A good Action sequence is something truly amazing to watch, as it can be as expansive as explosions crashing across the screen or more intimate, like a duel between two people. This gives the best action scenes such a range, and in 2021 we were given some genuinely unique spectacles.
For me, the best action scenes excel in every element, whether that be live actions, special effects, digital effects, or animation and bring every facet to shine. It is also the category that looks at some of the department’s people don’t often fully understand, like stunt coordination or the 2nd unit.
So without further ado, these are the moments of action that awed us in 2021. Be warned that there may be slight spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, click on the banners/titles to see the reviews of each film.
Godzilla vs. Kong – Aircraft Carrier Battle
Two bemouths duke it out while dancing across and blow a naval fleet
Directed by – Adam Wingard
Second Unit Direction – Thomas Robinson Harper
Stunt Coordination by – Shawn Kautz
Art Direction – Richard Hobbs & Dawn Swiderski
Gunpowder Milkshake – Bowling Alley Brawl
Beware of a brawl in a bowling alley because those balls hurt
Directed by – Navot Papushado
Stunt Coordination by – Laurent Demianoff
Mortal Kombat – Slaughter in a Forest
Before they were Scorpion and Sub Zero, they were duelling in the Japanese countryside.
Directed by – Simon McQuoid
Second Unit Direction – Kyle Gardiner
Stunt Coordination by – Kyle Gardiner & Chan Griffin
No Time to Die – Norway Car Chase/Cuba Hotel Disaster
Taking the Bond Car Chase to the next level by having stakes to every moment
Directed by – Sam Hargrave
Second Unit Direction – Alexander Witt
Stunt Coordination by – Leah Breckman, Yves Girard, Patrick Vo, Olivier Schneider & Boris Martinez
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – Bus Battle/Duel in the Forest
A battle on a bus as it drives uncontrolled through San Francisco
Directed by – Destin Daniel Cretton
Second Unit Direction – Brad Allan
Stunt Coordination by – Brad Allan & Peng Zhang
And the Winner is!!!!! – Godzilla vs. Kong
This might have been the most competitive category this year, with Mortal Kombat, No Time to Die & Shang-Chi all being precariously close to taking out this top spot. But when I think back to the past year, the build-up and fight on top of an aircraft carrier between two mismatched foes still stands out as a significant highlight. You have visual effects, stunts, production design, actors, and musical score all working in tandem. Then there is the asymmetric dynamics of Godzilla being in its element while Kong has to scramble to find any purchase. All while making humanities biggest constructions look like toys.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
What are your favourite cinematic moments from 2021?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Credits – All images used were created by the respective studio and artists of each film