Sometimes our heroes need to lie low for a while and escape the heat. These are some superb examples of ‘gone into hiding’ action movies.
Jack Reacher is a character that doesn’t really go into hiding but has been in hiding ever since leaving the military. The character is rootless, with no life partner, mortgage, or any of the usual things that prevent someone from instantly moving on. He doesn’t even keep hold of clothes, preferring to simply buy new clothes rather than own a wardrobe or do laundry. In this first movie of the Lee Child novels, Tom Cruise takes on the role of the wandering protagonist to investigate the seemingly motiveless long-range murder of five people.
Jack Reacher is available on Netflix, and even if you’re not going into hiding, there are some compelling reasons to delete your Netflix history. It’s good to know that you don’t need to be a spy to trick the Netflix algorithm…
A History of Violence
Viggo Mortensen is Joey Cusack/Tom Stall, in hiding as a diner owner in small-town Indiana. That is until two cold-hard killers enter his establishment and he’s forced to take action. While Tom Stall is hailed as a hero, his previous mob employers are alerted to the fact that Tom is actually Joey Cusack, a former gangster with a debt to pay. Mayhem ensues and we get to see Mortensen inflict great violence under the direction of David Cronenberg.
In the future, Precogs have the ability to visualize impending homicides, allowing Chief John Anderton (Tom Cruise) and co to scan for clues and arrest potential murderers before the crime is committed. Unfortunately for Anderton, the Precogs predict that he is about to commit murder and he is forced to go on the run to prove his innocence. A great movie directed by Steven Spielberg, there’s lots of science fiction action with this one, and the scene with the eyeball is particularly gruesome.
Jennifer Lopez is Slim Hiller, a waitress in a Los Angeles diner who meets Mitch Hiller (Billy Campbell) and falls in love. After Mitch turns out to be an adulterer and violent abuser, Slim is forced to flee with her daughter and go into hiding under a new identity. When Mitch tracks her down, she’s forced to make a stand. Based on the novel Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen, this one has a great performance from Lopez.
Whether it’s because they’re being pursued, they’re in witness protection, they just want to get off the grid, or for any other motive they might have, it’s great to see characters go into hiding. Inevitably, they’re not in hiding for long, and the action really commences when they get found or make a long-awaited return. No doubt we’ve missed some greats here, and honorable mentions include the Bourne series, Logan, The Fugitive, and The Equalizer. Hopefully, there will be more movies of this ilk coming out shortly.