December 28, 2015

25 Most Anticipated Actioners of 2016


As 2015 draws to a close the time has come to look ahead to the future of action and see what greatness awaits in 2016.

There are actually quite a lot of interesting movies coming up next year which should keep every kind of action fan happy.

A few of these movies were also on my most anticipated of 2015 lists so hopefully they do indeed see the light of day next year.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few but these are the main ones which spring to mind.



25. Showdown in Manila

This mini-Expendables sounds like it should be a lot of fun with a cast that includes Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock and more. Count me in. Plot: The film will unfold in Manila, Philippines, and in the jungles of the island of Boracay. On a tropical island in the privacy of living Russian middle-aged man (Alexander Newsky). But the quiet life interrupted by the murder of one of the locals. In order to protect the daughter of the slain Filipino bandits Russian guy have to remember the past, he tried to bury .


24. The Magnificent Seven


This is a remake I don’t have a problem with as there is so much talent involved. The cast includes Chris Pratt, Matt Bomer, Denzel Washington, Vincent D’Onofrio and Ethan Hawke with Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer) behind the camera. Plot: A Mexican village is at the mercy of Calvera, the leader of a band of outlaws. The townspeople, too afraid to fight for themselves, hire seven American gunslingers to free them from the bandits’ raids. The professional gunmen train the villagers to defend themselves, then plan a trap for the evil Calvera.

23. Assassin’s Creed


The casting of Michael Fassbender as the lead has me feeling very hopeful for this movie so here’s hoping this can break the trend of poor videogame adaptations. Plot: Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender), a descendant of the mysterious secret society the Assassins, must use his deadly skills to battle the powerful Templar organization.

22. Star Trek Beyond

The first trailer for this movie was certainly very loud and most likely won’t sit well with Star Trek purists but you all know you’ll be there to check it out. Plot: Stranded on a hostile planet, Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the Enterprise crew face an alien threat.

21. X-Men: Apocalypse

I have to admit I’m not the biggest X-Men movie fan out there; I always found it a bit silly but I enjoyed Days of Future Past. Apocalypse is an interesting villain in the comics though so I’m intrigued to see how they get him to work in a live action movie. Plot: Following the critically acclaimed global smash hit X-Men: Days of Future Past, director Bryan Singer returns with X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.

20. Daylight’s End


I’ve been waiting literally for years for this movie to come out so for the love of God would someone release it and put me out of my misery. Plot: Years after a mysterious plague has devastated the planet and turned most of humanity into blood-hungry creatures, a rogue drifter on a vengeful hunt stumbles across a band of survivors in an abandoned police station and reluctantly agrees to help them defend themselves and escape to the sanctuary they so desperately need.

19. Independence Day: Resurgence

It’s more out of curiosity that I’m interested in this movie; it’s only like 20 years too late but the original Independence Day is classic cheese. If this doesn’t end with an epic God Bless America speech, we riot. Plot: We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

18. Warcraft

Since The Hobbit trilogy ended fans have (probably) been looking for a new fantasy saga to escape to and it looks like they may have found it with the upcoming Warcraft. Plot: From Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures comes Warcraft, an epic adventure of world-colliding conflict based on Blizzard Entertainment’s global phenomenon. The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home. So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.

17.  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny

Donnie Yen and Michelle Yeoh star in this belated sequel to the critically revered Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The trailer was released the other day and looks to have some spectacular fight scenes. The story is about the fight to keep a great warrior’s sword from an evil warlord that will change them in ways they never imagined.

16. Hacksaw Ridge


I’m not normally a huge war movie guy but Hacksaw Ridge has me intrigued as it’s directed by Mel Gibson who has a rather excellent track record when it comes to directing. It tells the story of a WWII American Army Medic called Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa; he refuses to kill people and becomes the first Conscientious Objector in American history to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

15. Blood Father


Originally slated for release this year Mel Gibson’s Blood Father has been moved to an undisclosed date in 2016; I’ve read the book and this is quite a different tale to what you may be expecting. It isn’t a Taken-esque thriller but is more a tale of a relationship of a father and daughter… with some action thrown in for good measure. Plot: An ex-con reunites with his estranged wayward 16-year old daughter to protect her from drug dealers who are trying to kill her.

14. Dr. Strange

Benedict Cumberbatch, Scott Adkins, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mads Mikkelsen join this magical Marvel movie which tells the stale of an arrogant surgeon who gets a new lease on life when a sorcerer takes him under his wing and trains him to defend the world against evil. The addition of Adkins to the cast means that we will at least get some decent action.

13. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

For all you superhero fans there’s this behemoth which will surely destroy the box office in March. The Dark Knight himself squares off against The Man of Steel in what promises to be one of the noisiest films of the year. This was near the top of my list but the most recent trailer kinda killed it for me so I’m not so excited now; I’ll still be there to check it out though. Plot: Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.

12. Kickboxer: Vengeance

I feel like I’ve been talking about this movie for years but hopefully it will finally see the light of day in 2016; it’s Darren Shalavi’s final role but also stars JCVD, Alain Moussi, Dave Bautista, GSP and Gina Carano so with any luck it will fill the void of Western martial arts flicks for next year. Plot: The film follows Eric and Kurt Sloan, descendants of a well-known Venice, California-based family of martial artists. Kurt has always been in older brother, Eric’s shadow, as he lacks the instincts needed to become a champion. But when Kurt witnesses the merciless murder of his brother at the hands of Muay Thai champion Tong Po, he vows revenge. He trains with his brother’s mentor, Xian Chow, for a Muay Thai fight to the death with Tong Po. Chow first thinks Kurt impossible to train, but through a series of spiritual exercises and tests, Chow discovers that Kurt has a deeper strength that will carry him through his final showdown with Tong Po. The 1989 film starred Jean-Claude Van Damme as Kurt Sloane, a man out to avenge his brother by learning the Muay Thai fighting style.

11. Suicide Squad

After Batman v Superman there’s this team up movie featuring an assorted array of villains who are forced to work together for the common good. Much has been said about the look of Jared Leto’s Joker but I’m more concerned about Will Smith’s turn as Deadshot. It looks dark as Hell though so count me in.

10. Deadpool

Will this be the hit that Ryan Reynolds needs? With its R rating and quirky character I’m not sure if this will be a huge hit but I think it is more destined to be a cult classic. Looks fun though from the trailers though so I’m there opening night. The fact that it’s out in February means that there will be little competition so hopefully it gets a shot. Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

9. Mechanic: Resurrection


Jason Statham returns as Arthur Bishop in this sequel to the rather average Mechanic but I have to say the cast makes this one sound appealing and I look forward to getting a trailer. Plot: When someone from his past forces him back into the business, Bishop has to complete an impossible list of assassinations of the most dangerous men in the world.

8. London Has Fallen

This is one of the movies that was meant to be out this year but has already been moved a few times; it doesn’t bode well but I was a huge fan of the first movie so I’m hoping this brings the R rated action once again and delivers a solid movie. Plot: After the British Prime Minister has passed away under mysterious circumstances, all leaders of the Western world must attend his funeral. But what starts out as the most protected event on earth, turns into a deadly plot to kill the world’s most powerful leaders and unleash a terrifying vision of the future. The President of the United States, his formidable secret service head and an English MI-6 agent who trusts no one are the only people that have any hope of stopping it.

7. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back


Although the first movie had some pacing issues I thought it was a decent action thriller and it’s quite a different role for Tom Cruise. He’s pretty badass as Jack Reacher and I’m glad we’re getting to see him back for round 2. Plot: Jack Reacher returns to the headquarters of his old unit, only to find out he’s now accused of a 16-year-old homicide.

6. Hard Target 2


This kinda came out of nowhere recently with Scott Adkins stepping into Jean-Claude Van Damme’s shoes in a sequel directed by Roel Reine. The original Hard Target is one of my favourite movies so I’m counting down the clock for this baby. Plot: Forced into a deadly cat-and-mouse game, a disgraced mixed martial arts fighter is hunted through the jungles of Southeast Asia.

5. Undisputed IV


Boyka! Boyka! Boyka! Yes we finally getting to see the Most Complete Fight in the World return to our screens so hopefully fans will shut up about it on Scott Adkins’ Facebook page. Isaac Florentine returns to direct the action in what promises to be a quality fightfest. Plot: In the fourth installment of the fighting franchise, Boyka is shooting for the big leagues when an accidental death in the ring makes him question everything he stands for.

4. Captain America: Civil War

I think this will be the most anticipated movie for a lot of people next year; the teaser trailer looked pretty spectacular and even gave us our first glimpse of Black Panther in action. Anyone else think he has the coolest costume ever? Plot: Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps—one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.

3. Star Wars: Rogue One

The addition of Donnie Yen and Mads Mikkelson put this way up on my list of must-see movies for 2016, but I’m also just a huge Star Wars geek. Plot: A band of resistance fighters unite for a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans in ‘Star Wars’ anthology film.

2. Ip Man 3

This is the first big one for me next year; it’s out in January and has Martial-arts master Ip Man (Donnie Yen) take on a crooked developer (Mike Tyson) and his gang of brutal thugs. You already know the fight scenes will be truly epic.

1. John Wick 2


This is easily my most anticipated movie for 2016; the first John Wick came out of nowhere and blew me away so this upcoming sequel will hopefully be just as awesome. The John Wick series is intended to be a trilogy so consider me very excited. No word on major plot details yet but Reeves told Collider recently that “I think we have a really good premise, and it’s an organic premise. It’s basically — to me there’s John Wick and then there’s John. You know, John is the married guy whose wife just died, and that five years of his life. Then there’s John Wick, who’s the mythical assassin. In this, John Wick’s past comes and infiltrates John’s life and John Wick, in a way, has to fight for John… Why tell the story? Why do we need to do this again? How do we do that without doing another dog?’ So we speak about John Wick, the next chapter, and what is that emotional hook? What is that? So I think we have a good idea of that.”

So that’s just a select few of the 2016 action releases; there will of course be the odd under the radar or international gem so bring it on.

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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. We also want to help promote new talent whether you're making blockbusters, low-budget Indie movies or fan films; if it's action, it's awesome.



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