2013 was another fantastic year for the action genre, and moviegoers the world over were treated to a veritable cornucopia of big-budget flicks that combined high-octane action, incredible cinematography, and genuine heroes to really get the adrenaline pumping in audiences of all ages. Without any further fanfare, then, I present the top ten action movies of 2013:
10. World War Z
If there are two things that contemporary movie watchers just can’t get enough of, it’s Brad Pitt and zombies. The highly anticipated World War Z brought the two together in this action packed Summer blockbuster that saw Pitt and co taking on the legions of the undead in this post-apocalyptic drama. With big-budget combat scenes galore and enough stumbling zombies to haunt the dreams of even those that would consider themselves the most aptly prepared for the end of days. Certainly not one to miss if you want to be kept on the edge of your seat for the duration, almost jumping off of it at every turn.
9. Man of Steel
It was a new face taking on the role of everyone’s favourite childhood superhero in Zack Snyder’s reboot of the DC Comics series, and Henry Cavill donned the blue suit and red cape to deliver a strikingly admirable performance. With production handled by Christopher Nolan (of The Dark Knight fame) there was never really any doubt that this was going to be anything other than breathtaking, this exploration of the man of steel’s origins is a must-see for both diehard fans of the comic books and fans of the action genre all at once.
8. The Fast and the Furious 6
A series known for getting more and more ludicrous with each and every instalment was back with a predictably sizeable bang once again this Summer. Now wanted fugitives, Vin Diesel, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Paul Walker get back behind the wheel to take down a lethal mercenary outfit in order to clear their names and return to living some semblance of a normal life. Expect fast action, faster cars, and a whole lot of burning rubber. Petrolheads and laymen alike will be hooked from start to finish in a movie that just oozes masculinity.
7. The Wolverine
Another big-budget superhero movie to grace the silver screen this year saw Hugh Jackman once again reprising his role as everyone’s favourite X-man as the series veered off in a different direction, exploring what would happen if the unthinkable were to come about – after travelling to Japan to re-engage an old acquaintance, Logan finds himself stripped of his immortality, forcing him to gear up for his most dangerous fight yet. Tackling both an army of deadly samurai and his own inner demons, it’s a gritty, action-packed romp that will leave viewers impressed and amazed, as Jackman once again shows just why he’s been portraying Wolverine for so many years now.
6. Kick-Ass 2
The eagerly anticipated follow-up to 2010’s Kick Ass came leaping onto our screens this year, as Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz returned to pick up where the first left off. Neglected child Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), still reeling from the death of his father at the first outing’s climax, suffers yet another personal tragedy that truly pushes him into becoming a full-on supervillain, and our heroes must face their most difficult struggle yet if they want to keep both themselves and the city safe once more. Expect nail bitingly tense fight scenes, flashy costumes, and a foul-mouthed young lady in this hugely enjoyable sequel.
5. Thor: The Dark World
Another admirable entry into the roster of 2013’s superhero movies was this sequel to 2011’s original Thor that saw Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman reprising their critically-acclaimed roles from the first time around. As the man with the giant hammer once again faces off against hordes of ancient warriors in order to keep the peace, you can expect fast-paced action scenes galore, stunning cinematography shot on beautiful locations, and enough Viking mythology to leave you wanting to don a pointed helmet for yourself. Not one to miss.
4. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Another sequel to score highly with both fans and critics alike was the follow-up to last year’s initial adaptation of the first of Suzanne Collins’ more contemporary Western take on Battle Royale. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mallark (Josh Hutcherson), by now experienced in the field of combat following the events of the first movie, return to the fray to aid and assist a new generation of tributes as they compete for the world’s entertainment in the sadistic titular Hunger Games. Well-received once more for its excellent pacing and likeable cast, ignore it at your peril.
3. Iron Man 3
The third entry in this Marvel blockbuster series saw Robert Downey Jr. climb inside the iconic red and yellow suit once again. Tony Stark (a man who by now is deeply, deeply troubled), faced with the threat of a formidable terrorist organisation known only as the Mandarin, must now do battle with both himself and these external forces in order to prevent the destruction of not only the planet, but himself as a whole. With big budget combat scenes, incredible CGI, and yet another suitably gritty performance by the leading man, you’d be remiss to ignore this on the basis of it being “just another sequel”.
2. Star Trek into Darkness
Four year’s on from 2009’s very well-received original, J.J. Abrams’ vision of the crew of the USS Enterprise came warping back onto our screens once more this summer, as this big-budget romp through galaxies huge and distant thrilled audiences worldwide. The exceedingly likeable cast reprised their roles from the original in this sequel set one year later. It’s a hugely pulsating depiction of a battle against the historically famous Klingons and the newly-looming threat of cyber terrorism that is sure to leave you hooked on its excellent writing and in awe of its magnificent cinematography. Set phasers to stun indeed.
1. Pacific Rim
The coveted number one spot on our list goes to one of only two new non-sequels that made the cut, and oh my is it a worthy occupant of this position. Pacific Rim’s wonderfully unique premise is one you don’t want to miss; in the ultimate sci-fi and fantasy combination we see mythical monsters rising from the very depths of the ocean going head to head with gigantic man-made robots in a battle of epic proportions taking place in the not-too-distant future. Think Transformers but without the damaging influence of Michael Bay and you’re well on the way to appreciating the sheer scale of this movie. Definitely the rightful claimant for top spot on any list.
So there you have it – the top ten action movies to come flying, driving, kicking, and yelling onto our screens in 2013. This list is an excellent sample of the levels of creative flair and high-octane action we were treated to this year, but it’s by no means conclusive and naturally a few excellent releases did not make the cut. If you’re looking to spice up your movie-watching life, just sit down and watch all of the movies on this list: your blood will really be pumping afterwards!