Five Action Movies to Stream Now


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In the mobster crime thriller “Furioza,” warring gangs fight with their fists, not guns. The gang of the title is led by Kaszub (Wojciech Zielinski). But it’s his younger brother, Dawid (Mateusz Banasiuk), who interests a ruthless investigator (Lukasz Simlat) and his partner (Weronika Ksiazkiewicz). They want to take down Furioza, and they push Dawid (who left the outfit long ago to become a doctor) to infiltrate the group as an informant or risk his brother going to jail.

Through its messages about the bonds of brotherhood forged in viciousness, the film by the Polish director Cyprian T. Olencki often recalls “A Clockwork Orange.” Kaszub’s volatile best friend Golden (Mateusz Damiecki), for instance, begins to trust Dawid only once he proves himself in battle. The woodland brawl that ensues with the rival mob Antman features a mess of bodies punching, throwing and howling at each other. In this high-adrenaline movie about loyalty to your kin, Dawid questions what side he’s truly fighting on, and wonders if the cops are the real thugs.

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Helmed by the director Harjit Singh Ricky, “Ucha Pind” opens with surprising grace as Azaad (Navdeep Kaler) and his uncle Najjar (Sardar Sohi) stargaze on a cool, calm night. They awaken the next morning to goons employed by the powerful kingpin Zaildar Jagir Singh (Aashish Duggal). He calls the titular city his territory, and these two gangsters are encroaching upon it. But the pair aren’t pushovers. They’re coldblooded killers who emerge guns blazing.

In spite of Jagir’s opening attack, Najjar and Azaad still team up with him. But delicious double, triple, and quadruple crosses in Narinder Ambarsariya’s playful script throw rivalries and friendships into the air. How they land leads to rich, balletic violence, akin to the Hong Kong style of the 1990s.

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Ajo Kawir (Marthino Lio) isn’t your typical action hero. Hailing from a crime-ridden neighborhood, he lives with erectile dysfunction, which leaves him emasculated in a hypermasculine society. In lieu of any sexual pleasure, the frustrated Ajo fights all who cross his path. But problems arise when he meets and falls in love with Iteung (Ladya Cheryl), a heavy for a local crime boss. How can Ajo bring her happiness given his predicament? In this Indonesian film, directed by Edwin, fighting becomes an erotic act; its satisfaction springing from two bodies flying through the air, moving with and against each other.

Set in the 1980s, the movie worships that decade’s action-genre conventions while adding new wrinkles. A scheming, sleazy gangster angles for Iteung’s affections by promising what Ajo cannot. And a conniving spirit that tricks lascivious men toward death haunts Ajo. “Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash” smartly critiques machismo and its inherent expectations. It also features open, fluid fight sequences filmed on 16 millimeter and scored to metal music that injects love into furious acts of violence.

I have a soft spot for meditative action flicks. “The Way,” from the writer-director Khalili Dastan, not only fits the bill, it also includes a metaphysical twist. It focuses on a death row prisoner, Jane Arcs (Eli Jane), who discovers spiritual peace and escapes by learning tai chi from a fellow inmate, Master Xin (Joan Wong).

Much of “The Way” maneuvers like a mystery. We initially don’t know how Jane ended up in prison. She once fought in underground M.M.A. matches, developing a reputation as a ruthless brawler. Jail has only hardened her. She may or may not be in a sexual relationship with a prison guard, Max Stone (Kelcey Watson), who’s trying to find an avenue to break her out. Perspectives often switch without warning in the film, including characters waking up in different bodies. At one point, for instance, Stone finds himself a prisoner in a jail cell. Dastan’s adventurous anti-capital-punishment script takes plenty of swings, and the philosophical ends to which they land is part of the fun.

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“Justice is preserved by being just,” the prosecutor Han Ji-hoon (Park Hae-soo) explains. Ji-hoon ignores the pleas of his cohorts to bend the rules to win a case. So his superiors, embarrassed by the legal loss, banish him to the moribund National Intelligence Service. Ji-hoon seems stuck there until the agency’s director comes with a difficult case that, if successful, will place Ji-hoon back in his old position. He must venture to Shenyang, China, for intelligence on a rogue arm of the agency led by a notorious cop: the vicious, rule-breaking Ji Kang-in (Sol Kyung-gu).

In the South Korean director Hyeon Na’s muscular gangland flick, there are very few good guys. Instead, in this seedy world filled with competing governments (Japan, the United States, China) and underworld syndicates, only the morally flexible succeed. Large set pieces — an intricate chase through the claustrophobic streets of Shenyang’s red-light district, a mine dynamited to rubble and a slow-motion sword fight — make this movie hum. And the affected performance by Kyung-gu makes it take flight.

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