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I am re-watching 90s Action movies and they are leagues ahead of movies released in 2010s

SafeOrAlone

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The Matrix is a good one.

Seems a lot of it's ideas came from Morrison's "The Invisibles" and maybe Frank Miller's Ronin comics, but it still original.
 
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Sep 24, 2021
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90's action had a certain vibe about them. I feel like Face/Off is perhaps one of the best examples. It's just a fun movie that doesn't take itself too seriously and has huge bankable stars at the time (Travlota and Cage)

You even have one of the characters using golden guns. I think a lot of action movies these days just miss out on the fun factor.

 

Tschumi

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OP you've only dipped ur toes in the well... in the kinda brackish, uninspired end of the well at that... keep goin' mate... i recommend Clear and Present Danger for one yay
 

SlimySnake

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90's action had a certain vibe about them. I feel like Face/Off is perhaps one of the best examples. It's just a fun movie that doesn't take itself too seriously and has huge bankable stars at the time (Travlota and Cage)

You even have one of the characters using golden guns. I think a lot of action movies these days just miss out on the fun factor.

Yeah, everything feels too serious nowadays (Mad Max). Or too jokey. (Avengers)

I also really liked Gone in 60 seconds. Which came out in 2000. Still had that feel of a 90s movie.
 
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SantaC

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Here are some good suggestions to watch from 90s:

Broken Arrow
Under siege
Shanghai Noon
Snatch
12 monkeys
 

bob_mugabe

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Less CGI meant the writers and directors had to be more creative with the sets, the costumes and the cinematography.

Action movies also used to be more fun overall. Since the mid 2000, writers seem obsessed with morals and high-school level philosophy which is a good formula to produce boring scripts and moronic dialogs.
 

pramod

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Because most of them were rated R. You can expect a lot of cursing and maybe even some bare titles.

These days it's just sterilized CGI fests. With some exceptions like John Wick.
 

SafeOrAlone

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You can pick the cream of the crop from and generation and make it sound best.

Though that era did have a quality that is sort of missing today, don’t take today for granted. The Dark Knight, Logan, Spider-Man 2, Fury Road, District 9, Dune.
I adore the action/genre films of the more modern eras.
 

SirTerry-T

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Yup, if you like Shane Black stuff, you'll love Long Kiss Goodnight. Also, (not 90's, I know) Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is supremely underrated.

Actually just recently watched Enemy of the State recently for the first time in at least 20 years. It's actually kinda creepy how on the nose it is considering it was pre 9/11/Patriot Act.
Enemy of The State is the "sort of" fan theory sequel to The Conversation. A great piece of 70's cinema.
 

The Skull

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Still some great ones from the 2010's but the 80's and 90's are an absolute goldmine in comparison. For me at least, Terminator 2 is still the pinnacle of the action genre.
 
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JayK47

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Yeah, the 90s were a great time to head to theaters. You didn't even have to see what was at the theater, just show up and pick something. That is how I wound up watching Desperado, and it was so damn amazing.
 

mortal

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Aside from having arguably better writing and directing, I noticed another commonality with the films referenced in this thread.
They all have unapologetically masculine male leads.
 
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Ammogeddon

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The 80s and 90s both had great action movies and generally great movies altogether.

Superhero movies have a lot to answer for these days but there are a few gems popping up now and then. If you haven’t seen Wrath of Man on Amazon yet I highly recommend it.
 

synchronicity

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Mainstream cinema has died quite the ugly death, no doubt. It's been a shuffling zombie corpse for a good while, generally speaking.
 
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GeorgPrime

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2010s will mostly be remembered for Comic Book adaptions. Pretty much every big budget action movie was either a Nolan movie or a Marvel or DC movie. There were some mediocre Transformers movies from Bay, but when it comes to blockbusters, it was Marvel and DC.

The 90s had some great franchises. Jurrasic Park, Terminator 2, Mission Impossible, The Matrix. What I miss the most ere the excellent one off movies we used to get in the 90s. No sequels. Original ideas. Big budget movies that relied mostly on special effects. I am talking about movies like:

- Con Air - Nicolas Cage stops Jon Malcovich from hijacking a plane carrying criminals.
- The Ghost And The Darkness - Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer team up to kill two man eating Lions.
- Face/Off - John Travolta and Nicolas Cage switch faces and fuck each other's wives.
- True Lies - James Cameron and Arnold Team up again. This time to kill terrorists.
- The Rock - Sean Fucking Connery and Nicolas cage break into Alcatraz.
- Armagaddeon - Oil Drillers become astronauts and save the world by nuking an asteroid.

And there are many many more. I look at the past decade and everything feels like a samey comic book movie. Even the DC movies. They are all about saving the world but somehow lack the epicness of movies like the Rock and Con Air. I dont even mind CG, but it's great to go back and see movies filled with hundreds if not thousands of extras. Only Michael Bay and Nolan care about that kind of spectacle nowadays and it fucking sucks.

And while I dont want this to be a lets shit on Disney thread, I will just say that Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King were far better than the trash they have produced even with the Marvel, Lucas Films and Pixar acquisitions.

So whats everyone's favorite 90s movies? Pulp Fiction, Saving Private Ryan, Shawshank Redemption, Titanic are obvious choices, but every decade has great dramas. What I miss the most are those one-off action movies.

Its not a problem of modern movies.... its more a problem about the people who make the movies.
 

IDKFA

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The 90s were fantastic for action moves, but leagues ahead? The 2010s gave us the John Wick franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Raid, Kingsman and the best Mission Impossible films. That's just from the top of my head.

Not sure if the 90s action films were leagues ahead of any of the above.
 
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Doom85

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The 90s were fantastic for action moves, but leagues ahead? The 2010s gave us the John Wick franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Raid, Kingsman and the best Mission Impossible films. That's just from the top of my head.

Not sure if the 90s action films were leagues ahead of any of the above.

It clearly depends on one’s tastes. I like a few of the movies in the OP’s list, particularly Face/Off and The Rock, but Armageddon was kinda mid to me. Honestly, the 90’s had way too many disaster films which are rarely appealing to me.

If people have an obsession with “shoot shoot bang bang” movies, I can see the appeal, but I prefer the last 20 years in terms of blockbusters. Hell, in terms of superhero movies, the 90’s were mostly a fucking joke
 
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Hypereides

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Most modern big budget movies are toothless. They lack a sense of courage or inventiveness in their vision. They're creatively stripped and muzzled all the way through. Back then they would still greenlight scripts/screenplays even if they sounded way overboard or too wild for some pencil pusher to see the full vision. Chances were still taken. Modern Hollywood wouldn't even glance at something like that now.

If its too weird, too different or original it would be deemed "too risky".

What should really be considered is to bring back a similar creative freedom from the 80's~90's and allow to financially, back weird shit. I'd bet they have rejected to bankroll a ton of crazy-cool ideas over the years that had the potential to be the next big thing because they didn't "get it".

Shit like Indiana Jones, Back to the future, Roger Rabbit, Jurassic Park even the first Matrix would probably not see the light of day in current times.
 
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sol_bad

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The 90's definitely has some good stuff but a lot of it I can't watch either because the stories are so generic or the characters aren't memorable. Quite a few of them involve generic save the woman plot towards the end. No creativity regarding the actual stories. Like I seriously can't watch any Van Damm or Steven Segal movies anymore. Other films like Total Recall are just boring these days.

I need to rewatch some other movies like Demolition Man, The Long Kiss Goodnight and The Last Boy Scout to see if they still hold up.

I know it's more 80's but 2 franchises from back then. Lethal Weapon 1 is boring but Beverly Hills Cop is still great.

Is there a definitive list of 90s action films?