by Mike MacLean
Hammering out the screenplay, I got to thinking about some of my favorite action movies. Lucky for me, somebody from Entertainment Weekly was on my wavelength.
A couple weeks ago, the magazine listed their picks for the 25 greatest, ass-kick-iest flicks of all time. And God knows how I do love the lists.
For the most part, EW did a good job. See if you agree.
1. Die Hard
Hard to argue with this pick. Even harder to imagine any one else playing John McClane other than Bruce Willis who, rumor has it, was the studio’s 5th choice. Lots of movies have cool gunfights and theater rocking explosions, but only Die Hard had Willis matching wits with ultra cool baddie Alan Rickman. Those two guys made the movie.
3. Raiders of the Lost Ark
4. The Road Warrior
"Greetings from The Humungus! The Lord Humungus! The Warrior of the Wasteland! The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla!"
5. The Matrix
6. Seven Samurai
I really enjoyed the Gladiator’s scope and spectacle. But was it better than Mel Gibson’s Brave Heart, which Entertainment Weekly totally snubbed? (They didn’t even put it in the top 50)
8. Saving Private Ryan
I would’ve thrown John Woo’s the Killer in the top 25 as well. Mr. Woo knows how to pour on the bullets. 10. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
12. The Empire Strikes Back
Only one thing could’ve made this movie better: More Boba!
13. The Wild Bunch
Only one thing could’ve made this movie better: More cowbell!
Who is that playing Robocop’s badass nemesis? Why it’s Red Forman from that 70s show, "Dumb ass!"
15. Enter the Dragon
"Boards don’t hit back."
16. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
17. The Bourne Supremacy
I enjoyed The Bourne Supremacy, but I really dug The Bourne Identity, directed by Doug Liman. This guy knows how to put action on the screen. Don’t believe me? Just check out the brutal fight scene between Damon and the scooter-driving, Italian hit man. Yes, I said "scooter-driving hit man."
18. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
Come on, everyone knows Moonraker is the best Bond film of all time. (Dear God, I hope they realize I’m kidding,)
20. Kill Bill-Vol. 1
If you’re keeping score—The Bride: 88. The Crazy Eighty-eights: Zip
21. Spider-Man 2
By far the best of the three and a great movie, yet something always bothered me about it. There is a scene where Spidey and Doctor Octopus fall from a building, trading punches on the way down. There’s one problem with this scenario. Spidey has superhuman strength; he can lift 10 tons in fact. So, one good haymaker to Doc’s chin would’ve turned his head to a pulpy mush. (Jesus, I didn’t realize how nerdy this sounded until it poured out on the screen.)
"I ain’t got time to bleed."
23. Drunken Master II
24. Lethal Weapon
25. The Incredibles
On their website, Entertainment Weekly listed their picks for numbers 26-50 as well. I do have some quibbles.
Movies EW snubbed…
The Professional (It made number 26 on the list. Me? I could think of at least four or five from the top 25 that I would replace with ole Leon.)
Heat (For the bank robbery scene alone it should be on the list)
All of the Lord of the Rings films
And the first Conan film (written by none other than Oliver Stone, betcha didn’t know that)
So how about it Murder fans? Did Entertainment Weekly do the genre justice? Where did they drop the ball?