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#1 Posted by Giantstalker (2343 posts) -

Regardless of what you might think about the quality of the modern action movie, it's clearly still a very strong genre in terms of popularity and sales.

We've had quite a few films that covered pretty diverse ground... from the superhero-focused Avengers and Dark Knight Rises, to the throwback Expendables 2, to more original films such as Looper. This year we also got remakes like Total Recall, and uh, well, Battleship.

I haven't seen them all, but I still got out to see most of the major action films released in 2012. So far, my vote for the best would go to Dredd, which was a really tightly focused film that I enjoyed immensely.

What would get your pick, and why? Think action movies are getting better, or was this a bad year overall for this kind of thing?

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#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36564 posts) -

The Dark Knight Rises. Duh.

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#3 Posted by Trainer_Red (318 posts) -

Battleship? Was that the one where the little boy with the big forehead fights aliens?

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#4 Posted by Demoskinos (17355 posts) -

Looper is my film of the year.

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#5 Edited by Fredchuckdave (10477 posts) -

The title does say "Action Movie" so abiding by that Avengers is the best action movie. TDK Rises is the best dystopian future movie and probably the least predictable. Skyfall is the best The Dark Knight clone movie, though I think it would be better if it wasn't constrained by its Bond-ness or PG-13-ness. Looper is the best Joseph Gordon Levitt performance.

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#6 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7097 posts) -

Between TDKR, Avengers and Skyfall, that's too hard so I'm going with Lincoln. Not the vampire one. Spielberg's Lincoln.

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#7 Posted by SomeDeliCook (2353 posts) -

I heard Judge Dredd is a really good action movie

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#8 Edited by Giantstalker (2343 posts) -

@Trainer_Red: Battleship, the one where Transformers meets a boardgame and everybody loses. There's a pretty funny QL of the made-for-the-movie game on this site, actually.

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#9 Posted by Justin258 (14552 posts) -

Was The Raid: Redemption this year? I remember that being pretty recent.

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#10 Posted by Tylea002 (2382 posts) -

The Avengers. Or Dredd. Dredd was better in the pure "action" sense, but The Avengers was the better film. TDKR disappointed horribly, as did The Raid and The Expendables 2.

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#11 Posted by Giantstalker (2343 posts) -

@believer258: The Raid's great but I think that was late 2011. Having seen both, it's actually hauntingly similar to Dredd in a lot of ways. Comes down to how much you like the aesthetic of one versus the other ultimately (I read the 2000 AD comics on which the latter is based, so I guess I'm biased).

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#12 Posted by Clonedzero (4206 posts) -

man, i guess theres alot of movies i havent seen this year.

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#13 Posted by EVO (4029 posts) -
@Fredchuckdave Nah, Brick is JGLs best.
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#14 Posted by Osaladin (2699 posts) -

I don't consider The Dark Knight Rises to be an action movie, and I thought The Avengers is crazy overrated, so I'll go with Total Recall. I still gotta see Dredd.

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#15 Posted by PenguinDust (13006 posts) -
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#16 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6805 posts) -

I haven't seen Looper or Skyfall yet, so for me it's between Avengers and TDK Rises. Probably TDK Rises. Dredd was pretty cool too.

God, I really want to see Looper.

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#17 Posted by Bobby_The_Great (1136 posts) -

Looper, for me.

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#18 Edited by Trainer_Red (318 posts) -

@Giantstalker said:

@Trainer_Red: Battleship, the one where Transformers meets a boardgame and everybody loses. There's a pretty funny QL of the made-for-the-movie game on this site, actually.

Yeah that's the one.

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#19 Posted by MooseyMcMan (12572 posts) -

Avengers, no question.

I wouldn't really even consider Looper an action movie. It's great and all, but there's not that much action in it.

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#20 Edited by Socialone (227 posts) -

You know something's wrong when the new Bourne isn't even among the nominees... Maybe they should have included the actual titular character.

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#21 Posted by Schmollian (354 posts) -

"Let us not stand on ceremony here..."

The Dark Knight Rises

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#22 Posted by DelroyLindo (387 posts) -

Dredd was awesome. I enjoyed Looper but it was nowhere near as good as reviews made it out to be

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#23 Posted by addictedtopinescent (3634 posts) -

Not that much into action movies but Avengers, DKR if you consider it an action movie.

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#24 Posted by OneKillWonder_ (2396 posts) -

I dunno, this has been a really good year for action films, especially since there seems to have been a resurgence of R-rated action movies. The Expendables 2, The Raid, Underworld Awakening, Dredd, Safe, and The Man with the Iron Fists all came out this year and were all pretty great as far as action goes. 
The Expendables should have been the best this year, but the pacing of its action, under-use of Jet Li and Van Damme, and the disappointing final fight kept it from reaching its potential. Still, it's a tremendously fun movie that's worth watching. Because of that, I would say that the best action movie of the year would have to go to The Raid, by far (it came out in the US this year, at least). What a fucking ride that movie is... I felt exhausted by the end of it. 
Out of that list, Dredd and Safe are probably the most legitimately good all-around films, which is surprising for both of them. Dredd's action on its own wasn't all that big or exciting, it's more of the way that whole thing comes together that makes it great. Safe is ....well, it's Jason fucking Statham doing what he does best, only this time with pretty good acting and a story that holds up. It's undoubtedly his best starring vehicle since the original Transporter. Plus he chops a dude in the neck with a dinner plate, so there's that.
I still haven't seen The Avengers somehow, so I can't comment on it. I know, I'm pretty ashamed of myself.
I would not really consider TDKR, Looper, or Skyfall to be pure action movies. Especially not Looper, even though it was advertised as such. Looper's action consisted of brief but impactful punctuations of everything around it. Nothing crazy or stylish. Skyfall was also pretty light on action, and while the action there is is solid enough, it doesn't compare to the crazy set-pieces from Casino Royale. TDKR had quite a bit of action, more than I had expected actually, and while Christopher Nolan's getting better at it, he still doesn't seem to get how to properly direct or edit action sequences to make them as exciting as they should be. Not to mention that TDKR was kind of a bummer overall.

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#25 Posted by LastNinja (296 posts) -

For me its a toss up between Dredd and Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning.

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#26 Edited by GERALTITUDE (5777 posts) -

Dredd 3D and Lockout, probably. D Knight is sweet but really over-inflated, and Avengers is like the world's fanciest episode of TV.

Edit: Forgot to answer your question: I love movies of all genres/budgets and I have for a very long time. I believe that the Pure Action film died in 1999. Computer Graphics, largely, are to blame. I'm going to blog about it one day, but that's my two scents. CG kills energy. No energy, no action. This year, movies like Dredd/Raid/Lockout were the closest thing to PA99 I'd seen in ages. Those Bourne movies came close but they're as much thrillers as they are action flicks.

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#27 Posted by GERALTITUDE (5777 posts) -

Pretty sure The Raid was 2011 originally but not in NA until this year, sooo, yeah, take it or leave it I guess.

Wanted to second how similar Raid/Dredd are. Raid is purer and better, more complex action, Dredd is more visceral, somehow more shocking, and is also a Sci-Fi Action, which could earn it bonus points depending on your camp.

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#28 Posted by Justin258 (14552 posts) -

@LastNinja said:

For me its a toss up between Dredd and Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning.

I stumbled across this and was very surprised at the Rottentomatoes score. It sounds like a movie that you'd find in the $1 bin and can't imagine the poor sod that would actually watch it, but apparently there's something good about it.

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#29 Posted by NTM (10016 posts) -

I haven't seen Looper. I'd have to go with The Dark Knight Rises.

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#30 Posted by Roger778 (960 posts) -

1. The Avengers

2. The Dark Knight Rises

3. Looper

Those are my choices right now, but I think Skyfall will be as awesome as I've been hearing. I'm seeing it tomorrow.

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#31 Posted by Danteveli (1426 posts) -

Expendables 2

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#32 Posted by BaneFireLord (3284 posts) -

The Avengers, for sure. So much bombastic fun.

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#33 Posted by Slay3r1583 (738 posts) -

I think Avengers and Batman are the only two new movies I've seen this year. Batman was the better overall movie but I think Avengers had more and better action.

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#34 Posted by SSValis (1196 posts) -

This has been a great year for popcorn movies

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#35 Posted by Reddy1124 (149 posts) -

Skyfall was pretty damn awesome.

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#36 Posted by inevpatoria (7099 posts) -


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#37 Posted by IAmNotBatman (702 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

The Dark Knight Rises. Duh.

Watching a character try to make a jump for forty-five minutes is hardly what I'd call pulsating action. The ACTION is the worst part of that movie in my opinion.

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#38 Edited by Napalm (9230 posts) -

Dredd, The Raid and Safe. All three are absolutely top-notch pure action films. Lots of shooting, lots of blood and ass kicking. I also wouldn't consider The Avengers an action film. The same with Looper, The Dark Knight Rises and Skyfall. There's a huge difference between an action movie, and a movie that has some action in it.

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#39 Posted by Karkarov (3385 posts) -

I wouldn't consider the Dark Knight Rises or Looper in this, neither were actually that action oriented and were far more character driven. It is really only between The Avengers and well I think Skyfall should count as well. Personally I am still trying to figure out why everyone thought Avengers was that great. It wasn't a bad movie, it was definitely good, but it was not a best picture.

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#40 Edited by zombie2011 (5515 posts) -

Just saw Skyfall and it's my favorite movie of this year. It's a damn shame how much of a let down Taken 2 was, i fucking loved the first one and tried so hard to enjoy the second but it just wasn't as good.

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#41 Posted by FengShuiGod (1518 posts) -

Dredd was good, Skyfall was ok. Haven't seen Looper or a couple others that are on my radar.

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#42 Posted by EXTomar (5047 posts) -

The fighting in Dark Knight Rises was awful and there was enough plot holes that broke the flow of the story. I would say Looper let alone The Avengers are much better action movies.

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#43 Posted by DonChipotle (3413 posts) -

2/6 of Cloud Atlas

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#44 Posted by StarvingGamer (11412 posts) -


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#45 Posted by habster3 (3670 posts) -

Either The Avengers or The Dark Knight Rises (can't really pick)

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#46 Edited by LastNinja (296 posts) -

@believer258: Well for one it has the always amazing Scott Adkins (of Undisputed 2 & 3 fame among others) in the lead role and naturally Dolph Lundgren and Jean Claude Van Damme reprising their characters, but tonally it is a very different film than the previous ones. I highly recommend it.

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#47 Posted by chango (922 posts) -

Skyfall. No doubt in my mind.

Best martial arts movie? The Raid: Redemption.