What is the most realistic action movie ever?

**Gross Pointe Blank. **

I won’t suggest that the entire movie was realistic - because I don’t actually know any killers for hire in real life. I will say that the fight scene (high school reunion, in the hallway outside the gymnasium) was an incredible scene showing two fighters who actually know what they’re doing. The depiction of complete exhaustion, shakiness, and borderline nausea after the fight is spot-on.


I always found Full Metal Jacket to be very realistic (not like I really know or anything).

There were a lot of things I liked about Training Day until it got stupid there in the third act. There’s a chase scene with some balcony jumping that was pretty good - would you believe it’s hard to jump around like that and carry a gun at the same time? Also, there was a car crash in that one of the sort that they’re always having in movies - IIRC, Denzel’s car got rear ended somewhat hard but not BLAM! hard, but he was still incapacitated for a bit by it. You know, like you are by a car wreck.

The Bourne movies have already been mentioned, but there’s a car wreck in the second that’s so true to how a wreck really feels - he’s driving along evading pursuit and then BAM somebody T-bones him out of nowhere. No slo-mo, nothing.

That was a great movie. That last fight with Tim Roth was amazing.

I vote for The Horseman on the Roof (“In 1832, cholera ravages Provence (South of France). After several misadventures, Angelo, young Italian officer hunted by the Austrian secret police, meets Pauline de Theus, a young lady. After a second accidental meeting, both will start the search of Pauline’s husband in a chaotic country.”) It’s a fantastic movie. Our hero, played by Olivier Martinez, does action-hero things that real people can do. It also has the added benefit of showing the hunky Martinez perform the treatment at the time for cholera (rubbing the victims all over to keep circulation going) on a naked Juliette Binoche.

The critics collected at Rotten Tomatoes, but everyone I know who saw it (all three of us) thought it was a great action movie.

I have heard from submarine vets that Das Boot is the most accurate sub movie ever. Plus it’s a damn good movie.

That sounds pretty interesting, can you elaborate on that?


The Duellists

Gripping action, very realistic sword-fights showing exhaustion, pain and wounds.

Das Boot, perhaps?

I also somewhat got the sense that the “fighting” style of the CIA as shown in Spy Game was probably the closest you’re going to see on the big screen (i.e. mostly talking other people into doing stuff and sending bribes around.)

Das Boot and United 93 would be way up there for me.

The Bourne movies go way overboard IMO. Bourne takes beatings that would kill a horse, but he bounces back pretty fast. Plus, if we had guys like that running around Bin Laden would be gone in about 15 minutes.

Good call.

I’d go with The Limey. Very understated, and enough action to qualify.

The fight scene at the end of “Bridget Jones’ Diary” was actually rather realistic. :slight_smile:

For submarine movies, Das Boot is the gold standard. However in the honorable mention category are two earlier movies
Operation Pacific and Run Silent, Run Deep

Except for the plot point of the convoy being guarded by a submerged sub, the movie is pretty accurate.
In Operation Pacific most if not all of the action scenes were based on actual events. They just didn’t all happen to the same sub.

I came in to mention the Bourne movies. Captain Lance may be right about the endurance shown by the characters, but the fight choreography seems to be much more realistic than in usual Hollywood fare.

Not sure if Lethal Weapon is quite an action movie, but:

the fight scene at the end between Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Joshua (Gary Busey) is highly realistic. There’s plenty of grappling – no BS trading strikes from two arm’s lengths away. Both parties tire and sustain damage. Finally, the fight is not resolved from some super-sweet knockout punch/kick … but by a desparate choke hold/leg lock.

One more comment on the Bourne movies, the first two of which I’ve just watched this week. The biiggest problem I see with them is that Jason Bourne does seem to be able to tolerate an obscene amount of punishment. Other than that, I found myslef commenting several times during the films about how ‘non-cinematic’ the action was.

A few examples that struck me…

[li]Not one car exploded in the two films[/li][li]In the second film, Bourne and one adversary are fighting in his (the adversary’s) house. They slam up against the window no less than three times, yet it fails to shatter into a billion pieces[/li][li]Bourne hurts his leg jumping onto a barge while trying to escape the police. Several scenes and a few cities later, he’s still noticeably limping[/li][/ul]

Does Syrianna count as an action movie? I found George Clooney’s scenes pretty believable.

Speaking of Clooney, how about We Three Kings? No idea whether that valve in the heart thing is real or not, but I was sold. Ditto the torture scene with the car battery.

The Bourne movies were terrible for realism. Real expert fighters don’t fight like that (hell NO fights are ever like that in real life, whether the guys are experts or just shlubs at a bar)…not in real fight to the death kind of fights. No one can take that kind of punishment. As with the Die Hard movies, the government has access to all manner of technology they WISH they had (I won’t spoil the movie by going into details), etc etc.

I liked the movies, but they weren’t close to realistic. Entertaining but definitely Hollywood…

I think Saving Private Ryan was perhaps one of the most realistic movies I’ve seen (not withstanding the magic bullets that could travel under water). The scene where the squad was trying to flank the MG-42 position I thought was about as real as it gets (down to a guy that got wounded in the liver). I don’t think it gets any more realistic than this movie.


Master and Commander seemed perfectly reasonable to me.

So did Braveheart, for the most part.

Bourne went through special training to supress pain. Monks have set themselves on fire to protest things before without even moving. You can surpress pain.

I’m highly skeptical you can surpress that level of pain and continuing to be functional afterward, but even assuming thats so you can’t supress the damage being done to you. Fighting even in pain is certainly more than possible (I’ve done it myself)…but fighting after your head has been bashed against the wall, for instance, regardless of how mentally strong you are, is unrealistic. Look at the type of damage the people are inflicting on each other…really look at it. Aint no way, unless these are super-human monks from hell. Real fights between people who know what they are doing don’t come close to resembling what you see in the Bourne movies.