my partner and i just watched ‘hard target’ and WHOO BOY. if that wasn’t a beautiful masterpiece i don’t know what is. my favorite part was when jean-claude van damme punched a rattlesnake in the face, bit off its tail, and used it to set a trap for the bad guys. are there even rattlesnakes in the bayou? irrelevant! THIS is the type of quality programming i am here for! also, lots of explosions.
so my question to you all - what are some other over-the-top 80s and 90s action movies we should watch?
I never saw the unedited version (although I think most of what was edited out for TV was the swearing), but Cliffhanger is a Sylvester Stallone action movie from '93. Honestly, it’s not that bad. It’s pretty typical for an over-the-top action movie. And John Lithgow is in it as well.
I can’t see that GIF of Matrix & Jenny and not take the opportunity to post a link to what is - in my opinion - a FLAWLESS musical interpretation of Commando; this is honestly worth all 3 minutes and 12 seconds, and then some. I have watched and listened to this sooo many times, if it was a CD it would be skipping all over the place from the scratches from repeat plays. Don’t let the word “musical” put you off either, if you are not inclined to watch musicals it doesn’t matter, it’s just… genius! The subtle hints of the original score are just sublime.
Frankly, anything and everything Legolambs produces is on another level; look out for his other Arnie classics turned into musicals (Predator, Total Recall, Conan, T2) and some of his others are just INCREDIBLE - A swing musical of The Thing? Legolambs’ has got you covered! One of the comments says its all “What we have here is an organism that imitates Frank Sinatra. And it imitates him perfectly!”
Back on topic, Under Siege probably ticks all the boxes of over the top 90’s action; when I think of cheesy 90’s action, that’s probably top of my list, and it’s just about watchable. “I’m just a cook…”
Ah yes, the films of John Woo. Check out Broken Arrow. (Face Off would be his epitome of an over-the-top action flick.) And then there’s Blackjack with Dolph Lungren. His character has a fear of the color white. I won’t spoil the ABSURD climatic battle… But DO NOT miss his vintage The Killer and Hard Boiled. Those are over the top in their sense of drama, but the action sequences are beautifully artistic as well.
Yes, this one is great for some giggles. So many great (awful) moments, like the fight scene in the bomber cockpit that’s unbelievably roomy and the 8-note bass line that is the bulk of the movie’s score (it WILL get stuck in your head).
Aren’t “80s and 90s” and “Over the top action movies” redundant synonyms? I mean, I am hard pressed to think of an action movie from the 80s/90s that ISN’T what would be called “over the top”. What is an example of an 80s action movie that isn’t over the top?
Nighthawks (1981). An explosion and chase scene early on then talk, tension, and exposition spacing the action evenly and the effect is modest and effective never quite “over the top.” 48 HRS (1982). Great story and action moments but not “over the top” in my opinion. A buddy movie if anything. Sudden Impact (1983). Grim atmosphere, lots of story, and two great action sequences although far from “over the top” given how much drama and procedural scenes are in it. Beverly Hills Cop (1984). Leisurely paced, essentially a cop comedy and a couple action beats. Not “over the top” either. First Blood (1982) effected the landscape a few years earlier and once First Blood Part II (1985) barreled in three years later nearly every big action film after emulated Part II.
this is a fair point. to give a more modern example, i’m looking for something like whichever ‘fast and the furious’ had a car going into space. so instead of just lots of explosions we’re going one step further into the realm of disbelief.