From 'John Wick' to 'Mad Max': 10 Best Action Movies with Titles Named After Main Characters – Collider

“What’s in a name?”
The tone and mood of the movie are frequently established by the movie titles, which also shape the audience's expectations. Movie titles might refer to a character, an abstract idea, a significant location in the movie, or in some cases, all of the above.
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To save the audience time and highlight the significance of the character's journey in the film, many filmmakers decide to name their movie after the main character. This technique covered all film genres, from drama and comedy to action. Due to this strategy, many directors successfully get audiences to remember both the title and the hero's name.
Mad Max: Fury Road is the fourth installment and a reboot of the Mad Max series, which follows Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), who teams up with Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) to fight cult leader Immortan Joe and his troops, sparking a protracted road battle.
The film deviates from the usual and obvious formula for this action genre. Instead, Mad Max: Fury Road is a master class in stone-cold action, stunning, intelligent, and shocking in how it defies the conventional notion of a blockbuster. Hardy nailed his performance as the titular character with such ease and enthusiasm, fully embracing the "Mad" in the film's title.
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John Wick is a neo-noir action thriller franchise with three movies released from 2014 to 2019. The first installment in 2014 centers on the title character, played by Keanu Reeves, who is still in mourning over the death of his wife with his dog, which was brutally murdered by haughty Russian mafia prince Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen), was forced to come out of retirement for revenge.
A role like John Wick is perfect for Reeves because it gives him a chance to play with a calm, almost mythological confidence while yet being able to deliver a funny one-liner with detachment and accuracy. In addition to its impressive and expertly choreographed action sequences, the movie also features a lot of somber cinematography that portrays the underworld of crime.
Baby Driver is an action film written and directed by Edgar Wright that follows Ansel Elgort as a getaway driver named Baby who is attempting to escape the life of a criminal with his girlfriend, Debora, played by brilliant Lily James.
Baby Driver is enthralled by the non-CGI sequences, crisp and special shooting style, set to incredible music, rather than by numerous unnecessary explosive scenes or flashy supercars. Additionally, although not novel, the screenplay is nevertheless outstanding on its own and features more real-life scenarios than typical blockbusters. Last but not least, the film's antagonists were well-developed, which led audiences to sympathize with them.
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Based on the 1980 novel by Robert Ludlum, The Bourne Identity is an action-thriller movie released in 2002 and directed by Doug Liman. The movie is the first installment in the Bourne franchise that follows Matt Damon as the titular character, Jason Bourne, a psychogenic amnesiac man seeking to figure out who he is in the middle of a covert CIA scheme.
The film is an accomplished action film about a story that only serves to further an outstanding action film. The screenplay was not well-polished because the entire plot is a setup for the martial arts and action sequences. Fans can still enjoy it because excellent cinematography and the cast's acting are highlighted throughout.
La Femme Nikita, popularly known in France as Nikita, was written and directed by Luc Besson. Anne Parillaud plays the titular role, a young criminal who is found guilty and given a life sentence for killing police officers during an armed robbery of a pharmacy. Her government handlers stage her demise and hire her as a contract killer.
Nikita starts with elements of a bloody and violent thriller but transcends into the tale of the heroine's development. The film has a similar emotional path to Penny Marshall’s Awakenings which was released the same year and is surprisingly moving. In addition, Parillaud is the ideal choice for the character who elevates the film to a new level.
Jackie Brown is a crime movie written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and pays homage to blaxploitation movies from the 1970s. The film follows the titular middle-aged stewardess, played by Pam Grier, who smuggles money from Mexico to Los Angeles for the arms dealer Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson) and gets caught on a job.
Instead of being a two-movie wonder filmmaker, Tarantino's talent is demonstrated in this film. The film boasts a compelling plot, incredible and exciting action scenes, and enjoyable music. If dialogue and narrative are Tarantino's strong suits, his gift is casting, and he made a terrific decision for the lead actor in a way that keeps viewers glued to the screen.
Rocky is a sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen, and it’s the first installment in the Rocky franchise. Sylvester Stallone wrote and starred as the titular character, a club fighter and debt collector who is given an unexpected opportunity to challenge Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) for the world heavyweight championship.
The Oscar-winning film, which follows the conventional theme of achieving success from the bottom up, transforms into something incredibly motivating and profound. The movie is a must-see classic because it has numerous thought-provoking discussions, a sharp storyline, fantastic boxing scenes, and excellent acting from the cast and Stallone himself.
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Logan is the third and final film in the Wolverine trilogy and the ninth overall in the X-Men film franchise. The movie, which is based on Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s Old Man Logan comics narrative, centers on an old Wolverine, a.k.a Logan (Hugh Jackman), and a gravely ill Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) who protect a young mutant named Laura (Dafne Keen) from the evil Reavers.
The concepts and philosophical underpinnings of Logan can be dissected in retrospect, but it's crucial to remember that the movie is viscerally thrilling to see. Additionally, in contrast to most superhero movies, where action sequences are frequently used for spectacle, Logan’s action sequences serve a purpose and connect far more powerfully. The film demonstrates how deeply one may delve into the superhero genre if one simply takes a new approach to it.
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Iron Man is the first MCU movie based on the same-named character from Marvel Comics. The movie centers on renowned businessman and master engineer Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) creating a mechanized armor suit and transforming into the superhero Iron Man after escaping from a terrorist group's custody.
Despite lacking the qualities of a typical superhero, such as mental weight and gravitas, Downey's performance is fascinating, unconventional, and intriguing. Moreover, the plot of this film is so clever that it holds together despite the loud explosions and collisions that can easily distract viewers.
Wonder Woman is the fourth installment of the DCEU and is based on the character of the same name by DC Comics. The movie centers on the Amazon princess, Diana (Gal Gadot), who vows to stop World War I, which she believes was caused by the Amazons’ longtime foe, Ares.
Wonder Woman is intelligent, stylish, and fulfilling in every way superhero movies should be, and it stands out in the recent flood of superhero films. Moreover, the film aims to explore deeper and more important subjects like morality and war, which is more ambitious than simply bringing a well-known comic character to the big screen.
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Jessie Nguyen is a Senior List Writer at Collider. She is a Vietnamese writer, copywriter, and blogger who was interested in television and movies from a very young age – a Succession reference if you may notice.
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