With the world reeling under the coronavirus outbreak, going on an adventurous trip appears like a distant dream. But there are always stories through which we can vicariously go on perilous yet fun adventures.
Here are ten brilliant adventure movies or film franchises that will, for a while, let you escape into worlds that are happier than the one we are living in right now.
1. The Hobbit: An Expected Journey
The first film from Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy divided critics, but it was one of the better movies with an adventure at its centre. Our hero, Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins, is forcibly thrown into a quest of dwarves to reclaim their homeland by Sir Ian McKellen’s crafty wizard Gandalf, and yet, we later discover that the ostensibly stay-at-home hobbit had an adventurous streak, after all. “The world is not your books and maps. It’s out there,” Gandalf tells Bilbo.
2. The Lord of the Rings
Peter Jackson’s epic of all epics, The Lord of the Rings was based on JRR Tolkien’s hefty tome of the same name. It combined great writing, stunning visual effects and pitch-perfect casting to tell an emotion-heavy tale of the eternal struggle against evil.
3. Indiana Jones
The quintessential adventure movies, it is hard to choose one among the Indiana Jones movies. A poll from a couple of years ago deemed Harrison Ford’s fictional archaeology professor the most popular movie character, beating out Batman and his own Han Solo. It is easy to see why. Indiana Jones lives the life many dream of. There is nothing remotely dull in his life, it appears, as he fights the Nazis, cult leaders and all manner of scum of society… and comes out of the fray alive and still pining for more adventure.
4. The Man Who Would Be King
Starring two giants of British cinema, Sean Connery and Michael Caine, The Man Who Would Be King was adapted from the eponymous Rudyard Kipling novella by John Huston and Gladys Hill. The two legends play the role of British Army’s non-commissioned officers who embark on a little adventure and end up in Kafiristan after facing dacoits, elemental forces and so on. The film is one of those little-known gems that more people need to discover and watch.
5. The Goonies
The classic adventure movie involving a bunch of kids who discover an old map that purports to unearth the treasure of a legendary pirate. The kids, calling themselves the Goonies, are determined to save their homes from foreclosure and think this treasure may be a way out of the problem. Oh, but there is a whole family of criminals on their trail.
There is no other Pixar film that has had the same impact on me as Up. Well, perhaps apart from Coco. The film is such a stunning and unlikely concoction of grief and joy. The characters and story are remarkably well-written. In the classic Pixar tradition, the film keeps things simple enough for a kid to understand, but everything in the movie will appeal to the most hard-bitten adult. Adventure is, indeed, out there.
7. The Mummy
Another movie that received mixed critical reviews, The Mummy (1999) is simply one of the best adventure movies ever made. Brendan Fraser’s Rick O’Connell is an American adventurer who accidentally awakens a cursed high priest Imhotep from the era of Seti I, a pharaoh that ruled Egypt around 3300 years ago. The special effects handled by Industrial Light & Magic still hold up superbly.
8. The Adventures of Tintin
Exquisitely animated and featuring some of the best voice-acting you will ever see in an animated film, Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin was for many their childhood come alive in high definition.
9. Pirates of the Caribbean
Led by Johnny Depp’s perpetually inebriated Jack Sparrow, a winning character which made Depp one of the most well-known actors in the world, Pirates of the Caribbean was based on a Disneyland ride of the same name. Equal parts swashbuckling pirate adventure and fantasy, Pirates of the Caribbean, or at least the first two films, was wholesome entertainment for the whole family.
10. Thor: Ragnarok
Thor: Ragnarok is also a bloody good adventure movie. It took two mediocre movies for the God of Thunder (and Chris Hemsworth) to show what he was capable of, and you would never imagine that a film about the literal end of the world could be uproariously funny. It was not perfect, but you’ll be laughing too much to notice any flaws. Recruiting Taika Waititi may be the best decision Kevin Feige ever made.
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