Action movies aren't typically cried out of because the purpose is to entice viewers to the edge of their seats with enthralling narratives, not to bring them to tears. In fact, many tears have broken fans' hearts from the goose that died during the John Wicks puppy's murder to Brian OConners final race with Dom Toretto.
In countless generic revenge thrillers, gangsters murder the entire family of a hitman in an attempt to rein in vengeance. In John Wick's clever inciting incident, the titular assassin is inspired to return to a life of violence by the brutal murder of his late wife. Fans are far more sympathetic to the death of an adorable little dog than any number of humans he has to murder in order to bring him to justice.
I know why you cry now, but it is something I cannot do. At the heartbreaking conclusion of Terminator 2, the T-800 that spent the film protecting John Connor collapses into a molten steel basin. John pleads not to go, but he has no choice.
This is the perfect end-of-the-world T-800s father-son interaction with John. The cyborg had to smell itself to save humanity, but in its final moments, it lets John know that he was successful in educating him how to feel. It's also more emotionally engaging.
Natalie Portman made her acting debut in Leon: The Professional, but she also captured the complicated emotions of a 12-year-old losing her entire family in a horrific bloodbath. She goes to her neighbor Leons' door, reluctantly accepting her and instructing her in contract murder.
Top Gun, directed by Tony Scott, is a brilliant marriage of explosive military action and moving melodrama. Critics accused the film of being just sea-tinted naval propaganda and it didnt help that the US Navy sent recruiters to cinemas to lure adrenaline-filled customers on their way out, but most importantly, it's a heartbreaking story about friendship. The dogfight sequences might glorify warfare, but the core of the narrative is Maverick's undying devotion to his wingman and
Maverick loses Goose in a horribly awful dogfight. As they sink into the water below, Maverick grabs his buddy's lifeless body, still in shock. Top Gun is widely regarded as the finest cheese from the 1980s, but this moment is anything but cheesy.
The Fast & Furious crew went a step further and rebuilt the whole film as a heartfelt tribute to Paul Walker in the midst of shooting Furious 7.
As Dom and Brian exchange their last street race, Wiz Khalifas See You Again is played on the soundtrack. If Universal had dollars signs in its eyes, it would have been a perfect start for the whole Fast & Furious franchise.