also has the resources to start his own business and take care of his twelve-year-old son. Michael leaps into his father’s arms and the crowd celebrates even more. Seeing the champion lift his son onto his shoulders is the perfect conclusion to an epic performance.

This 1987 motion picture was released during the Golden Age of action movies and it captures the aura of the time. If you haven’t seen this film and you can consider yourself an action movie fan, you’re missing out. Great casting, semi-trucks, big muscles, fight scenes and an epic conclusion make Over The Top an absolute must see for action fans everywhere.

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Was the Original ‘Mortal Kombat’ the Best Video-Game Film Ever?

How Mortal Kombat (1995) was debatably the best, most ultimate, or at least most honest video game movie of all time…

Last week saw the release of the 2021 movie, Mortal Kombat. Due to this, I thought it would be the perfect time to look back at the original Mortal Kombat film, which was released in 1995. Although a sequel came out two years later (Mortal Kombat Annihilation), it did poorly at the box office which meant viewers had to wait nearly 25 years until the next Mortal Kombat flick. For the record, I won’t spend too much time on Annihilation as it doesn’t have the character or charm that the original film had. But, what exactly made the first Mortal Kombat movie so successful?

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Why did Mortal Kombat do so well at the box office?

Financially, numbers don’t lie. This film was released on a budget of $18 million and raked in over $124 million. As mentioned, the less I speak about the sequel the better…but for now those are so pretty impressive numbers. The context of this success boils down to a different culture which was more obsessed with traditional martial arts. Although it was in a previous decade, the likes of The Karate Kid had got the public interested in combat culture.

This, combined with the release of the original Mortal Kombat video game created a perfect storm. In 1992 it made its debut on the SNES system and is still incredibly popular to this day. At the time, it had great graphics which included explicit violence, blood and gore. Teens across America and the globe couldn’t get enough of it and within 3 years, the film was made. Combined with the public lust for martial arts and intriguing back story, it was the perfect storm. It should be noted that this was no easy feat either. Traditionally video-game crossover movies often suffer when hitting the big screen.

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What was Mortal Kombat about?

Unsurprisingly, the movie was based on the video game. However, in fairness it was very true to its roots and didn’t stray for the sake of appealing to a more mainstream audience. Directed by Paul Anderson, the plot surrounded a tournament with earth’s best fighters going against other-worldly enemies that possessed supernatural powers. For instance, in one scene, Johnny Cage is stalked by Scorpion who literally transports Cage to the underworld.

The story goes that if the humans lose, then earth will be invaded and taken over by these alien fighters who are intent on destruction. Long story short, after plenty of action, the humans win and return to earth, only to hear the other world Emperor declare that he wants their souls…directly setting up a sequel. It’s a movie trope as old as time, but it is what it is.

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So, was Mortal Kombat actually any good?

As with all things in life, this depends entirely on context. These days, it has a 5.8 rating on IMDB, which means it’s a slightly above-average movie in the eyes of the public. However, judging it by modern metrics is unfair. Firstly, back in the day – the graphics were actually quite impressive and didn’t look too out of place. Monsters such as Goro look sloppy by today’s standards, but back then expectations were lower. So, don’t expect the slick CGI that is used in the 2021 remake, but instead remember to respect things that haven’t aged particularly well either.

On to the story, it’s what it says on the tin. If you’re expected some kind of deep, cinematic masterpiece with iconic lines and meaning, then this film simply isn’t for you. Nor was it intended to be either. Instead, Mortal Kombat is purely an action-adventure movie from start to finish. With this said, you can expect plenty of fighting, action, and decent choreography.

Speaking of choreography, Mortal Kombat took an interesting route down this avenue. Instead of sticking to known actors, they also used real martial artists from Japan and other Asian countries. This gave the fight scenes a realistic feel which simply cannot be executed without real practitioners. Fans of the series won’t be disappointed either, with all of the usual characters involved such as Liu Kang, Reptile, and Kano. The shooting locations were on-point too, with the crew filming in Thai temples to add to the fighting-based backdrop.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the film was the soundtrack. Mortal Kombat’s theme tune has always been iconic and a hit with its fan base. However, no one could have foreseen the CD soundtrack achieving platinum status. Ok, this was the ’90s which meant a bigger audience for selling music…nonetheless it seems more people than expected wanted to go out and hear the music from the film.

In brief, if you go into it with an open mind and you know exactly what to expect, then you won’t be let down. For anyone else that expects otherwise, you have to question why you’d chose to watch this film in the first place. Because of this, if you’ve got a couple of hours to kill and want something easy to watch, Mortal Kombat is a decent option.

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Final Thoughts and the legacy of the original Mortal Kombat movie

At its time, some of the critics could be accused of snobbery, and since then the movie has slowly but surely risen in popularity with viewers. Often, people now praise it for staying faithful to the original video game. Moving on from critical analysis, the movie had an undeniable impact on Mortal Kombat in pop culture. As touched upon, it birthed a sequel, but also led to an animated TV series and even a novel that was based on the script. Since then there’s also been 18 MK video games and counting…so you could say that it did quite well.

So, don’t be afraid to watch this movie. If you’re a fan of the games then great, but even if you’re not then it’s still an easy watch and should keep you entertained. For more information, feel free to check out the trailer too, which in honesty, will probably give more information on it than I am capable of.

Top 20 Most Ultimate Car Action Scenes

Ranking the best car chase scenes in ultimate action movie history!

An action movie without at least one car chase always feels as if something is missing, and a well done car action sequence often is the highlight of the entire film. The thrills of speeding combined with the havoc a car can wreak on its surroundings and other cars is just an unbeatable combination for adrenaline-charged spectacle.

So let’s join the cult of the V8, in this article we’ll present you the 20 ultimate car action sequences!

20) Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)

In the fourth installment of the classic action franchise, chaos cops Riggs and Murtaugh go after a gang of human traffickers. One of their pursuits brings them against a black Mercedes (the standard bad guy vehicle in US action films) on a crowded highway. Instead of ramming their adversaries’ car with guns blazing, Riggs decides to sneak up on them for a change. He climbs onto a truck, and tries to do an ambush from the side. I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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19) Rage (1995)

No list of car action scenes would be complete without a sequence from a film produced by the mighty C-grade action forge PM Entertainment. All the cool things you imagined when playing with toy cars as a child happen in PM movies, and the trinity of cars crashing, jumping and exploding can be enjoyed in most of their productions. There are many examples for cost-efficient carnage to be found, but their best sequence may be from Gary Daniels’ Rage. Daniels’ character hijacks a fuel truck (what else could it be?), and thrashes dozens of police vehicles and a school bus (no children inside) during his wild escape on the highway.

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18) The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

The second part of the Matrix trilogy was a bit of a snoozefest, but patient viewers were rewarded with a great showdown. It’s a surprisingly grounded action sequence with plenty of practical stunt work, a few goofy CGI effects, and questionably fashion choices of almost every character involved in the scene. Trucks, cars, and motorcycles are violently going against each other with the virtual villains switching from one wrecked vehicle to the next one in an instant. Plenty of spectacular crashes and explosions makes this one of the more memorable set pieces from the Matrix trilogy.

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17) Cobra (1986)

Violence, macho contests and more violence make Cobra a totally bonkers entry in Stallone’s filmography. One of the archetypal 1980s action movies also gave us one of the classic car chases from its era with testosterone levels in overdrive. “Cobra” Coretti fights off a bunch of terrorists in his nitro-boosted vintage Mercury as he jumps over bridges, crashes from the first floor of a parking garage, and spins his car while emptying his magazine. Cars explode when hit by only a couple of bullets, are flipping over as if caught in a tornado, and fuel trucks go up in flames when only slightly grazed.

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16) GoldenEye (1995)

The former Soviet Empire lies in ruins, and James Bond is tasked to stop a group of ex-Soviet military and KGB operatives that have gotten their hands on a powerful weapon. While chasing after them in St. Petersburg, fortune puts an unattended tank across Bond’s path, and the remodeling of the city can begin. Subtlety is not on display in this scene when Bond starts a brute force assault and plows through enemies and buildings in a very un-Bond like manner, but yet manages to slide elegantly over the pavement as if he was still sitting in an Aston Martin. Tank you, Mister Bond!

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15) The Corruptor (1999)

The Corruptor had Mark Wahlberg and Chow-Yun Fat team up as police officers who become entangled in the machinations of New York’s Chinatown. A botched attempt to arrest some triad members turns into an ultraviolent car chase as the hunted are going amok, and shoot every unfortunate civilian that gets in their way in order to slow down their pursuers. Glass is shattering, blood spurting and rims flying towards the camera, it’s a brutal and tense sequence that fits perfectly into this grim action thriller.

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14) Universal Soldier (1992)

The ultimate showdown between action stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren is a fun action flick, and gave us a furious chase between a prisoner bus and a big-ass military truck as part of its finale. It’s not exactly a fair fight for Luc Deveraux who is chained to his seat when his nemesis Andrew Scott has a full arsenal of weapons at his disposal, and indulges in playing hand-grenade ping-pong while tailgating the bus towards a cliff.

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13) Speed (1994)

Speed is the wildest bus ride in movie history and was the start of Keanu Reeves’ career as an action star. The crazy idea of a bus rigged with a bomb that will go off if its speed drops below 50 mph gave us a high-speed chase without an adversary. Agent Jack Traven just learned about the bomb, and impressively displays his multitasking skills as he drives, yells and makes a phone call while trying to get on the moving bus during rush hour.

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12) The Rock (1996)

Michael Bay’s action extravaganza took all the elements we love from classic genre flicks and turbo-charged them into an insane spectacle. Master escape artist John Mason escapes once again. He hijacks a Hummer and a goes on a wild ride through downtown San Francisco while being pursued by FBI agent Stanley Goodspeed in a Ferrari Spider. The hills of San Francisco are the perfect setting for a turbulent race, cars are jumping, crashing and exploding as Bay set a new standard for action sequences at the time. It’s a perfectly choreographed inferno that culminates in the explosion of a cable car, and you’re gonna feel sorry for that beautiful Ferrari.

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11) Fast Five (2011)

The Fast & Furious series has given us many great moments of insane car action, and the best one may be found in the fifth installment of the series. Toretto and his crew decide to hurt Brazilian crime lord Zizi by embarking on a large-scale heist of his assets in Rio de Janeiro. Instead of taking the inconvenient route to walk into a bank and empty its safe, they just rip it out of the building and drive away with it. While being chased by dozens of police vehicles, the safe becomes a wrecking cube that plays bowling with cars and smashes plenty of city infrastructure.

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10) Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

Terminator 3 does not show up regularly on movie lists other than worst sequel rankings. It’s actually not a bad movie on its own, but just had the ungraceful task of following in its predecessor’s footsteps. The T-101 is sent to the past once again to protect John Connor from Skynet and it’s newest avatar, the T-X. Their first confrontation already escalates into a destruction derby between a crane truck and a fire engine. Cars are crashing and exploding at a staggering frequency, but it’s all just child’s play compared to the carnage caused by the giant vehicles that plow through everything in their path. If there was a ranking of most real estate property destroyed by cars, this sequence would easily take up the number one spot.

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9) The Raid 2 (2014)

What is better than a car chase? A car chase combined with ferocious martial arts action! In the sequel to The Raid: Redemption the level of bloody violence and insane fight scenes was cranked up even more, and Iko Uwais again showed us that he is one of the masters of modern martial arts cinema. Police officer Rama goes undercover, and finds himself in a van packed with gangsters planning to execute him. While he’s fighting four people on the back seat, cars are crashing into each other on the outside. The montage of the simultaneous martial arts and car chase sequences is done spectacularly, and gives us some high-octane action with jaw-dropping stunts and fights.

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8) Ronin (1998)

Ronin has become a legendary action thriller, and it’s car action had a big contribution to it. Two master drivers chase each other through the narrow streets of Paris, drifting through roundabouts, driving against traffic at neck-breaking speed, and leaving plenty of collateral damage in their wake. The camera is always close to the action, seamlessly moving with the cars, and the cinematography of this scene probably set a new benchmark for any car chase that came afterwards. Even now it is still one of the best-looking car action sequences ever created.

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7) Tango & Cash (1989)

The dream team of Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell give it all in this campy classic that is as over-the-top as an action movie can be. The start of the movies’ finale has Tango and Cash crashing into the headquarter of drug baron Perret with a heavily armed jeep. “Remember: Use extreme caution!” is a warning by Tango that goes completely unheard as a comical inferno of violence is unleashed with massive explosions, bullets flying everywhere, and cars jumping in and out of the screen from all angles. The whole thing is just pure chaos and senseless destruction, and is probably what action movie heaven looks like.

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6) The Dark Knight (2008)

Christopher Nolan is a master of storytelling and of staging perfectly choreographed action scenes. The Dark Knight may be the best superhero movie ever created, and it features a car chase that is almost unparalleled in its visual elegance. The Joker opens heavy fire upon a police convoy he believes to transport the captured Batman. The real Batman arrives eventually and joins the party to save the day. The sequence has all the elements of a traditional car chase with cars grinding and crashing, explosions and shootouts, but the cinematography and level of detail is the very embodiment of perfection, and is rendered even more impressive as Nolan used almost exclusively practical effects for its creation.

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5) Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

An eternal classic of action cinema, Indiana Jones’ first adventure has him searching for the mythical Ark of the Covenant that is believed to imbue invincibility. After digging it up, Hitler’s goons take it from him and take off with a truck. Indy chases after them on a horse, jumps on the truck, and the most fun action sequence on this list begins. There may not be explosions or cars crashing all the time, but it features some incredible stunt work, and every second of it oozes awesomeness.

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4) Mad Max 2 (1981)

The Road Warrior created a benchmark for the post-apocalyptic genre and car action for the 1980s and beyond. In the sequel to Mad Max, Max Rockatansky finds shelter in a fortified settlement, and agrees to its protect inhabitants from a group of motorized barbarians led by Lord Homungus in exchange for fuel. In the finale of the film, Max drives a heavily armored truck filled with gasoline through the wasteland, and is getting attacked from all sides by Homungus’ gang and their murderous vehicles. The creative energy of director George Miller knew no boundaries in The Road Warrior with insane stunts, crazy-looking cars, and violent shootouts and fights taking place on moving vehicles. The Road Warrior still holds up easily today in every respect, and only Miller himself was able to surpass it more than 30 years later with Mad Max: Fury Road.

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3) Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

James Cameron had his finest hour as a director with this masterpiece, a perfect Sci-Fi action movie, that also featured one of the most iconic car chases to ever make into a film. After encountering both terminators, John Connor decides it is time to hit the dust and dashes away on his moped. The T-101 catches up with and saves him from getting crushed by the T-1000 and his truck, and a frantic chase through a flood channel begins. The style, tension and editing of this scene, it all plays together to create one of the all-time epic moments of action cinema.

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2) Bad Boys II (2003)

Bad Boys 2 is Michael Bay at his best, an awesome buddy action comedy with Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in the performances of their life, that features as much action as laugh-out moments. It’s also a film filled with insane car action. After a shootout with the Miami police, the gangsters need fast wheels to escape and choose to hijack a big-ass truck loaded with cars. It turns out not to be the worst choice, when they start throwing cars at Miami PD detectives Marcus and Mike who are pursuing them.

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1) Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

30 years after his Mad Max trilogy, Frank Miller got the opportunity for a do-over that enabled him to perfect his vision of the ultimate post-apocalyptic action movie. And with Mad Max: Fury Road Miller took car action to a completely new level. He created some of the weirdest and greatest looking vehicles to ever be created for a movie with an astonishing level of detail. The film chains one crazy car action sequence into another, and we’ll just give you a glimpse of the insanity this film is with a clip that shows Imperator Furiosa abducting a war rig from V8 cult leader Immortan Joe, while also fending off a posse of Buzzard bandits.

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