It seems that you cannot express an opinion about a film these days without these days without encountering someone with a smartphone who is all too eager to wag their finger with one hand whilst pointing out that film's IMDB score with the other. It isn't all about IMDB ratings however, particularly with the action film genre and its millions of highly opinionated fans who just love a good internet war against anyone whose opinion dares to differ from theirs. With this in mind, this is a roundup of the very best action films that the film industry in 2015 had to offer, and IMDB rating is not the main criteria for any film's inclusion here.
Mad Max Fury Road
If there was one single a film that you could show to an alien life-form in order to give them an idea of the best action film the human race had to offer in 2015, it would be Mad Max: Fury Road. Director George Miller's 120-minute masterpiece in action-film direction has been described as a 'Krakatoan eruption of craziness' by the Telegraph, and it is very difficult to disagree with this analysis. Though it isn't particularly difficult to fill Mel Gibson's notorious anti-Semitic shoes, Tom Hardy brings an undeniably impressive performance.
The biggest nod goes to Charlize Theron here however, whose incredibly strong portrayal of fellow protagonist Imperator Furiosa is reflective of the film's generally remarkable portrayal of female characters. Action scenes seem to lay end-to-end with this film, with each chase barely ending before another begins. The result is arguably the greatest action movie of 2015, with a fantastic website to boot.
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens
While Mad Max: Fury Road may be the most impressive and gritty action film of 2015, the award for the film with the most hype and anticipation surrounding it goes to Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. The film is directed by J.J. Abrams and will be the seventh instalment in what is for many people the greatest science fiction film series of all time. It is set 30 years after the events of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and marks the introduction of new characters such as Finn and Rey, as well as the return of some familiar faces portrayed by Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and many more.
With a third trilogy already having been announced (therefore guaranteeing a returning audience for the next two films), many will question whether these films' very existence are necessary. Given the original Star Wars Trilogy, The Force Awakens on its own certainly stands on the shoulders of giants, but whether the two successive films will have such an impact remains to be seen.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Colin Firth's portrayal of frightfully British yet devilishly Hollywood-esque agent Harry Hart only falls slightly short of dispatching enemies with a cup of earl grey tea in one hand and a gun in the other. Firth's character takes a young ne'er-do-well under his wing to train him up, and the events that ensure are best described as director Matthew Vaughn's nod to the best (and also the worst) spy films of the past few decades.
For most franchises, reaching the seventh instalment is an event that usually denotes that things have gone wrong somewhere between the 3rd and the 5th chapter of said franchise. It seems that the Fast and Furious franchise cannot be killed off however, and the 7th movie is made all the more immune from criticism due to the late Paul Walker's presence within. Many will see Furious 7 and being as unnecessary as the latest Die Hard or Rocky films, but it does have some impressive action sequences and the presence of hollywood giants such as Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel to carry it to the finish line.
Considering that Ant-Man is one of the most preposterous concepts for a superhero ever devised, the film based on said concept is surprisingly enjoyable. Its enjoyable action scenes see Paul Rudd (a fantastic comedic actor by any definition) often morphing from microscopic to normal sized in one fell swoop. The film isn't quite as humorous as Guardians of the Galaxy however, and fails to be quite as insistent on the same standards of unrelenting charm that seem to govern the Iron Man series.
The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron
This is one film where the IMDB rating seems to have gotten it about right. Avengers 2 isn't a terrible film. It isn't even an average film either: it sits just above average when compared with the other-big hitters on the list. Frequent pop-culture references are present in order to keep the fresh, young audiences feeling like they're somehow part of the Avengers gang, which also has quite the cast list (Downey Jr, Hemsworth, Evans, and Ruffalom, Johansson to name a few). Whedon's Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer-esque style keeps things camp and pop in equal measure, with a good quantity, with just enough mystery and mythology thrown in to keep people happy (yet not ecstatic in the case of this movie-goer).
Whether this was a necessary sequel or not, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. From the extremely impressive CGI to the virtually constant nods to the previous Jurassic Park films, Jurassic World is made enjoyable not only through Chris Pratt's (physically and figuratively) strong performance, but also via the appearance of various blasts from the past such as the original Jurassic Park jeep, an allusion to Goldblum's legacy (in the form of a book by Ian Malcolm) , and of course the iconic T-Rex returning to act as the hero of the entire film.
Mission Impossible 5: Rogue Nation
This fifth instalment in the Mission Impossible series sees Tom Cruise's triumphant return with a performance that made everyone feel as if he never left the big screen. Rogue Nation manages to touch upon Magnum Opus territory with its marriage of the many different styles that have been characteristic of the MI series thus far. With a sequel already in the works, Mission Impossible 5 may have been a little bit about the money, but is as enjoyable as a film whose potential box office performance was secondary to how well put together it is.
A film would have to do a lot to be worse than Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines/ Terminator: Salvation. Luckily, Genisys manages to be marginally better than its disappointing predecessors. Though this film can comfortably be described as being the epitome of the sequel that never needed to be, you might find yourself enjoying its action scenes on occasion, though this enjoyment comes in spite of rather than because of the ridiculous plot.
All of the hype surrounding Spectre has been largely focused on the fact that it is Daniel Craig's final performance as James Bond. Let's not forget however, that Spectre's storyline is an exciting one, involving the aftermath of Silva's attack on MI6. You'll also find an impressive cast that includes Ralph Fiennes, Cristoph Waltz, Ben Whishaw, and of course Craig himself. The official Spectre Site yields more information on the film, as well as an exciting trailer.