Top Ten Guy (Action) Movies

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Recently I was asked to rank the best guy movies around. Having worked at a video store for years, I jumped at the chance to voice my opinion, and not get yelled at. YOU CANNOT HURT ME, INTERNET! In fact, I’m going to go one better. This is going to be the first edition of a series, exploring the best guy movies of every genre I can think of. So welcome to the Top Ten Guy (Action) Movies! These are not ranked in order, because movies are subjective. If there are any great action movies you think I’ve missed, hit up the comment section!
Rambo: First Blood

A brutal movie with an awesome soundtrack, First Blood was the first in the Rambo series. There’s another one coming out soon, which worries me. Can’t we just leave good series alone? Well, I guess the Hollywood types need more money for their moneypool, so OK. In First Blood, Rambo plays cat-and-mouse with a sheriff in a small-town setting, while his former sergeant tries to keep things from getting out of hand. An awesome movie with some killer fight scenes, there actually isn’t a whole bunch of blood. Stallone makes Rambo sympathetic, even while he’s beating the ever-living snot out of everyone.


It’s only a matter of time before we are conquered by our machine overlords, and I for one welcome them. Free the iPads!

Seriously, though, we’re a while away from SkyNet, which is why watching Terminator is so much fun. My personal favourite is Terminator 2 (I can’t find anyone who prefers the later ones), just because it’s a wild, suspenseful ride. It also has Arnold, back when he was awesome. Watching Terminator 2, it’s hard to dislodge your heart from your throat, and the end is just heartbreaking. While I may have been a kid when I watched it for the first time, I wanted my own Terminator to follow me around and blow shit up for me. I didn’t really want the rest of the stuff that came with it, like the Mark II, but still, it would have been awesome.

Terminator brought a few things together – action, suspense, and a really neat plot. You actually ended up caring for the characters, even the ones that weren’t truly “alive”

Die Hard

Yippee-ky-ay motherfucker! Seriously, who doesn’t love Bruce Willis? Die Hard and Die Hard with a Vengeance are both fantastic action movies with some awesome comedy, and a few excellent explosions. Plus, they have some epic villains. Alan Rickman and Jeremy Irons are just so cool. Whether or not there was a decent script didn’t even matter. Bruce Willis is PERFECT as the all-action policeman, and although you might call the story formulaic, it’s still a fun ride. Just…for your own sake, don’t watch the last one. Not even seeing the Mac guy get his ass handed to him could save that movie.


Let me ask you one thing: when putting together any kind of video that needs that heart pounding, go-get-em attitude, what song would you pick?

Eye of the goddamn Tiger, that’s what. Seriously, who didn’t see that coming? Shame on you.

Rocky is the series that just won’t die, and there’s a reason for that. The movies aren’t getting any better, and Stallone isn’t getting any more understandable, but they’re still churning out movies. Because people actually watch them. They’re great boxing movies. I won’t say much about the later ones – mostly because I stopped watching them – but the original Rocky was a brilliant movie. They started getting a little silly further on.

Let me tell you a little story: Stallone writes this boxing epic, but is having trouble with the last fight. The choreography is all wrong, and he can’t explain what he wants. So he’s asked to take the script home and write out exactly how he sees the fight. The next day he comes in, and the fight is completely done. It’s a beautiful fight, and every step, every feint, and every jab was written out by the star. You may not like him, you may not understand him at all, but the man knows how to write.


Jason Statham is Frank Martin, a Transporter for hire. Have something you want moved, very very quietly? He’ll do it for a price. He has three rules: 1) Don’t Change the Deal, 2) No Names, and 3) Never Look in the Package. Trouble arises when he’s forced to break rule #3 and finds a woman, bound and gagged. There are three reasons this movie is completely awesome:

1) It’s Jason Statham. I mean, come on. The man radiates cool like some people radiate stink. To solve a problem, he either stares at it until it melts, or punches it in its goddamn head. Sometimes it explodes.

2) Under the flimsy veneer of a plot, the movie breathes action. I’m not kidding about the plot; to say that it had holes would be to imply that there was a plot to begin with. There really isn’t. You know how they say that cigarettes are a nicotine delivery system? This plot is an explosion delivery system. If something hasn’t exploded in the last five minutes, it’s about to explode. There’s a good twenty minute segment of action where Statham gets greased up and beats up twenty guys. I’m not kidding about the greased up bit, either. He actually rolls around in oil. And somehow, because it’s Statham, it’s totally not gay.

3) It doesn’t pretend to be deep. This movie knows it’s an action movie and kind of gives writing and plot the finger. Like Avatar, but way less pretentious. And with less smurfs. Anyway, it doesn’t try to make a point, or even build characters. The tagline might as well have been: “Explosions!” What’s more, it had two sequels that somehow got more ridiculously awesome.

Ong Bak OR The Protector

There are only two things you need to know about Tony Jaa. 1) Don’t steal his Buddha; 2) Don’t steal his elephant. In fact, just don’t steal anything from him. He’ll find you, and when he does, he’ll drop kick your head. If he’s REALLY pissed, he might drive a speedboat into your helicopter. While it’s flying.

That’s basically the plot. I mean, I kinda wish I could say more. There’s a portion of the movie that involves some guy killing his crack ho, but it seemed to be really out of place. Someone stole Tony Jaa’s Buddha and/or Elephant, and he goes to find it. On the way he destroys many, many people. The action is just brutal, and incredibly fun to watch.


A note: by Batman, I mean Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Begins, or The Dark Knight. I’ve blocked the other films from my memory. They don’t exist, OK? Just like the Mario Bros. movie that never happened.

There’s something just awesome about Batman. It could be the gritty environment, or the fact that he really doesn’t have any super powers, but something about the whole universe is inherently cool. The whole city is against him, he has some of the most screwed up villains aiming to make a coat out of his skin, and he takes them all out through guile and snazzy tech toys. Now, if I could just understand Christian Bale when he growls…

I also have to give the newer Batman movies credit for their reboot of the series. Batman was rapidly losing popularity, and the force of Batman Begins dragged the series back from camp-ville to violent awesomeville. The Dark Knight went even further, with Heath Ledger playing the best Joker I’d ever seen.


There was a period after 300 came out where no matter where you were, you could always hear someone screaming: “THIS.IS.SPARTA!!!!!!” There’s a reason for that. Frank Miller’s graphic novel was a gripping, graphic retelling of the old legend of 300 Spartan soldiers that stood against the Persian Empire and won. The film was an incredible adaptation, visually gorgeous and with jaw-dropping action scenes. It drips machismo and bleeds testosterone. The whole movie is a glorification of all things men – fight until you die in battle, and live on in the songs of victory sung by your descendents. If you like action movies and haven’t seen this…I pity you.


From Ridley Scott, Alien is the ultimate sci-fi suspense movie. In fact, it might be the only sci-fi suspense movie, or at least the only one that matters. I ignored Solaris when it came out and I won’t stop ignoring it now. Either way, it’s awesome. It started the facehugger phenomenon that continues in games today, and the series continued the awesomeness even after it was picked up by James Cameron, before he got old and bad. I will until my dying day contend that “quadrilogy” is not a word, but apparently it applies to the box set. While I don’t endorse Aliens vs. Predator (Predator was also a great movie), it still was vaguely entertaining.


I think I know exactly how this got pitched:

Executive 1: “We need a summer blockbuster.”

Executive 2: “Yeah, but the writers are being whiney little bitches.”

Executive 3: “Want to just have Jason Statham do a bunch of awesome shit?”

That was it.

There is no story here. Basically, they got a bunch of teenage boys together, asked them what the most awesome things you could possibly do are, and told Statham to do them. Well, that’s a bit of a lie, but it would explain everything. The only semblance of a plot in this movie is the following: Statham needs to do awesome things to stay alive. Which I’m pretty sure is actually true. This could be a true story.