“The 30 Greatest, Straight-Up Ass-Kicking Action Movies of the Century” by me

Hello friends,

I promise that tomorrow I’ll post my take on that one new movie, the most important movie of all time since Thursday. (It will be a spoiler-filled review so we can discuss all the business.) But today please allow me to shine the spotlight on this piece I did for the websight Thrillist about the best action movies of the modern age.

At first they approached me to do the greatest shootout scenes of all time. I felt unqualified and suggested this instead. During my research I found that at least a couple other major outlets have done a version of this subject and their choices have some overlap with mine, but I believe I discuss them in more depth than most people do. The assignment was a so-called listicle that is genuine analysis, not just clickbait.

If you’ve been a regular here for a while you won’t be surprised by most of my choices, but I really did put alot of work into it including rewatching some of the contenders and catching up on some things I had missed. I tried to make sure each entry addresses both the quality of the action and something more substantive about what makes the story or characters great.

My longer first draft said in the intro, “I know how this works. I fully expect you to scoff at some of my choices, snubs, and unscientific rankings. That is your duty as a free-thinking, list-reading movie lover.” So I encourge you to do that here. I have a hunch about certain exclusions that will be controversial, so I’m especially interested in what you guys would include on your lists that didn’t make mine.

Here’s the link:

The 30 Greatest, Straight-Up Ass-Kicking Action Movies of the Century


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70 Responses to ““The 30 Greatest, Straight-Up Ass-Kicking Action Movies of the Century” by me”

  1. Excellent article – going through the list I kept thinking “wait, how is this one not higher up the list?” and then I’d see the next entry and go “oh yeah, that’s why”.

    Only additions I’d personally add are probably Sucker Punch, a movie with absolutely incredible, rewindable action sequences that I still can’t believe got greenlit by a major studio, and The Hunted (the Jones/Del Toro one), which still has some of the most exciting and “realistic” style fight scenes I’ve seen.

  2. I can’t see any flaw in that list. Okay, I haven’t seen every movie on it, but there is nothing that looks like it shouldn’t be on there and I can’t think of any missing movie.

  3. Number 20 is the only one on that list I have yet to see. Other than that it is a list that is hard to argue against, possibly the ranking of a few.

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed reading that. Seems like I need to get up to speed on the works of Johnnie To immediately! I’d certainly have Oldboy somewhere on my list, and Hanna wouldn’t get a look in, but again, great read Vern.

  5. That is a great list. I have seen everything on it except DEATH SENTENCE. It is hard to say what if anything I would remove from the list (maybe THE MATRIX RELOADED), but there are a few worth mentioning that didn’t make it including RAMBO (2008), DREDD, & JACK REACHER. However, the only omission I am disappointed over is THE GOOD THE BAD THE WEIRD. It has some of the bast action set pieces of any film ever. I am guessing your are not considering DRIVE an action film based on your criteria for this list or it wouldn’t be absent. I also enjoy the genre benders like THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF, ABRAHAM LINCON VAMPIRE HUNTER, and EQUILIBRIUM.

  6. DREDD would fall into the Superhero category Vern deliberately skipped over. But it is a massively underrated badass action film in that regard.

  7. Troy, I hear you but while DREDD is based on a comic book it is not a super hero story, and I swear John Wick is based on a comic book as well.

  8. The only film in that list i disagree with is Kill Bill. Uma Thurman is utterly unconvincing as an action star.

  9. Dirk, Johnnie To is great, and he has a number of films that depending on your preferences you could arguably swap out for either of the films Vern chose to include on his list. However, some of his best work is from the late 90’s.

  10. Fantastic article, Vern. The passion and work you put into it comes through, and it makes me want to watch all these movies again. Great choice to include The Matrix Reloaded…I think that one’s an unfairly overlooked sequel. You should write a review of The Matrix Revolutions someday, I’ve wanted to get your take on that for a long time.

  11. Charles, I’ll take your word for it. Just don’t try and tell me GHOST WORLD was based on a comic, a man can only takes so much!

    The only other great action film I’d add to the list besides the aforementioned DREDD would be SAFE, easily one of Stathams best.

  12. Amazing list, fantastic article, but I’ve gotta be that fucking guy: I SAW THE DEVIL. That is in no way, shape or form an action movie or a film with action set-pieces. Or, if it is, and under the same criteria, wouldn’t CHILDREN OF MEN be a more worthy inclusion? Or even SE7EN? Maybe a better platform for conversation might be getting a take on what differentiates an “action” set-piece from a “violence” set-piece or a “murder” set-piece. I guess filmmaker intent would play a big part in it. or maybe not. Does anyone even really give a shit? Anyway, just had to get that out there. Been trying not to bite my tongue about shit lately for various reasons even though most of the time it just means I say completely asinine rubbish.

    I think THE HUNTED (2003) has some top tier action sequences and is generally pretty underrated and has been since its release, and THE MAN FROM NOWHERE really impressed me the two times I saw it so that wold probably end up on my list too. As would RAMBO which has already been mentioned.

  13. Oh, shit. What about CREED?

  14. For your consideration for future lists, the just released Chinese film Extraordinary Mission. A solid undercover cop film until the last third which escalates it the action stratosphere.

  15. Mixalot, I see your point, but there is some pretty amazingly staged and executed knife fights in I SAW THE DEVIL. The one in the car is a stand out.

  16. I agree with you about THE MAN FROM NOWHERE. The knife fights in that one are excellent, especially the climax.

  17. I don’t think Vern has ever reviewed it but the John Woo produced and partially ghost directed REGIN OF ASSASINS is a badass modern wuxia martial arts film with some spectacular action. I would argue the fights scenes in ROA are better than HEREO and CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRGAON, but it is not as good as an overall film as either them.

  18. Great list with a good amount I still need to see!!!

  19. Glad to see Furious 6 over Fast Five to represent the peak of the series. And glad to see Thrillist let you print the film’s true name.

  20. Mixalot – In my mind, sports movies (about legal sports) are a different genre. Otherwise CREED and ROCKY BALBOA would surely have made my list.

    As for I SAW THE DEVIL, I see your points. I struggled with it, honestly. Ultimately I decided that all the crisply shot badass shit that the secret agent hero does in chasing the killers was enough to qualify. We would still consider THE GLIMMER MAN to be an action movie, wouldn’t we, even though it’s also a gloomy serial killer thriller? Incidentally, many people suggested the similar THE CHASER when I was looking for other things to watch, and that one I did not think had enough action to justify inclusion here.

    And I actually did consider CHILDREN OF MEN. Decided it didn’t count. Not sure if I was right.

    Mastor Troy – THE HUNTED was on the short list. Maybe if I’d had the chance to rewatch it. I did rewatch HERO and CROUCHING TIGER to make sure they held up after more than a decade. I also rewatched SAFE because I was itching to get a Statham on there. I still thought it was very good and under-recognized, but I couldn’t honestly justify putting it above these 30.

    Charles and others – I would consider DREDD to qualify and I can see why you would put it on your list. But I can’t even remember specific action scenes in it so I don’t think the execution of them is high enough on the reasons I love it for it to come out on top in this context.

    Thank you everybody for reading and discussing. I really appreciate it.

  21. Great job Vern, what a well written and thought out piece! I will say the Dredd omission feels like a mistake to me, but there’s no accounting for personal taste.

    Dredd has the motorcycle chase in the beginning, the raid where he slo-mo clears the room, the minigun destroying a floor of the complex. I agree it doesn’t emphasize its action in the same way as some of these other entries, but in every other way it is a more complete action film, a genuine classic of story construction and world building in my opinion (and much better executed storywise than the similar The Raid).

    That’s the biggest omission I’d say, better than a good third of the list.

    I also wouldn’t put The Protector that high, in that the story is a total throwaway mess to wrap the action scenes around (hell, Ong Bak 2, crazy ending aside, has more inventive fights and more charming craziness in my book).

    But aside from that, this is one hell of a lineup, it’s hard to disagree with most of the entries, and that top 3 is perfect.

  22. Great list because it actually educates you on some movies you may not have seen. A few thoughts on what I have seen:

    – Yes the action in “Matrix: Reloaded” is great, and the movie as a whole – including the divisive reveal at the end – was pretty interesting and daring. And for all the shit it gets, I saw it at one of those super-early screenings back in the day before the reviews came out, and everyone in the audience seemed to love it; it was only until a few weeks later that the “this sucks” consensus seemed to infect everyone who previously liked it like some “Body Snatchers” movie.

    – “Man of Tai Chi” is a movie I keep recommending to people who loved “John Wick” even though I know they’ll never watch it. It’s certainly not the same as “The Raid,” but it came out the next year, and for those of us sick of the “Bourne” action aesthetic it was a breath of fresh air. If for some reason neither Stahelski brother can do “John Wick 3” then Keanu would be a great replacement in the director chair.

    – “Blood and Bone” – It’s hard to believe Michael Jai White was in that crappy “Universal Soldier” sequel back in like 1999, was in “Exit Wounds” in 2001, and then did “Dark Knight,” “Black Dynamite,” and “Blood and Bone” all within the same year, and still the studios don’t know what to do with him.

    – Both “Universal Soldiers” – It bothers me every time another TV director like Alan Taylor or Michelle MacLaren is mentioned for a big-name directing job, when John Hyams has actually shown the ability to inject some personality and excitement into a movie on a minuscule budget on the DTV circuit. Was I the only one wondering what an unfettered John Hyams could have done with “Terminator: Genysis”? I also readily acknowledge that some of my affection for him stems from his dad directing “Running Scared”:

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  23. Regarding UNDISPUTED 2 on the list. Despite BOYKA, I still think Part 2 is my favourite in the series. BOYKA was great, but lacked a great foe for Boyka to fight. No Jai White or Zaror. Just a big generic musclehead on steroids. Also I missed the underground prison fighting world building from the previous films.

  24. Also, when it comes to Johnnie To. I never bothered with his filmography after FULLTIME KILLER, as I didn´t like it first time around. But DRUG WAR and THE MISSION are phenomenal films.

  25. The amount of people (thankfully not here), who didn’t read or understand the title and criticize the list for not including movies that were made in the 20th century, is quite disturbing.

  26. Excellent list, will make it a point to see those which I haven’t already. Far more insightful and including of underappreciated foreign and DTV films than most articles of this sort.

  27. This is an interesting list. Did you make a conscious effort to avoid including more than one film in a series? Otherwise I’d say THE RAID 2 definitely belongs on the list. Yes, it falters because of its greater ambitions but I kind of love that about it, and the action scenes are better than ever. Interesting that you didn’t include MERANTAU, as I remember your controversial opinion that it was better than THE RAID.

    I don’t know about FIGHTING, even at number 20. The fight scenes in that movie are not good, almost an afterthought. Although it’s far less grounded, UNLEASHED has much better fights. I fully respect your choice to draw a line between sanctioned vs unsanctioned fighting, but it rules out a heap of better fight movies.

    TOM YUM GOONG is an entertaining movie, but everything outside of the action is pretty bad and a lot of the fight scenes are let down by sloppy editing and continuity. ONG BAK is leaner and smaller in scope and I’d say a more effective film as a result. From a purely fight-based perspective, I’d say ONG BAK 2 is even better than either, although plot-wise it’s even more incoherent (and has that silly non-ending).

    Personally I am a FAST FIVE man, but I cannot fault anyone for choosing FURIOUS 6.

    I’d definitely say DREDD qualifies and has some of the best use of 3D-enhanced slo-mo action scenes I’ve seen maybe ever. Even though it has become totally rad and cool to hate on Nolan these days, I still really like INCEPTION and consider it one of the great modern action movies. 300, which may be based on a children’s picture book but has such a unique (at the time) look and commitment to it’s meathead philosophy that I can’t help but admire it. Also JACK REACHER, which seems even better in the light of the disappointing sequel.

    And of course, the number one spot is indisputable and if you disagree then you are wrong.

  28. Also, trust Vern to write a top ten list and then invite people to “yeah, but what about…?” it.

  29. I like JACK REACHER ,but I don´t think it is good enough to end up in a list like that.

  30. The Undefeated Gaul

    April 18th, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Loved reading the list, doesn’t matter that there’s a lot I disagree with. But knowing Vern’s taste, it all makes perfect sense.

    Films I would add are films that you can’t objectively call “good,” but do have enough high quality action that I’ve watched them over and over. I’m thinking KISS OF THE DRAGON (that fight between Jet Li and Cyril Rafaelli alone makes it legit), EXIT WOUNDS, FEARLESS, DIE HARD 4.0 (doesn’t feel like Die Hard, but sure is fun), SUCKER PUNCH, SHOOT ‘EM UP. I feel like HARDCORE HENRY should have been on there as well, maybe way down at number 30 or so, but still. It might be visually disorienting but stunt-wise that stuff is damn impressive. The first film in a looong while where I really wanted to see how they made it.

    When talking completely legit action films not on the list, I think RAMBO IV is the only serious omission I can think of.

  31. Yes RAMBO IV.

    HARDCORE HENRY on the other hand gets tired very easily.

  32. All the omissions I see above I agree with. Rambo was by far my favorite of the films that didn’t make the cut.

    One movie that I think is worth mentioning (and I will probably get killed for it in the comments) is Taken. I remember seeing the first one knowing almost nothing about it and smiling from ear to ear the entire time. The sequels and TV show have almost made it a parody of itself, but I think the first film is just a rock solid action film with a great lead. I would certainly put it ahead of Jack Reacher.

    Also, if we are talking about Tom Cruise movies, I think the last two Mission Impossible movies were very good, also better than Jack Reacher, IMHO.

  33. I repeatedly kept going “damn, Blade II/The Raid/Universal Soldier/John Wick/etc isn’t number one, what possibly could be…Oh. Fuckin’ duh.” Nailed it, Vern.

  34. Vern, I understand better now. It is the action and how it is presented that you are focusing on, not if it is a classic badass movie. Based on that criteria THE MATRIX RELOADED makes more sense to me. Dispite it’s flaws it has some incredible action. It also makes sense that you would choose FAST 7 over part 5. Part 5 might be the best of the later films in the series since it reinvented itself, but the action in 7 especially the mountain top sequence is the best in the series.

  35. Jeff, I am guessing that based on Vern’s feedback about DREDD that TAKEN doesn’t posses any individual action or set peices that stand out enough to make the list. I agree with you that MI: ROUGE NATION is worthy of making the list and it has better action than JACK REACHER, but MI4 might be the worst film of the series even if it has good action.

  36. I cant even remember which of those last two Mission Impossible films is which without looking them up, but there are a LOT of good action scenes in them.

  37. Jeff, it is crazy to think that the guy from COCKTAIL became the biggest movie star in the world headlining prestige pictures and Oscar bait only to transition into become a great action star in the later part of his career. Cruise has a commitment to stunt work and action not seen since Jackie Chan in his prime.

  38. Can’t argue with much of the list but I 2nd that THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE WEIRD deserved a spot.

  39. Do any of the newer Bond movies warrant mention? I know Vern isn’t a big fan of the herky jerky camera style, which is also why I assume there are no Bourne movies being mentioned. Casino Royale was really the only one of the newer Bond films I liked a lot, but the action scenes in it weren’t mind blowing by any stretch.

  40. Awesome piece, Vern. Glad to see FIGHTING made the list. It’s like if MIDNIGHT COWBOY, BOILER ROOM, and LIONHEART had a beautiful mutant baby. Definitely an underappreciated gem.

  41. Hey Vern, awesome piece! Agree with the Rambo sentiment, but otherwise, an awesome list that shines a light on a few lost gems. (Death Sentence power!)

    In case you didn’t already know, Scott Adkins linked to the list on the official Facebook page. Nicely done!

  42. Great article Vern and some quality action movies mentioned. While the glory days of the 80’s may be over, it’s good to see that some masters are still out there pushing boundaries.

    I do feel that 300 should have got a mention. While it is a bit silly, a bit style-over-substance, I think the stylistics were really powerful. It spawned a whole genre of greenscreened, slow-mo’d over the top action copy cats too. And memes. Lots of memes.

  43. Man, I usually hate lists like these but you did a great job. My only quibble is that I’d probably kick out the Matrix sequel to give a proper spot to The Raid’s sequel, but that’s it.

    This also drove home just how many of my favorite movies in this genre your writing has introduced me to over the last 15 years. I could never thank you enough for that.

  44. RAMBO had the most satisfying big bad finish in the entire series for me. Definitely thought it would crack the top 30.

  45. I’ve not seen F8 yet, so I have time on my hands.

    BLACKHAT: Vern, given recent discussions of Mann-ly action and manly Chris Hemsworth, I’d be curious to know how close this got to making the cut. Even 2 years down the line, it feels like the world has started to align with you on this one.

    Johnnie To: It’s a shame FULLTIME KILLER was and is so relatively easily available and THE MISSION (1999, I know) isn’t, as Shoot’s assessment of them both ring true for me. EXILED would’ve edged it over DRUG WAR, but that may simply be for all the nods to Peckinpah and Leone. If To puts Anthony Wong and Simon Yam on opposite sides of a gunfight and slaps the Milkyway logo, I’m there.

    Emily Blunt: Other, less thoughtful, less well defined lists of this sort have made much of SICARIO, which I think you would argue is not an action film but a badass film with moments of explosive action. And talking of Tom Cruise, I have to say that I have found that EDGE OF TOMORROW repays repeated viewing: LIVE DIE REPEAT, repeat.

    Takeshi Kitano and Kathryn Bigelow: it pains me not to see either of these two mentioned on a list like this, just because. But Kitano never was an action star; it’s the moments between the action that make Kitano special. And THE HURT LOCKER really isn’t an action movie. Somebody please give Ms Bigelow a superhero movie.

    THE MAN FROM NOWHERE: I yield to no one in my admiration of this one, but I can accept it not making the list. Some of the action – not the knife fight at the end – is less than clear, and what really makes it cherishable is its headlong rush to embrace every genre cliche and then turn it all the way up. The enduring image is of a broken man on a car hood shooting his way through bulletproof glass one bullet at a time.

    David Cronenberg: yeah, I know, HISTORY OF VIOLENCE and EASTERN PROMISES are not action movies, but come on, that knife fight!

    THE GOOD THE BAD THE WEIRD: I worry that a lot of people here, including me, have hyped up expectations beyond reasonable limits on this. But on the other hand:


    Set in the 1930s Manchurian desert, where lawlessness rules and ethnic groups clash, three Korean men fatefully meet each other on a train. The Good, Do won ...

    Keanu: according to your list Keanu has a hand in 10% (probably more) of the best action films of 21st century. I don’t want to argue about that, but just think about it.

    A great list, even if I’ve barely seen 60% of it. As ever, thank you.

  46. I thought I had seen THE MAN FROM NOWHERE, but I’m starting to think I’m mixing it up with something else based on the number of people who are saying it should be on the list. Does it have a cool part where a guy gets his head smashed into a windshield, and nothing else that I would remember?

    Obviously this was hard to define and the rules in my mind are not necessarily gonna make sense to anyone else. But I tried to rate them based on the action itself being important. FIGHTING is at the bottom because it’s the qualities outside of the action that are greatest. BLADE II figures lower on this list than it would on a general “great movies” list because the “action movie” qualities are a big part of what I love about it but not the only big part. So many of the movies people have mentioned are things I loved but, to my mind, did not rank high enough in the specific qualities or balance I was looking for.

    And in the case of the comments on Thrillist, many of the movies people are suggesting were not, in my opinion, released during the 21st century. Here is my favorite condescending comment I got: “Kinda lost all credibility with gushing over your #1 choice. And to pick a Matrix sequel over the original shows a lack of awareness in that franchise and it’s place in cinema.”

  47. Vern, you reviewed THE MAN FROM NO WHERE. It has some great knife fights in it. The climax is especially good, and features some nice filmatism including the use of POV shots during the combat.

  48. Vern, perhaps it is time for a “MATRIX AWARENESS”-series to show that you understand “it´s” place in cinema.

  49. @Vern, and why the hell wouldn’t you gush over the #1 choice? It’s the #1 choice!

  50. I’m smelling some alt-right bullshit about that remark. Obviously, Vern, you are a credibility-free cuck because you got tricked into enjoying a movie that stole the action genre from its rightful owners, by which I mean people who were born with penises, which are the most important appendages involved in driving cars real fast and blowing shit up real good. You should be embarrassed.

  51. I’m team You Should Do Your Matrix Retrospective. I’m interested in discussing why so many alt-righters obsesses over the original movie when it was made by two trans-gendered sisters.

  52. Unsurprisingly solid list. Some surprise inclusions and I’m happy to note there are quite a few that I haven’t seen (or even heard of) so that’s something to look forward to. I’m really happy to see Redeemer and 13 Assassins on the list.

    The only really glaring exception I can think of off the top of my head is Ninja 2. I’m sure I’ll think of more later. I think the Raid 2 is much better than the first, and Ong Bak is much better than the Protector. And I don’t think the Matrix sequel belongs.

  53. I rewatched THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE WEIRD last night. I liked it a lot more this time around. It has this exhuberant energy to it in its camera work, pacing and action scenes ( some of it a bit too chaotic) and it is really funny at times. A spaghettiwestern pastische that somehow manages to be its own thing. Impressive.

  54. Matrix Reloaded is a tough case, because the car chase really is an amazing extended sequence, but I really think every other action scene falls flat on its face, especially when viewed today. That Chateau fight is so boring and stagey, and the Mr.Smith fight, which seemed cool but pointless at the time, just looks awful now.

    I’d really take it out and replace it with either Casino Royale or Mission Impossible Rogue Nation (which has the best action filmatism of the series).

  55. And yes, The Good the Bad the Weird is amazing and belongs on this list. The scale of its action, the variety, the camerawork, it attempts many of the things that Fury Road would go on to execute to perfection years later.

  56. Ha ha – I guess THE MAN FROM NOWHERE really didn’t make the same impression on me as on so many others. Reading my own review of it it only sounds a little familiar.

    But I will be sure to watch THE YELLOW SEA and THE GOOD THE BAD THE WEIRD.

    A couple people have mentioned NINJA 2 and in my defense I originally recommended the NINJAs within the UNDISPUTEDs, but it was edited out. My strategy was to cover more territory by combining some entries of related movies, like doing the UNIVERSAL SOLDIERs as a tie rather than two entries, and choosing THE RAID but mentioning THE RAID 2 and (originally) MERANTAU along with it. I chose the UNDISPUTEDs as the representation of the great Isaac Florentine movies because I think they’re a little more unique than the NINJAs in their turning villains into protagonists, being connected to the very different Walter Hill movie, being the breakthrough role for Adkins and also starring MJW and Marko Zaror.

    I have been planning for years to do big writeups of the MATRIXes, even did some work on it last time I watched them but I need to take the time to really get it right. Hopefully soon.

  57. JACK REACHER, the literary character, is among the toughest ever. But while the first movie was good, it doesn’t convey the badassness that the books do, and this is because of the casting (which, as a Lee Child fan, I am personally fine with I liked the movie I like Tom Cruise but I think Dolph Lundgren is physically perfect for the role oh well it’ll never happen).

    I hold Jackie Chan’s DRUNKEN MASTER 2 (or, LEGEND OF DRUNKEN MASTER in the United States) to be his best movie and wonder, Vern, if you considered any of Chan’s movies for this list. Jackie is a stunt-man badass and a pioneer and a friend of Samo Hung and is part of our cinematic, badass history.

    Also, why no PREDATORS, ALIENS, or T2: JUDGEMENT DAYS (or any Stallone or Schwarzenegger movies period)??

  58. But has Chan really produced a work in the 2000´s to actually fit in a list like this? I doubt it. Age has something to do with it, but he really has not done anything truly amazing since the 90´s. ROBIN B-HOOD was fine, so was NEW POLICE STORY. But CHINESE ZODIAC was really tough to get through. FORBIDDEN KINGDOM was kind of ok. But I must admit I have not seen that many of his 2000´s output, so maybe someone can set the record straight and pinpoint a truly amazing Chan-film from this century. I would be very glad to hear

  59. SORRY GUYS, I took “this century” to mean 1917-2017. My Bad.

  60. I get the Undisputeds being higher than Ninja. I definitely love them more overall – but I think for pure action, Ninja 2 is the pinnacle for Florentine/Adkins. And I agree with combining series into one slot but the Ninja movies are distinct from Undisputed and rank higher than some of these others, IMO.

    I liked I Saw the Devil but it would not be an action flick in my book. I would put Old Boy above it but not sure if that was post-2000 or not.

    I definitely agree with others that 300 should be up there. I’m not sure when it became cool to hate on that flick but it’s a pretty great flick.

  61. Vern, I am sure you already have more then enough to watch but you might want to consider giving THE MAN FROM NOWHERE another chance when you have the time. It is not whithout it’s flaws but the Seagalian touches and great knife fights overshadow any short comings. If I am being critical, there is nothing TMFN offers you have not seen in other films, but the execution and presentation of the fights and the great “how badass is he” moments all add up to equal a very enjoyible action film. It might not make your list but it is worth your time.

    Hallsy, it does feel like there should be a Zack Snyder film on the list, and 300 would be the best candidate.

  62. Great piece Vern. I haven’t seen everything on the list but have no argument with any of the ones I have. Good on you for championing Matrix 2. I’ve always loved that extended fight in the chateau.

    Personally, I can’t see past Flashpoint for a Donnie Yen joint but at least he’s there.

    My one big addition would be Versus which I adore in all its demented lunacy. I remember you reviewed Azumi but did you ever catch that one?

  63. I personally would never put Ninja 2 on any list since I still can’t get through the whole thing without being bored out of my mind and looking to do something else. I like Scott Adkins and in the right role aka Boyka, he’s awesome but I don’t like most of his acting or fight scenes.

    Shoot, Chan doesn’t have a great film past 2000 but i do think his last few movies have felt vintage Chan even if he’s slower.

  64. I think Casino Royals has one of the all-time great movie chase sequences in Madagascar. Then the airport sequence is also phenomenal. Damn, I’m thinking it would certainly be in my top 3!

  65. He is only in a supporting role in the film but SHAOLIN is probably Chan’s best film of this century.

  66. Unpopular opinion: KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULLS deserves to me on this list.

  67. I like your style, Subtlety.

  68. Unless you really feel that you need an adventure style movie on the list then no.

  69. That bike chase is pretty dope though.

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