Besides baseball, there's no better summer entertainment than the action movie. Walking away from explosions, cheesy one-liners, femme fatales, and spies with an apparent history as an X Games competitor – These are just some of the reasons why we love the summer action movie. So, throughout history, which action movies are best? The following is not meant to be a comprehensive list, but it should be able to get the conversation started.
- “Independence Day” – "All right, you alien assholes! In the words of my generation: Up yours!" So said Russell, the burnout conspiracist crop duster who went through life ridiculed because no one believed he was abducted by aliens in the past. As a fighter pilot in a summer action movie about to do something really cool, he, of course, has to take off the oxygen mask before flying his plane into the alien mother ship's "big laser weapon."
- “Back to the Future” – "1.21 Jiggawatts!" No, Doctor, plutonium is not available in every corner drugstore in 1985, so you and Marty would have still had to resort to the lightning bolt that was going to strike the clock tower at 10:04 next Saturday night. Flux capacitor for the win. Go to GuidetoOnlineSchools.com so you can learn the necessary science should you be trapped in the past.
- “Jaws” – "You're gonna need a bigger boat." And you will need to stay away from any body of water larger than 16 ounces after watching this summer classic. Now, the shark looks fake, the injuries look fake, but when you are 8 years old, living in South Florida, and watching this on TV one summer Thursday afternoon, it’s bad news for future swimming endeavors.
- “Jurassic Park” – "Clever girl." This is the most successful movie that features grunts, screams and roars more than coherent language, but still, if you think cool summer action movies, this is one of the best there ever was. Dinosaurs and Jeff Goldblum still carrying the torch for super-smart, Jewish underachievers saving the day with a sort of awkward and soft-spoken, er, charm (see “Independence Day” above as well).
- “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” "Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrggh!" Well, the more memorable quote is when Darth Vader tells Luke that he is Luke's father, but that doesn’t occur until the sequel, “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.” However, Chewbacca the Wookiee's wail is way cooler, and everyone has tested out their Wookiee skills in private. In 1977, this movie was light years ahead of its time, and should always be included in any list of best movies, let alone best summer action movies.
- “Die Hard” "Now I have a machine gun. Ho-Ho-Ho." Thankfully, Bruce Willis was put on the map by this Christmas classic (although it was in theaters July 1988). It is my second favorite Christmas movie (“Jingle All the Way” is clearly the best Christmas movie of all time), has amazing one-liners and also has explosions that are walked away from. This makes it a great summer action movie. Plus, the protagonist is a hard-hitting cop and there's no goofy forensic science montages, that real forensic scientists find so unrealistic.