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Underrated, lesser known action films that you love

Old 06-17-08, 04:04 PM
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Underrated, lesser known action films that you love

Looking at my DVD/Blu-ray collection, I noticed some action films that I have that haven't really been discussed or brought up as favorite in this forum.

Spoilers included of course.

Mine are:

The Last Boy Scout: Over-the-top, ultra-violent, loud, action film with the best cussing kid I've ever seen and Bruce Willis' timeless line: Touch me again and I'll kill ya.

Above the Law: Steven Seagal's Hollywood debut where he looked thin, moved fast, and actually believable as someone who could kill you with his bare hands. I actually consider this his best film (most would choose Under Siege) since he used aikido quite a bit without just flailing his arms all over the camera.

Year of the Dragon: Before Mickey Rourke looked absolutely weird, he starred in this film which is probably the best Hollywood movie about triads. Michael Cimino's direction is quite epic in scale and he never trimmed down the violence. Plus having to see Arianne naked is not a bad thing.

Rapid Fire: Brandon Lee's first solo movie where he actually had the physique & magnetic presence of his father. A few were put off by the film's apparent rip-off of some of the fight scenes from Jackie Chan's Police Story.

Black Rain: Ridley Scott's fascination with lighting and mood goes high gear in his cop vs the Yakuza film set in Osaka. Not only were the action scenes filmed very well, but for the movie to actually show the demise of one of the main characters was brave and unexpected. Quite biased towards the movie since I've visited my cousins in Osaka several times and know every bit of where they filmed. Plus the guy who played Sato (Yusaku Matsuda) was a well-loved actor in Japan who died of cancer before the film's release. The top yakuza boss Sugai was played by Tomisaburo Wakayama, the same actor who played Ogami Itto in the Lone Wolf & Cub series (and Shogun Assassin).
a
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Old 06-17-08, 04:08 PM
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Time and Tide, it's fun and one of the good guys uses a bad guy as a pulley weight.
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Old 06-17-08, 04:09 PM
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Old 06-17-08, 04:10 PM
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Breakdown - I thought this trucker action film was criminally underrated.
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Old 06-17-08, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Cardiac161
Above the Law: Steven Seagal's Hollywood debut where he looked thin, moved fast, and actually believable as someone who could kill you with his bare hands. I actually consider this his best film (most would choose Under Siege) since he used aikido quite a bit without just flailing his arms all over the camera.
I actually like a lot of Steven Seagal's "3-word title" movies. His best,
IMO, are: Above the Law, Out for Justice, Marked for Death, and Hard to Kill. All of which have some sort of redeeming quality that his recent movies lack.
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Old 06-17-08, 04:18 PM
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Old 06-17-08, 05:16 PM
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I absolutely love this movie, seriously, go buy it now at DD's 20% sale, it's so much fun.


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Old 06-17-08, 05:22 PM
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LOVE Year of the Dragon and Black Rain, but ESPECIALLY The Last Boy Scout, an infinitely quotable Shane Black testosterone-fest:

"I think I fucked a squirrel and don't remember it."

"If you even look at her funny I'm gonna shove an umbrella up your ass and open it."

And the "touch me again and I'll kill ya" scene has to be the best comeuppance scene in a film I can think of. Let me add:

The Long Kiss Goodnight: another dose of Black Magic, with some even more quotable lines, like "Last time I got blown, candy bars cost a nickel" and "Yeah, I saw it too, it's called Baywatch Nights. Wanna get to the fucking point?" Craig Bierko is hilarious in this as the villain.

Nighthawks: Sylvester Stallone, Billy Dee Williams, and Rutger Hauer in the same movie, one that's ahead of its time with its terrorism in NYC plotline. The best Stallone movie not involving Rocky or Rambo. Features Stallone's most hilarious character name, Deke DaSilva.

Extreme Prejudice: Possibly one of the manliest movies ever made, yet it's not the most widely praised of them. Check it: Walter Hill's homage to The Wild Bunch, co-written by John Milius. A cast with Nick Nolte, Powers Boothe, Michael Ironside, Clancy Brown, Rip Torn, and William Forsythe. This movie has freakin' horse balls and it's in dire need of a widescreen DVD.

Wait, fuck it, most of Walter Hill's resume is a walking case of the OP's topic aside from The Warriors and 48 Hrs. The Driver, The Long Riders, Southern Comfort, Streets of Fire, Johnny Handsome, Trespass...all great. Streets of Fire and Johnny Handsome are two very underrated movies.
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Old 06-17-08, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Bobby Shalom
Breakdown - I thought this trucker action film was criminally underrated.
Good answer.

For me ...

The Way of the Gun: Overstylized, but backed up with a strong script and some solid acting, especially vet, James Caan. Certain elements of the film are very realistic (action sequences) and the same could be said of its violence. Reminds me of a semi-polished crime thriller from the late 70's.
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Old 06-17-08, 05:54 PM
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The 13th Warrior: I've always liked this flick. Lots of bloody Viking battles. I think it's one of Banderas' best roles. I'd love to see the original "Eaters of the Dead" cut sometime.

Action Jackson: Carl Weathers riffs off Shaft in this 80's blaxploitation flick.

Cobra: Great Stallone flick. It's like an action flick and a slasher movie in one. Plus, Brigitte Nielsen actually looks smokin' hot.

Silent Rage: Chuck Norris vs. an indestructible human monster. Do you need to know more?

Lone Wolf McQuade: Chuck Norris vs. David Carradine. One of my favorite 80's guilty pleasures.

Death Hunt: Lee Marvin leads a group of men to try taking out a man who killed in self defense. That man: Charles Bronson. Much bloodshed ensues.
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Old 06-17-08, 06:43 PM
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Spartan: David Mamet's kidnapping thriller with Val Kilmer.

I'll give another vote to The Way of the Gun as well.
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Old 06-17-08, 06:44 PM
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Rolling Thunder - Love this movie. Drags a bit in the middle but the climatic shootout in the whorehouse is worth the wait.
Vigilante Force - Haven't seen this in years. Never on any of the movie channels. Modern western. Small town terrorized by the workers of an oil rig(?) when they come into town to get drunk and raise hell. Sheriff is scared of them. Town decides to hire some law enforcement. Local good boy, Jan-Michael Vincent, suggests his older brother who is a Vietnam vet played by Kris Kristofferson. Kristofferson brings in his Nam buddies as deputies and they start terrorizing the town worse than the other guys. When Vincent's girlfriend(Victoria Principal) finds out that Kris and his buddies are behind the crime that has sprung up, Kris takes her out in a field and blows her head off. When Vincent finds her body he goes after the vets in first rate, USDA Prime, '70s revenge style.
White Line Fever - another great JMV 70s drive-in action flick with semi-trucks.
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Old 06-17-08, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by FinkPish
Spartan: David Mamet's kidnapping thriller with Val Kilmer.

I'll give another vote to The Way of the Gun as well.
Spartan?

I didn't think it was much an action film, but hey it was my first introduction to Kristen Bell... kind of.
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Old 06-17-08, 09:20 PM
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Dragon Heat - Wonderful action film. One of my favorite Dragon Dynasty titles. All t he DD titles would probably qualify on this list.

Equilibrium

Last Action Hero - Pure fun and satire mixed with the best action the PG-13 rating can buy

Running Scared- Jaw-dropping crazy action scenes just keep coming one after the other for 2 hours.

The Jackal - Kick-ass movie that is very rewatchable and filled with top-tier actors, great characters and music.

Mercury Rising

Lucky Number Slevin

The Gauntlet

The Rookie (eastwood)

Lethal Weapon 4
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Old 06-17-08, 09:31 PM
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The Last Boy Scout, yes. Spartan, yes. Running Scared, yes.

I just watched Stakeout the other day and thought it was very funny.
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Old 06-17-08, 09:37 PM
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No Contest - Shannon Tweed as John McClain, and Andrew Dice Clay as the villain.

The Substitute - Tom Berenger, bad ass merc undercover as a teacher, with Marc Anthony as a bad ass gang leader.
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Old 06-17-08, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by stingermck
No Contest - Shannon Tweed as John McClain, and Andrew Dice Clay as the villain.
Isn't Roddy Piper in that too?

Either way, I need to see this, if only for the Rowdy Roddy/Ford Fairlane combo.
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Old 06-17-08, 10:50 PM
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Equilibrium - Greatest movie ever.
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Old 06-17-08, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by visitor Q
The Way of the Gun: Overstylized, but backed up with a strong script and some solid acting, especially vet, James Caan. Certain elements of the film are very realistic (action sequences) and the same could be said of its violence. Reminds me of a semi-polished crime thriller from the late 70's.
damn right...

this was the first one that came to mind...

Originally Posted by FinkPish
Spartan: David Mamet's kidnapping thriller with Val Kilmer.
one of my favorite films period... not just action...

'Domino'... i think this is underrated and just terrific film making...

'Musa The Warrior'... the Korean release is fantastic, i like this film more each time i see it...

'Payback: The Director's cut'... is this underrated?...
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Old 06-17-08, 10:57 PM
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Came in to mention Extreme Prejudice, but I see Zen Peckinpah's already done it for me.

The Lee Marvin/Gene Hackman flick Prime Cut is another favorite of mine. Such a fantastic, rollicking slice of absurd heartland sleeze.

Originally Posted by Bobby Shalom
Breakdown - I thought this trucker action film was criminally underrated.
I love this one for two reasons: my favorite Kurt Russell performance ("Son of a bitch!" ) and J.T. Walsh getting (awesomely) kicked in the face.

Last edited by Cosmic Bus; 06-17-08 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 06-17-08, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Bus
Came in to mention Extreme Prejudice, but I see Zen Peckinpah's already done it for me.
Great movie, right? The teaser trailer also bleeds old-school coolness (complete with Rambo: First Blood Part II music!):

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Old 06-18-08, 12:34 AM
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Old 06-18-08, 02:47 AM
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Deep Rising - one of my favorite B-movies of the last ten years. Directed by Stephen Sommers (The Mummy) and starring Treat Williams. Williams delivers a great performance as the wisecracking and tough-but-smart captain. The supporting cast is great, especially the lovely Famke Janssen in her slinky red dress.

There's plenty of humor, but also some pretty gorey and creepy stuff. The climax is appropriately over-the-top and the coda is campy and fun.

I wish Sommers would quit making crappy Mummy sequels and give us a sequel to Deep Rising!
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Old 06-18-08, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Cardiac161
Above the Law: Steven Seagal's Hollywood debut where he looked thin, moved fast, and actually believable as someone who could kill you with his bare hands. I actually consider this his best film (most would choose Under Siege) since he used aikido quite a bit without just flailing his arms all over the camera.
Steven Seagal's movies from this one to "Under Siege" are good stuff. Post-Under Siege is where he went wrong.


Originally Posted by chris_sc77
Last Action Hero - Pure fun and satire mixed with the best action the PG-13 rating can buy
This movie is really underrated. Both as an action movie and especially as a satire.
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Old 06-18-08, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by RichC2
Spartan?

I didn't think it was much an action film, but hey it was my first introduction to Kristen Bell... kind of.
holy crap really (adds to rental list) i rented this a while ago, and really liked it, now i got an excuse to rent it again. Also, i think the guy who plays Al Bundy is in a couple of scenes

back on topic, To Live and Die In LA. Very underrated and Violent as hell. Contains imo one of the top 3 best car chases in movie history.
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