Tuesday, May 29, 2007

YouTube favorites -- action movie special

I thought I'd post a few scenes form some of my favorite action movies. Hope you enjoy them.
(Some of these are pretty loud, and they may have violence (duh) and swearing and so on, so they may not be safe for work, small children, or prudes. Oh, and of course, there are MAJOR SPOILERS in all of these if you haven't seen the movies. Oh again, I'm saving the best -- or at least the most original -- for last, so if you only watch one of these, scroll down and watch the Oldboy clip.)

The first one is from Predator, which in my One-Sentence Movie Review I called "A conventional small-group combat movie that turns into an often riveting monster flick." It's a Schwarzenegger movie, but here the great Bill Duke steals the scene as he freaks out with his M134 minigun after the Predator blows a giant hole in Jesse Ventura's torso, and then the whole team rushes in and shoots the hell out of the jungle.

This one's from a French movie, Banlieue 13. ("Parkour and kung fu form a winning combination in this entertaining French action flick co-written by Luc Besson.") This is the opening scene, where the bad guys are trying to take Belle alive after he stole and destroyed their drugs. He does a bunch of crazy parkour stunts to get away. I can't quite figure out how the bad guys manage to stay about three steps behind him despite all the wild stuff he does, but why quibble? It's pretty cool (especially the head kick with about 2:03 left).

My favorite movie when I was a kid was the 1973 version of the Three Musketeers. Unlike a lot of old favorites from my youth that I've outgrown, I still enjoy it tremendously. It's one of the funniest adventure stories ever. In this scene, D'Artagnan has made appointments to duel with all three Musketeers. Before they can get started, they're confronted by the natural enemies of all true Musketeers, the Cardinal's Guards. (Unfortunately the audio is way out of sync with the video, but this was the only version I could find.)

Project A was the movie where Jackie Chan really came into his own as a writer and director as well as an actor. He shows in many scenes why he was the greatest athlete-comedian since Buster Keaton. In this final scene, though, he gets down to some serious fighting. Jackie and his pals Biao Yuen and Sammo Hung have infiltrated a gang of pirates led by the very cool Dick Wei, and all hell breaks loose. For a bit of cross-cultural comparison, notice how the heroes gang up (and kind of "cheat," even) to defeat the powerful villain. This is common in Asian action films, but it's quite different from American ones, where almost always the hero must take on and defeat his or her enemy one-on-one in a final confrontation. (Unfortunately, this version is dubbed, which makes it a good deal cheesier than it is in Chinese with subtitles. But it's still a great scene.)

Back to the guns again, here's Arnold wiping out a police station as he looks for Linda Hamilton in The Terminator. He was badass.

Hero is a beautiful movie. Here's the scene where Jet Li fights Donnie Yen. When film historians look back on our time 200 years from now, they might well consider this the greatest wuxia fight scene ever.

Finally, we come to Oldboy. This is the notorious "hammer fight" in a corridor. Min-sik Choi has just finished torturing a guy for information, and now he has to take on the guy's henchmen. I can't say enough about this scene: the music, the -- oh the hell with it, I won't try. Just watch it. You've never seen anything like it, I promise.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Kuri! That reminded me to put Oldboy on my Netflix. Always wanted to see it. :)


What do you think?