Fighting Fantasy: 20 Movies Where Heroes Do the Impossible

We all love on-screen fights, chases and shootouts. And if you add magic, fantastic creatures and a few ancient artifacts there, you get a truly breathtaking performance. Fantasy cinema is considered to be the best way to escape from a reality known by heart to unknown parallel universes or a newly composed past. For your travels in distant worlds, we have compiled a selection of the best fantasy action movies of the last ten years.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

For the first time in the Marvel Universe, a movie with a superhero and most of the characters of Asian origin is launched, and fantasy immediately skyrocketed to the top, setting box office records. Spectacular action presented Asian culture in a non-boring, easily digestible form. In the center of the plot is the martial arts master Shang-Chi. The young man is the son of Wenwu, the owner of a mystical weapon and the head of the Ten Rings gang. The guy does not want to deal with the murders and hides in San Francisco. But soon the humble parking attendant will have to remember his relatives and fight the Dweller of Darkness and the Soul Eaters.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Actors:
Simu Liu, Tony Leung Chu Wai, Aquafina …

Country:
USA, Australia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Mortal Kombat (2021)

This new movie is a cool action fantasy inspired by the popular video game. The hero of the film, former MMA fighter Cole Young, often participates in commercial fights. The man has a special mole in the form of a dragon , but he does not yet know that the mark is an invitation to a tournament where the champions of the Earth must fight representatives of other dimensions for the fate of the whole world. Cole teams up with other fighters – soldier Jax, mercenary Kano and Sonya Blade – to find the temple and unleash the power of the soul. However, the evil forces do not intend to wage a fair fight and hope to destroy the champions before the start of the tournament.

Original title:
Mortal Kombat

Actors:
Lewis Tan, Joe Taslim, Jessica McNamee…

Country:
Australia, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.1

Age restrictions:
18+


Assassin: Battle of the Worlds (2021)

The film tells the story of one popular author of a series of fantasy books about a young warrior. The fantasy hero Kunwen, invented by the writer , seeks to end the reign of the tyrant. In a strange twist of fate, the fictional plot of the novel begins to influence life in reality. Guan Ning, a man desperate to find his missing daughter, receives an offer of help from the CEO of a technology company in exchange for a favor. He must kill the writer before he finishes the novel.

Original title:
Ci sha xiao shuo jia

Actors:
Lei Jiayin, Yang Mi, Dong Zijian…

Country:
China

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.0, IMDb – 6.2

Age limit:
18+


Mulan (2020)

A new adventure film that combines the genres of fantasy and action movie, tells about the young girl Mulan. A Chinese woman should soon get married according to folk traditions. However, the usual course of things changes the war. To save her sick father from military service and imminent death, Mulan disguises herself as a young man and goes to the battlefield herself. She promised to bring glory to her family, and perhaps she was destined to become the greatest warrior in battles with the enemy.

Original title:
Mulan

Actors:
Liu Yifei, Donnie Yen, Gong Li…

Country:
USA, China, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 5.7

Age restrictions:
12+


Double World (2020)

This Chinese film will be a real visual feast for fans of spectacular action movies. The action of fantasy takes place in a fictional world full of witchcraft, dragons, scorpions, treacherous tyrants and martial artists. In one of the fairy-tale kingdoms, the government announces a competition for the strongest warriors. Three main characters are sent to compete in games: a thief girl, a soldier driven by revenge and a young orphan.

Original title:
Zheng tu

Actors:
Henry Lau, Peter Ho, Lin Chenhan …

Country:
China

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 6.1

Age limit:
16+


Skif (2018)

The next epic fantasy movie in our selection is an action-adventure, which will have a lot of spectacular weapons, unusual costumes and impressive makeup. In the 11th century, between the two southern seas, the principality of Tmutarakan was located, bordering on the possessions of the steppe Scythians. The latter attack the house of the boyar Lutobor and kidnap his wife and son. Now the man has to go to the steppe together with the captive Scythian Kunitsa to save his loved ones or die at the hands of ruthless warriors.

Actors:
Alexey Faddeev, Alexander Kuznetsov, Vitaly Kravchenko …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
18+


Brightness (2017)

The film, which became Netflix’s most expensive fantasy at the time of release, will take the viewer to an alternative universe where fabulous creatures live in the modern world together with people – centaurs, orcs, fairies and elves . Policeman Daryl Ward has to work with a sluggish orc, although he does not really like this circumstance. One day, the partners go on a call and discover an ancient artifact and several corpses, the cause of death of which is clearly of magical origin. From this moment, the adventures of two forced allies begin.

Original title:
Bright

Actors:
Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Edgar Ramirez…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Warcraft (2016)

Our list of the best action movies with fantasy elements will continue with a highly rated foreign blockbuster based on a series of famous video games. The film takes place in a universe where magicians and various fairy-tale creatures live together with people. Parallel to the world of people, there are lands of orcs hidden behind a huge wall. When the world of orcs dies, their leader decides to resettle the people, resorting to the help of a shaman and dark magic. However, the awakened ancient evil threatens both sides, and the coming war will forever change the fate of the heroes.

Original title:
Warcraft

Actors:
Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster…

Country:
China, Canada, Japan, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
12+


Gods of Egypt (2016)

According to the plot of the film, the god Osiris took the throne of Egypt , and his reign turned into one of the best periods of the country. However, nothing can last forever and the aging king decides to pass the throne to his son Horus. This state of affairs is not to the liking of his brother Seth, the god of darkness. And he kills a relative, seizing power and plunging the once prosperous empire into chaos. A weakened Horus joins forces with a mere mortal named Bek to confront Set and his dark minions.

Original title:
Gods of Egypt

Actors:
Brenton Thwaites, Gerard Butler, Nikolai Coster-Waldau …

Country:
USA, Australia, China, Hong Kong

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.0, IMDb – 5.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Great Wall (2016)

In medieval China, European soldiers Garin and Tovar search for the secret of black powder, which leads them to the Great Wall. There they face a huge army defending the country from monster attacks. Every 60 years, creatures rise from the mountain to devour everything in their path. The Europeans, taken prisoner, also get involved in the battle with the monsters that threaten to destroy the entire Celestial Empire. The heroic fantasy thriller, in addition to battles, will offer the viewer to follow the intricate palace intrigues and unravel the ancient mystery along with the main characters.

Original title:
The Great Wall

Actors:
Matt Damon, Jing Tian, ​​Willem Dafoe…

Country:
USA, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 5.9

Age restrictions:
12+


Dracula (2014)

The hero of the fantasy film, Vlad Tepes, at the age of 10, got into the army of the Turkish Sultan, where he was raised as a ruthless killer. However, after the war, the Janissaries did not continue the path of violence, but settled in their native principality and started a family. And everything would be fine, but the Sultan needs to continue to replenish the army – he demands 1000 local boys from Vlad. The prince decides to fight back the ruler and protect his people, but how to resist the whole empire? Then Dracula makes a deal with the creature of darkness: his soul in exchange for the possession of superhuman strength.

Original title:
Dracula Untold

Actors:
Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper …

Country:
USA, UK, Ireland

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:
12+


47 Ronin (2013)

The next film on the list of the best action movies in the fantasy genre is a free-style adaptation of a Japanese legend from the Middle Ages, which is worth a look for fans of heroic stories based on real events . In the center of the plot is the story of 47 samurai who lost their master and were expelled from the city. For many years they hid under the guise of workers, blacksmiths and merchants, but now they are ready to return and avenge the death of their master. And the half-breed Kai, who rebelled against the power of the dark sorceress in the name of love, will help them carry out their daring plan.

Original title:
47 Ronin

Actors:
Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki …

Country:
USA, UK, Japan, Hungary

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:
12+


Witch Hunters (2012)

The main characters of fantasy – Hansel and Gretel – grew up and became famous for their ability to hunt down and exterminate witches. Hatred of sorcerers arose in the brother and sister after the well-known incident in the gingerbread house, when the children were almost roasted in the oven. And now, in the city of Augsburg, children have begun to disappear, and a deranged sheriff has begun burning innocent suspects. Therefore, the mayor hires Gretel and Hansel as witch hunters. This case will also help uncover the secrets of the past and understand why Gretel is haunted by strange dreams.

Original title:
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Actors:
Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen…

Country:
USA, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.1

Age restrictions:
18+


Conan the Barbarian (2011)

In the center of the plot of the action movie is a strong and brave warrior Konan, whose village was attacked. When his father refuses to give the raiders a piece of an ancient relic, the evil warlord Khalar Singh kills the shrew. The following years, the son of the hero Conan spends time not without benefit, engaging in theft, piracy and freeing slaves . But his main goal is to track down the person responsible for the death of his father. On this difficult path, he will have to go through the entire continent of Hyboria and face supernatural forces.

Original title:
Conan the Barbarian

Cast:
Jason Momoa, Steven Lang, Rachel Nichols

Country:
USA, Bulgaria, Germany, India

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.6, IMDb – 5.2

Age limit:
16+


Clash of the Titans (dilogue, 2010 and 2012)

A modern remake of the mythological action movie from the eighties. The ancient hero Perseus was born from God, but brought up by people. When the lord of the underworld Hades turned his nightmarish army of demons against Zeus, only Perseus was able to lead a detachment of fearless warriors. Large scorpions and krakens are intimidating by their very appearance, but the sharp swords of heroes will defeat even the most terrible monsters.

Original title:
Clash of the Titans

Actors:
Sam Worthington, Mads Mikkelsen, Gemma Arterton, Liam Neeson …

Country:
USA, UK, Australia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 5.8

Age restrictions:
12+


Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

Street boy Dastan saves an orphan in front of the king of Persia. The courage and kind soul of the child touches the ruler, and he adopts the daredevil. Dastan becomes a great warrior of the country and the most devoted courtier. One day, during an attack on a neighboring land, he captures Princess Tamina and takes possession of a certain artifact. The Sands of Time is a gift from the gods that gives its owner the ability to control time. But after the tragic death of the king, Dastan has to flee the palace, taking with him both Tamina and a powerful artifact.

Original title:
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Actors:
Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
12+


Witch Time (2010)

Knight Bayman arbitrarily leaves the army during the Crusade and returns to the village. A plague is raging in the area and a young witch is blamed for this. When Bayman is imprisoned for desertion, he receives an offer from the cardinal – freedom in exchange for a favor. It is necessary to deliver the witch to the monastery, where her charms will lose their power. A priest, a knight and a guy who dreams of exploits join the campaign. As they approach the goal, the travelers face the question – is the girl a servant of darkness or is she an innocent victim slandered by people?

Original title:
Season of the Witch

Actors:
Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Stephen Campbell Mur…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 5.4

Age restrictions:
16+


300 Spartans (dilogue, 2007 and 2013)

Spartan upbringing made the hero of a historical action movie in the style of a fantasy a harsh uncompromising ruler. And when the envoy of the Persian king Xerxes appears in his possessions with an offer to surrender, Leonid quickly solves the problem by throwing the uninvited guest into the pit. Not listening to the advice of the board and the predictions of the shamans, the commander gathers an army – 300 brave warriors who will have to fight the thousands of Persians in a narrow mountain pass, thereby turning the tide of the war.

Original title:
300

Actors:
Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Vincent Regan …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.6

Age limits :
16+


Van Helsing (2004)

The plot of the American fantasy action movie is a mixture of the novels “Frankenstein”, “Dracula” and “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Hyde”. In Transylvania, a family of vampires, led by Count Dracula, terrorizes the locals, and the brave Anna Valerie, the last of her kind, fights the bloodsuckers alone. To help her, Van Helsing arrives in the city – a professional monster hunter, along with his assistant from the church and a suitcase of various potions and artifacts.

Original title:
Van Helsing

Actors:
Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh …

Country:
USA, Czech Republic

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 6.1

Age restrictions:
12+


Underworld (film series, 2003 – 2016)

Fantasy thriller about a war hidden from human eyes. The creatures of the night – vampires – have been fighting werewolf warriors for centuries. The main plot revolves around Selene, a vampire from an elite group of “Messengers of Death”, dedicated to the extermination of a species of werewolves – lycans. One day she realizes that her enemies have a plan for the total destruction of bloodsuckers, and the simple man Michael is somehow involved in this. After a guy is bitten by a werewolf, Selena must decide whether to kill him, fulfilling her duty, or save him.

Original title:
Underworld

Actors:
Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Michael Sheen…

Country:
USA, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
18+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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