Weekend Watchlist | Action Movies

By The Pitt News Staff

Nothing quite like an action film to get your blood pumping. Fights, chases and, of course, explosions can be a spectacle for the eyes. This week The Pitt News Staff is listing off some of our favorites.

The Other Guys (Netflix)  // Lynnette Tibbott, For The Pitt News

In Adam McKay’s 2010 action comedy “The Other Guys,” Will Ferrel and Mark Wahlberg star as two New York City detectives, Gamble and Hoitz. Detective Hoitz is an arrogant, ill-tempered man who’s been under fire for his bursts of anger. Detective Gamble is a naive, good-willed forensic accountant. Both receive disrespect from the other detectives and are desperate to prove they’re worth more than their office jobs. They hit the streets to take on what seems to be a minor case, but it turns into a convoluted operation, and the detectives learn they may have bitten off more than they could chew.

This movie includes the classic comedy features — satire, action and corny jokes. Of course, no comedy action movie would be the same without the slow-motion car crashes, the mid-air jumps, explosions or Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. The classic “enemies-to-buddies” trope builds the friendship between Detectives Gamble and Hoitz. Although they get on each other’s nerves, they realize they’re in it together.

The movie takes a satirical, exploitative tone towards the rich, featuring the uncovering of embezzlement, love and betrayal — while making jokes the whole way through. Despite the tropes of action comedy, this movie highlights that the real heroes of the world are the underdogs and the ones who actively work to make a difference— “the other guys.”

Children of Men // Patrick Swain, Staff Writer

Alfonso Cuarón’s dystopian action film “Children of Men” paints a bleak picture of an oppressive right-wing government that has closed its borders after a devastating pandemic. Society is afflicted with rampant inequality, economic turmoil and anti-refugee hysteria. Wait — are we sure this movie came out in 2006?

Oh, the disease makes humans infertile. Phew. For a second there, it was getting a bit too real.

Cuarón creates a world devoid of hope — two decades after the last baby is born, we see humanity when the idea of youth ceases to exist, when there are no future generations to inherit the earth. Humankind has no choice but to bide their time as the population dwindles. When a disillusioned civil servant (Clive Owen) connects with an underground militant network and meets a young immigrant (Clare-Hope Ashitey) with a secret that could change the world, he must help her make the ultimate statement of freedom against a fascist state.

“Children of Men” is like “1984” revamped for the 21st century, borrowing George Orwell’s themes of authoritarianism and surveillance states, then introducing modern anxieties of terrorism and xenophobia along with eerily prescient predictions of pandemic and insurrection. Its action sequences are equally suspenseful and brutal, with unforgiving depictions of warfare. In the corrupt world of “Children of Men,” innocence and purity are scarce — but with a sliver of hope, life always finds a way.

Speed (HBO Max) // Diana Velasquez, Culture Editor 

It’s Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock at their sexiest, covered in dirt and driving a bomb-laden bus around Los Angeles’ atrocious highway system. “Speed” is a ‘90s action movie classic, starring Reeves and Bullock before they reached the peak of their careers. It’s not an action movie that makes much sense — let’s just ignore the laws of physics when that bus jumps the gap in the highway — but it is very fun.

“Speed” focuses on Jack Traven (Reeves), an LA cop, who after stopping a terrorist from blowing up an elevator finds that the same terrorist has rigged a public bus with a bomb. Jack manages to track the bus down and get on board, but they must keep the bus running above 50 mph or it will explode. So ensues Jack leading the bus and its passengers, including the very vocal Annie Porter (Bullock), through LA’s highway system. It might sound a little cheesy, but they pull some very entertaining stunts, and as you might predict, not everyone is content to sit down and follow Jack’s instructions on a bus rigged to blow.