Dear Action Fans,
Sometimes, the action just falls flat.
For this instalment of our Worst Movies A-Z series with WatchMojo, we’re looking at the lamest action films ever made. The kind of movies that felt like they were only kicking the audience in the teeth for getting their hopes up. Enjoy:
As you can see, we gave ourselves some guidelines:
- Worst film per letter
- Skip articles in the title (the, an, a, etc.)
- Big let-downs more likely to be picked
There are undoubtedly more pathetic independent action movies, but we are grading on a scale of expectations. That’s why the last point emphasizes “let-downs” - because when you love action movies, it’s much easier to hate the ones that duped you into getting excited.
But, as they say, failure is the best teacher, so here’s a bit of what we learned along the way:
LESSONS FROM WORST ACTION A-Z
WORST DECADE: 2000s
The Bourne movies may have felt like a breath of fresh air for the high-octane genre, but the shaky cam aesthetic nearly ruined a decade's worth of coherent action. The effects of which are still felt today. Say what you want about Michael Bay, but the man makes love to his action scenes - even if the content is still a steaming pile of crashing garbage (we singled out Revenge of the Fallen as the worst Transformers film, but really, take you pick).
WORST LETTER: S
S might as well stand for Super Shiity Sequel, because we got a lot of them: from Speed, to Species, to Street Fighter (not that the first Street Fighter was any good, either). Add on top some of the worst Sylvester Stallone entries with The Specialist, and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, and you’re still only scratching the surface. But it just becomes too painful to dig any deeper.
CHEATED OUT: Cobra
It might be the ultimate “so good it’s bad” action movie, and for that reason we left this Stallone shoot ‘em up off the list. Though we could have easily said we cheated out Rambo III, or any number of other Stallone movies. But let’s face it, the guy’s whole filmography is something of a guilty pleasure.
BEST BATTLE: A Good Day to Die Hard vs Getaway
What’s worse? A peak action franchise phoning it in with a completely regrettable fifth instalment, or a smart(ish) simple premise executed with enough budget and star power to not have any excuse to be so GD bad? We called Getaway the greater offender, because it’s just an insult to editing and action filmmaking. Plus, Bruce Willis already had a few more entries on the list 0 his whole career has turned into C-movie videos, so there’s only so much picking on the man we could do.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATION: Kangaroo Jack
If you’re thinking this is just a kids movie, you were deceived by the marketing along with anyone else. They tried to scale back the peril and play up the laughs when they realized what a stinker they had, but that wasn’t enough to let them hide from our list. We see you, Jack.
Think your list would be better (aka worse)? Let us know.
Dear Cast & Crew