Since I last listed and discussed the top action films of all time, back in March, I have had my opinion changed a bit. To refresh, here was the previous top ten.
2) Iron Man 3
3) Thor: Dark World
4/5 tie) Dark Knight/Dark Knight Rises
6) The Matrix
7) Spiderman (original - not amazing)
8/9/10 tie) Cap: Winter Soldier/Iron Man 1/Spiderman 2(original - not amazing)
The revision comes for two reasons. 1) I completely missed out on the beauty of Captain America: Winter Soldier. My first viewing I was down on it because I felt it was humorless, but it wasn't, really. It never had a scene of lightheartedness like the other Marvel films, but it didn't need it. It would have been out of place. It hit the necessary tone just right. And the fight scenes were among the best ever produced. And 2) I had not yet seen Guardians of the Galaxy which was an absolute delight in practically every way.
So I am going to slot these two in places 3 and 4. The question is, which goes 3 and which goes 4? I'm going to go with Guardians slightly ahead because it pushes the farce and satire right to the edge, milking the most out of it without undermining the drama, so it gets a boost for degree of difficulty. That leaves us as follows:
2) Iron Man 3
3) Guardians of the Galaxy
4) Cap: Winter Soldier
5) Thor: Dark World
6/7) Dark Knight/Dark Knight Rises
8) The Matrix
9) Spiderman (original - not amazing)
10 tie) Iron Man 1/Spiderman 2(original - not amazing)
I haven't seen Age of Ultron. Nor have I seen Kingsman which I have heard good things about. So I'll likely have to update this list once they hit the premium cable channels. I have seen a couple of recent conventional action films -- Jack Reacher and John Wick and they were well crafted engaging films. In the 80s they would have been the stuff of legend, but the action genre has passed such fare by.
I know it seems silly to dwell on this topic, but it's fun in a nerdy sort of way. And as I have mentioned before, action movies are at the pinnacle of craft and culture right now. They are the relevant form of art at the moment, for better or worse, so it's worth paying attention and engaging in the discussion.