3 insane action movies to stream on Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video right now

Grab the popcorn and the edge of your seat, these three films will take you on a wild ride

Extraction 2
(Image credit: Netflix)

Is there anything better than a beautiful, well-paced period drama with Oscar-worthy cinematography? Well, yes... explosions and helicopters!

Explosions and helicopters will always be better.

There are few things better than big, stupid action movies – films that push boundaries and put a huge army boot-style kick into your adrenal gland. For pure escapism, an action flick can deliver absolute puerile entertainment – all wrapped up in an hour or two.

Here we suggest three of our favourites of recent times that you can watch on the major streaming services right now.

Extraction 2

  • Where: Netflix
  • Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Golshfteh Farahani, Adam Bessa, Tornike Gogrichiani
  • Directed by: Sam Hargrave

At the end of the Chris Hemsworth action vehicle Extraction we see our main character, Tyler Rake, dead. He is deceased... a goner... expired... departed... no more... shot multiple times, blown up, then fallen from a bridge and drowned. However, in the world of movies when should a little thing like that get in the way of a follow up?

Obvious he got better.

I'm pretty sure there is some kind of story and plot in Extraction 2, and I'm pretty sure that at some point they sat down and wrote a script of sorts. What they didn't do was let things like that get in the way of making an absolutely insane and completely nonsensical action movie.

Helicopters explode, people get shot millions of times, things burst into flames and all that usually happens while falling from high things. 

Hemsworth is great – he throws himself fully into the franchise and comes across as a very likeable and dependable action hero. His obvious physicality carries well and action scenes are choreographed almost to perfection. They are brutal, visceral and raw, never holding back and using single shot runs and dutch angles to create a unique and memorable style.

Extraction 2 isn't going to win any awards, but it never intends to. It does exactly what is intended and I have no doubt will just be the second in a raft of future instalments.

Alita: Battle Angel

  • Where: Disney+
  • Stars: Rosa Salazar, Christoper Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein
  • Directed by: Robert Rodrigeuz

Based on the 1990s Battle Angel Alita manga series, the big screen adaptation gives us a glimpse into a far future where humanity has fully embraced cybernetic augmentation and the lines between man and machine have become blurred. Law and order has seemingly collapsed, with huge corporations ruling things and the separation of rich and poor being not just a social construct but also a geographical issue. The rich live in gleaming, perfect, floating cities, the poor down in the slums where life is cheap and murder is commonplace.

Into this we find Alita, an advanced battle robot with the embedded mind and soul of a human child. With her memory wiped and body nearly destroyed she is restored to life and sheltered by a local doctor (Christopher Waltz) who is determined to give her a normal life despite her past and obvious abilities.

With stunning CGI visuals, a story written by none other than James Cameron, and Robert Rodriguez in the director's chair, Alita: Battle Angel was fully expected to be a huge success that would create a franchise and serve as the first in a line of movies... sadly, that never happened.

However, that's in spite of the fact that it's a really solid action film with some amazing and insane set pieces, so shouldn't put you off.

It looks great, has a fantastic cast, and features some jaw dropping action sequences that, despite its cartoonish appearance, are surprisingly graphic and mature.

John Wick 4

  • Where: Amazon Prime Video
  • Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick, Ian McShane, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgard
  • Directed by: Chad Stahelski

What can be said about John Wick that hasn't already? It's quite possibly the biggest action movie franchise in the world right now, and John Wick 4 is even bigger, louder, longer and more intense than its predecessors in almost every way. It also brings the story of the titular John Wick to an end... although I think we all know that won't happen.

Instead of boring you with a synopsis, I'll focus on one particular scene where I fully believe the film shows itself to be more than just a shoot 'em up and becomes simply art.

Around halfway through the movie, John (Keanu Reeves) finds himself hunted and trapped inside an old, run down, block of apartments, armed with just a shotgun and a load of Dragons Breath shotgun rounds. The camera follows John and then zooms upwards, drone-like, to an overhead position. We watch from this vantage point as, room by room, John shoots it out with a selection of bad guys.

The entire scene is played out like a dance, like ballet, with each step and movement perfectly choreographed and every frame over-saturated and torn between dragged-out slow motion and sped-up, hyper-realised celluloid. The intensity of the scene and the level of talent and work that must have gone into it is mind-blowing.

It is an absolutely beautiful scene, one worthy of being released simply on its own.

John Wick 4 is the best in the franchise so far. It's indulgent, makes very little sense, is poorly paced, and about an hour too long, but all of this means nothing when watched for what it is. It is, quite simply, the best example of modern action cinema.

Brian Comber

Liverpool lad, mid-life crisis survivor, writer of short fiction, screenplays, articles, reviews and opinion pieces. Brian is totally in love with cinema in all its many forms. He writes for websites, blogs and published magazines, including Screen Rant, IGN and Purple Revolver in the constant hope it will help him avoid getting a real grown-up job. In his free time, he's a gym obsessive and previously good guitarist.