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Directed by Camille Delamarre
Ed Skrein takes over for Jason Statham in this fourth entry in the Transporter series, which finds our hero Frank Martin thrust into danger again when he takes an assignment and ends up in the middle of a bank heist and kidnapping scheme against the evil Arkady Karasov (Radivoje Bukvic), human trafficker with some decidedly naughty history.
The Moment: In a film full of ridiculousness, at one point, Martin gives chase to Karasov who has kidnapped Anna (Loan Chabanol), who hired Frank in the first place. On water, Karasov is in a high-speed boat while Martin leaps onto a JetSki (overtaking the henchman operating it) and goes after him, skipping across the water in his Men in Black suit and tie. Karasov reaches land first and knocks the girl out, throwing her in the back of a Mercedies-Benz SUV while Martin races closer. With Karasov now in the driver’s seat, pulling away perpendicular along the beach, Martin speeds onto shore and using the momentum gained by the JetSki stopping short in the sand, leaps feet forward and crashes straight into the passenger side window because physics be damned.
Directed by Brad Peyton
When a series of devastating earthquakes rock the West coast, family man Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson), a helicopter rescue pilot, swings into action to save his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) and daughter (Alexandra Daddario).
The Moment: Esteemed seismologist Lawrence Hayes (Paul Giamatti) and his colleague Dr. Kim Park (Will Yun Lee) are at Hoover Dam confirming that their latest tracking methods can actually predict an earthquake. Just in time too, as the equipment registers a sudden 7.1 and begins to tear apart the famous landmark. While Lawrence scrambles to safety, Kim isn’t so lucky as he stops to save a terrified young girl cowering against a wall as the place begins to crumble. As the ground disintegrates behind him as he run, he tosses the girl to Hayes just as he looses his step and a rebar impales his foot. Trapped as the dam falls into the river, he tells the girl to close her eyes, then disappears into the swirl of crashing water and concrete rubble.
Directed by James Wan
The seventh in the long running franchise and the last to star the late Paul Walker, Furious 7 was another international blockbuster that saw the gang take on bad guy Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), globetrotting about the world in fast and furious cars.
The Moment: Brian O’Conner (Walker) and the crew are trying to rescue a kidnapped computer hacker named Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) from a convoy as they travel through the mountains. While Dominic (Vin Diesel) and the rest contend with armored cars and gunfire, O’Conner manages to get into the big bus up front and needs to fight off a particularly skilled henchmen name Kiet (Tony Jaa). Meanwhile, the driver is killed and the bus goes careening out of control with O’Conner inside. Once he’s defeated Kiet, now he needs to get out, a not-so-easy task. The bus comes to precarious stop on a very high cliff with O’Conner having to go out the front and up and over the top as the bus tips and eventually falls over the ledge. He leaps off just as it if topples and lands on the back end of Letty’s (Michelle Rodriguez) Dodge Challenger. Oh yeah. It was also real.
Directed by Colin Trevorrow
The fourth in the series, Jurassic World takes place twenty years after the events of the first and sees the infamous island of Isla Nubar now as a fully-functioning dino-amusement park, which for a few certain beasts means: buffet.
The Moment: A monster dinosaur of unimaginable dinosaurishness has been lab-created by the good people of InGen and naturally it escapes. The park, woefully under-prepared for such an event, now relies on Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), a Raptor trainer (that’s a thing) to round up his dino crew and hunt down the killer beast. Objecting to the idea at first, Owen soon realizes it’s the best chance the people have and with a few of his fellow training assistants, mounts motocross bikes and quads, and rides out into the jungle alongside the raptors to fend off the seemingly unstoppable Indominus Rex. It’s gloriously absurd and oh-so-awesome.
Directed by Sam Mendes
The 24th in the decades-long franchise sees James Bond (Daniel Craig) meet the author of all his pain in Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), a nefarious bad guy who, naturally, wants to take over the world as only he can.
The Moment: At the start of the film, Bond is on an unsanctioned mission (which he seems to do a lot), and attempts to kill three men plotting to set off a bomb with a sniper shot but accidentally explodes the device in a Mexico City building during the Day of the Dead celebration. Seems appropriate. From there, he chases the surviving target through the streets and into a waiting helicopter that takes off above the throngs of astonished people trying to enjoy the festival. Bond fights the bad guy and the pilot, trying to stop him and land the aircraft in a swirling, spinning, barrel-rolling moment of airborne acrobatics that only Bond could do.
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Harry Hart (Colin Firth), a high ranking member of the super secret Kingsman, recruits the son of a former member, and while he is unrefined and not wholly trained, shows incredible promise and put into the field to fight Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), a billionaire looking to reduce the population with some rather psychotic methods.
The Moment: Hart finds himself in a quaint little church after tracking Valentine to Kentucky. Unfortunately, Valentine transmits a signal that triggers an uncontrollable violent streak in anyone with in range, and with everyone locked in the church, the whole congregation goes on a demented killing spree with Hart, also affected, right in the middle of it. What follows is a super-stylish bloodbath of Biblical proportions as Hart, with far superior skills (and a handgun) obliterates the ravenous crowd. It’s gruesome, ridiculous fun.
Directed by Peyton Reed
Petty burglar Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is just released from prison, only to get cleverly recruited by scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) to become the next Ant-Man, donning a special suit that shrinks Lang to insect size but with amazing strength and the ability to communicate with bugs.
The Moment: Once trained by Pym and Home, Lang is tasked with stopping a mad doctor (and former colleague of Pym) who also has harnessed the power of atomic reduction, but with plans to use it for far more nefarious reasons. Yellowjacket (Corey Stoll) is armed with powerful lasers and is meant to be militarized but still has flaws. The superhero and the villain eventually clash at Scott’s daughter’s house, in her bedroom on her Thomas the Tank train set. The tiny scale means nothing to the two combatants who fight to the death on the play set but is hilarious to watch as the little battle unfolds. The tropes of a train and impending doom are setup and delivered with absolute perfection. Choo-choo.
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie
And yet another sequel on this list, this is the fifth movie in the Mission: Impossible series and features Tom Cruise once again as the unbreakable Ethan Hunt, IMF agent now disavowed and needing to track down and stop the Syndicate, a nefarious organization of international criminals that has thus far remained entirely secret as these things tend to be in spy movies.
The Moment: In the film’s opening mission, the team are trying to prevent “the package” from a leaving on a massive Airbus A400, which is taxing down a runway. In a field nearby, IMF agent Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) is trying to hack into the computer flight system and stop it but can’t get access so Hunt literally leaps from a hill onto the wing and scurries down to the fuselage and clings to a door, instructing Dunn to open it remotely. It doesn’t go so well and the plane takes off with Ethan grappling at some handholds, the thrust so powerful it knocks his feet up into the air, flopping him about like a windsock in a hurricane. And like everything Cruise does in these films, it’s real. It’s him. It’s bonkers. It’s awesome.
Directed by George Miller
Another sequel but one that changed the game. Long after a nuclear war has ravaged the planet, the survivors fight to stay alive in a world where water is like gold and the ones who have it live like kings. Mad Max (Tom Hardy) is in the title, but the story is all about the women as Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a once proud female lieutenant in Immortan Joe’s (Hugh Keays-Byrne) despotic kingdom steals his wives and heads for freedom.
The Moment: The whole damn film. From start to finish. Beginning to end. This is a mad house of incredible action and chaos that stunned the movie going world as a 70-year-old visionary director schooled every other director in the action movie business and brought the wow back to cinemas. With jaw-dropping practical effects delivered with a creative passion unlike anything anyone had seen before, Fury Road set a new bar and everyone has been playing catch-up since. This should be the new definition of awesome in every new dictionary printed going forward.
What do you think? What ridiculously awesome action moments did you like in 2015? Let us know in the comments below.