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The best of: Netflix’s action movies

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October 16, 2019

The best action movies bow to no style – they cut across genres and can be dark, funny, gritty or bright. There’s truly an action movie for everyone! So why not take a break from binge-watching your favourite series to take in a new action flick.

From a kung-fu biopic to the gritty “soldier of fortune” story in Triple Frontier, here are some of our favourites on Netflix right now.

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Ip Man

Ip Man is based on the true story of the man who became the instructor to the legendary martial arts exponent Bruce Lee. He ran a martial arts academy in the town of Foshan, China, in the 1930s but when the Japanese occupy his hometown, he is forced into hard labour and brutal sparring matches for the enemy's amusement. The story is as exaggerated as the fight scenes, but the wall-to-wall Kung Fu fighting make this one of the most revered martial arts franchises of the past 10 years.


This steampunk-inspired apocalyptic ride is based on simple but off-piste idea: the last surviving humans of a climate change disaster are on a train endlessly circling the ice-encrusted earth. They’re stuck in carriages resembling a caste system with the poor and disenfranchised down the back and getting antsy for a seat up front. The lower caste mutiny and forge their way up the train through a number of compelling battle scenes, including one conducted in near darkness as the train races through a tunnel. With a star-studded cast (including Chris Evans, Jamie Bell and Tilda Swinton) in perpetual motion it’s a brutal and thrilling ride.

Triple Frontier

This Ben Affleck vehicle is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get money heist where former Special Forces soldiers get together to steal a drug cartel’s stash in South America – a reward they feel they deserve after fighting without financial benefit for years. But they discover that when they’re in it for themselves (rather than fighting for a flag) there’s a different morality at play. Getting the money is one thing, getting away with it is another. It’s rich in macho action, machine guns and marvellous cinematography – in particular, a manic helicopter flight over the Andes.

The Other Guys

An offbeat, zany comedy starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg … what more could you want in a comic parody of the buddy-cop genre? Light and breezy, it features plenty of fights, car chases, gun battles and explosions. Ferrell and Wahlberg playing desk-bound cops loaded with the paperwork thrown at them by the hero cops (played by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson). The put-upon pair decide they want a slice of the action and mayhem ensues. Under the clever gags and relentless special effects there’s a reasonably clever whodunnit as well.

The Debt Collector

Scott Adkins plays French, an out of work martial arts expert who takes on a job as a debt collector for the mafia. When he’s forced to team up with a boxer (Louis Mandylor) – the two lone wolves have to learn to get along. It’s a male-bonding epic with a shedload of fights as the pair dish out (and take) a series of punishing lessons. Set in the gritty LA underworld, this will thrill those who love a bit of bare-knuckled head-banging.

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