Like Boy Kills World? Then watch these 3 extreme action movies now

A man prepares to fight in Boy Kills World.

We’re living through something of an action movie renaissance, which means that it’s a great time to be a fan of those kinds of movies. John Wick and the Mission: Impossible franchise have kick-started an entire wave of knockoffs, and while not all of these movies are great, the fact that we’re getting so many that have basically nothing to do with superheroes is definitely a good sign.

Boy Kills World is one recent example of a gonzo, irreverent action movie about one man’s obsessive drive for revenge. If you saw that movie and felt like you were picking up everything that it put down, we’re recommending three more that are just as great … and almost as bloody.

Mandy (2018)

Dream Scenario‘s Nicolas Cage has made so many movies like Boy Kills World that it’s hard to pick just one, but Mandy may be the closest analog, and it also happens to be one of the better Cage movies of recent years. Set in the middle of a remote forest, the movie follows Cage as he avenges the murder of his wife.

While things start out fairly grounded in reality, as we wind our way toward the conclusion, we get a chain saw sword fight and plenty of other brutal kills. Cage certainly embraces the bigness of the premise here, but he also brings a surprising amount of emotional sensitivity, which makes for a pretty potent combo platter.

They Live (1988)

For most of his career, director John Carpenter has been a king of gonzo action movies, and They Live is one of his very best. The movie is set in an economically depressed world where a man discovers that many of the people around him have been replaced by unfeeling aliens who are driving him to be a cog in the wheel of capitalism.

That may sound a little convoluted, but it ultimately leads to a remarkably fun ride as he tries to save himself and those around him — and liberate the town of Los Angeles too. It also features one of the longest, stupidest, most brutal physical altercations to ever appear in a feature film.

They Live can be rented or purchased on Amazon Prime Video.

Oldboy (2003)

Oldboy 20th Anniversary Re-Release Trailer (2023)

While it’s a little more grounded in reality than Boy Kills World, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Oldboy is set in the real world. The film tells the story of a man who is abducted and gets trapped living in a single room for the next 15 years. While there, he masters various martial arts so that, upon his release, he can track down the man who locked him up.

Oldboy‘s stunning final sequence is only one reason the movie is worth recommending, and we’re definitely not going to spoil it here. It has a lot of the same gonzo energy that defines Boy Kills World, though, and equally impressive action beats.

Oldboy is streaming on Netflix.

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