Top 20 Action Films to see in 2012

20. Underworld Awakening

Why can’t they all just be friends? The last film, Underworld Evolution, left our feisty vampire warrior with the new ability to walk in the sun. Yet it seems she didn’t get much chance to use it, as the new film begins with Selene (Kate Beckinsale) breaking out of a prison she’s been confined to for 12 years. During those misspent years, it appears that the pesky humans have realised the existence of both Vampires and Lycans, choosing to wage an outright war with both species. Not very PC if you ask me.

19. 21 Jump Street

A remake of the TV series that helped Johnny Depp climb that ladder to stardom. Jonah Hill has co-written (and stars) in the film that follows a presumably youthful police unit in their undercover attempts to infiltrate a high school, in order to control the surge of youth crime. Although Depp has admitted to disliking his role in the show at the time, it seems the pain has faded, as he’s committed to a cameo appearance.

18. Wrath of the Titans

You can never have enough mythological drama in your life. Clash of the Titans concluded with the epic defeat of the monstrous Kraken, slayed heroically by demigod Perseus (Sam Worthington). The sequel picks up a decade on, where we find our hero has chosen the quiet fisherman career option, whilst he raises his son, Helius. Meanwhile, due to Earth’s diminishing faith in the Heavens, the Gods are losing the power to control the imprisoned Titans (who are running out of board games to play). When Zeus’ son and the leader of the Titans, Kronos, strike a deal to capture Zeus (Liam Neeson), the mighty god’s powers are siphoned off into the Titans; unleashing hell on Earth. Perseus must throw down his fishing line, gather up some fellow warriors and embark on a quest to the underworld to save his father Zeus, as well as all mankind.

17. Ghostbusters 3

Bill Murray and the gang will be passing the ray-guns on to a younger ghost-busting team, who will continue to perform their good work. Obviously, technological advances over the last 25 years, since Ghostbusters 2 was released, will undoubtedly mean some amazing special effects are in store. But will the magic remain without the infamous ghost zappings, gigantic marshmallow men and fiery fridges? We’re not completely sold on this one, but we reckon it’ll still be worth a watch. If only to watch the iconic theme tune on the big screen once again.

16. Men in Black III

Can you believe it’s been ten years since you watched the coolest ever secret agent duo save the world from aliens and erase your memory? Ok so maybe you don’t remember, but this little ditty will certainly jog the memory…”Here come the men in black…The galaxy defenders…Uh. Yeah” Sing it loud and proud my fellow earthlings! The sequel has suffered a lot of criticism in the last year, as the team decided to begin filming with only one act of screenplay fully completed. Apparently the script had major plot issues involving the complexities of time travel, so writer David Koepp was brought on board to work out the kinks. All is now on schedule, with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones bursting through the fabric of time and onto the big screen in May.

15. Die Hard 5

These action veterans will never retire. Even when they’re going bald, or adopting a grumpy demeanour, they just keep on hobbling away from those impending explosions. So it’s no surprise to hear that John McClane (Bruce Willis) is back for another epic instalment in the Die Hard chronicles. Following the pattern of the series so far, the action will take place on a grander scale in Russia, but how they’ll top a police car flying into a helicopter is beyond us.

14. The Hunger Games

Hailed as the new Twilight by a (hopefully neurotic) few, The Hunger Games is based on the trio of ‘young-adult’ novels by Suzanne Collins. Thankfully, the film seems to include more blood-thirsty teeny-boppers, less brooding stares and lust-bitten lips. The story is set in a future society, where townships live within a culture of fear. Each year, as part of a twisted reality TV show, children are plucked from their homes and sent to a remote location where they must battle to the death. If you were a fan of Battle Royale, you’ll love this.

13. Jack the Giant Killer

If you fell in love with the classic ‘damsel in distress’ fairy tale after watching the 1962 version, you wouldn’t be alone. My young eyes were awed by the amazing special effects of the clay-animated giant, as well as the glowing leprechauns, sword-fighting skeletons and transparent witches. Just don’t bother watching it as an adult – the magic sadly doesn’t compare to the modern CGI techniques. But maybe the new version can recapture that old school enchantment. A loved-up farmer (Nicholas Hoult) leads an expedition into the dreaded giants’ kingdom in hopes of rescuing a kidnapped princess.

12. The Bourne Legacy

After being lied to, chased, shot and sexed-up through a trilogy of tense thrillers, we didn’t think Matt Damon could take any more. Turns out he couldn’t. The new movie isn’t set after the third movie, but rather running parallel with it. Therefore expect to see the familiar faces of Rachel Weisz, Scott Penn, Joan Allen and Albert Finney pop up. A new lead role has been cast – Jeremy Renner will play a highly trained covert agent, with Edward Norton taking on the part of the villain.

11. Hansel and Gretle: Witch Hunters

I can understand the frustration of these siblings. To follow an enticing trail of gingerbread crumbs, only to be awarded with a space on the cosy oven shelf of a child-eating witch, would be darn annoying. Having escaped, you would’ve thought that the pair grow up with a few…issues. Perhaps some trust issues, a fear of small spaces, a moral lesson concerning abandoned food? Or perhaps a burning hatred of witches that leads you into a life of hunting them down?

10. World War Z

The film is an adaptation of Max Brooks’ post-apocalyptic novel, which doesn’t follow a normal narrative, but rather provides individual accounts of life after a zombie war. Director Marc Forster has announced that the plot will include some significant changes from the book, choosing to focus on a UN representative (Brad Pitt) who is trying to prevent a zombie outbreak, rather than focusing on the aftermath. So basically, the film will probably feature a completely different storyline.

9. Snow White and the Huntsman

Ah Snow White. The name conjures sweet melodies and images of her lovely shiny…sword? That’s right: the time of distressed damsels is no more. The evil queen (Charlize Theron) sends huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to kill poor Ms White (Kristen Stewart) but instead he decides to mentor her in the ways of battle, so that she may face her opponent alone. Here’s hoping Stewart can channel all that Twilight-angst into a believably bad ass action heroine.

8. Star Trek 2

Director J.J. Abrams has declared that the sequel will stand alone – aka fans and newbies alike will enjoy the next instalment of spaceship madness. Newly promoted Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), will be leading the uniformed gang into all sorts of drama amidst the solar system, with a couple of point-eared romances thrown in for good measure.

7. Dredd

Based on the comic book 2000AD, the film will focus on the main character, Judge Dredd, in this live-action adaptation. The reboot will remain true to the original story, rather than functioning as a sequel to the flawed 1995 version starring Sylvester Stallone. The film is set on the wild futuristic streets of Mega City One; a lone oasis of quasi-civilisation amidst a violent world. Karl Urban is set to play Dredd – the scariest of the elite street judges, who hold the power to act as judge, jury and executioner. Hardcore fans will be pleased to know that Urban will be sticking true to the character by hiding his face, supposedly to symbolise the faceless system of justice and law.

6. Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall

After a lot of ‘is it, isn’t it?’ flying around, the “darker” sequel to the hit comedy/action Kick-Ass, which followed the quirky DIY superhero story of Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), is actually happening. The new instalment will see the adorable assassin we all know and love, Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz), try to tame her hunger for violence through acting like a normal girl; watching cartoons, playing with dolls…guaranteed comedy moments. But villain Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is set to adopt a much more dangerous mind-set, enabling him to seek revenge for his family’s murder.

5. The Amazing Spider-Man

After the relieving cancellation of Spider-Man 4, we think it’s about someone let the Hollywood youngsters breathe some fresh talented air into an exhuasted concept. Hot property Emma Stone is joining a surprisingly bulked-up Andrew Garfield in this retelling of Spider-Man’s confusing adolescence. Rhys Ifans has jumped aboard to play the supernatural villain, Dr. Curt Connors, who injects himself with lizard serum in an attempt to regrow his lost arm…leading to scaly consequences.

4. Prometheus

30 years on after directing Alien, Ridley Scott is returning to the sci-fi genre to direct another space-bound action movie. A spaceship by the name of ‘Prometheus’ is used to transport a group of scientists and explorers (including Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron) to a distant world where they will investigate fragments of “Alien DNA”. Hmmm…an Alien prequel perhaps?

3. The Avengers

I really really want this to be good. Really. After being given hints towards the merge through the marvel films Thor, Iron Man 2 and Captain America, we are all hoping that this potentially amazing movie will not disappoint. The plot sees an eye-patched Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) unite Marvel’s famous superheroes in the face of some big bad unknown beastie. Joining the spandex-suited and colourfully-booted team will be Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo, since Edward Norton decided to join the dark side…aka play a Warner Bros. villain) Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). Sadly not all the Marvel comic heroes made the cut, with poor Antman, Wasp, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch waiting it out on the bench.

2. The Hobbit: An unexpected journey

Finally, FINALLY the LOTR prequel, obviously based on the novel The Hobbit, will be released on the 14th of December 2012. Martin Freeman plays a young Bilbo Baggins, in his quest to retrieve stolen treasure from a dragon on Lonely Mountain. Oh, and he’s accompanied by thirteen scruffy dwarfs. Certainly unexpected, no?

1. The Dark Knight Rises

The epic conclusion to a breathtaking trilogy of one of, if not THE, most successful superhero series EVER. Christopher Nolan has gifted audiences with a darkly believable portrayal of one man’s determination to save his city from corruption and criminality. He is also renowned for prompting tremendous performances from the cast, most notably Heath Ledger’s haunting performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. The final instalment is shrouded in mystery, yet we can expect an action-packed blockbuster, with appearances from the likes of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, and Tom Hardy as Bane giving Batman a terrific send-off.

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