This year is poised to be a good one for the action genre, with fresh entries in the superhero franchise, comic book adaptations galore, and a sequel to The Expendables, the Sylvester Stallone-backed ensemble sequel being the closest we're going to get to a modern-day Dirty Dozen in this decade. The anxiety to see some butts get kicked on the silver screen will subside, and, soon enough, some of Tinseltown's most reliable action gurus will be back at your local theater.
But the genre's most unexpected and craziest jolt of adrenaline will come this weekend, when writer-director Gareth Evans' brutal The Raid: Redemption hits limited theaters. Set inside a grimy apartment building in Jakarta, Indonesia, the festival favorite pits an overmatched SWAT team against an endless crew of criminals trained in the martial art Silat; at the film's center is Iko Uwais, a fisticuffs beast who, if you ask us, has the potential to be the next Tony Jaa.
The Indonesia-born Uwais is certainly in a better position to achieve action flick glory than former Friday Night Light star Taylor Kitsch, whose leading man turn in Disney's John Carter couldn't save the production from becoming a staggering $200 million loss for Mickey Mouse's company. Perhaps Kitsch will have more luck with this May's board-game-by-way-of-Transformers blockbuster Battleship. That John Carter debacle has to sting, though.
We wish both Uwais and Kitsch the best of luck, but they've both got a way to go before either one of them graces the following, prestigious list of cinema's greatest butt-kickers, a little something we like to call The 50 Best Action Stars In Movie History.
Written by Frazier Tharpe (@The_SummerMan)