What Your Favorite Action Movie Says About You

This article was inspired by Chelsea Fagan’s terrific piece What Your Favorite Disney Movie Says About You (Parts I and II). Whereas Chelsea explored the realms of princesses and fairy tales, my expertise rests in a genre far less mature or realistic — action films. There is a Part II of this feature in the works, so fear not if your favorite action flick isn’t mentioned here. I will distill your entirety into a single paragraph based on completely subjective means before all is said and done, I promise.

The Fast and the Furious: You returned the Ed Hardy t-shirt your cousin got you for Christmas because the design is already tattooed to your torso. You missed out on the last UFC pay-per-view because your amateur MMA fight was on the same night at the local bingo hall. You own the same Honda Civic as my mom, but yours has a body kit and flame decals.

Dirty Harry: You’re wearing bifocals and found this article via Ask Jeeves.

Total Recall: You enjoy mind vacations, slum colonies on Mars, affordable hologram technology, three-breasted hookers, and telepathic stomach mutants, so you probably kick ass. You’re pretty horrified that a remake of this film is about to released with Colin Farrell in the starring role.

Face/Off: You’re Nicholas Cage. Please seek help. And while you’re at it, introduce your hairline to your face.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: You think this balls-to-the-wall installment was the most entertaining of the trilogy and you’re not sure why everyone else looks down on it. Whatever, those people got when they deserved when Spielberg and Lucas turned the atrocious fourth film into the very embodiment of all the criticism lobbed at Temple of Doom. It’s kind of like they went, “Oh, you thought Temple of Doom was gratuitous, broad, and overbearing? Well, then suck on Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, bitches!”

Gladiator: You judge the sh-t out of people who say that 300 is their favorite action movie. You enjoy sepia-toned photographs, the History channel, Dan Brown novels, and other forms of Diet History. You claim to view Gladiator’s action scenes from a detached, anthropological perspective, but you secretly think it would be pretty awesome if America instituted a modernized Coliseum. But, you know, only for the bad people. Like death row inmates and terrorists and stuff.

300: You rented this alongside The Big Lebowksi and Kingpin. It was not what you were expecting, but you really enjoyed it nonetheless.

Die Hard: You like your action heroes beaten and bloody. You resent the invincible titans like Arnold and Sly who are never truly in any peril or distress. You find no pleasure in watching those heaving leviathans dispatch their mortal opponents like bronzed Goliaths machine-gunning diabolical Davids. You’d take Bruce Willis over them any day of the week; an everyday guy with an estranged wife, a five o’clock shadow, and a shitload of problems. The kind of guy who has to walk on glass just to get by.

You’ve spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about Reginald VelJohnson, aka Carl Winslow from Family Matters. Reginald also portrayed policemen in this film, Ghostbusters, and Turner & Hooch. You have never seen him in any other films or television shows or degrading himself in any sort of post-celebrity reality show or event appearance. Who was this man? Was he a cop turned actor, an actor turned cop, or simple the most typecast thespian in Hollywood history? Do Die Hard, Ghostbusters, and Family Matters all exist in the same fictional universe? Even if they clearly do not, isn’t it fun to pretend that they do?

You get the feeling that people think you’re being a grinch you say that Die Hard is also your favorite Christmas movie. Whatever, haters gone hate.

The Bourne Movies: You enjoy leaving the theater confused, dizzy, and generally flummoxed. The Bourne movies fulfill the following items on your “Disorienting Movies” checklist:

  • MTV-style editing
  • Headache inducing shaky-cam
  • Overly complicated plots involving covert agencies, secret agendas, and double-crossing
  • Overwhelming amounts of transcontinental locales
  • Characters with accents
  • Main characters that are not even sure of who they are

Heat: You expect your action films to carry a pedigree. They should have an air of sophistication, yet still provide completely mind-blowing shootouts.

Also, you remember a time when DeNiro and Pacino teaming up for a movie actually meant something. Nowadays, these guys would make a Flomax commercial together for a free lunch.

The Rock: You believe that no one in the history of pop culture has ever had a name that fit their personality better than Fred Durst’s fits his. You feel that Fred Durst is somehow an example of onomatopoeia, although you realize that this is nonsensical.

Speed: Your love of Speed prompted you to see Speed 2: Cruise Control in theaters, despite some justifiable misgivings: no Keanu Reeves, the mystifyingly poor decision to set the film on a cruise ship, and a subtitle that basically screams “we did this for the money.” After all, how bad could it have been, right?

Two hours later, as you drunkenly lurched from your seat and peeled the soles of your sneakers from the mixture of greasy popcorn butter and salty tears binding it to the theater floor, the answer to that question became grimly apparent. Speed 2: Cruise Control could be bad; very, very, very bad.

Top Gun: You lost your virginity the night you first saw Top Gun. Over the next several days you posted signs all over town that read, “MISSING: My Virginity.” Although you listed your contact information prominently and legibly, no one responded.

First Blood: You might be a disgruntled veteran of an unpopular American war (take your pick of which one), a laconic drifter living off the fat of the land, or a fan of unintelligible climatic speeches delivered by crying muscle-bound protagonists. You love nature, resent authority, and wish you had a close friend that spoke about you in the hushed, homoerotic tones in which Trautman (played by the gravelly Richard Crenna) repeatedly describes Rambo. Seriously, there has to be some Trautman/Rambo gay fan-fiction out there.

Regardless, you don’t know about anybody else, but you’re more than a little concerned about the Chinese. That’s for damn sure.

Bad Boys II: You thought the first Bad Boys was “too subtle.”

Any Jackie Chan Movie: Since Jackie seems like a pretty swell guy, you feel guilty that your favorite parts of his movies are the end-credit bloopers of him botching incredibly dangerous stunts and nearly killing himself.

The Warriors: You’re pissed that Giuliani transformed Times Square from a depraved shithole into a corporatized family-friendly outdoor shopping mall. You yearn for the days of graffiti-covered subway cars, public smoking, and phone booth drug deals. You still listen to Television and the New York Dolls. You don’t know what the hell a Pinkberry is. Last week you got hammered at a bar downtown and pissed on a parked car with an “I <3 NY” bumper sticker. TC mark

image – Name Your Link 

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  • flakes

    What, nothing to say about Army of Darkness?

  • http://twitter.com/kaimcn Kai

    No love for T2?

  • http://twitter.com/lukebourassa Luke Bourassa

    “Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs…”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    best action movie of all time is TITANIC. that goddamn boat fucking had me on the rope for TWO HOURS.

  • Anonymous

    HAHAHA top gun. oh how true.

  • John

    Wait, what about Con Air?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Antônio-Neto/1679794546 Antônio Neto

    The Die Hard part is soooo true.

  • Christina

    I’m all over the Warriors on this one, I think you hit the nail on the head! 

  • CUinNYC

    Blade Runner.

    • Guest

      Barely qualifies as an action movie. Also, yes.

  • Anonymous

    Matrix?

  • Anonymous

    My favorite action movie is Face/Off.  I am Nicolas Cage.  My name has no ‘h’ in it.

    (I am seeking help).

  • Inigo Montoya

    No love for Point Break?  Swayze (RIP) would be ashamed…

  • egowaffles

    Hey people, he said there’d be a part 2 coming so chill your bones on the, “what about this movie” questions!

  • GUEST

    The warriors is right on

  • Green

    The Matrix?

  • Guestropod

    Man, I need to change, like, my entire life to fit this Fast & the Furious description

    • Ted Pillow

      You can do it.

      • Guestropod

        thanks Ted, your support means a lot to me

  • AJ

    Laughed at the Jackie Chan one because it’s damn true.

  • The Tonesetter

    Iron Man (sequel included) – You’re always the smartest person in the room, the best looking and richest. Or, at least have a stong desire to be. You think people who like Batman are a bunch of non-flying pussies. You’re thoroughly believe that every piece of glass will be a computer in the near future. And you’re definitely, DEFINITELY, writing this from your mansion overlooking the coast, not your parents’ basement. Fuck.

  • http://twitter.com/alysstic alyssa

    Con Air, man.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Josiah-OMalley/100001206566540 Josiah O'Malley

    Gladiator! Such a great movie.  hahahaha we do have a modern Colosseum though.  It’s called video games.

  • bmv

    SNATCH better be in the next one. And KILL BILL. Also, I love Gladiator AND 300–they’re not mutually exclusive. They’re two entirely different interpretations of a similar subject matter–I wouldn’t even say they’re really the same genre…

  • emily

    ted, i’m guessing your favourite action movie is die hard.

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