Some movie genres are never meant to go out of fashion and will always dominate cinemas with their irresistible appeal. That’s what action thrillers are meant to do: keep your heart racing. While one may have seen enough of car chases, mind-numbing suspense, and even that chilling drama, the truth is that it’s rare for one to be bored by the adrenaline rush, one experiences while watching an action-thriller on the big screen.

Listed below are some of the all-time favorites that are not yet forgotten for their high-end visceral quality:

1) Death Race

Genre(s): Action, Thriller, Sci-Fi

Released: 2008

Synopsis: The action-thriller Death Race is believed as a prequel to Death Race 2000, which was released in 1975 as a motion picture and is based on the short story: The Racer by Ib Melchior. Set in the dystopian Terminal Island where some of the hardcore criminals are locked up, this is the story of Jensen Ames, who has wrongfully been framed for the murder of his wife that he did not commit. And is now locked up in the country’s toughest penitentiary. He is asked to compete in Death Race as the fabled Frankenstein, the driver known for his deadly speed on the racetracks.

Ames can either take up the choice offered by the warden or spend the rest of his life and rot in jail forever. Getting an unexpected chance at freedom makes Ames consent to the offer. Provided with the essentials: a terrific pit crew and an automobile, which is no less wicked. The racecar is equipped with many terrifying features from flamethrowers to grenade launchers. The idea of the race is to race for freedom while eliminating vicious competition in the meantime as it is telecasted online.

Although the movie received mixed reviews, from critics and audiences, the remake is anything but boring. It has a different vibe than the original one. The contemporary pace of the movie keeps one on the edge since the scenes cut frantically, swooshing from one to another. But it is not as impactful as was anticipated by viewers, who have been fans of the original movie. Maybe that’s because the viewer is no longer sitting in the future, they are the future today.

That’s why probably one finds that the chase scenes could have been better, even if they dash by. However, it is the intensity of on-screen violence that needs to be regulated since adding a warning note in the end credits is merely not even enough and is considered downright laughable.

2) Taken

Genre(s): Action, Thriller, Crime Fiction

Released: 2008

Synopsis: The effervescent Kim is the apple of her father’s eye and like any seventeen-year-old wants to explore the world. Her father, Bryan Mills is almost retired from the CIA and has shifted to live close to his daughter in California, who lives with her mother and her stepfather. However, Kim wants to travel to different cities in Europe, starting with Paris, where she would be staying with her best friend’s cousins. To fly abroad, she needs her father’s permission to do so.

Being former Black Ops, Mills is concerned about international guidelines and unwilling to let his pride and joy wander off in new cities, knowing fully well, how dangerous these glamorous cities can be. However, his ex-wife, Lenore brushes off all his concerns and tells him that he is being too ‘cautious’. Nonetheless, to make his daughter happy, he reluctantly signs the permission form and lets her go under some conditions, to which Kim agrees.

Unfortunately, all his fears come true, when Mills hears his daughter being dragged away by goons, who turn out to be Albanian human traffickers. With the clock ticking and Mills having less than 4 days, the seasoned CIA specialist needs to move fast to rescue his young daughter before she delves deeper into trouble.

Taken is fast-paced when it comes to its story, with each scene and action sequence being focused and moving at a ferocious velocity. Although the whole idea of one man being able to defeat roomfuls of men is simply outrageous, the credit needs to be given to the actor and the director, who makes it believable.

Although the action-thriller received mixed reactions from critics and audiences alike yet it’s considered a turning point in Neeson’s movie career, redefining his journey while transforming him into the action movie star that he is known today. This movie is the first of a three-movie series and is followed by two sequels.

A TV series that premiered on NBC in 2017 follows the timeline of a younger Mills. Since the movie Taken is a pretty popular title, it’s usually available both for rent and for purchase on major movie streaming options. Why not check out the various movie options available on Select TV, that promise fast and reliable speedy streaming and HD quality video for a decent monthly price.

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3) Face/Off

Genre(s): Action, Thriller, Science Fiction, Crime

Released: 1997

Synopsis: Special Agent, Sean Archer of the FBI is after the trail of the influential Castor Troy, who is also a criminal mastermind. However, in his attempt to corner and assassinate Archer, Troy mistakenly gets Michael, Archer’s young son. Even though he is one tough FBI Agent, Archer still grieves the loss of Michael and wouldn’t rest until he captures his son’s killer. However, Archer finally gets a chance to corner Castor and captures him when he finds out that a terrorist bomb has been planted all over L.A. city.

Unfortunately, in his fight to capture Troy, Archer knocks him out so bad that he ends up being comatose and no one except for Troy’s brother, Pollux knows the whereabouts of the bomb. Since Pollux won’t talk to anyone but Troy, it is suggested that Archer take up Troy’s identity. A special plastic surgeon is called in, who performs the surgical procedure, taking off Troy’s face and putting it on Archer. With the operation is successful, Troy is sent to the prison that’s holding Pollux to retrieve the information about the bomb.

On the other hand, Troy who was believed to be in a deep coma awakens. And forces the doctor and his team to put Archer’s face on his. While simultaneously destroying all documentation and killing off the surgical team in the process. Soon he visits the prison where Archer is held and taunts him that no evidence is left that the real Archer is in prison. And threaten to destroy everything that Archer has built so far, putting his life, family, career, and national security in jeopardy.

Being a John Woo action-thriller, this movie contains some of his signature high-tech elements. Such as impressive stunts or the unbelievable chases in implausible settings or the use of tech for the operation or inside the prison. Yet none can beat the performances, where each actor feels as if they are an unwelcome visitor in a host body. When the two faces change, so does the personality. And each has to convince the other’s close relations that they are indeed themselves rather than someone else.

This movie is nothing more than a sleight of hand, which makes it one fantastic watch! Download it now if you haven’t seen it yet.

Wrapping Up

Action thrillers are meant to be exhilarating, so irrespective you visit the genre occasionally or are always on the lookout for new titles, some of the above-mentioned films are downright spectacular and continue to be an audience’s favorite.

Although keeping the cinema-going audience intrigued for a long time is tricky, film directors and screenplay writers are always experimenting to see what clicks and what does not. Enjoy them as they are!

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