Film Don't Hurt, Podcasts — September 16, 2013 at 5:46 pm




What makes a great action film?  Especially, what makes a great one in the 25 years since Die Hard, which is widely regarded as the quintessential action film, which spawned countless ripoffs, which has become the one against which most modern action films have been judged?  Those were the questions the folks at Vulture attempted to answer a few months back, posting a list of the 25 best actions films since John McTiernan’s 1988 classic.  It was an eclectic, somewhat controversial list that I not only really dug – even if I didn’t agree with all of the choices – but thought would make for a solid jumping-off point for a discussion on…another episode of Film Don’t Hurt.

The Vulture List

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  • If there are better action films, there are only a handful I’d throw out for consideration. Heat? But that’s really more of the crime genre.

  • Fun discussion. I’ve seen most of the movies on the list, but haven’t caught Once Upon a Time in China, Crank, and Unstoppable. The two that stand out to me as being weird picks are Avatar and Jurassic Park. They’re adventure movies (one so-so, one great) that aren’t in the same genre.

    That said, I don’t have an issue with this list including sci-fi and comic book movies. It really comes down to what’s in the film, regardless of where it lies. 28 Days Later is an action movie to me.

    The inclusions that I really like are Supercop, Casino Royale (which should be much higher), and Last of the Mohicans. I also think The Bourne Ultimatum is the right pick and should be near the top.

    It’s such a subjective choice, but the discussion really made me want to go watch a lot of these movies again.

    Also, Lethal Weapon 4 is mostly awful. Jet Li can only do so much. The second movie is so much better. Diplomatic immunity!

  • How dare you insult the awesomeness that is Lethal Weapon 4. Bow down when it comes to your town. 🙂

  • Haven’t listened yet, but looking at the list up for discussion…I have to think Unstoppable comes up at some point! Ha! Also, I have to say…I will find you. Most quotable line ever!


      • Okay, so I listened…and I have to pat myself on the back. We ALL knew Unstoppable was coming up at some point!

        Also, Kai is not always right…I don’t love Mohicans, it’s just aight. I do think I made him watch it, though. In Daniel Day-Lewis cannon of work, not the best…just okay. Ending is good.

        Someone mentioned Taken in the comments section. Love that pick. You know, this coming from a girl who didn’t see Die Hard, Lethal Weapon or Predator until 30.

        • As it turns out, Kai is rarely right. Just look at his fantasy football teams! 😀

          Fine, I’ll be alone on the Last of the Mohicans is Great Island. Traitor!!

  • The first two movies I thought of when you said action movies since Die Hard were Point Break and Hard Boiled.

    As for some of the other movies discussed, am I the only person to call foul? Terminator 2 is a sequel to The Terminator that predates Die Hard by about four years. While Casino Royale isn’t a sequel as such, it is part of a fifty year old franchise. If they can creep in why not a Lethal Weapon sequel or two?

    • To be fair, I went back and looked and that’s not one of the rules. Lethal Weapon 2 or other films like it (Last Crusade probably being chief among them) *could* have made the list…they just didn’t.