I love action movies and 2022 was one of the best years we’ve had in the genre lately. While the Oscars routinely reward action movies and the incredible amount of skill and dedication that go into them, it fails to give credit to the stunt performers who literally risk their bodies for our entertainment, leaving that to the smaller ones. SAG Awards ceremony.
Fortunately, the good folks at Vulture have made an effort to fill the great void in action rating with their first edition of their Stunt Prizes, a celebration of the best and brightest action movies (and action in movies) last year had to offer. It’s a really fun project and I was honored to be a part of it. I can honestly say that I’ve never had a more difficult time filling out a ballot. It is a credit to the people who organized this project, the other voters they won and the sheer excellence on display in the action cinema of 2022.
Here is the ballot I submitted for the project along with the notes I submitted with my ballot. Be sure to check out the whole thing for the list of winners and judges’ commentary.
Best Stunt: Athena (The Opening)
All of the nominees were incredibly impressive, but Athens gets my vote for the sheer amount of coordination it takes to get all the moving parts to work in perfect coherence. A blast.
Best Stunt in a Non-Action Movie: Jackass Forever (Knoxville vs. Bull)
Best Fight: Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday (Scott Adkins vs. Andy Long)
The best fight in a movie full of great, and a great example of showcasing the incredible talents of both fighters.
Best Shooting: Vikram (Vikram’s Giant Gun)
Stub. Stub. Stub. Stub. You feel the impact of every bullet.
Best Vehicle Stunt: Lost Bullet 2 (The Freeway Chase)
Nobody does car chases like David Julienne. The Lost Bullet series is second to none.
Best Aerial Stunt: Top Gun: Maverick (Training Edit)
Was a no brainer for me.
Best Practical Blast: Lost Bullet 2 (The electrified car explosion)
One of those moments where you audibly say “HELL YEAH!!!”
Best Overall Action Film: Top Gun: Maverick
There were action movies I liked more in 2022, but nothing beats the dedication that goes into the aerial stunts in Independent thinking person. My actual favorite action movie of the year is either RRR, Ambulanceor Athensbut we were asked to consider the stunt work first and foremost in this vote.
Best Performance in Overall Stunts: Kevin LaRosa II
LaRosa II was the camera pilot and air unit coordinator of Top gun: Maverick, staying consistent with how much the aerial scenes blew me away in that movie.