CATEGORIES Action, Foreign Language, Horror, Thrillers, Mystery & Suspense, Cinematical Seven, Cinematical
Crank: High Voltage comes out this weekend, which sends Jason Statham back into a frenzied pinball movie world that has his sweaty bald head running at top speed to keep himself alive ... again. So if you want to keep your levels pegged at 11 this weekend, you might want to consider one of these other movies that have pure Russian racehorse levels of adrenaline pumping through their veins. When we say adrenaline fueled, we don't just mean hyperkinetic, no-attention-span-editing and lots of boring action sequences. That might even qualify Hannah Montana: The Movie for this list.
No, we mean you're on the edge of your seat, neck and shoulders tense, and eyeballs propped open like Malco McDowell in A Clockwork Orange. Cinematical urges you to try this at your own risk, and does not recommend any artery-clogging snacks in the midst of your movie madness. You'll need those suckers wide open to keep the heartpump chugging away, and you can consider yourself exercised for the month of April if you make it through at least three of these movies by Sunday.
Before writer-directors Neveldine and Taylor concocted another way to brutalize Jason Statham onscreen, they originally did it in this underrated film from 2006. I went into Crank with zero knowledge of the movie, other than the fact that the guy from the Transporter movies, Snatch, and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was in it. I'd hated the Transporter series, but loved the other two so I thought I'd give this a shot. 87 minutes later, I peeled my sweat-soaked back from the theater seat and staggered out to the car. This is non-stop, pure over the top action, and it's well worth seeing. Just take your meds before watching.
The Bourne Ultimatum
Matt Damon isn't the first actor who pops in your head once you think "action star," but the Bourne series of movies went a long way towards changing that. Each subsequent film rachets up the action levels until you finally had people bursting through apartment windows and running pell-mell across European rooftops. Where the other two movies bogged down with a love interest, Ultimate jettisons that idea and shows you how much aerobic activity you can manage when you've been brainwashed and shoved into a secret black ops program. Nike should develop something like this.
Run Lola Run
You can't accuse Lola of not following the instructions in the title of this movie, because she does more running in this film than the entire cast of Chariots of Fire. Even though it's more than ten years old, this Tom Tykwer-directed film from 1998 is still synonymous with non-stop action. If you haven't seen this movie, then you're missing out on alternate timelines, non-conventional storytelling, and terrific acting. Plus there's all that running! If this movie doesn't inspire you to enter a marathon, or at least put on your old tennis shoes, then I have no idea what will. Hopefully it will also inspire you to encourage your significant other not to get involved in illicit activities, too.
Ridley Scott's classic, Alien, set the bar for outer space "pee in your pants" moments in movies, but James Cameron's follow-up provided a whole movie full of those moments. Seriously, aliens that lay eggs down your throat and burst out of your chest? Scary enough. However, now there's a whole slew of them, they can hide anywhere, and they're fairly smart as well. Whiny Bill Paxton, Bishop, Hicks, and motion-tracker scenes that manage to be terrifying without showing you anything all lead up to yet another "You have 15 minutes to reach minimal safe distance" countdown to destruction clock, and you'll find yourself constantly on bladder check throughout.
Yes, Jason Statham makes a third appearance in this post, and I'm beginning to suspect the guy can no longer accept a normal movie role where he's required to sit down and have a normal conversation. He has to be leaping, diving, running, or flying through the air, usually while wielding a gun and baring his teeth. However, in his second pairing with director Guy Ritchie, he keeps his hands fairly clean, except for bashing a couple of guys with a baseball bat. Despite this fact, the movie moves along in high gear the entire time, and features Russian mobsters, the return of Brad Pitt in Fight Club fashion, and a handful of inept thugs with replica weapons. Plus, flesh-eating pigs.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Have you gone back and watched this one lately? Do it, if not just to wash the taste of anything bearing the Crystal Skull out of your mouth. Seriously, I'm not sure this movie will ever get old. You have Indy running through booby traps, fleeing a ginormous, rolling boulder, car chases, submarine stowaways, gun and fistfights galore, and a slew of Nazis getting the crap beat out of them. Temple of Doom gives you a lot of whiny Willie Scott scenes and an opening dance number (which I love, but hey... bring on the action), and Last Crusade has a lot of bonding scenes with Dad, but Raiders really stomps the accelerator to the floor and runs you over.
Can we sign some sort of a petition that keeps Robert De Niro from appearing in stuff like Little Fockers, but returns him to movies like this one? This is one DVD that I'll pull off the shelf when I'm bored and watch all the way through over and over again. Sure, Steve McQueen's Bullitt may top the list of car chase movies, and there's a lot of other octane-tastic automobile scenes in movies like The Italian Job (the original, please), The French Connection, Vanishing Point, and Gone in 60 Seconds (again, the original, please), but Ronin nails it with those super-narrow streets in France. Seriously, how did they not mow anybody down?
What are some of your favorite adrenaline-fueled movies?