Good Action Movies 1988

Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 12:19 pm

This list of good action movies 1988 offers a selection of martial arts, comedy, and even aerial dogfights. While one film dominates the list, several others have made lasting contributions to the genre and deserve a look. Whether you’re viewing for the sake of nostalgia or seeing them for the first time, these action films from 1988 will more than meet your explosion/fistfight/shootout quota.

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Die Hard – The greatest action film ever made, Die Hard features a resourceful underdog (Bruce Willis), a charismatic villain (Alan Rickman in his screen debut), and enough gunplay and hand-to-hand combat to satisfy even the most discerning viewer. Don’t even think about calling yourself an action fan until you’ve seen this one more than once.

Action Jackson – Carl Weathers gets his stew on as Sergeant Jericho “Action” Jackson, a good cop who’s been demoted due to his investigations involving powerful businessman Peter Dellaplane (Craig T. Nelson). In order to bring down the ruthless corporate big wig and restore his good name, Jackson’s gonna need help from Dellaplane’s wife (Sharon Stone) and his former mistress, the world’s best-looking heroin addict (Vanity). Bill Duke (Predator) and Robert Davi (Die Hard) put in appearances, something which should delight fans of the genre. Oh, and Al Leong (Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, every other action movie of the period) also makes an appearance.

Bloodsport – Overlooked at the box office, Bloodsport is now considered a classic by fans of action and martial arts. Jean-Claude Van Damme make an early appearance as Frank Dux (as in, put up your dukes), an American soldier who journeys to Hong Kong to take place in the underground fighting tournament known as the Kumite. He goes AWOL to do so, which means he’s pursued by a couple of military agents (including Forest Whitaker). He also befriends a fellow American fighter, Ray Jackson (Donald Gibb aka Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds), and there’s a nosy female reporter to romance along the way. A wide range of fighting styles are on display, and Van Damme does all his trademark moves (the splits, grimacing like a madman in slo-mo, etc.). Supposedly based on a true story, although many of the claims by Dux have been questioned.

Police Story 2 – Jackie Chan reprises his role as Inspector “Kevin” Chan Ka-Kui. His nemesis from the previous film, Chu Tao (Chor Yuen), gets released from prison due to a terminal illness, and he vows to get revenge before he passes away. To further complicate matters, a gang of bombers are threatening to detonate devices across the city if their demands aren’t met. There’s the usual amount of Jackie Chan humor, but the fight scenes are also solid (especially the showdown between Kevin and a firebomb-throwing deaf-mute in a fireworks factory).

The Dead Pool – Clint Eastwood makes his final appearance as Inspector Harry Callahan (aka Dirty Harry), the world’s most trigger-happy cop. When celebrities listed in a dead pool contest start dying mysteriously, Callahan is put on the case. Liam Neeson plays a seedy director who’s involved in the contest, and a then-unknown Jim Carrey lip-synchs to “Welcome to the Jungle” as a drug-addled singer. Speaking of Guns N’ Roses, they get cameos in the film, and Slash even gets to fire a harpoon gun.

Iron Eagle II – When a country in the Middle East threatens both the Soviet Union and the United States with nuclear weapons, a joint task force is put together under the command of Charles “Chappy” Sinclair (Louis Gossett Jr.). Predictably, the Soviet and American pilots don’t get along at first, but they’ll need to work together if they hope to make the world safe for democracy and…uh…communism. Sadly, “One Vision” by Queen does not appear in this film.

Rambo III – John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) heads to Afghanistan to rescue his pal, Colonel Sam Trautman (Richard Crenna), who’s been captured by Soviet forces. In order to do so, he’ll need to team up with the Afghan rebels known as the Mujahideen. Considering the current state of things in Afghanistan, this film makes for some ironic, but entertaining, viewing. The next Rambo film wouldn’t be released for another 20 years.

I’m Gonna Git You Sucka – Poking fun at the blaxploitation genre, this film was the first spoof put out by the Wayans brothers, and elder member Keenan Ivory stars and directs. He plays Jack Spade, a soldier who returns home after his brother, Junebug, dies from an overdose of too many gold chains. This leads Spade on a mission of revenge, culminating in a showdown with the evil (and white) Mr. Big (John Vernon). This action/comedy features plenty of recognizable faces, including Bernie Casey, Isaac Hayes, Jim Brown, Antonio Fargas, Steve James, Damon Wayans and Kadeem Hardison. A young Chris Rock has a memorable scene as a frugal customer at a rib joint owned by Hammer (Hayes) and Slammer (Brown).

Midnight Run – While the film is played for laughs, there’s still plenty of action to be had. Robert De Niro stars as Jack Walsh, a gruff bounty hunter hired to bring in Jonathan “The Duke” Mardukas (Charles Grodin), an accountant who stole $15 million from a mobster (Dennis Farina) and then skipped out on his bail. With a deadline looming, Walsh must dodge the FBI, the criminal underworld, and even a rival bounty hunter in order to deliver The Duke on time. If I told you that Walsh and Mardukas bond during their travels, would you think I’m crazy? Also starring Joe Pantoliano and Yaphet Kotto.

Shakedown – Peter Weller and Sam Elliott team up as a bespectacled lawyer and a loner cop, respectively. Determined to expose corruption within the NYPD, the duo take on dirty cops, crooked officials, and a murderous drug lord played by Antonio Fargas. The best sequence takes place at Coney Island, where a roller coaster gets in on the action in a most unusual way.

If you enjoyed this list of good action movies 1988, I should point out that these action films can be rented from Netflix. They have a wide selection of titles, and the small commission we receive will help us keep our doors open. In addition, you’ll want to read the following posts concerning the action genre:

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 4th, 2010 at 12:19 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Good Action Movies 1988”

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March 4, 2010

Said

Thank you for the list!

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