Golden Cages 2021: Best Action

[2021 has mercifully ended, which means it’s that time of the year again when the Flixist staff gathers around for our 2021 Golden Cages! Every year we honor the best, and worst, that cinema has to offer, and with cinemas opening up again, we had many films to consider for each category! So read on dear reader, to see what the correct answers are to which movies were truly stand-out films last year!]

The Golden Cages are awarded through voting by all writers at Flixist but allow me to get personal for a moment. Spider-Man: Now Way Home was not just a damn good superhero movie but a damn good movie that landed at exactly the right time. There’s no arguing that. I gave it the best score of the year and talked extensively about how it rekindled a passion for film. For me, it might be the most important movie of the year. I say all this because I’m going to say something else that doesn’t quite jive with this award: it didn’t have the best action sequences of the year.

Spider-Man: No Way Home had good action and it was well constructed by Jon Watts but there was more creative action done this year. Why then does it deserve our Best Action award? Because sometimes action is more than just action. What’s amazing about No Way Home is how it weaves its action into its story fantastically and delivers so much variety while doing it. The mere feat of coherently tracking three Spider-Mans in one action sequence, all wearing costumes that looking annoyingly similar if they aren’t standing still, should be enough to give it the award alone. Then you toss in mind-bending antics from Doctor Strange and a cavalcade of villains with widely divergent powers and you get something that stands out.

We know how badly this can go wrong. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 showed us how muddled action gets when you cram so much into a movie. Yet somehow, Now Way Home never feels bloated or too much. Its action is paced despite being so full and it builds wonderfully into an emotional powerhouse that thrives off of set pieces. Spider-Man: No Way Home receives the 2021 Golden Cage for best Action because it achieves the impossible.

Matthew Razak
Matthew Razak is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Flixist. He has worked as a critic for more than a decade, reviewing and talking about movies, TV shows, and videogames. He will talk your ear off about James Bond movies, Doctor Who, Zelda, and Star Trek.