The suspension of disbelief is everything in movies. Filmmakers ask a lot of the audience. “Please watch our story and accept that most of what takes place can never actually happen in real life.” In return for the audience’s good faith, they get to be entertained. But sometimes, it’s all just too unbelievable, even for the most willing audience participant. Here are the most ludicrous action scenes in movies.
Of course, some of these weird and silly action sequences are totally entertaining. The idea that a single person (The Bride in Kill Bill) can defeat an army of 88(ish) trained fighters is totally, ridiculously insane. But that doesn’t mean the epic battle scene isn't a joy to behold. It's filmed with master precision by cinematic auteur Quentin Tarantino. In fact, Tarantino wants the scene to be absurd, in the most entertaining way possible.
On the other hand, some of these worst action movie sequences are just roll-your-eyes-way- to-the-back-of-your-head bad. Sharknado anyone? James Bond’s disappearing car? Could a helicopter really pick up a city bus?
Check out all those ridiculous action scenes and more. Then, let us know what you think are the worst action scenes in movies in the comments section below.
First things first. Action director extraordinaire John Woo asks a lot of the audience from jump street in his 1997 popcorn flick Face/Off. Spectators have to buy the premise that an FBI agent (John Travolta) is willing to undergo face-transplant surgery and take on the appearance and identity of the terrorist (Nic Cage) who killed his son, in order to stop an extortion plot. The spectator also has to buy that a surgeon is able to remove the faces of cop and terrorist, then successfully sew the other's face back on, without anyone knowing (including Travolta's wife in the film).
From there, there are literally a dozen scenes from Face/Off that could make this list. This one of Castor Troy (Cage) trying to escape on an airplane while Sean (Travolta) hops in a helicopter and safely lands on one of the plane's wings is pretty ridiculous. What are the chances the helicopter could take out one of the plane's engines without spinning totally out of control? If you said 0.0%, that's probably about right.
#19 on The Best Movies of 1997
The fourth installment of the Die Hard franchise ups the ante from Normal Cop John McClane Fights Bad Guys to Bruce Willis Is Vishnu, Destroyer of Worlds. In one particularly absurd/totally awesome scene, John McClane (Bruce Willis) probably would have died about ten different times while driving a tractor trailer with an F-35 fighter jet in pursuit (hey, it happens, okay?).
After a slew of bullets hit the truck's windshield, McClane drives up a collapsing piece of highway. Somehow, the entire cab of the truck is destroyed, yet McClane remains more or less uninjured (because why not?). When the truck gets turned upside down, our hero falls out of the back of the semi, and safely lands on the F-35. Then he jumps off the plane as it crashes and slides down a broken piece of road as the jet explodes on top of him. NBD.
Earlier in the movie, a car goes flying through a helicopter; there's all kids of vehicular mayhem and ground vs air destruction going on.
Remember how Bruce Lee would cut down dozens of charging fighters all by himself? Quentin Tarantino pays homage to Lee, and martial arts films in general (Shaw Brothers and classic samurai films, in particular), with his two-film opus Kill Bill. One of the most ridiculous battles in the first film takes place when The Bride (Uma Thurman) goes head-to-head with The Crazy 88 (not quite 88 enemies, but something close to it). She cuts through them like butter and walks away in her Game of Death-inspired yellow jumpsuit with hardly breaking a sweat.
Fun fact - in the American version of the film, the movie cuts to black and white when The Bride plucks out an enemy's eye. In some versions, such as the one released in Japan, this color change never happens. The scene is so bloody it would've been rated NC-17 if the fight, in all it's sanguineous glory, were shown in color. You can read about all the differences between the two versions here.
#76 on The Most Rewatchable Movies
#53 on The Goriest Movies Ever Made
#84 on The Best Movies of All Time
Hard Boiled (1992) was director John Woo's last Hong Kong film before he headed to Hollywood, where he found international fame and fortune with the likes of Face/Off and Mission: Impossible 2. Hard Boiled's epic hospital shootout, involving revenge-seeking cop Tequila (Chow Yun Fat), shows the officer must have some sort of invisible shield, which protects him from the thousands of close-range bullets headed directly at him.
Inspector Tequila also seems able to shoot all the bad guys, even when he can't see them. Call it intuition? In the end, Tequila carries a baby out of the hospital, and even with a child in his arms, can accurately shoot to kill gangsters while avoiding their bullets. Yet, as absurd as the scene (and film) is, Woo is able to keep it somewhat grounded, thanks to his ingenious decision to cast two of the great Chinese-language actors of all time - Chow Yun Fat and Tony Leung - as his leads. Their performances lend a gravitas to Hard Boiled that makes the film's absurdity a lot easier to swallow.
#49 on The Best Movies of 1992