The British Action Awards

We're slap bang in the middle of awards season, and that means debates are raging over which film, director, actors and actresses deserve to be recognised for their contribution to film over the last year, and once again there is one sector of the industry which is being forgotten... stunts and action. 

In 2020, it seems to us a bit ridiculous that those who risk the most for our entertainment are the least recognised. We've heard the arguments against adding a stunt category to the Oscars; the ceremony is already too long, it's hard for the academy to tell what's computer-generated and what's not, the Oscars are about giving smaller films some attention away from the blockbusters. 

The problem is, none of these reasons holds up to scrutiny. It doesn't hurt to add in one more category, they give awards to blockbusters in categories such as editing, and sound design, and if you can't tell what's computer-generated and what isn't then how come there is an award for visual effects. 

The problem the stunt community face when looking for recognition during awards season is the fact that it steps on the toes of other parts of the industry. It's an opinion that we have heard from the front line of Screen Action a lot. Directors don't want to admit that they haven't been involved in some of the most successful parts of the film. The majority of action sequences are created and directed by a second unit, usually run by the stunt co-ordinator or fight arranger, but the director will usually get all the credit. It's the same for some actors who claim that they do all their own stunts. They won't want their stunt-double winning an award for stunts that they've spent their whole press tour telling publications that they've performed themselves.

We've talked about this problem before in a previous Action Reel Article, and the issue has also been raised by countless other publications such as Vulture, Variety, The Telegraph, and the BBC. There's even a petition to add a stunt category at the Oscars which you can find HERE, as well as talk of the stunt industry boycotting the Oscars all-together!

In the past, we could kind of understand why there wasn't an award for stunts. This was back when studios still wanted to give the illusion that their lead actors and actresses were performing all their own stunts. Now though, the general public is very aware of what goes on behind the scenes of a movie's production, and now some actors are themselves are now taking to champion the stunt performers they work with.


Gal Gadot

The Wonder Woman star has been very outspoken about the stunt team that she works with on the superhero blockbuster. In this Instagram post she heaps praise on her stunt double Stani Bettridge...


Dwayne Johnson

The Rock himself has even publicly expressed his thanks to his stunt double, taking to his Instagram account to thank Tanaoi Reed, and reward him with a brand new truck for his efforts...


It's no surprise then that when it comes to rewarding stunt performers, outside Taurus World Stunt Awards, the only major awards ceremony which recognises stunt performers is the Screen Actors Guild Awards.  Which offer the award for Best Stunt Ensemble Performance; this year the Award went to the team behind Avengers: Endgame's epic action sequences.

So, with this all in mind, and with the Oscar's ignoring stunt performers for another year, we thought we would launch our own action awards to celebrate the best stunt and action sequences of the last year... The first annual British Action Awards!

We've selected our favourite sequences and are putting them to you to vote for your favourites! So, without further adieu here are our nominations...

Best Action Sequence In A Motion Picture

To put together a great action sequence is a real team effort, from the director to the cinematographer, to the performers. When these elements all come together though, these sequences have the ability to elevate any movie!

1917 - Night Time Sequence

To pick one sequence from 1917 is pretty hard, as it's all pretty much one sequence, but the one that stands out the most for both its nightmarish beauty and incredibly tense action is the night time sequence... check out part of it here...

Avengers: Endgame - Avengers Assemble!

If this was the award for most fists pumped in the air during a screening, then this scene would easily win! However, it's not, but this is still a fantastic action sequence, a worthy for a climax for the MCU so far, delivering awesome fights, great character beats, and contains some of the most emotional moments of the whole Infinity Saga... Check it out...

John Wick 3: Parabellum - Horse Fight

"Looks like you bought a gun to a horse fight." Is not a line from John Wick 3, but it definitely should be! This scene gets top marks for sheer imagination and creativeness. As John takes down a bunch of goons in a stable using just a horse and then proceeds to ride that Horse through the night time traffic whilst being pursued by motorbikes. It's high-octane, fantastically performed, and most importantly, incredibly entertaining! Check it out here...

Terminator: Dark Fate - Opening Car Chase

Resetting the clock on the Terminator series, and bringing back the kinetic and brutal style of action that made the first two Terminator films all-time action classics, this opening car chase has everything, and includes an incredible re-introduction to Sarah Connor! Whilst over-looked at the box office, this was the best Terminator film since T2.


Best Stunts In A Motion Picture

When it comes to the best stunts in a motion picture, we went looking for the film with the most jaw-dropping moments of the last year, the moments which made us go "How did the do that?" Here's what we found...


Spider-Man: Far From Home

The stunts in Spider-man are always impressive. Whether it's simply swinging from building to building or being hit by gallons of water, the stunts are always well-executed, and with actor Tom Holland attempting as many stunts as he can himself, Far From Home was another great example...


You wouldn't necessarily associate Guy Ritchie with Disney, but with Aladdin, he found the perfect vehicle for his style. The stunts in this movie were incredible, especially the parkour-infused chases through the streets of Dagobah. 

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

Maybe our favourite action film of 2019, John Wick: Chapter 3 did the seemingly impossible, it lived up to and exceeded the expectation placed upon it. It was kinetic, stylish, and thrilling. It was an action movie the way they are supposed to be done, and the real star of the movie next to Keanu was the stunts. 

Avengers: Endgame

Whilst not as action-heavy as Infinity War, the film really throws everything at the screen as it enters its final act. It's a credit to the team here that with everything going on, the stunts still stand out. The film also manages to balance the action style of the MCU's various heroes into a cohesive whole. 


Best Fight Sequence In A Motion Picture

We love a good fight sequence at the British Action Academy, and we know exactly the hard work and effort that goes into choreographing, and performing an exciting, pulse-pounding fight! These are four of the best from the last year...


John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum - Library Scene

What a way to open an action movie. This scene is the very definition of the phrase bone-crunching! The ingenious use of books rivals that of Jason Bourne using a magazine. It's tense, brutal, and superbly performed, by the end of it you are fully absorbed into the world of John Wick!

Alita: Battle Angel - Bar Room Brawl

Some people wouldn't include this fight for its use of computer-generated effects, but we think that the best use of CGI is to help augment or improve upon a physical performance, and this scene is the perfect example of the physical and digital working together seamlessly to create an exhilarating fight sequence. 

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum - Throwing Knives

It was hard to pick one scene from John Wick for this category so we didn't, we picked two! This exemplifies everything which John Wick does well! It's inventive, makes great use of the environment, and Keanu's performance is pitch-perfect. 

Captain Marvel - I'm Just A Girl

Great fight scene? Check! Awesome soundtrack? Check! A whole heap of 90's nostalgia? Check! Check! Check! Whilst a smaller affair than Avengers, Captain Marvel still managed to bring a tonne of action, and this fight sequence towards the end of the film was a showcase for everything that superhero movies do right, as Vers finally discovers who she is, and unleashes the power which has been inside her this whole time...  


So those are our nominees!

Now it's up to you to decide who wins. You can do this by commenting on this post with one selection from each category or by voting across our social media platforms!

Vote on Instagram HERE!

Vote On Facebook HERE!

Vote on Twitter HERE!


The winners will be announced on 31st January 2020.

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