December 7, 2012

Under the Radar Action Movies

We love to bitch and moan round these here parts about the lack of decent R Rated action in cinemas today. It is sadly true but some of the best action movies recently are straight to DVD movies. Here are a few movies of the past few years that you may have missed, but are definitely worth checking out.










SINNERS & SAINTS (2010): Boombata introduced me to this movie a while back and I fell in love with it on my first viewing. Johnny Strong stars as bad ass cop Sean Riley who has basically stopped caring about life since the tragic loss of his son. Facing a probable suspension from the department, Riley is teamed with a young homicide Detective, Will Ganz, to help solve a series of brutal murders that have plunged the city into a major gang war. The two quickly realize there is something much bigger and far more sinister going on than either could have ever imagined. All of the performances in this movie are fantastic, the violence is hard R and it’s beautifully shot too. If you’re hankering for an old-school, adult oriented, bad ass cop movie then you should definitely check this out. One of my favourite action movies of the decade.

GET THE GRINGO (2012): Mel Gibson makes a triumphant return to badassery in this prison movie about a career criminal (Gibson) nabbed by Mexican authorities who is placed in a tough prison where he learns to survive with the help of a young boy. The story is pretty straightforward and it’s not wall to wall action, but Gibson hasn’t been this tough since Riggs. His nameless character is just a complete ass-kicker who chain-smokes, beats and shoots his way around and eventually out of the Mexican prison. The script is darkly hilarious and is one of the best action films of 2012.

DEATH RACE 2 (2010): Luke Goss stars in this awesome prequel to the Jason Statham remake Death Race. This time the story explores the origins of the first “Frankenstein” car driver, Carl “Luke” Lucas, who died in a race at the beginning of the first film. This film has a flamethrower fight, did you hear that? A flamethrower fight. Take THAT Avengers! It also has Danny Trejo, Ving Rhames and Sean Bean providing the supporting cast. The pacing is fantastic  and the action is all very well done despite the modest budget. This film is a perfect example of how you can make kick ass action on a limited budget.

PREDATORS (2010): This wasn’t straight to DVD but I feel it doesn’t get enough love; I thought it was a worthy sequel to Predator, despite feeling more like a remake than a sequel. It does however have Adrian Brody as a convincing badass dropped on to a planet where humans are hunted for sport by Predators. John Debney provides an awesome score maintaining the classic themes created by Alan Silvestri. Predators did make $127 million at the international box office and considering it’s budget was only $40 million then it was a sizable hit. Yet, nobody ever talks about it as a worthy sequel. People say all the time, “they should make a Predator 3”. I will always stick up for it and say we already have a part 3 and it’s a damn decent addition. So there.

HERO WANTED (2008): Cuba Gooding Jr. stars in this hugely underrated action movie which I can safely say is completely original. The story had many twists and turns and I didn’t know which way it was going. The plot is essentially about a man who wakes up in a hospital, and tracks down and murders the man that left him and a bank teller for dead during a robbery, only to end up having the slain thief’s associates come after him in retaliation. Cuba gives one of his best performances in years and you also have the bonus of Lord Ray of Liotta too. You should definitely check it out if you’re looking for hard R action with a good story and well written characters to boot.

THE TOURNAMENT (2009): Scott Adkins, Kelly Hu, Robert Carlyle and Ving Rhames star in this frankly classic action movie. The is is every seven years in an unsuspecting town, The Tournament takes place. A battle royale between 30 of the world’s deadliest assassins. The last man standing receives the $10,000,000 cash prize and the title of World’s No 1, which itself carries the legendary million dollar a bullet price tag. Despite being straight to DVD, the action is awesome with stunning fight scenes, great pacing and brutal violence. If you like action then you’ll love this!


About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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