When it comes to action films, bigger is always better. For this reason, directors have to look for new and exciting ways to cause massive explosions, crashes of cars, planes, and helicopters, as well as unforgettable, exaggerated villains and powerless heroes. For example, if you think about where the Fast & Furious franchise started and where the fourth film was headed, it becomes pretty obvious that action film fans love well … action. And a lot of it.
With all of these on-screen actions, there are bound to be some hidden and less hidden details behind the scenes that sometimes find their way into the actual film. There are just a few, perhaps less well-known facts on this list that make action films even more interesting.
Potential spoilers ahead.
10th Consumables – 2010
Although the first film in the 2010 Expendables series received lukewarm reviews, it immediately became a hit with action movie fans and a massive commercial success. With big names like Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li and Mickey Rourke, it’s a group of elite mercenaries who work together to overthrow a Latin American dictator.
However, the filming was not without drama behind the scenes. Stallone has been reported to have suffered at least 14 injuries, including a neck fracture with a metal plate in the neck. The injury reportedly occurred during a fight scene with Steve Austin. And at some point Austin got too close to a stunt explosion and his leg would have been blown away if he hadn’t been standing next to a high-performance airbag that took up most of the hit.
9 John Wick – 2014
When John Wick exploded on screens in 2014, fans couldn’t get enough of Keanu Reeves’ portrayal of Wick. The violent action film was cool 87% at Rotten Tomatoes and people were queuing up in cinemas to see the character Baba Yaga or the “Boogeyman” in action. However, Baba Yaga is not a version of the Boogeyman. Instead, it’s a mythical Russian witch that lures people into their home before they eat them. She runs around on chicken legs, travels with a flying mortar and the hut in which she lives is protected by a fence made of human bones.
Somehow, I don’t think John Wick would have had the same impact on fans if he’d been walking around on chicken legs.
8th Rise of the Planet of the Apes – 2011
Ceasar is probably the most popular figure in the rise of the planet of the apes. The extremely intelligent and loyal chimpanzee is mistreated together with many other great apes in a shelter. During an uprising, the monkeys eventually escape the shelter and its abusive staff and build a new home in the forest.
The scene in which Ceasar says his first word “no” pays homage to earlier films released in the 1970s. The rise of the planet of the apes also brings the franchise together in the scene in which a spaceship is launched. This ship is said to commemorate Heston’s crew that started on a mission in Planet of the Apes.
After the monkeys have escaped from prison, four leaders appear at once: Maurice, Ceasar, Buck and Rocket. Together they represent the four species of monkey, namely bonobo, chimpanzee, gorilla and orangutan.
7 Mad Max: Fury Street – 2015
This exaggerated post-apocalyptic film has enjoyed great success among fans worldwide and grossed almost 400 million. The producers have been campaigning for the film since 1997, but every time they wanted to start, a stumbling block was thrown in their way. In 2001, when they were ready to start shooting, September 11th happened. When they were finished in 2003, the Iraq war was a key in the factories.
The film was finally completed in 2013 and the premiere took place in May 2015. It was clear that more than 80% of the stunts and effects were real and were not created with the help of CGI.
Fury Road also caused some controversy with people who complained about a pro-feminist agenda put forward in the film. The complaint arose from the time that Charlize Theron’s character was available for the screen and the fact that Eve Ensler material was used. Ensler is the author of the vagina monologue. There was even a call to boycott the film by male rights activists.
6 Interstellar – 2014
The science fiction action film Interstellar was an absolute hit at the box office in 2014, and in the end the viewers stared at the screen.
Every film in space requires a lot of research, and the ideas at the heart of Interstellar’s story came from Dr. Kip Thorne, a theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate. He agreed that his ideas could be used, but insisted that no content in the film contradicts the laws of science and that any scientific speculation would come from a scientist rather than a screenwriter. This didn’t prevent filmmaker Christopher Nolan from deciding that the characters should travel faster than the speed of light. It took Thorne a full two weeks to dissuade Nolan from this performance.
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5 Furious 7-2015
Furious 7 is the seventh episode of the Fast & Furious series, but will forever be known as the last film with the late Paul Walker. Walker was shooting scenes for Furious 7 when he was killed in a car accident on November 30, 2013. James Wan was the director of the film and raised over $ 1.5 billion worldwide, the top-income franchise film in just two weeks.
What may surprise some people is that Paul Walker was not the filmmakers’ first choice to play Brian O’Conner. Instead, they looked at Eminem, Mark Wahlberg, and Christian Bale before finally choosing Walker. After the release of Furious 7, it became known that Denzel Washington had been offered a role in the film he rejected. The role then went to Kurt Russell.
4th Baby driver – 2017
Baby Driver is not your average action film for painting by numbers. Instead, it combines a killer soundtrack and an unexpected, partially hearing-impaired hero for a violent but original thrill that cinema-goers loved.
The director Edgar Wright came up with the idea for Baby Driver in 1994 when he heard the song “Bellbottoms” by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosions. The same song can be heard during the film’s opening sequence. He was also inspired by many films that included chases, including The Italian Job, Vanishing Point, Smokey and the Bandit, and The Blues Brothers.
It also took at least 18 months to get approval for the music tracks shown in the film before filming could even begin, starting with the popular duo Simon & Garfunkel.
3rd The first purge – 2018
The forerunner of the previous three films in the franchise, The First Purge examines the movement to cut crime rates in America below 1% for a year by allowing 12 hours of lawlessness. While this dystopian action horror film is definitely not for the faint of heart and is referred to by many as a disguised B-film, it has a certain cult following. The series has earned more than $ 300 million so far and cost only $ 23 million.
James DeMonaco has been involved in creating and directing all Purge films except The First Purge. When DeMonaco was a child, he was obsessed with the Manson murders and admitted that the crazy Manson cult still has an impact on everything he writes.
Even if DeMonaco is not present in The First Purge, there are still many small details and symbols that fans may have missed when they first watched the film. For example, a poster for the 2018 Halloween film can be seen during a scene in The First Purge, but this confuses the timeline for the film itself, since the Purge should be set up in 2017.
There is also a recurring blue motif in The First Purge that becomes almost overwhelming as soon as you notice it. It colors the campaign signs, flags and pins of the New Founding Fathers of America. There are mercenaries wearing blue hoodies and even light blue contact lenses for Isaiah bathed in blue light and framed against blue walls.
2nd 6 underground – 2019
6 Underground made his debut on Netflix and played with Ryan Reynolds, Mélanie Laurent, Corey Hawkins and Dave Franco. Directed by Michael Bay, this film follows an American billionaire (played by Reynolds) who pretends his own death and forms a vigilante group to eliminate terrorists and other violent criminals.
Although the film’s reviews weren’t that great, most action fans love it. It was shot in Abu Dhabi and contains all the features of an action film: loud explosions, car accidents and incredibly attractive people. In other words, a typical Michael Bay film.
It was Michael Bay’s first try for Netflix and the streaming giant’s second most expensive film after Bright with Will Smith. The film stars of the real UAE soldiers acting as extras and the military also provided planes for use in multiple scenes. The yacht shown in the film was rented by Shahid Khan, a Pakistani-American billionaire who owns Flex-N-Gate and the NFL team Jacksonville Jaguars.
1 Bad Boys for Life – 2020
Fans of the Bad Boys films patiently waited for 17 years for the third film to be born. Bad Boys for Life was released in early 2020 and raised over $ 400 million. It’s also the highest-revenue film released in January.
Michael Bay made the first two Bad Boys films, the third was made by Adil El Arbi and Billal Farrah, two young Belgian directors. Will Smith was a co-producer alongside Jerry Bruckheimer and Doug Belgrad. Bay had a small cameo as a wedding MC in the film, which he staged himself with his well-known 360-degree camera angle. However, this scene creates a plot hole, as Bay also had a cameo in the second film, in which he plays the driver of a car hijacked by Mike and Marcus.
It was also because of Michael Bay’s constant struggles with the studio during the first Bad Boys film that a sequel and a consequent third film ever saw the light of day. Bay complained that he had to fight the studio to approve many creative decisions. He also had several battles with the crew trying to resist Bay’s unique scene cut method. This method was eventually mimicked by other directors after the first film was released.
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