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20 Great Action Movies With No Sequel

It’s rare for a successful action film to not get the sequel treatment in Hollywood. Cliffhanger 2 is en route and its director, Ric Roman Waugh, has taken to comparing it to Top Gun: Maverick and fellow Sylvester Stallone film Creed. Time will tell if it’s that successful a reinvention, but it goes without saying those two projects are mighty fine sources of inspiration.

For a while there, it didn’t even look like Renny Harlin’s Cliffhanger was ever going to get a sequel, but the recent boom in legacy sequels has changed that. And Cliffhanger’s not the only one. Yet, there are still some action classics and minor classics that remain one-offs. Note that both prequels and direct-to-streaming sequels eliminated films from consideration. However, eventual TV series adaptations did not.

20 Commando (1985)

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando

20th Century Fox

Commando is such a cheesy action classic it’s truly hard to understand why it and Schwarzenegger’s John Matrix never got a follow-up. This is especially true considering the core point of conflict in the film is someone’s kidnapping of Matrix’s daughter, a crime that can certainly be replicated or slightly altered for a sequel (just ask Liam Neeson’s Bryan Mills).
It seems the ship has sailed for a Commando sequel, too, because the film’s macho-man way wouldn’t exactly work in modern times. Unlike some other actioners of the decade, Commando isn’t exactly offensive, but it’s certainly a bit out of date (if not also the best source of one-liners outside Predator).

19 Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985)

fred-ward-dead-remo-williams-1280x720 Orion Pictures

An extra special treat for fans of the late Fred Ward, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins was an adaptation of The Destroyer series of novels (of which over 150 have been written, by different authors over time). Unfortunately, even though the series of pulp novels have proven successful, the movie (which was very much planned to kick off a series) was not.
Director Guy Hamilton helmed not one but four James Bond films prior to Remo Williams (specifically Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die, and The Man with the Golden Gun) and his experience with the spy film subgenre is readily apparent. And, like in some of the older Bond films, there’s some stuff in Remo that hasn’t aged the best, either (namely there’s some whitewashing going on when it comes to the titular character’s mentor).

18 Cobra (1986)

cobra-stallone Warner Bros.

George P. Cosmatos’ Cobra can be an unpleasant film. It’s love for violence seems to indicate it thinks a bullet is the answer to all of life’s problems. And the same goes for the titular character.
So, in one way, audiences might not have even wanted more time with Sylvester Stallone’s Marion Cobretti. But, in the other, the movie made a lot of money during its theatrical run, so it’s more than a little surprising The Cannon Group didn’t see it as the company-saving cash cow it could have been. But, even if it had happened, the original film’s highlight (Brian Thompson’s turn as the villainous Night Slasher) wouldn’t be reprising.

17 The Running Man (1987)

the running man arnold schwarzenegger interview Tri-Star Pictures

It’s odd to think that Arnold Schwarzenegger has starred in a Stephen King adaptation, but The Running Man made it so. That said, it’s a very loose adaptation of King’s novel.
The film takes place 30 years in the future (in other words, 2017), when the United States has become an uncompromising totalitarian police state where the only true source of entertainment is pretty depraved. But, it’s not as if television show The Running Man is really anything new. It’s far from the first time people have paid to watch gladiators murder one another. The film’s socio-political commentary is the type that can work in modern times, should Schwarzenegger’s Captain Ben Richards find himself wrongfully incarcerated again.

16 Action Jackson (1988)

ACTION-JACKSON_1200x630 Silver Pictures

If Action Jackson were to receive a legacy sequel or reboot of some kind, its script would need some tweaking. But, as a late ’80s action film, it’s one of the more intense, memorable, and well-cast.
Predator and Rocky’s Carl Weathers is perfect as the impeccably-named Sgt. Jericho ‘Action’ Jackson, while Vanity (The Last Dragon) is terrific in a slimly-written role. But the highlight may very well be the sinister Peter Dellaplane, because Poltergeist and The Incredibles actor Craig T. Nelson makes him far more frightening than the typical action antagonist. Then, for the nostalgic, there is the slew of other ’80s favorites populating the cast list: Bill Duke (Predator), Thomas F. Wilson (Back to the Future), Mary Ellen Trainor (Lethal Weapon), and Sharon Stone.

15 Tango & Cash (1989)

Tango and Cash Warner Bros. 

At one point in time, there was actually talk of both a Cobra and Tango & Cash reboot. Yet, neither project has come to fruition.
As far as the quality for either original film goes, they’re fairly comparable. But, Tango & Cashis a lot more fun. Is it cluttered? Sure. Can the tone veer wildly? Also yes. But, there’s little doubt Stallone and Kurt Russell had chemistry, and considering they’re both still active in the industry, never say never on Tango and Cash getting back together to barely survive another movie.

14 Point Break (1991)

Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze in Point Break 20th Century Fox

Kathryn Bigelow’s Point Break is one of the 1990s most well-constructed and outright entertaining action films. For one, it’s buoyed by three sterling lead performances from Patrick Swayze, Lori Petty, and Keanu Reeves, whose work in the film was once unfairly bashed.
Swayze and Reeves share particularly sterling chemistry, which is something the movie absolutely required to work. And, secondly, it features expertly-crafted action sequences so intense they practically involve the viewer. Point Break was ahead of its time, and even features Gary Busey giving his all to an ill-fated partner role.

13 Demolition Man (1993)

Demolition-Man-(1993)-1 Warner Bros.

Demolition Man is a bizarre creation that seemingly could have only come from the 1990s. It’s a prototypical superhero film, but an entirely original one that features Wesley Snipes having as much fun as Simon Phoenix as he had as Nino Brown in New Jack City.
Stallone is similarly well-cast, and his John Spartan stands as one of the actor’s most likable characters, but another shout-out must go to the film’s unusually (given the material) stacked supporting roster. Sandra Bullock, Denis Leary, Bob Gunton, Benjamin Bratt, and Beetlejuice’s Glenn Shadix all bring their A-game to the film’s humorous vision of the future.

12 Hard Target (1993)

Screen Shot 2023-05-08 at 5.52.09 PM Universal Pictures

John Woo’s first American film, Hard Target, came bursting out of the gate as proof positive that he was one of the new go-to action directors on the scene. He’d o on to again prove this with (arguably) Broken Arrow and (certainly) Face/Off.
There’s a lot about Hard Target that works. Chance Boudgreax is possibly the best character Van Damme’s ever played, but even his solid work is overshadowed by the film’s one-two punch in the villain department. Specifically, the film’s shady underground manhunting business is run by two men: Aliens and Pumpkinhead’s Lance Henriksen and The Mummy’s Arnold Vosloo (both of whom have the time of their lives).

11 In the Line of Fire (1993)

In the Line of Fire Columbia Pictures 

Before Wolfgang Petersen was guiding Harrison Ford throughout the body of Air Force One, he was putting Clint Eastwood In the Line of Fire as he fights to stop the assassination of America’s most important individual. He succeeds when all is said and done, so there could have been a sequel; It certainly earned enough money for the studio to start banging down Petersen’s door.
But, the conclusion is so satisfying for Secret Service agents Frank Horrigan and Lilly Raines (Rene Russo) that it would have been a shame to mess with a good thing. The film also boasts one of the ’90s best cast rosters working alongside Eastwood, Russo, and John Malkovich (in arguably his most terrifying performance): Dylan McDermott, Gary Cole (Talladega Nights), Fred Dalton Thompson (Cape Fear), John Mahoney (Frasier), John Heard (Home Alone), and Tobin Bell (Saw).

10 Léon: The Professional (1994)

Leon the Professional movie Buena Vista InternationalGaumont

On one hand, Léon: The Professional is a classic that does not need a continuation. Léon, of course, doesn’t survive all the way through his own movie.
But, on the other hand, the movie pretty naturally leads into a legacy sequel for Natalie Portman’s Mathilda. And, considering Portman still delves into the action genre every now and then, e.g. with Thor: Love and Thunder, it’s one of the more realistic potential action legacy sequels.

9 True Lies (1994)

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis in True Lies 20th Century Fox

Not everything about True Lies has aged well, even remotely well. But, the core concept of a couple finding out more about one another than they ever thought possible while fighting terrorists is still appealing, it just might want to shave off some xenophobia and stripteasing.
That said, the 2023 series adaptation that aired on CBS flopped hard, and it was modernized. But, if there’s going to be a real True Lies continuation, it needs to happen with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis (arguably even James Cameron, even if it feels like his least personal film).

8 Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)

Pitt and Jolie in Mr. and Mrs. Smith 20th Century Fox

The real-world marriage kicked off by Doug Liman’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith was and remains more talked about than the movie itself. But, it’s not as if the domestic romantic action comedy was dismissed and forgotten.
Regardless, at this point in time, the personal life aspect of Mr. & Mrs. Smith has all but guaranteed there will never, ever be a Mr. & Mrs. Smith 2. So, it seems Doug Liman’s fun and funny comedic actioner is going to remain a one-off.

7 Shooter (2007)

mark-wahlberg-shooter-2006-di-bonaventura di Bonaventura Pictures

Before Antoine Fuqua was directing Denzel Washington in not one but three The Equalizer movies, he was leading Mark Wahlberg through a single adventure as a Shooter. Scout Sniper Gunnery Sergeant Bob Lee Swagger was a perfect role for Wahlberg, whose soft-spoken tough guy nature turned what could have been a fairly cliche political action thriller into a terrific star vehicle. Which isn’t to say that Shooter is wholly cliché.
Its adherence to the style of the political thriller isn’t universal, since the film has the ability to dive right into well-staged action sequences (particularly one at the opening and one at the close of the film). The film was based on Stephen Hunter’s first Bob Lee Swagger book, Point of Impact. Since that point, the author has completed a dozen mainline Swagger books and a number of spin-offs. So, it’s not as if Shooter had to be a one-off. But, with a $95 million total against a budget of $61 million, perhaps the chosen TV series route was the way to go. Airing on USA Network, the Ryan Phillippe-led series aired for a somewhat impressive three seasons and 31 episodes before being canceled.

6 Wanted (2008)

MOV_Wanted Universal Pictures

James McAvoy once said he wasn’t opposed to playing Wesley Gibson in a Wanted 2, but it’d certainly feel like a very different movie given the fact Angelina Jolie’s Fox and just about every other character died in the original film. Wanted, Timur Bekmambetov’s fun addition to 2008’s Summer Movie Season, had some stiff competition in the form of movies like The Dark Knight.
But its box office tally serves to indicate that general audiences respond to a narrative that puts a new spin (or rather, curve) on something old (the assassin’s tale). Like David Leitch’s Bullet Train, it’s a fast-paced blast of an adaptation, and it even manages to keep the spirit of Mark Millar’s limited comic series mostly intact. Wesley Gibson is alive when the credits roll, so never say never.

5 Dredd (2012)

Judge Dredd holding a gun Lionsgate

Dredd needs a sequel ASAP. Like Punisher: War Zone, it was a second attempt (third in Punisher’s case) to get things right and did so with flying colors. But, also like War Zone, absolutely no one saw it.
It’s truly a shame, because Dredd was an amazing 3D theater experience. Yet, the movie itself is so solid that a viewing on home media, in standard formatting, will still prove to be an exciting hour and a half. Everything about the movie clicks, from Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, and Lena Headey’s casting to the lightning-fast pacing and the drug-fueled visuals (that is, when the movie isn’t focusing on a rotting city).

4 Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Edge of Tomorrow Warner Bros. Pictures

Edge of Tomorrow is one of those high-budgeted films that struggled to break even at the box office, instilling some collars with sweat over at Warner Bros. But, like many great, inventive films, this mixture of Starship Troopers and Groundhog Day has found its audience over time (it also held well weekend over weekend when first released, a direct indicator of positive word of mouth).
The film’s greatest delight is seeing Tom Cruise play against type. Instead of an ever-confident fist-throwing, stunt-performing dynamo, his Lt. Col. Bill Cage is a reserved, even frightened, public relations officer. This starting point allows his character to experience a greater arc than usual, but it wouldn’t be so satisfying were he not guided by Emily Blunt’s take on the strong-willed Sergeant Rita Vrataski.

3 Baby Driver (2017)

Baby Driver movie in the car mirror Sony Pictures

Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver was a major financial win for the somewhat niche artist. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz have certainly gone on to find an audience, but not to the tune of over $100 million domestic.
Like James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, it’s a stylish and fun film, but the key to its appeal comes down to the soundtrack. Baby Driver has taste to spare, and since Ansel Elgort’s character is still alive and well, there’s no reason he can’t get dragged back into the getaway driver life once more.

2 Atomic Blonde (2017)

Atomic Blonde Focus Features

With a wonderful supporting group of players including John Goodman, James McAvoy (having the time of his life), Sofia Boutella, and Toby Jones, Atomic Blonde is certainly well-cast. But first and foremost it’s the Charlize Theron show, and it’s surprising that over five years have passed without word of a follow-up.
For one, David Leitch’s (Deadpool 2, John Wick) movie is solid, and secondly it did fairly well at the box office. Not John Wick sequel money, but a solid profit nonetheless. Theron is certainly not opposed to more action sequences, considering she’s now a part of The Old Guard, MCU, and Fast & Furious franchises. Time will tell, but it could be the type of franchise that brings in new faces to have as much fun as McAvoy seemingly had with the first movie.
RELATED: Charlize Theron Is All About an Atomic Blonde Meets John Wick Crossover

1 Rampage (2018)

Dwayne Johnson as Davis Okoye with George Warner Bros. Pictures

One of several Dwayne Johnson films from the 2010s that did well, but not exceedingly well, at the box office, Rampage is nonetheless a solid sci-fi actioner. It’s also a pretty darn good video game adaptation that respects its source material while also expanding upon it a bit (given that Rampage is an arcade game, a narrative expansion was required to work as a movie).
So, given the fact it did better than Skyscraper (the only one of the Johnson-led action films that could be considered a flop), it’s surprising there’s been absolutely no word on a Rampage 2. Godzilla vs. Kong did well for itself in theaters and on HBO Max, so there is currently audience interest in the creature feature.

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‘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.

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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.

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‘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.

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