Connect with us


20 Movies With the Most Over-the-Top Action Scenes

The early 2000s saw the dawn of a new age of action filmmaking where the emphasis was on making the fight scenes as grounded and realistic as possible. The Bourne Identity, Casino Royale, and Collateral where the vanguards of this movement, proving that you don’t need fancy kungfu choreography or high-flying acrobatics to create a compelling depiction of battle.

But a decade later, the pendulum had swung the other way again. Audiences were getting tired of “realistic” fight scenes replete with shaky cam, dramatic close-ups, off-center framing, and quick cut editing. A number of new movies came out that reminded audiences just how fun an over-the-top action movie can be when executed properly. Let us take a look at a few such movies that are all about maximalist action entertainment.

20 300


Warner Bros. Pictures

The word “restraint” doesn’t really exist in filmmaker Zack Snyder’s movie making dictionary. If he makes a superhero team epic, It’s going to be four hours long. If he shows a fight between alien super powered beings, it’s going to completely obliterate a city and kill thousands of civilians. And if Snyder makes a medieval war epic, you better believe it’s going to be the most testosterone-riddled war epic ever made.
RELATED: 10 Epic Movies Based on Historical Battles
Such is the case with 300, a heavily fictionalized account of a real Greco-Persian war. We get a hint early on that this is not a story about men resolving their issues through civil debate. In the film’s most famous scene, King Xerxes sends a herald to Leonidas, King of Sparta, demanding his surrender under threat of war. Leonidas responds by screaming “This is Sparta!” and kicking the emissary down a bottomless pit in dramatic slow motion. Interestingly, this entertainingly over-the-top reaction was something lead actor Gerald Butler came up with rather than it being Snyder’s suggestion.

19 Pacific Rim

killing the kaiju (2) Legendary Pictures

The evolution of CGI has done many things for Hollywood. But the most lucrative thing it has done is allow for live-action depiction of the fever dreams of eleven-year-olds as they smash their action figures together in epic imaginary battles. This is the best way to describe Pacific Rim, a movie whose story exists purely as an excuse to show giant monsters fighting giant robots with giant weapons.
Thanks to the skillful direction of filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, this set up gets imbued with actual stakes and a certain amount of emotional depth through the human characters. Still, the best scenes in the movie are obviously the parts where the human-operated giant Jaeger robots take on the invading giant Kaiju monsters. It might seem childish, but you can’t help but feel a tremendous thrill watching a Jaeger fighting a Kaiju in space, before drawing a giant-ass sword from literally up its sleeve to slice the Kaiju in half and then plummeting back to Earth. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, MCU.

18 Kingsman: The Secret Service

kingsman-firth-church (1) 20th Century Fox

Daniel Craig ushered in a new era of James Bond movies as gritty and realistic action dramas. This turn towards realism proved very popular with general audiences, and people wondered if the old era of campy James Bond movies had been permanently put to rest. The answer turned out to be no, with Kingsman: The Secret Service proving there is still a big audience for a theatrical, larger-than-life British spy movie experience.
The film follows a secret group of spies working to keep the world safe from villains with outlandish schemes. Kingsman revels in the kind of over-the-top action that Craig’s Bond had almost entirely abandoned. The most memorable sequence occurs near the end of the second act, when secret agent Harry Hart is forced to kill a church full of deranged lunatics, which Harry proceeds to do with brutal and extremely gory efficiency.

17 RRR

Animal Cavalry in RRR Variance Films

When Indian Telugu-language film RRR started gaining popularity in the West, the one phrase critics kept using to describe the action-adventure historical musical epic was “over the top.” And with good reason. The movie includes, among other things, an extended action sequence where one man battles against a thousand protestors, another man fights off an attack from a tiger single-handed, and a rescue scene involving an exploding train.
All of this happens within the first half of RRR, and the action only ramps up from there. But the most exciting sequence occurs during the middle of the film. The lead hero Bheem plans an attack on a British consulate using an army of wild animals. Standing in Bheem’s path is the British army, and the lead antagonist Ram. Thus, the stage is set for a glorious battle filled with the kind of dazzling visual imagery, pyrotechnics, and maximalist action choreography that Hollywood can only dream of.

16 Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max Fury Road - Fire guitar Warner Bros. Pictures

When George Miller announced that he would be making a new Mad Max movie thirty years after the last one, fans did not know what to expect. Repeated reports of the production of Mad Max: Fury Road being plagued with difficulties made it seem like Miller had bitten off more than he could chew this time. But then the movie finally released, and almost immediately made its place among the greatest action films of all time.
Mad Max: Fury Roadoperates as an extended chase sequence, which allows Miller to incorporate all manners of impossible stunt work into the narrative for a breathtaking visual spectacle. Few sequences more brilliantly capture the euphoric madness of Miller’s vision than watching the main villain Immortan Joe riding out in pursuit of the heroes with his army of War Boys in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, the whole scene being underlined by a red-clad member of the army standing atop one of the war rigs, blasting out metal music via a flame-belching electric guitar.

15 Fast & Furious 9

A car in space Universal Pictures

The Fast & Furious saga has had the strangest evolution among Hollywood franchises. What started out as a pretty grounded exploration of the world of street racing pretty soon turned into a tale of Dominic Toretto and his crew of gearheads pulling off elaborate heists, fighting the American government, international terrorists, and generally behaving like the Avengers in sleeveless shirts and corduroys.
Each Fast & Furious movie seemed to be competing to be more over-the-top than the last, something that was very much a strategy of the producers rather than an accident. All of this culminates in Fast & Furious 9, where, after years of the internet joking that the only way for the franchise to outdo itself is to go to space, that does end up happening when the characters Roman and Tej fly their rocket car through space in a moment that just might be the crowning achievement in over-the-top Hollywood blockbuster entertainment.

14 Aquaman

Jason Momoa as Aquaman Warner Bros. Pictures

Remember when people used to look forward to DCEU movies? That was the time around which Aquaman got released. Despite the water-based superhero having long been the butt of jokes in superhero fandom circles, filmmaker James Wan saw the potential in the character leading a really fun and bombastic underwater adventure story, anchored by the hunky, charismatic presence of Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry aka Aquaman.
Sure enough, the movie keeps audiences entertained by jumping from one gloriously colorful action set piece to another involving underwater armies, drum playing octopuses, and water-based kung-fu. But the best is reserved for last, as the final battle between Atlantis and the other underwater kingdoms plays out like a mixture of Star Wars, The Matrix, Pacific Rim, and the world’s biggest rave party. Topping off the entire exercise in cinematic excess is Aquaman himself entering into battle riding atop the literal Kraken.

13 Wanted

Wesley prepares to fight (1)

You might think movies like Fast & Furious and Kingsman are as over-the-top as action films can get, but at least they attempt to follow some semblance of real-world physics. Wanted was a 2008 action movie that treated physics like an extra packet of sauce on an order of fries that remains unheeded throughout the meal. And the results are spectacular.
Wesley Gibson is a regular office worker frustrated with his mediocre life. Wesley life’s changes when he discovers his legacy as the son of the world’s greatest assassin, and is inducted into a secret society of killers who can bend the rules of reality to carry out their missions. Over a brutal training session, Wesley learns to bend bullets through the air, keep moving after multiple deadly injuries, and how to use rats as live explosives. All these skills Wesley then uses during the climactic battle sequence where he faces off solo against his former allies.

12 Kill Bill Vol. 1

Uma Thurman in Kill Bill: Volume 1 Miramax Films

Quentin Tarantino is rightfully applauded for his ability to write memorable dialogs for his movies. But the director is also one of the most distinctive action directors in the history of Hollywood. No movie better showcases Tarantino’s demented, over-the-top, Giallo-inspired action sensibilities then Kill Bill Vol. 1, which pays homage to Chinese action movies as well as ’70s Hollywood action flicks.
A lone woman known as The Bride is on a mission to kill her former lover. Standing in the Bride’s path is an army of assassins whom she must take down using her katana sword. In one of cinema’s most famous action scenes, the Bride faces off against multiple sword-wielding opponents. She slices off limbs and organs with abandon, letting forth operatic jets of blood that are as entertaining to watch as they are medically impossible to recreate in the real world.

11 John Wick: Chapter 4

keanu_donnie_johnwick4 Lionsgate Films

Few action movies have proved to be as immediately acclaimed and influential as the John Wick series. The franchise is often credited with revolutionizing the way action movies are made in Hollywood, and each entry in the series has gone from strength to strength in terms of expanding upon what is possible to show in an action set piece.
Despite technically being set in the real world, the John Wick movies never pretend to be anything more than highly-stylized power fantasies where one man can mow down an army of assassins using nothing but his wits and some trusty gun-fu. Each new movie in the series tries to be even more over the top than the last, finally leading us to John Wick: Chapter 4, which is as preposterous as it is spectacular. A particular highlight is an action scene near the start of the film where a group of mercenaries led by a blind assassin hunt down John Wick at a hotel where he had been lying low.

10 Eega

Eega flying (1) RELATED: Best S.S. Rajamouli Movies, Ranked
After the movie’s villain kills the hero (named Nani) to get his hands on the heroine, Nani gets reborn as a regular housefly. Thirsting for revenge, Nani embarks on a deadly game of fly-and-mouse with the villain, setting up a series of elaborate traps despite the limitations of his size. A bunch of wildly creative action set pieces follow, including a climax where Nani uses his expertise with pyrotechnics to blow up the villain’s stronghold. Honestly, the Ant-Man franchise could learn a thing or two from Eega.

9 Kung Fu Hustle

Kung Fu Hustle martial arts fight scene Huayi Brothers/ Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International

Stephen Chow is one of the most successful Chinese filmmakers of all time, and he first caught the attention of international audiences with Shaolin Soccer. The success of the movie pushed Chow to be even more ambitious with his next feature, Kung Fu Hustle. An action-comedy that combines Chinese action with Hollywood special effects, Kung Fu Hustle works both as a brilliant parody of anime as well as a loving homage to it.
Sing is a small-time crook who dreams of joining the dreaded axe-gang. But despite wanting to look like a tough and merciless gangster, there is an inherent kindness to Sing’s inner nature that keeps screwing up his life. A series of bloody encounters with Kung-fu masters brings out Sing’s inner warrior. The movie culminates in a spectacular face-off between Sing and an army of axe-gang members where he finally unleashes his full power.

8 The Matrix Revolutions

neo-anderson-matrix-revolutions Warner Bros. Pictures

The ’90s gave Hollywood a lot of memorable action movies, but none were as popular or influential as The Matrix. The story of the chosen hero Neo’s fight against an army of robots seeking to trap humanity in a virtual simulation felt both ahead of its time and yet deeply current. The film also redefined Hollywood’s approach to action, popularizing a slick futuristic Kung fu style of visual language that filmmakers are still trying to copy today.
Unfortunately, the sequels to The Matrix failed to live up to the hype of the original, even as they tried to further explore the world of the simulation, and what it would take to free humanity from it. This question leads to more and more over-the-top action scenes, culminating in the climax of The Matrix Revolutions. Neo makes his final stand against an army of Agent Smiths in a knock-down-drag-out fight that feels more epic than what most superhero movies have given us so far.

7 Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Mission: Impossible - Fallout Paramount Pictures

The Mission: Impossible – Fallout series are sometimes viewed as the thinking man’s Fast & Furious films. Whereas the latter rely mostly on CGI and stunt doubles, the Mission: Impossible movies put the effort into creating live-action set pieces where most of the stunts are performed by the lead actor Tom Cruise himself.
Thus, each new Mission: Impossible movie plays out like the world’s most expensive game of chicken, with Cruise trying to top his own stunts from the previous movie. The actor has never risen to greater heights in this regard than Mission: Impossible: Fallout. Not only does Cruise hang from the side of a plane taking off, but he also falls out of a helicopter hundreds of feet above the ground without a parachute. And let’s not forget the building leap that actually ended up breaking Cruise’s ankle for real.

6 Singham

singham-still-roars-ajay-devgn-001 (2) Reliance Entertainment

Long before RRR stormed the international movie market and won an Oscar, Indian movies had become a popular source of unintentional comedy on the internet due to their over-the-top action scenes. The poster child of this trend was Singham, which gave rise to a number of memes in the early days of social media.
Bajirao Singham is a cop who will stop at nothing to eradicate corruption. This includes personally beating up criminals without the help of any sort of backup. In the film’s most famouse moment, a car full of criminals are charging towards Singham. He fires at the car, hitting the tires and flipping the vehicle over. In mid-flip, Singham reaches inside the car and drags out the criminal for an epic beatdown. It might sound ridiculous, but can you imagine how cool the scene would look if the Flash did something similar in a Justice League movie?

5 Live Free or Die Hard

John hangs on (2) 20th Century Fox

The original Die Hard was a game changer in the action movie genre. In an era that was dominated by superhuman men with bulging biceps and deadly karate skills, Die Hard featured a male lead who looked and behaved like an average Joe. But as grounded and sober as the original Die Hard was, its sequels grew steadily more over-the-top as the franchise grew in size.
The best example of this trend can be seen in Live Free or Die Hard. NYPD detective John McClane is back in action, this time saving the country from a group of computer hackers. Instead of dealing with individual terrorists inside a building, this time our hero finds himself in situations that could be straight out of a Fast & Furious movie. Like McClane driving a transport truck across a winding highway while fending off missile attacks from a nearby fighter jet. Talk about earning your movie’s title.

4 Crank: High Voltage

Jason Statham Crank-1 Paramount Pictures

Jason Statham has made a career out of playing super humans pretending to be regular guys. Most of his movies feature over-the-top stunts and situations that manage to be quite inventive within the confines of the action movie genre. Case in point, 2006’s Crank, which features Statham as Chev Chelios, a hitman who must constantly keep his adrenaline up to avoid dying.
The success of Crank prompted its creators to up the stakes to new ridiculous heights for the sequel, Crank: High Voltage. Chev is back, and this time his heart has been replaced by an artificial one that will run out of battery power soon. Cue another race against time as Chev tries to find a way out of his predicament in frenziedly violent and bizarre ways. Like when he has to jack up his artificial heart’s power by wiring a car battery to his body and giving himself the mother of all defibrillator shocks.

3 Kick-Ass

kick-ass and hit-girl (2) Lionsgate

The Boys is all the rage these days for daring to show superheroes as violent, amoral, and flawed characters. But Kick-Ass already did that all the way back in 2010. The movie follows a high schooler named Dave Lizewski, who decides to take a page out of the comic books he adores and becomes the vigilante Kick-Ass.
Unfortunately, Dave learns the hard way that putting on a costume and wielding double batons will not intimidate the common street thug. Dave gets brutalized repeatedly in one fight after another, but he refuses to give up his crusade. Things truly get dangerous when a couple of real superheroes named Hit-Girl and Big Daddy join the fray, showing Dave how to get things done in some incredibly violent and over-the-top action sequences.

2 You Don’t Mess with the Zohan

Zohan and Phantom (2) Sony Pictures Releasing

Adam Sandler is mostly known for comedy movies, with the occasional unexpected well-received drama thrown into the mix. But in 2008 the actor took a brief foray into the world of action with You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. This being Sandler, the movie is still a comedy, serving as a parody of over-the-top action movies by showing the most over-the-top action hero of all time.
The titular Zohan is an ex-mercenary who escapes to America to fulfill his dream of becoming a hairdresser. But Zohan’s enemies won’t let him be. Chief among them is the man called Phantom, whose battles with Zohan are the stuff of legend. The two have a number of skirmishes throughout the movie that are as violently over-the-top as they are hilarious. It’s too bad Sandler never followed up the film with a sequel, because You Don’t Mess with the Zohan had the potential to be the Austin Powers of our times.

1 Battle Royale

Tatsuya Fujiwara and Aki Maeda in Battle Royale Toei Company Releasing

When The Hunger Games came out, some people were concerned that the film’s theme of children killing each other for survival would be too extreme for general audiences. But the movie The Hunger Games borrows from is even more extreme. Battle Royale is a 2000 Japanese action-thriller that follows a group of school children stranded on an island.
As part of the autocratic government’s mandate, the children are ordered to use weapons supplied by the law personnel to kill each other until there is only one winner left. Battle Royale features many gory scenes of over-the-top violence that would be right at home in a Saw movie, leading the film to be banned in several countries upon its release. Still, Battle Royale has since gone on to enjoy a passionate international fan base, which includes Quentin Tarantino.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


‘I am officially off the market’: When Margot Robbie revealed she made the ‘conscious’ decision of not dating actors

Margot Robbie revealed her decision to not date actors because of the media scrutiny that came with a public relationship of two high-profile actors
Back in 2015, A-lister Margot Robbie made a declaration that she would not be dating any actors. The actress may have alluded to her fiance Tom Ackerley, who she married the following year in 2016. In an exclusive interview with Marie Claire, she revealed that being in a relationship as an actor herself came with its own set of challenges. She believed that dating someone who was popular would add on to the media scrutiny.

Margot Robbie opened up on why she made a conscious decision to not date actorsTalking to Marie Claire, she claimed, “I am officially off the market.” She then shared the reasoning behind her decision and added, “I made a conscious decision not to date actors.” She continued to explain, “But not because I hate actors. That’s a nasty generalization to make, and that’s not the case. People take such an interest in your love life when you have a profile, it puts a lot of stress on a relationship.”
The Barbie actress continued, “So two people with profiles, I figure it’s just double the amount of scrutiny, and I’d like to avoid that at all costs.” This came after reports of her locking lips with Tarzan co-star Alexander Skarsgard started making rounds. It was reported that she was caught kissing the actor during the Sundance Film Festival.

Margot Robbie revealed she opted for a minimal lifestyle even after becoming an actorIn the interview, Robbie also opened up about how she was adapting to fame. She shared, “I have a normal 24-year-old life. If I were a waitress, I’d probably have the exact same lifestyle. I’d go to the same clubs I go to already, live in the same house with the same housemates, hang out with the same people.”
However, Margot Robbie tied the knot with Tom Ackerley who is an English producer and actor. The duo met on the sets of 2013 movie Suite Francaise where Tom was working as an assistant director. Post marriage, both of them launched their production company LuckyChap Entertainment.

Post navigation

Continue Reading


Monica Bellucci and Tin Burton at lunch in the restaurant in Selci Lama

For All Saints’ Day, the Hollywood star from Tiferno returned to his native Umbria to enjoy a moment of relaxation and then visit his parentsOn the occasion of the All Saints’ Day celebrations, the Hollywood star of Tiferno origin, Monica Bellucci, returned to her native Umbria to enjoy a moment of relaxation and to visit her father Pasquale and her mother Brunella.Flanked by her current partner Tim Burton, she went to lunch, together with about twenty old friends, at the Osteria del Musicista, which has always been her favorite restaurant, in Selci Lama.Menu dedicated to typical dishes of the area, which includes an appetizer with breadsticks lined with coppa, duck in porchetta and grilled pork livers, polenta with wild boar sauce accompanied by the very typical cappelletti in broth.To conclude, a dessert based on fried “ciaccia” with Nutella and roasted chestnuts.
Having paid the bill and greeted the restaurant owner and lifelong friend, Roberto Polchi, Monica brought home cappelletti and broth for a family dinner.

Post navigation

Continue Reading


‘Rocky’ Was Quite Different In His Original Screenplay, Sylvester Stallone Claims

Sylvester Stallone took his friend’s advice on a rewrite of the original screenplay to Rocky. A few tweaks later, he was on his way to major success.
In the new Netflix documentary Sly, Stallone discussed how he initially conceived of the project, which had a much harder edge. In the early version, Rocky was depicted as a “thuggish” character, inspired by Martin Scorsese’s crime drama, Mean Streets.

But Stallone’s perspective changed when a friend read the script and thought the boxer was too cruel for audiences to actually care about him.
Stallone recalled her crying.

“She goes, ‘I hate Rocky. I hate him. He’s cruel. He hits people. He beats them up.’”
Stallone took it to heart, and asked what he could do to soften the character.

“I said, ‘what if you stop short of it?’ Like, maybe he almost did. He could have, that’s his job, but he doesn’t?’ ‘That’d be nice,’” he added. “I said, ‘What if he had a girlfriend or something?’ ‘Yeah, that’s nice.’ So I go back, start writing that: ‘Girlfriend. Nice.’”
$117 million in box office later, a franchise was born.

Stallone also revealed that actor Dolph Lundgren sent him to the hospital during one fight scene in Rocky IV.
“Dolph Lundgren… he pulverized me,” Stallone says in the documentary. “Later that night, my heart started to swell—which happens when the heart hits the chest—and then my blood pressure went up to 260, and they thought I was going to be talking to angels. Next thing I know, I’m in intensive care, where I’m surrounded by nuns, and I thought, ‘OK, that’s curtains.’”
Stallone was in the hospital for nine days following the incident, praying for “one more round.”
“For the first minute of the fight, it is going to be a free-for-all,” Stallone told Lundgren. The Swedish actor joked in a separate interview that all he did was “obey orders,” explaining, “[Stallone] was the boss. I did what he told me.”
Doctors allegedly told Stallone that he received a blow to the ribs that made his heart rattle around in his ribcage, a condition typically seen in head-on collisions. “I did hit a bus, of sorts,” Stallone joked.

Post navigation

Continue Reading