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A Love Letter To Shitty Action Movies

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Terrible Action Movies

Furious 7 has what might be one of my favorite movie scenes of all time. It builds up to the scene by showing Vin Diesel getting ready to kill the bad guy, he gets a shotgun and saws off the barrel. Later, when he faces off with this guy on top of a parking structure, he has a chance to shoot the guy and kill him immediately. But, in a classic cheesy action movie trope, he makes the dumb decision to toss the gun and decides to make it a fistfight.

But here’s the best part. The cement on the parking structure begins to crumble and is ready to collapse. So Vin Diesel stomps on the ground to make the structure collapse, and the bad guy falls through and tumbles to his death. Right before the stomp, Vin Diesel says what might be the dumbest line of all time. He smirks and says, “The thing about a street fight is… the street always wins.”

It’s a hilarious moment of sheer stupidity. It’s bizarre and nonsensical and unbelievably corny. And you know what? I absolutely love it. Is Furious 7 SUPPOSED to be dumb? I have no idea. Hopefully. Maybe not. I guess we’ll never know, but it doesn’t matter.

I love dumb action flicks. Mindless movies that make you choke on your popcorn while laughing at their unintentional silliness, with tons of over-the-top shootouts and explosions to keep your brain distracted for 90 minutes. The dumber the better. I want corny, poorly written dialogue and one-dimensional characters that make baffling decisions.

Wild Wild West (the 1999 Will Smith flick) was considered a massive failure. It got abysmal reviews and was a box office bomb (even Will himself has said that he hates it). But I love it. Objectively, it’s a terrible movie, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t entertain the shit out of me.

Some dumb action movies KNOW they’re dumb, and they’re dumb on purpose (Snakes On A Plane, Shoot ‘Em Up). For some of them, you can’t tell if it’s on purpose or not (Furious 7, The Expendables), and some of them have no idea they’re dumb (Wild Wild West, ANY Nicholas Cage movie).

I love them, though. I love how dumb, corny, and unintentionally funny they can be. The list goes on and on: Commando, Road House, Top Gun, Bad Boys II, Transformers, hell, even Suicide Squad (Jared Leto is still the biggest douchebag on the planet, though).

Some of you guys might be waiting for me to name drop one of your favorite action flicks. You may be thinking, “What about Die Hard?” Or maybe Raiders Of The Last Ark, Terminator 2, or The Matrix. Well those don’t count to me, because those movies are actually GOOD. They have a cleverness and a self-awareness to them. They’re well written and intelligent.

Well fuck that. I want my action movies terribly written. I want cheesy dialogue. I want unnecessary, excessive sex scenes that feel shoehorned in. I want ridiculously unrealistic depictions of dudes surviving explosions, all played with a straight face. The dumber the better. I want shitty one-liners and atrocious acting. The type of terrible acting that’ll make your pretentious theater teacher shit his pants out of pure rage.

So grab some popcorn. Grab a beer or light a bowl and pop a dumb DVD in. Get some friends together and laugh at the mindless BS and revel in all of its beauty. Cheesy action movies are like visual comfort food, and they’re as American as apple pie. Take time out of your day to thank God for shitty action movies.

Image via YouTube

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Wally Bryton

TFM's most beloved writer

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