Nothing gets our adrenaline running like a good old action flick – whether the heroes are going ‘dhishoom dhishoom’ with their bare hands or ‘rat-a-ta-ta-tat’ with their guns. Bollywood action movies, especially, add to the spice with the creative and relatable swear words and ‘gaalis’. Paying a tribute to the genre, we bring to you the 10 best Bollywood action movies of all time.
When it comes to action movies, not including Sunny Deol’s films would be a sacrilege! He was one of the biggest action heroes of the 90s – already having won a Filmfare award for Betaab. Ghayal is about a man’s revenge against a villainous businessman who destroyed his family and a fight against a legal system that is too evil to help the ordinary citizen.
A prequel to D, RGV’s Company was universally hailed as a masterpiece that followed the gritty lives of the mafia leaders of underground organized crime in India. Cold-blooded murders, enmities and filthy language that brought the dark world of the gangsters on your screen, Company saw some brilliant performances by Ajay Devgn and Vivek Oberoi.
Without fail, Sholay will always feature in everyone listing down the best action flicks of Bollywood. The two young men set out to avenge a retired policeman by setting out to arrest Gabbar Singh – a notorious dacoit whose goons cause a nuisance to the villagers regularly. The action sequences of the film have been ingrained into the memories of every child – that is what the magic of Sholay is all about.
‘Rakht Charitra’ (2010)
Directed by RGV and released in two parts and three languages, Rakht Charitra is a biographical crime film about Andhra political leader Paritala Ravindra. The narrator starts off the tone of the movie with the idea of ‘rakta politics’ or ‘blood politics’. The violence and action sequences of this movie set the bar higher for other action movies. Political rivalry, resorting to violence to stay ahead of the game and murders in broad daylight – if this isn’t a great action movie, we don’t know what is.
Shootout at Lokhandwala (2007)
Apoorva Lakhia’s retelling of the 1991 Lokhandwala Complex shootout was another movie that consolidated Vivek Oberoi’s brilliance as a negative character. One usually tends to underrate him – but as Maya, the Mumbai gangster, he gave a convincing performance. Besides, taking an actual incident of a firefight between gangsters and the police and making a film on it was bound to be a sure winner.
A remake of the 1989 Telugu film of the same name, RGV redefined violence in action movies by bringing in the context of student politics and mafia. The title character Shiva gets into the system to rid it of foreign evil elements – to speak simply, he gets into Mafia-riddled student politics and with cycle-chain armed fight sequences, he kills the man behind the deteriorating student politics.
The subject of Mumbai underworld is always fascinating – and so many movies have been made on it. RGV especially thrives on the phenomena – and Satya was a powerful commentary on turf wars by rival gangs, encounters with police and lots of violence and action. For those of you who loved it, get ready for Satya 2 to be released this year.
Weird storyline, silly dialogues, poor acting, essentially a B grade movie – and yet Gunda has enjoyed a cult following for its ‘so bad that it’s good’ factor. Mithun Chakraborty plays the protagonist who inadvertently botches up a warlord’s mission – and he is persecuted by the villain and his thugs till Chakraborty has his revenge. When it released, college girls complained to the CBFC that it had too much sex, violence, and obscenity.
The 90s were the era of cult action films. And Aamir Khan’s Ghulam was one of the favorites then and now too. A remake of the Hollywood movie On the Waterfront, the movie charts the exploits of a boxing champ and small-time thief Siddhu. Besides the amazing soundtrack, the movie is also remembered for Aamir Khan’s rail-track jump in front of an approaching train. It won the Best Stunt Award, being performed by Aamir Khan himself!
Amitabh Bachchan created magic with his performance in Don – a movie that SRK made his own with the recent series. However, the groovy style of the 70s’ Big B can never be marred by any upstarts. A complex storyline, nail-biting action sequences and a kickass Zeenat Aman – old Don magic continues to charm cinephiles.
Some of us turn to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham or even Dwayne Johnson for action movies. Let’s reassess Bollywood and its awesome action movies – these are not half bad!