December 27, 2012

2012: A Year in Action

So 2012 is coming to an end so I thought I’d ramble on about my personal highlights of the year in all things action.

It’s actually been a great year for action with something for everyone; The Expendables 2 was a huge international hit and proved that audiences worldwide still enjoy ass-kicking action. Part 3 is already being discussed and we await it with baited breath.

Jean-Claude Van Damme had one of the best years of his recent career with his role as Jean Vilain in Expendables 2 easily making him the best villain of the year. He also starred in the great straight to DVD movie 6 Bullets which was genuinely moving and had some great father/son moments between him and Kristopher.

Jason Statham got to bust some heads in Safe, which didn’t exactly blow up at the box office but remains my favourite actioner of the year.

The Raid: Redemption proved that martial arts movies will never die and managed to be one of the all-time greats with bone-crunching fight scenes and relentless pacing.

Mel Gibson made a triumphant return to the action genre with the black action comedy Get the Gringo which was him back to Martin Riggs style badassery.

The Superhero juggernaut rolled on with The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises all doing well at the box office, but The Avengers came out on top.

The biggest surprise of the year was Lockout; although the film wasn’t all that great Guy Pearce was fantastic as Snow, a chain-smoking badass who was a mixture of John McClane and Snake Plissken.

James Bond made a triumphant return in Skyfall; although I wasn’t a huge fan, I am delighted that it was successful because after all, it is an action movie and once again showed that audiences still enjoy (at least some) action movies. It has now become the biggest Bond movie of all time, frankly for reasons I can’t fathom.

The low-point of the year for me was The Bourne Legacy which was easily the worst of the series; I don’t like the Bourne movies in general but I can admit that the first 3 are well made movies, just not my cup of tea. Ultimatum was boring, lacked a decent story and brought nothing new to the franchise. I like Jeremy Renner but he needs to stop joining other people’s franchises and star in his own.

Looper is a lot of people’s favourite movies of the year but I wasn’t a fan, it wasn’t bad but I just found it too dumb. The whole telekinesis thing with the kid just pissed me off.

Taylor Kitsch had a pretty bad year with Battleship, John Carter and Savages all proving unsuccessful at the box office. He comes across as a nice guy so I feel bad for him; well Taylor hopefully 2013 is your year.

It was another great year for Liam Neeson who starred in the fantastic and moving The Grey as a man fighting for survival after a plane crash. The film was one of the very best of 2012. He also returned as Brian Mills in the massively successful Taken 2; although a huge commercial hit, I found the movie pretty forgettable and it lacked the intensity of the original, but it was still fun.

Lawless starred Tom Hardy and Shia Laeouf who were both sensational in it and it was arguably the most violent film of the year. Guy Pearce once again stole the show as a sadistic villain.

Dredd was one of the biggest flops of the year despite being a bit of a classic actioner, which essentially has the same story as The Raid but managed to be suitably different. Karl urban was fantastic in the role and it’s a shame we probably won’t see him in the role again.

The Action Elite was re-launched from a small fan site into a fully armed and operational battle station. We also had some great interviews with John Rhys-Davies, Johnny Strong, Cung Le and John Hyams. I even got to meet Arnold Schwarzenegger which still doesn’t seem real. I’ve been a fan of his movies all my life and to actually meet him is something I will never forget.

I also launched The Horror Elite which I plan on really expanding in the coming year. I want to say a big thank you to Alex Hush for all of his technical expertise this year, especially with the relaunch.

Those were my highlights (and some lows) of 2012 but overall, it was a good year for action and 2013 is looking mighty good too with A Good Day to Die Hard, Parker, The Last Stand and Bullet to the Head all making an appearance in January/February.

I’d like to say thank you to everyone in our platoon for coming to the site and also the writers (Omar, Cochise, Boombata, Tommy, Weasel, Brian, J-Man,OldKingClancy, Jack the Narrator and Marcey who have all done a stellar job in helping me keep action alive.  Happy New Year when it comes everyone!


About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel

I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it’s a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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