The best action movies of the 80’s and 90’s

Hollywood’s short history didn’t have room for movies like this until the 1980s. The 80’s and 90’s brought out the best action movies and paved the way for those to come. Action movies are a staple in any movie theater you can visit anywhere in the world today. People often go to the movies for a brief escape from reality, and in many cases nothing does that better than a testosterone-filled action spectacle.

adventure series

In the early years of Hollywood, action films were mostly limited to westerns in short action films that predated other feature film presentations. The limited technology and special effects meant that most films resembled drama or comedy stage productions rather than action spectacles. The 1970s saw more advances in what could be accomplished on screen, but most filmmakers were more concerned with political social commentary on drugs or war than robotic transformation. In the late 1970s, the French Connection presented an incredible car chase that received many rave reviews

cop action

The most common type of action film in the 1980s was usually about cops. Movies like 48 Hours, Beverly Hills Cop, Die Hard, and the Lethal Weapon movies all had cops as the protagonists of the movie. The most notable difference from those films was that the main character was not a superhuman hero, but a flawed, realistic Everyman trying to survive. Action film heroes quickly became more relatable and reinvigorated the genre in the ’80s and ’90s. The stunts became more and more elaborate along with the level of violence and chaos that could be portrayed on screen. Most films accepted restricted ratings due to the violence and language used throughout.

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Sci-Fi Action

Science fiction movies or sci-fi became much more popular as special effects and technology advanced in Hollywood. Early movies were there, like 2001: A Space Odyssey, but became much more common in the seventies when Star Wars hit the scene. Star Wars took the action series formula and placed it on a futuristic sci-fi world that captured the minds of a generation.

Sci-fi movies went on, becoming darker and edgier with movies like Blade Runner and Terminator. The next true resurgence of the genre came in the late ’90s with the Matrix trilogy. The Matrix updated the new website with the zeitgeist and explored what the future might hold for those who surrender to ‘the system’.

The current state of action film affairs is the most popular it’s ever been. In 2009, James Cameron’s action sci-fi film Avatar became the all-time record holder for box office sales, selling over 2 billion tickets worldwide. While some would argue that spectacle and 3D have become more important than simple storytelling and compelling characters, there’s never been a better time to be an action movie fan.

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