A 2nd (better) Opinion On The Scant Awesome Of Decade Aught
OK, as a new and basic rule, I’ve decided that I shan’t be making any “Top __ Lists” so far as action films are concerned, anymore.
While I still have much love for the activity, and fuck knows I have opinions to share, I know myself well enough to understand that if I start talking about action flicks, all my creativity and valid/interesting points will be said and spent quickly, leaving me little original thoughts when the time comes to do a breakdown on them. So, rather than risk devouring my own written feces, I’ll just give a basic lowdown of what little I thought rocked this last despicable decade.
The Year 2000 – And We’re Off Like A Turtle!
Slow, but steady, thanks in retrospect to two Asian cinema visionaries: Kinji Fukasaku (BATTLE ROAYLE) and John Woo (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2). At the time I was still in High School and thought Rob Schneider was funny, so my obvious lack of good taste and common sense must have kept me easily entertained despite the lack of quality entertainment. Taste is lost on the youth.
The Year 2001 – The Year My Murder Boner Died
Man, these 12 months were shit! Absolute fucking shit–save for three movies: 3000 MILES TO GRACELAND, BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF and the first LOTR. Two of which I didn’t see until years later. I’m actually shocked I didn’t kill myself that Christmas. Oh, and 9/11 was also pretty sad.
The Year 2002 – Fuck Me, It Actually Got Worse
With all the Superhero bullshit buzzing around, one film actually delivered the goods: BLADE 2. Wesley Snipes’s last good movie. Man, that’s sad. Also, director Zhang Yimou began his Martial Arts Trilogy with the stellar HERO. One of the few films I’ve actually owed first, THEN gone to see in the theater just for the experience. That’s it for that year.
The Year 2003 – A New Hope
Kill Bill / Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl / The Last Samurai / Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior… WE’RE SAVED!!! A new Tarantino film (and it’s a fucking martial arts homage!), a family friendly, big-budget summer film that was actually well written and entertaining, Dances With Tigers and the introduction of the new Jackie Chan (which thankfully made us all briefly forget about the Old Americanized one). All-in-all, not too shabby.
The Year 2004 – The Suck Strikes Back
Thank fuck for the decade’s repeat heroes: Tarantino, Yimou and Pixar. For without KILL BILL: VOL 2., HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS and THE INCREDIBLES, the only thing I’d have been left with to enjoy was KUNG FU HUSTLE, which was great fun, but a send-up flick does not a badass year make.
The Year 2005 – The Dropping Of The Bawls
With Robert Rodriguez’s return to adult entertainment: SIN CITY. A still sane Tony Jaa producing arguably the funnest, most batshit martial arts flick of the decade, TOM YUM GOONG (though BORN TO FIGHT was a serious contender). A rare enjoyable PG-13 non-Bond spy film: MR. & MRS. SMITH. And a gritty, dark Korean gangster thriller that quickly became an all-time favorite of mine: A BITTERSWEET LIFE; 2005 almost rained testosterone. These films combined with watching LOST, made the rebel alliance of my inner action geekdom dance in the tree tops.
The Year 2006 – The Return Of The King
Bond–James, Bond. CASINO ROYALE was a breath of fresh awesome and jumpstarted the 007 series like lightning to the crotch. Not to mention the return of Ethan Hunt in M:I III and a re-vamped Selene Lycan Slayer in the only enjoyable entry of the Underworld Series, UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION. This year also brought with it an unlikely contender for ‘best of’, a Paul Walker movie: RUNNING SCARED. Yeah, I didn’t see that one coming either. Oh, and the lone repeating 80s style hero of the decade, Jason Statham, finally made a really good film with CRANK.
The Year 2007 – Everything Good Gets Ignored*
GRINDHOUSE: probably the single best theater experience of the decade, makes shit and disappears to the sound of jack-offs bitching about too much talking. SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO: admit it, you’ve never heard of it. SHOOT ‘EM UP: 5 Million opening weekend. Five. EPIC MOVIE made 18 ½… I hate you all.
The Year 2008 – The Decade Get’s Stallowned!!!
John J. Rambo returns after a 20 year absence and my thoughts of ritualistic suicide are relieved and put on hold. Not only that, but after 8 long years, it seems that a couple people in Hollywood are actually able to wrap their heads around the concept of making a well written, serious Superhero movie: IRON MAN and THE DARK KNIGHT. Not to mention the return of the world’s greatest hero, Frank Castle in PUNISHER: WAR ZONE and Steven Seagal (as played by Liam Neeson) to the big screen (as seen on you tube–fuck paying to watch that PG bullshit when the REAL cut of the film was on the net two months before American theaters). And even Tony Jaa managed to come down from Crazy Mountain long enough to piece together ONG BAK 2 (well, mostly). 2008: easily the best year of the decade.
The Year 2009 – An Omen Of Potential
Rentals reigned supreme as practically everything I liked this past year failed fast on the big screen (WATCHMEN, CRANK: HIGH VOLTAGE, PUSH) and DTV gems like BLOOD & BONE and FFVII: ADVENT CHILDREN COMPLETE. But, all things good were not all left to be found on the bottom shelf, as success stories STAR TREK, DISTRICT 9 and ZOMBIELAND were all largely well-received, AND actually really good. So, I guess I can’t complain too much about the tail end of Aught. At least it didn’t end the way it began, that’s for fucking sure a relief.
So, there you have it. For the most part… as I still have yet to see BLACK DYNAMITE, NINJA and BOONDOCK SAINTS 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO. But I doubt any of those will rock me like a hurricane. And in closing, I’ll give you a title-only list of my favorite ten action flicks of the decade, in order, if for nothing else than to hint at what my drawn out thoughts might entail in future breakdowns. Thanks for readin’.
10. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (2001-03)
09. Mission: Impossible 2 (2000)
08. Grindhouse (2007)
07. The Pirates Of The Caribbean Trilogy (2003-07)
06. Kill Bill (2003-04)
05. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete (2009)
04. House Of Flying Daggers (2004)
03. Casino Royale (2006)
02. Rambo (2008)
01. A Bittersweet Life (2005)
*[Editor’s Note: This Could Easily Have Been The Name Of Our Website]