10 Frequently Ridiculed Action Flicks You Know You Secretly Adore

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Jean-Claude Van Damme in Hard Target (1993) Movie Image

Here’s the thing — I secretly like Stephen Sommers’ “G.I. Joe”. Although I hated every minute of the film during my initial viewing, I have found myself popping the DVD in the ol’ player on several occasions, particularly when I need something as background noise. Somewhere along the way, I began to appreciate the film for what it was: a big, stupid, loud-mouthed action flick. Was this much-maligned adaptation of my favorite childhood cartoon show dumber than a box of rocks? Of course it was; I don’t think anyone will argue with that. However, there’s entertainment value to be had, especially if you just let yourself go with it. I’m sure a few of my friends are getting a kick out of this.

Below you’ll find a small gathering of films that, I think, most people secretly enjoy. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but, deep down, you know I’m right. Of course, you don’t have to admit such things if you don’t feel comfortable. We totally understand.

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About Todd Rigney

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Todd was raised on a steady diet of Hollywood blockbusters, late-night Cinemax programming, and USA’s “Up All Night,” which may explain why his taste in movies is more than a little questionable. When he isn’t providing news and reviews for Beyond Hollywood, he can be found lounging lazily on his couch, perched in front of his television, or dwelling in places where direct sunlight can be easily avoided. He's happily married, in his 30's, and totally badass. If you'd like to reach Todd, you can follow him on Twitter or send him email/scoops to todd (at) beyondhollywood.com.

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  • Vineland

    I’d rather watch “DOA” than “Sucker Punch” because “DOA” doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is: fighting with semi-clad women.

  • Omas T

    Have only seen a few of these but must agree that Shoot ‘Em Up is an all time masterpiece! Should be top of the list – how many flicks do you get with a gruff, leather jacketed anti-hero, lactating prostitutes, totally off the rails sociopathic killer who loves his wife and kid and murders people at the drop of a one-liner… a mechanial baby, the omnipresent carrot weaponry ( carrotage?) and one of the greatest lines since Shakespeare, to wit:
    “F–k you, you f–king f–kers!”

    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool

      Word! I mean the opening alone got me. All the man wanted to do was drink his coffee, eat his carrot and be miserable. Then, *CRASH* most literally his day is shot. Amd who hasn’t wanted to do what he’s done to drivers who don’t signal. LoL. And I absolutely loved Giamatti. Loved him.
      Sent on the go.

    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool

      Word! I mean the opening alone got me. All the man wanted to do was drink his coffee, eat his carrot and be miserable. Then, *CRASH* most literally his day is shot. Amd who hasn’t wanted to do what he’s done to drivers who don’t signal. LoL. And I absolutely loved Giamatti. Loved him.
      Sent on the go.

    • http://www.grifiti.com Tin Hoang

      I don’t think Shoot Em Up should be on this list. “Best of the Best” should be on it though.

    • http://www.grifiti.com Tin Hoang

      I don’t think Shoot Em Up should be on this list. “Best of the Best” should be on it though.

  • Omas T

    Have only seen a few of these but must agree that Shoot ‘Em Up is an all time masterpiece! Should be top of the list – how many flicks do you get with a gruff, leather jacketed anti-hero, lactating prostitutes, totally off the rails sociopathic killer who loves his wife and kid and murders people at the drop of a one-liner… a mechanial baby, the omnipresent carrot weaponry ( carrotage?) and one of the greatest lines since Shakespeare, to wit:
    “F–k you, you f–king f–kers!”

  • http://www.socialmediawannabe.com Todd Lyden

    Firestorm with Howie Long. Terrible and yet I love it

  • kydd

    IF YOU LIKE MARK DACASCOS, WHICH WHO DOES HE REALLY IS THE SHIT. WATCH DRIVE. ITS AWESOME AND AHEAD OF ITS TIME.

  • Pmck69

    I totally agree with Hard Target I haven’t seen the uncut version. Hard Target would have been a routine Hollywood shoot’em up if it weren’t for John Woo’s tight direction and I have to credit this film for introducing me to John Woo and getting me hooked on Asian action cinema. I bought Hardboiled a few months after watching Hard Target because of word of mouth and I was in cinematic action heaven, anything made after Hardboiled pales in comparison .Judge Dredd wasn’t great by any means, but not as bad as people say it is.

    Equilibrium is good, but could have a classic with a tighter script, but the acting and most importantly had the best action scenes this side of John Woo that put it over the top. The Gun Kata was one of more original concepts in action movies in recent times and it made for a logical progression from John Woo’s tightly choreographed, balletic body count ballroom extravaganzas. I have heard Woo’s films called “gun fu” by some people and this term is even more applicable here. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it, don’t be tricked into thinking it’s another Matrix rip off, while it may not be as good as the Matrix, its way better than Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions.

    Another overlooked gem that I happy that other people mentioned is the Mark Dacoscas movie Drive. It is hands down the best American take on a Hong Kong action film that I have seen. In fact, if I didn’t know any better I would have thought it was directed by an HK action director. I can’t count how many times I had passed over this movie because the VHS cover makes it look like another DTV John Woo rip off, but its hands down the best direct to video action movie ever made and I haven’t even seen the director’s cut which I have heard is much better because it fleshes out Mark Dacoscas’ character out much more.

  • Avalon22462

    Hard Target is definitely one of the BEST action flicks EVER.Shoot Em Up was awesome.I mean any movie that gives you a death scene by carrot, rates high. Hell ya!!!! Equillibrium, a fight scene in a white suit with guns and swords. Outstanding. They are all exactly what they are supposed to be. Fun, loud, high body count, guns, swords, knives, hot looking men who slice and dice their wasy thru the bad guys and sexy chicks that kick ass and shoot guns. What else should an action movie need? Another great action cult film not to be left off the list is Nemesis with Olivier Gruner. Great movie.

  • Nolan Bruce

    Can’t say I love any of these.

    • Juggernaut

      Equilibrium was cool. 1984+The Matrix+Bale=Awesome!

      • http://twitter.com/Fibbin_Archie Jon

        + Fahrenheit 451 François Truffaut’s 1966 intellectual sci-fi classic…

        • Erin V.

          you meant to say, i’m sure, “+ Francois Truffaut’s cinematization of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451″

  • BlueCollarCritic

    The very interesting thing about GI JOE is that

    (A) it made money and not just a little either. Total box office take beat budget by more then just a small percentage

    (B) It stayed at the movie theater for a longer then normal duration for a Summer hit and its not even considered a hit by most

    (C) Is a solid performer in the after market from rental to sell-thru

    The final word on GI Joe is that its not a bad film it simply was not what many fan boys, the loudest of the fan boys bunch, wanted it to be so it was heavily criticized while viewed many times.

  • Cody Huebel

    Nothing Better Than Van Damme Roundhouse Kicking The Shit Outta Everyone