As you’re no doubt aware, Netflix is chockablock with pretty much every kind of genre and movie for you to enjoy.
But, as with anything, there’s the good stuff and the bad stuff – and that’s where we come in. Every month, we’re going to pluck five gems from Netflix’s library in a specific genre – action, horror, comedy and drama – for you to watch.
First up, it’s action.
Saoirse Ronan and Eric Bana star in this pacey, weird Euro-thriller with an electronica soundtrack by the Chemical Brothers. You’ve got Cate Blanchett in there as the hilariously OTT villain Marissa Wiegler, a CIA agent who’s trying to wrap up the mess that is Ronan’s freakish strength and agility, and Eric Bana’s weird accent. Brilliant action sequences, all of them directed by Joe Wright. To think, this is the same guy who did ‘Atonement’.
‘Black Hawk Down’
If you’ve played any ‘Call Of Duty’ videogame – and we’re talking from Modern Warfare on – there’s a debt of gratitude owed to ‘Black Hawk Down’, as the game pretty much lifted its soundtrack and general aesthetic from it. That not enough for you? Joss Whedon said he watched ‘Black Hawk Down’ repeatedly whilst prepping for the battle sequences in ‘Avengers’ and ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ to get the feel right. Directed by Ridley Scott and starring a who’s-who of talent that includes Jason Isaacs (hello), Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana, Tom Sizemore, Josh Hartnett, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments with Tom Hardy and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Ewan McGregor.
‘Last Action Hero’
Imagine a spoof of action movies directed by someone who’s actually directed some of the most well-known action movies there is, starring easily the most recognisable action movie there is, written by two nerds and then subsequently rewritten by the screenwriter of some of the most recognisable action movies there is. That’s ‘Last Action Hero’ – a movie so truly weird that it’s kind of incredible it ever happened in the first place. Naturally enough, the movie didn’t do well on its initial release and became part of Hollywood legend for the backlash against it, but time’s managed to turn it around make it into what it is – a self-aware action movie that’s actually pretty decent for what it is.
Speaking of action heroes, Mel Gibson’s directorial effort ‘Apocalypto’ may not look or sound like your typical action movie, but this has all the hallmarks of one. It’s a relentless, two-hour chase sequence that sees a Mayan hunter named Jaguar Paw on the run from an invading force who are out to capture him so they can use him as part of a ritual human sacrifice to satisfy their gods. It’s ridiculously violent in parts and while there may be subtitles, the dialogue never feels like it’s totally necessary to understand what’s going on. They say the best films are the ones that can be viewed without dialogue and you can still understand what you’re seeing. ‘Apocalypto’ is an excellent example of this idea in practice.
‘Fast and Furious 5’
Arguably the ‘Fast and Furious’ movie that turned the franchise around, ‘Fast Five’ brought in Dwayne Johnson, dropped the street-racing element in favour of physics-defying heists, and turned the general idea into ‘Heat’ but with steroids and commercial EDM. Since then, the formula mapped out in ‘Fast Five’ has continued for the next three movies and considering the insane amount of money they’ve made at the box office, it’s unsurprising that they’re not deviating from it.