Buckle your seat belts, because Fantastic Fest’s Secret Screening, “Action USA” is explosive level action taken to an entirely new level.
Action USA is, admittedly, more action than story. After two criminals break into her house, lead her on a cross-city chase, and kill her boyfriend, a young woman is put into the protection of two FBI agents who must do everything in their power to keep her safe.
At the introduction of the film, the Fantastic Fest staff called this movie the perfect film for a 16-year old boy. There’s never been a truer statement uttered.
Action USA starts with a high-speed car ride that transitions to a steamy sex scene, which is then followed by a stunt filled car chase. From there, the film never seems to slow down. Its consistent tempo is a wild ride of everything an 80’s action film can offer and more. In short, Action USA is the epitome of 80’s excess.
While most action films tend to ramp up the stunt work towards the climax, Action USA delivers the goods from the first scene to the last. Made to be an adrenaline rush, the entire film is all out stunts, explosions, and insane action.
It’s a feature built to showcase the most intense, heart pounding types of movie magic.
Action USA is an obvious inspiration behind many of the action films still being produced. Yes, the 80s are definitely a collective inspiration on the Fast and the Furious franchise and basically any film starring Dwayne Johnson. However, Action USA. is written, directed, and produced by stunt people.
Daredevil-turned-filmmaker John Stewart took to the cities, highways and saloons of Texas to bring his balls-the-wall vision to life. Having cut his teeth handling stunt work for such features as NEON MANIACS, FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF and HARD ROCK ZOMBIES, Stewart’s directorial debut delivers everything you’d want in a death-defying stunt showcase — and everything you never knew you needed.
To be fair, this consistent and intense action does work to the film’s detriment at times. When you get past the explosions, the sex, and the fight scenes, there isn’t much to be said about the story or the characters. There’s very little thought put into the dialogue or the plot, and it is masculine in a way that only an 80’s action film can be. It even dabbles in racism during a scene in a Texas honky tonk.
At times, that is fun, absurd, and hilarious. Sometimes, though, the film’s constant intensity is too much to handle.
Despite its shortcomings, Action USA is, perhaps, the perfect adrenaline-soaked film.
Its popcorn-crunching action, with very little complexity to think about — the perfect “check your brain at the door and just have a blast” kind of film.
When Action USA invests itself fully into its stunts, it delivers some of the most amazing movie visuals you will see. It’s an undeniably thrilling ride, and one that’s best taken with a crowd (even a virtual one). Watching it live at Fantastic Fest — complete with a roaring chat room full of fellow film fans, all enjoying the hell out of this unforgettably outrageous adventure — significantly enhanced my viewing experience.
Fantastic Fest pulled out one explosive, mind-blowing surprise. There’s nothing quite like Action USA.
This is a film that demands to be experienced… and now you can! The newly restored, rare seen Action USA is now screening exclusively on Alamo on Demand, Alamo Drafthouse’s new streaming platform, for the next two weeks only. Rent it for $9.99 until midnight on October 12th. Don’t miss it!