I tried really hard to come up with an ode but they’re actually much harder to write than what I was expecting. I’m no Chris Martin unfortunately. Just gonna write a conventional post about the topic I guess. Still sticking with the original title though!
Okay, let’s go back to when I was seven years old. The internet wasn’t as prevalent as it is now. My dad had an old Sony DVD Player and a big drawer full of CDs for it in his room.
We used to go shopping for DVDs together. Stores like Planet M and Music World were the real deal. They’ve all closed down now sadly, but I can still picture those long aisles of action film cds.
In that drawer, one particular disc had a cover that really piqued my interest. On the cover was the man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger sitting on a really cool bike wearing black glasses with a shotgun in his hand. Yep, Terminator 2 : Judgement Day. The 1991 film that changed sci-fi forever.
I asked my Dad what this film was about because I was so in awe of Arnold and how cool he looked. He told me it wasn’t a film for kids and that I should never take it out without asking again.
But as you can probably guess, one day when Mom and Dad were out shopping, I popped in the CD and started watching what is now one of my favourite films of all time.
Terminator 2 was pretty dark for seven year old me to be honest. I remember being scared during the chase scene near to the end when the T-1000 is chasing the gang in a nitrogen fuel truck and our heroes just have that slow van thingy.
During that sequence, Dad came back home. I gave him an apologetic smile to which he laughed briefly. Then we watched the rest of the film together.
The Hasta-la-vista baby scene had me so relieved but what followed was even more scary. In the finale, I experienced so much in such a limited time frame. Such a variety of emotions, oh god!
In short, I remember being blown away by this film. I was so inspired by some of the scenes – I can’t even tell you.
During the afternoons, when everyone in my house would either be sleeping or be at work, I’d pop out my toy guns and pretend I was a Terminator! I would walk around with guns in hand like Arnie and do pretend missions. I even had a designated room where I would keep the rest of my guns and then go there to shop them like that desert sequence in the film.
Terminator 2 still holds up pretty well. I can’t wait to show it to my sister next month, now that she’s of the age where she can appreciate such stuff. Hopefully, she’ll like it as much as I did; cos I still have most of my childhood toy guns and it’d be great to have a Sarah Connor along in my pretend-play missions!
There’s also these other classics, I want to tell you about :
Another Arnie film which was a favourite of my Dad’s. I’d seen it in parts when I was a kid cos Dad would always send me out before some of the gory sequences. Now that I’ve seen it multiple times properly, growing up, I really like it. Yep, the action’s super cheesy at times but that’s one of the things that makes it so good!
I saw Predator as a teenager when I was of the age where I could appreciate good cinema. This film is always gonna be in my top 20 favourites list. The atmosphere that Predator creates is chilling. You can feel the threat these group of soldiers are facing even though you hardly see it. Plenty of iconic moments along with a Home Alone like finale make this one of the best Action-Horror films of all time; which might only be second to :
I saw this when I was 16. The first half bored me immensely. The second half though, is a complete different story. This film gives out such a solid vibe of claustrophobia and sheer terror at how strong the threat is. Plus the fact that it’s an action film lead by a female makes it even more sweet. Aliens is thrilling, scary and definitely one of the best action films of all time.
The Matrix, 1999
The film that inspired a decade of pop culture. Be it the soundtrack, the characters or the finale, The Matrix is totally badass. It even raises some questions which make us doubt our own existence. The special effects are unparalleled and it’s an exciting film from start to finish with a great story + solid action sequences. Honestly, the perfect word for this film is badass.
Return to the 36th Chamber, 1980
I started watching English language films not through Hollywood, but with the old Kung-Fu action films which were dubbed! My Dad loved films from this genre too. Return to the 36th Chamber was one of the first such films I saw and at that time, it was my favourite movie. I don’t like it as much now as I did back then but it’s still a fun, solid action film with some real good humour.
Drunken Master, 1978
One great Kung-Fu film which I like a lot even today. Also, probably my favourite Jackie Chan film. Drunken Master has a brilliant main theme which makes all the action even more exciting. There’s not a lot of action though, but it’s funny and super entertaining the whole time.
I know there’s about a ton of classics I’ve missed. Die Hard, Rambo, Rocky – the list is endless. But the ones mentioned above are my personal favourites out of all the pre 2000s films I’ve seen as of now.
They really don’t make them the way they used to back then.
But coming back to the OG, Terminator 2; it will always have a special place in my heart because of the huge impact it had on me as a kid. I don’t think any other action film has ever affected me the way T2 did.
Here’s to the old action flicks that we’ll always remember.
Also, I’ll be back.
What are some of your favourite old action films ? I know old is a relative term, so let’s talk about some pre-2000s action movies. Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below!