[As an action-movie RPG, it’s no surprise actual movies were a big influence.]
Die Hard, Die Harder, Die Hard With a Vengeance. (The Platonic ideal of the genre, all later action movies are derivative of this.)
Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
The Expendables. (Pyrotechnics and kinetic action almost obscure the film’s deep themes.)
Inception. (Awe inspiring masterpiece by an amazing director. Proof that action movies can be as thinky as dramas, while still being entertaining.)
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises.
Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi.
Iron Man. (Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark is pure charm and all heart. From the very first scene, he’s a guy you should hate and envy, but can’t help liking and admiring.)
True Lies. (Probably the best Arnold Schwarzenegger movie made. Brilliant.)
Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
Aliens. (The proximate inspiration for approximately 80% of all geek culture, from movies to video games. Even so, an incredible film.)
Big Trouble in Little China.
Predator. (The quintessential horror/action film.)
The Road Warrior. (Another landmark film. Everyone steals from this movie.)
The Matrix. (Copied so relentlessly, it’s hard to remember how stunning its action and effects were.)
Bad Boys. (Sneer at the man, but Michael Bay knows how to put together a thrilling action movie.)
John Rambo (aka “Rambo 4”). (Beginning with Rocky 5, Stallone made a series of incredible action movies. All are worth seeing.)
The Fifth Element. (Luc Besson has more misses than hits, but this hit is marvelous.)
Taken. (“What I do have are a very particular set of skills.” That’s an action hero.)