Top 10 Action Movie Romances
By Devvon Eubanks
Valentine’s Day is a time of love, affection, tenderness, and togetherness. It is a special day with your significant other, filled with romance and gifts. And you know what? That’s just plain boring. Where is the suspense of traveling at breakneck speeds with your lover while a bomb is strapped to your vehicle? Where is the intensity of shooting a handful of bad guys while staring into your lady’s eyes? Where’s the action?! Well, to celebrate this upcoming day devoted to all things heart-shaped, I will give my take on ten of the best Valentine’s Day films that will give a little spice to your movie-watching romance.
10. True Lies (1994)
Marriage can be a tricky thing, especially when your spouse has a job that requires them to leave town for a few days. But what happens if their “job” is a cover for something more daring? Harry Tasker is secret agent for a counter-terrorism task force, but masquerades as a computer salesman to his wife and daughter. Discovering that his wife Helen seeks a more adventurous life away from her boring desk job, Harry secretly sets his wife up to complete a staged spy mission. However, the couple is caught by terrorists and Harry’s secret life is revealed to Helen. Together, this experienced husband and his anxious wife must face this threat and save the world. The pairing of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis is a bit odd and somewhat corny, but the film plays as more of a comedy than an action film. But seeing this nerdy woman trying to be a sly, sexy professional and matching the burly Schwarzenegger will have viewers chuckling away.
9. Speed (1994)
A close romance can bloom in the craziest situations, and this film shows that even the most dire circumstances can’t stop love. Threatened by a mad bomber, police officer Jack Traven discovers the criminal planting bombs on city buses. The bomber tells Jack that a device he planted on a bus will activate once it reaches a 50 MPH speed limit and will detonate if it falls below that. After finding the bus and informing the passengers of the incident, the movie becomes a test of keeping the bus moving at all costs. But in the midst of the suspense, Jack happens to grow close to bus passenger Annie and trusts her with calming the passengers and even driving the vehicle. This connection slowly blossoms into a relationship, and the two eventually exit the bus safely, holding each other and saved by their love.
8. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Globetrotting can be a dangerous affair, but for Professor Indiana Jones, it's a lifestyle. After being contacted by two intelligence agents of the US Army, Jones discovers that the Nazis are close to finding a major artifact that would make their armies invincible: the Ark of the Covenant. To prevent the artifact from falling into the hands of evil, Jones travels to Nepal to get a headpiece from a staff in order to find a secret chamber where the Ark is hidden. Little does Indy know that Marion Ravenwood, daughter of his old mentor, is in possession of this piece. After some run-ins with Nazis and some trekking across Egypt, Jones and Marion slowly develop a close relationship with a lot of in-fighting and arguments, but some tender moments as well. This would propel the couple into a marriage in future films, solidifying the two as an onscreen couple.
7. Superman (1978)
There have been many famous romantic relationships when it comes to superheroes and villains. However, none compare to one of the most well-known courtships in comics, between Superman and Lois Lane, portrayed by Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder in this 1978 film. Trying to blend in with the crowd, superhero Kal-El takes on the persona of Clark Kent and gets a job as a fledgling reporter for the Daily Planet. However, when he sees fellow journalist Lois Lane, he is captivated by her, and this “Man of Steel” shows a softer side of himself that he has never exhibited before. After using his powers publicly for the first time, Superman visits Lois at her home and flies her around the city for a personal interview, kicking off a timeless onscreen relationship between hero and damsel and continued in its sequels.
6. The Fifth Element (1997)
What’s better than saving the world? Saving it with a female supreme being that is the key to all life. Leeloo is an ancient warrior who is genetically remade in the distant future to combat an ancient malevolence. However, after falling into the backseat of a cab driven by Korben Dallas, the two instantly share a connection and eventually work together to stop a great evil from plunging the universe into darkness. The onscreen camaraderie between Bruce Willis and Millia Jovovich really isn’t overtly romantic until the last third of the film, but what makes it special is their overall level of dialogue. Jovovich seeks to understand a new society from prehistoric knowledge, and she comes off as an animated person who is full of life and naïveté while also being extremely powerful. Willis, on the other hand, is experienced and temperamental, but there to guide Leeloo and teach her the ways of the new world she's fighting for. This relationship helps her understands the era and how to love.
5. Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
When a couple gets married, it's assumed that the two know just about everything about each other. But when both people are contract killers working for opposite agencies, well, let’s just say that bedtime gets a little more interesting. Such is the case of John and Jane Smith, who are going to counseling and trying to understand why the spark in their relationship has gone out. However, once the spouses receive the same contract, they both attempt to kill their better half, only to become closer through their passion for violence and each other. With tons of heat and a reignited ardor for one another, this film takes love to a whole new level. Of course, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were just beginning their relationship in real life, and in “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” that passion brings out the sensuality in all couples looking to get into some spy games.
4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
When it comes to Star Wars, Han Solo and Princess Leia are the epitome of a film couple. But with the introduction of the long-awaited Episode VII, this duo might finally have some competition. After being dissolved and reformed as The First Order, the Empire is once again threatening the galaxy with another weapon of mass destruction. Meanwhile, rogue Stormtrooper FN-2187 (or “Finn”) leaves the Order, horrified by what he is being ordered to do. Running to a local planet, Finn encounters Rey, a scavenger. Throughout the rest of the film, the two develop a very close kinship that could be considered as either a brother-sister relationship or something more. At first, Finn mostly looks out for himself, but his caring for the strong, stalwart Rey changes his perspective. Also, Rey’s affection for Finn at the end of the film as he lies injured suggests a deeper connection. It is evident that the two share extremely strong feelings, and it might be something that will develop more as the franchise continues.
3. Casino Royale (2006)
Romance wouldn’t be romance without British Secret Service Agent 007, James Bond. In this edition, Bond gets sent by MI6 to a high-stakes Texas hold ‘em tournament led by terrorist financier, Le Chiffre. However, on his way to Montenegro for the game, Bond meets Vesper Lynd, a British Treasury agent that works with him to stop Chiffre. When the two fall in love, Bond goes as far as leaving MI6 after the mission to be with Vesper, but is later betrayed by her as she is a double agent who loves him, but is forced to go against him. What is unique here is how this particular romance affects the next three Bond films. It is the one love James constantly reflects on, and this relationship leaves an emptiness that he cannot seem to fill with any other woman.
2. Desperado (1995)
Revenge is a dish best served cold, but an amazing woman by your side can make it that much sweeter. Looking to settle the score with gang leader Bucho, who killed his wife and crippled his left hand, El Mariachi goes on a shooting rampage in a Mexican town with a guitar case full of weapons and explosives. While being pursued by one of Bucho’s henchman, this legend passes by Carolina, a gorgeous woman who owns a bookstore, and saves her life. Bringing the man to her store and nursing his wounds, the two fall madly in love and Carolina vows to help him. With guns blazing, acrobatic feats, and a steamy, sexy team of lovers in Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, romance has never been more dangerous.
1. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
How far would you go for love? Because I think Scott Pilgrim has you beat when it comes to the love of his life, Ramona Flowers. Not only does Scott ditch his current girlfriend for Ramona, but he also has to defeat Ramona’s SEVEN evil ex-boyfriends to be able to win her heart…all of whom have a range of superpowers and abilities. Scott is truly in for a journey, but his passion for Ramona keeps him going through each battle and obstacle. With various pop culture and video game references, an amazing soundtrack, tons of character, action, and an immersive plot, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” is an amazing, unique love story.