Action films are often characterized by high-octane excitement and escapism. They tend to engulf viewers in an outlandish, intense narrative that involves characters who face issues most of us would never know in real life. These movies are usually action-packed, violent, and fast-paced, and they often have some sort of adventure element, taking the characters on a crazy adventure.
Bullet Train is the latest film to belong to this group, focusing on a group of assassins being brought together (and inevitably fighting) while on a high-speed train. Here are eight other action films that are mainly limited - or completely restricted - to just one setting, roughly ranked.
'Con Air' (1997)
Nicolas Cage is a fantastic actor with a large supporting cast of well-known character actors. The action unfolds mostly inside a plane, where Cage's character - who is about to be released on parole - has to contend with surviving the journey after several violent criminals take control of the aircraft and intend to fly it out of the United States.
The opening and the ending of the film are entirely off the plane, and John Cusack's character is always on the ground, as he follows the flight from way down below, intruding against Cage's main character. However, the film's main plot is the plane being hijacked, and a good deal of the film's action scenes/suspenseful sequences take place on the airplane, making it a solid confined setting action film.
'Runaway Train' (1985)
Runaway Train's action sequences aren't difficult to spot because of its proximity to a train. However, the film goes a step further by focusing on a train that cannot stop; the brakes have malfunctioned, and two escaped convicts and a railway worker must form an uneasy alliance to stop it. Otherwise, they may be in danger.
It's an out-there film that's very unusual in terms of how it feels (and how the lead actors act), but it's still distinct. It's a beautiful film with simple concepts, but it's also worth a look for action lovers who want something different.
'Free Fire' (2016)
If you want to keep things down and keep the action to a single location, you can either set things on a large vehicle or have events take place in a single structure, but it can still be done successfully, as the feature-length Mexican conflict Free Fire illustrates.
It takes place inside a warehouse for a tense weapons sale, and very quickly, things spiral out of control. The actors are stuck in a violent standoff that lasts for the majority of the film, as people pick each other off in increasingly violent and over-the-top ways. Despite all the bloodshed and unlikable characters, it's still enjoyable and works well to maintain what is essentially a single scene for about an hour and a half.
Speed has all the ingredients for an enjoyable, easy-to-watch action film. It has a premise involving a bus that will explode if its speed drops below 50 miles per hour, a great cast including Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, and Dennis Hopper, as well as some great sustained tension due to the fact that most of the film is set on the bus, with the two main protagonists trapped inside.
It may not be the most unique action film ever, but it's a well-oiled machine of a film that is enjoyable throughout. Of course, it's not 100% on the bus (and many of the side characters plus the main villain aren't on it, either), but the adrenaline rush and all the stunts are what you'll remember the most.
'The Raid' (2011)
The first film from The Raid works wonders due to its relatively low budget and limited location. It follows a group of police officers who get trapped in a high-rise structure. Things get worse when a criminal kingpin - and unofficial "leader" of the high-rise building - announces a reward for anyone in the building who can take out the cops, leading the squad to fight their way out or risk getting killed.
The locations and corridors where the action scenes take place may appear murky, dark, and a bit repetitive, but the actual action is incredible. Everything appears to be remarkable, and the violence is often wince-inducing as a result, but it does give you an adrenaline rush of an action film.
Snowpiercer takes place in a dystopian future where the remaining human population is on board a single (albeit massive) train that never stops moving. The wealthy live higher up the train's front, exploiting the poor, who are forced to endure terrible conditions at the back. Eventually, those at the back of the train decide they've had enough and stage a revolution, moving closer and closer to the train's front to overthrow the ruling class and take control.
Snowpiercer is a standalone train that includes a wide variety of carriages that the revolutionaries encounter as they discover just how little has been left from them. It's important to note that the action scenes are all well-handled and visually distinctive.
'Das Boot' (1981)
Durch die Betrachtung von Das Boot, they will get an idea of how it would have felt to be confined to a submarine while fighting in the Second World War, and the immensely claustrophobic setting makes this war film so compelling and nail-biting.
It's hard to watch for those who aren't comfortable with enclosed spaces. It's also a tense film, which isn't exactly a pleasant viewing experience.
'Die Hard' (1988)
If there are any single-location, confined action movies, the original Die Hard isn't. It's one of the greatest action films of all time about an off-duty cop playing a cat and mouse with a group of terrorists inside an office building on Christmas Eve.
Alan Rickman makes for one of the best villains in film history, is relentlessly paced, incredibly entertaining, and stuffed with memorable side characters... all of this while establishing most of the action inside one structure as well.