Die Hard (1988)
Tagline: 12 terrorists. One cop. The odds are against John McClane... That's just the way he likes it.
Die Hard tells the story of John McClane (Bruce Willis), a New York cop attending his estranged wife’s office Christmas Party which is attacked by a money-hungry group of terrorists led by Alan Rickman – don’t you hate it when that happens? McClane and the bad guys take part in a deadly game of cat and mouse throughout the massive building, which will have you glued to the edge of your seat from start to finish.
Tagline: They took his daughter. He'll take their lives.
Going against his better judgement, retired CIA agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) allows his teenage daughter to go on a trip to Paris with no adult supervision. When she is kidnapped Mills gets on the first plane to Paris and lets nothing stand in his way until he finds his daughter. Despite the brutal hand to hand fight scenes and shoot outs, arguably the best moment in the film is Mills’ threat to his daughter’s captors: “If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”
Tagline: There are a thousand ways to raise your adrenaline. Today, Chev Chelios will need every single one.
A rival of professional assassin Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) injects him with a poison that will kill him if his heart rate drops below a certain level, meaning any moment not filled with adrenaline is risking death. What follows is an hour and a half of increasingly ridiculous situations, as Chelios turns into a literal adrenaline junkie whilst desperately searching for both a cure and the person who did this to him. At one point he even has to resort to using a defibrillator on himself to kick-start his heart – ouch.
Tagline: This time there’s more.
Building on the horror based story of its predecessor, Aliens went down more of an action route, as a team of futuristic marines travel to planet LV-426 to investigate the reported extra terrestrial life-form that was found there. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) proves that women can kick ass just as much as men, as she simultaneously fights off aliens and defends Newt, the young girl the team have rescued. The climatic showdown is laced with tension and terror, when a battered and bruised Ripley faces the gigantic Alien Queen in a battle to the death.
Hard Boiled (1992)
Tagline: More exciting than a dozen Die Hards.
A film claiming to be more exciting than a dozen Die Hards is certainly an ambitious claim, but when you see legendary action director John Woo’s name on the cover you realise it might have a chance. In this cops vs. Triads action extravaganza more than 200 real guns were used, with 100,000 blank rounds fired and a body count of over 300. Look out for the lengthy action packed hospital shootout scene in the second half of the film – this was filmed with a single camera as one perfectly choreographed continuous scene. Taking place over two separate floors and clocking in at nearly three minutes, this is a great example of Woo’s cinematic mastery when it comes to action.
Tagline: Get ready for rush hour.
When Los Angeles police officer Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) foils the plans of a ransom-demanding bomber, he finds himself on the receiving end of some bus-based revenge two years later. The bomber has rigged up a bus to explode if it drops below 50mph and as a terrified young woman (Sandra Bullock) attempts to drive, Traven frantically searches for the bomb. The premise of this film naturally makes it a non-stop thrill ride – as the bus hurtles down a busy highway, Traven has to find a way to stop it without blowing himself and the rest of the passengers sky high... and he’s running out of road!
First Blood (1982)
Tagline: One war against one man.
Despite the no holds barred reputation of Rambo as a character, the first instalment in the franchise only actually contains one death scene. Don’t be fooled into thinking that makes it boring though – the whole film is dripping with tension and atmosphere as Rambo is forced to utilise all of the skills he picked up in a war that he is desperately trying to forget. When Rambo’s ex-Colonel is brought in to help the police in capturing Rambo it becomes very clear they’ve messed with the wrong person: “I don't think you understand. I didn't come to rescue Rambo from you; I came here to rescue you from him.”
Tagline: A general who became a slave. A slave who became a gladiator. A gladiator who defied an emperor.
Roman General Maximus Meridius (Russell Crowe) is betrayed by the new emperor (Joaquin Phoenix) and sold into slavery, while his wife and son are murdered. He eventually becomes a gladiator, and the only thing that keeps him alive is the determination to face the man who put his family to death. The battle scenes in this film are bloody and fast paced, with Maximus going toe to toe with gladiators, bladed chariots, and even wild animals.
The Matrix (1999)
Tagline: Free your mind
What you think is reality is a lie. Machine overlords control humans by plugging them into ‘The Matrix’, a virtual world that many do not realise they reside in. A select few know that there is life outside of the Matrix, but are hunted constantly by the machines as their awareness cannot be tolerated. Neo (Keanu Reeves) is supposedly ‘The one’ who can save humanity from the machines.
Tagline: Stealin’ stones and breakin’ bones
A gritty London gangster film involving stolen diamonds, illegal betting, ‘pikies’ bare knuckle fighting and dog fights, there’s no stopping the action. Fast paced and hilarious, this is an adrenaline pumping film for those who appreciate gangster flicks.