10 action movies that only have one real action scene

When you hear the words “action movie”, you probably immediately think of a movie that has tons of fights, emotions, and action scenes. This is usually an honest assessment. Action movies often live or die because of how good their action scenes are, and often having a few great action scenes scattered throughout the movie is the best way to keep viewers glued to their seats, especially if each scene is bigger and better than the last.

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On the other hand, some action movies take a more minimalist approach. It’s surprisingly possible for action movies to be successful with just one action scene, and if it’s well-built or exciting enough, or takes up a large chunk of the movie, viewers are often okay with that approach. To show you how action movies can only survive one action scene, here are 10 movies that record all the action in one main sequence.


“Godzilla” (2014)

2014 godjilla he’s somewhat infamous for the way he teased action scenes, only to back down from showing them at the last minute. There were times when human figures at ground level were going to see something destroyed, or two monsters got into a fight, only to be pushed away at the last minute, and the camera followed them instead of what they were looking at.

Some viewers may not want to forgive such extreme jokes from the filmmakers, but at least the patient viewers were rewarded for their patience with a big climax. Godzilla stars as two MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms) towards the end of the movie, and the sequence is gorgeous. It’s a fantastic battle against monsters, both instinctive and awe-inspiring, and a worthy ending to a film that is otherwise surprisingly light.

“Harakiri” (1962)

Harakiri is a very dark samurai film, using its story of honor and revenge to comment on the hypocrisy of samurai, who before 1962 were usually portrayed more positively in Japanese popular culture. Harakiri is a movie designed to show samurai in a more realistic – and pessimistic – light, and one way to do so is with far less action than most samurai movies.

Much of the film is about a depressed man telling an increasingly tragic story to a samurai clan, and by the end of the movie it becomes clear that he has a personal revenge against them. That’s when the film explodes at its bloody and memorable climax, with one of the most brutal intricate samurai combat scenes ever shot.

Kill Bill Vol. 2 ‘(2004)

Kill Bill Vol. 2 stands out from the background Volume. 1 for much less action. In the bride’s quest for revenge, she takes part in two long, one-on-one fights Kill Bill Vol. 1as well as one long (and extremely bloody) battle where he will face Crazy 88: a gang of killers so big they form almost a small army.

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The raging frenzy of revenge continues in Volume. 2but one of her targets is removed by someone else and another depicts her taking part in a long verbal battle, and the physical combat ends so quickly that it barely counts as “action”. However, he does have an extended fight in the trailer with Elle Driver, which is the only pure action scene in the movie. It’s great too, with claustrophobic scenery that makes things extremely brutal, tense, and darkly comedic.

“Proof of Death” (2007)

Something like Kill Bill, Quentin Tarantino deliberately rough and dirty return to Grindhouse, Proof of Deathis also a story of two halves. Here, however, they are not divided into volumes. Each half is distinguished by a rather different group of young women, which the film’s antagonist, stuntman Mike, tries to stalk and kill in his muscle car.

The first group is dispatched fast enough that it’s more of a thriller (or even horror) scene than a proper action sequence. The second group, however, is struggling to lead to a truly perfect car chase that could be the best in the 21st century so far. The stunts are exciting, the car fight looks really dangerous and the way it spectacularly ends has to be seen to be believed.

“Face with a Scar” (1983)

a man with a scar is more of a crime drama than an action movie, but fast-paced and lots of violence… enough to make it possibly an action movie. When Al Pacino being the loudest and most intense – and chewing up as much scenery as here – maybe it’s inevitable that blood will spill.

Either way, the movie ends with one of the 80’s most memorable shootings. Tony Montana has lost everything at this point, and when a small army comes down on his mansion to kill him for good, he decides to come out with a bang. And come out with a bang (plus hundreds of bullets fired) it certainly does.

“Seven Samurai” (1954)

Seven Samurai is a 3.5-hour epic in which a village recruits a gang of samurai to defend itself against brutal and greedy bandits who terrorize them. It’s fairly neatly broken down into three thirds: the first part is samurai recruiting, the second part is preparing for the inevitable attack on the city, and the third and final part is a long, dragging battle scene after the bandits finally attack.

Thanks to this structure, it is a movie that keeps its action at its climax. However, the battle is long enough to provide enough combat and excitement in a few action scenes, and the build-up of the first two acts is as engaging as the dramatic climax. The length and emphasis on character development also help to take more care of the samurai and townspeople, making the action even more intense and engaging at the end.

“Zero of the Dark 30” (2012)

Zero Dark Thirty is a suspenseful political thriller most of the time. The film is primarily about a long, drawn-out manhunt on Osama bin Laden in the years following the 2001 World Trade Center attacks, with numerous false starts and failures, given that it was a search that lasted almost a decade.

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He finally located himself and right there Zero dark 30 one action scene is involved. There’s an extended scene depicting the raid on the Bin Laden complex, and it’s the film’s most suspenseful and action-packed set that can be annoying, even though viewers almost certainly know how it’s going to end ahead of time.

Oldboy (2003)

Old boy it’s a grim, brutal thriller about revenge, but despite its high stakes, it’s not a movie with loads of action. Most of the violent scenes aren’t necessarily violent because of the characters fighting, and the movie is ultimately more focused on the main mystery, the twists and the inner struggle of the main character, Oh Dae-Su.

However, he manages to have one extremely memorable action scene, roughly halfway through the movie. It includes a hallway, a hammer, and a bunch of thugs who have no idea what they’re up to… and even more impressively, it’s all done in one shot. It’s a fantastic scene and so telling that Old boy it doesn’t even need to have any other full, true action sequences.

“Free Fire” (2016)

Free fire is a movie that probably contains one action scene because the entire movie is kind of a single action scene. That might make it a bit cheating to include it here, but the movie takes place in real time, in one place and depicts characters in constant danger as the movie is like one long Mexican stalemate.

It naturally feels a little repetitive and absurd at times, but ultimately does a decent job of keeping viewers invested in its ambitious set-up. There aren’t many movies that are just one long action scene, but Free fire it might as well be one of them.

Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

Apparently viewers in 2022 don’t mind action movies with rare stocks, considering how much money Top Gun: Maverick earned at the box office. It’s a movie where the heroes spend most of the movie getting ready for one daring mission and then spend the final act of the movie completing that mission.

Of course, that still means there’s a lot of action; everything is just condensed in the final third of the movie, and the earlier aerial scenes are all about training and flying rather than actual combat and action. However, this works because the action – when it comes – is spectacular and well worth the wait.

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