Self-isolation-during-the-middle-of-a-global-pandemic-apocalyptic-situation blues got you down?
If you’ve already re-watched the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars movies (even the ones that don’t count, like Rogue One, Solo, and — gasp! — The Rise of Skywalker) in chronological order, then rewatched them in order of release, realized Black Widow practically dated every single one of the Avengers at some point in time, and also that there are only one or two Star Wars movies you actually enjoy watching, yet you can’t stop saying you’re a Star Wars fan out of sheer loyalty — same.
Even if you are brave enough to mask up and venture out to your local movie theater to support business owners during this rough time, as Tenet has been delayed and Mulan going straight to pay-per-view, we can’t be sure when new movies are going to start coming out again.
Here are 10 superhero/action movies you might not have thought of rewatching:
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) & The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
When development of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 fell apart in 2010 over creative differences between Raimi and Columbia Pictures, Columbia immediately opted for a reboot of the franchise. Even for die-hard fans of Raimi’s solid-gold original trilogy, the 2012 version is fun to watch because, really, it’s Peter Parker’s character we all love. Who among us isn’t kind of a skinny nerd at heart? …who’s also secretly been bitten by a radioactive spider and has to hide behind a secret identity so no one can ever know how awesome we are?
The Dark Knight Trilogy
Before Batffleck, before the Snyder Cut, there was Christopher Nolan’s reboot-before-the-reboot of Batman. Though the second film was surrounded by tragedy, the trilogy is still a work of art. Showing Bruce Wayne’s journey from his origin story to his no-longer-being-Batman, The Dark Knight Trilogy is a moment in cinema that likely won’t be forgotten.
The Fast & Furious Movies
Since F9 was rescheduled for 2021, it’s a good time to gear up for its release by watching the series again in order — though admittedly it really starts getting good around Fast Five (2011). The ride just gets better from there. Don’t forget to add Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham’s spinoff, Hobbs & Shaw (2019) to your queue.
Red (2010) and Red 2 (2013)
Based on the DC Comics mini-series, the Red movies (starring Bruce Willis and an all-star supporting cast including John Malcovich, Morgan Freeman, Helen Morten, and ) are a unique blend of action and comedy that deserves a shot at being your new favorite movie. From the very first action scene where Willis’ retired-but-still-kicks-butt character blows up his own house, the storyline spins out of control — in the best way.
The Original Spider-Man Trilogy (2002–2007)
Long before every superhero movie was a smaller part of a complex cinematic universe, (not that I’m complaining) Sam Raimi’s version of the Spider-Man story shows why solo superhero movies still matter. While two years behind X-men, the 2000s version of Spider-Man could arguably be considered the father of modern superhero movies, as it spurred on the superhero movie boom of the past 20 years. Spider-Man 2 is still the highlight, and when Maguire’s self-sacrificing Peter Parker gets the happy ending, we’re all cheering for him.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)
It feels like Hollywood has been trying to get the Ninja Turtles right for thirty years. These Michael Bay-produced action installments might be just the ticket. With comic relief coming from Mikey and even Vern the cameraman (Will Arnett, the guy who voices LEGO Batman and those Reese’s commercials), and determined reporting from Megan Fox as April O’Neill these turtle movies are an awesome movie night treat for the whole family.
Tomb Raider (2018), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), and Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)
Whether you’re a video game fan or not, Lara Croft is still the most badass female heroine, well, ever. (Sorry, Katniss and Wonder Woman.) The 2018 version starring Alicia Vikander has strikingly good action and cinematography and is, aesthetic-wise, very in line with the most recent video game releases. If you’re like me and can’t wait until 2021 for the sequel, then the 2000s’ Angelina Jolie version are a decent substitute.
Transformers has been slightly overlooked since the last entry into the franchise came out before Endgame. (Bumblebee came out in 2018, and the next installment isn’t scheduled until 2022.) That’s okay, because every single one of these is worth a rewatch. Transformers gets applause for being one of the only franchises to reboot without erasing the earlier (Shia Labeouf) movies. That’s a good thing, because from 2007’s Transformers onward through the Mark Wahlberg movies, these movies are a gift from above.
Walker Texas Ranger (1993–2001)
Okay, to some, Chuck Norris might not be a superhero. And Walker Texas Ranger isn’t a movie. But this writer decided it fits in this list. In the process of rewatching Walker Texas Ranger, wherein Chuck Norris kicks the butts (literally) of drug dealers, murderers, and human traffickers 196 times, it has proved to me that Chuck Norris isn’t just a superhero. He’s America’s superhero.
Chuck Norris for President, 2024.
From 2000’s X-men to 2019’s Dark Phoenix, 20th Century Fox’s X-men franchise pre-dates the MCU by eight years. What better way to prepare for the entrance of the X-men into Disney’s Marvel Universe but by a rewatch of every single Fox X-men movie in order? The highlight of the series? Days of Future Past (2014), which weaves the prequels and the not-so-prequels together perfectly. And, truth be told, don’t we all want a redo for our lives that ends just as happily as that?