The 355, which stars Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Fan Bingbing, Penélope Cruz, Diane Kruger, and Sebastian Stan, is the latest action extravaganza with a great all-star cast. To celebrate, we decided to take a look at other all-star action films in case the movie leaves you wanting even more bloody mayhem.
While not a “violent” guns and blood-styled action thriller, The Avengers still boasts an all-star ensemble who team up to take down a powerful villain. In fact, you can pencil in all the Avengers films, along with Captain America: Civil War and the latest Marvel blockbuster, Spider-Man: No Way Home, as perfect examples of ridiculously stacked action flicks that deliver memorable scenes and some great casting choices.
Similarly, the Fast and Furious franchise has essentially become a series of team-up films, boasting stars such as Vin Diesel, the late Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Gal Gadot, Kurt Russell, and even Jason Statham, who typically team up for “one last job/ride” and end up killing a whole lotta people.
Still, Fast Five is the first in the ongoing series that felt like a real event film and set up any number of storylines that would play out in later entries.
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The Expendables 2
Where 2010’s The Expendables was the first to bring together an ensemble of former 80s action icons, 2012’s The Expendables 2 was the one that got it right. Directed by Simon West, the sequel ditches the drama that weighed down its predecessor and gives Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham a chance to go toe-to-toe with Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terry Crews, and Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Make no mistake, Con Air is pure Hollywood trash, but it’s very good Hollywood trash. This action bonanza never takes itself seriously in its tale of a prisoner battling a group of prisoners aboard a hijacked aircraft. The all-star cast, namely Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich, Mykelti Williamson, Ving Rhames, Dave Chappell, Danny Trejo, John Cusack, and Steve Buscemi, are clearly having a blast, and their enthusiasm is quite infectious.
Many consider John McTiernan’s 1987 blockbuster Predator, about a group of mercenaries battling a deadly alien in Central America, an Arnold Schwarzenegger film. While the pic eventually turns into precisely that in its last 20 or so minutes, the first two acts feature a bang-up collection of action vets, including Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Sonny Landham, and Shane Black, all of whom get their chance to shine in one of the best action pics of the 80s.
Charlie’s Angels may feel like a relic of the early 2000s, but it’s also one of the few all-star female action pics around thanks to a cast that includes Charlize Theron, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu. Directed by McG, the film leans more on camp than in-your-face action, but there’s still plenty of whiz-bang spectacle to keep adrenaline junkies satisfied for 90 minutes. Plus, it has Bill Murray. What’s not to like?
The Dirty Dozen
There was a time where war movies were all the rage leading many movie stars to enlist in films such as Kelly’s Heroes, Stalag 17, The Great Escape, From Here to Eternity, and The Longest Day, among several others. One of the best examples of the era was The Dirty Dozen, an out-and-out WWII action film that sees the likes of Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, and John Cassavetes team up for a suicidal mission behind enemy lines.
Heat may be considered more of a character drama, but Michael Mann’s thriller also boasts one of the greatest shootouts you’re likely to see. The 1994 crime thriller marked the first film since The Godfather Part II to feature Robert De Niro and Al Pacino (and the first to actually show the iconic duo on screen at the same time), but also includes heavy hitters such as Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Ashley Judd, and Dennis Haysbert.
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The Magnificent Seven
A remake of the classic film Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven brought together A-list actors Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Eli Wallach, Robert Vaughn, and James Coburn for an action western unlike any other. The Western also features one of the all-time great scores by Elmer Bernstein.
Kill Bill: Vol 1 & 2
Finally, while not exactly a team-up movie, Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 still includes an incredible ensemble led by Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, and Michael Madsen. With great action sequences and an epic story spanning two films, these classics are always worth a watch.