Movies like “Kill”: Back when Nikhil Nagesh Bhat’s “Kill” had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, no one would have assumed how the film would earn rights for an official Hollywood remake (from director Chad Stahelski’s studio) even before its release! From garnering extraordinary reviews since its festival run to evoking a favorable response from the audience back home, the film has solidified the marketing claim as the ‘most violent film made out of India.’

Well, it’s safe to say now that the hype wasn’t exaggerated; forget about calling the film ‘Indian John Wick’, “Kill” taps into the tight list of the most accomplished South-east Asian actioners of this decade. Starring debutant Lakshya and Raghav Juyal, the movie debuted this past weekend with a decent box office total despite the domination of “Kalki 2898 AD” at the local box office. While audiences continue to seek this surprising feat in Indian cinema on the big screen, here are five other movies like “Kill” for all lovers of the action genre to watch after having left their guts punched.

1. The Raid (2011)

The Raid (2011) - 5 Movies to Watch if You Liked Kill

Back when this film came out, it felt like a watershed moment for the revival of martial arts cinema – a subgenre that once dominated the action genre. A masterclass in economical storytelling fueled with gut-punching action, “The Raid” sees a S.W.A.T. team infiltrate a local multi-storey apartment building to take down a notorious gangster. However, things escalate pretty quickly when the team finds itself trapped and majorly outnumbered by hefty guns and machete-wielding thugs. As furiously kinetic as it is gory, this indie-Indonesian outlier provides one hell of a bare-knuckled thrill ride through mayhem. Iko Uwais, in the lead role, becomes an audience surrogate at many points, and that’s precisely what makes the unraveling of the pot-boiling apartment consistently riveting.

Considered the quintessential actioner of the last two decades, the film not only redefined the boundaries of action cinema but provided a baseline DNA that echoed in multiple mid-budget films of the genre that dominated the discourse in the years following its release. That’s why, both in spirit and in terms of its filmmaking vigor, this one serves as the ideal and complimentary movie to double up along with the hijinks of “Kill.” After all, the latter’s been hailed quite rightfully by many as the ‘best pure action movie since “The Raid.”‘

2. Extraction (2020)

Extraction (2020) - 5 Movies to Watch if You Liked Kill

Another story of a lone wolf that singlehandedly takes down the bad guys, this Netflix original adroitly combines sleek action mechanics with flashy modern filmmaking techniques. It boasts relentless action that is sure to consume its viewers while offering some of the most intricate hand-to-hand choreography. With director Sam Hargrave, who served as the chief stunt coordinator on some big-budget MCU movies, “Extraction” sees its lead henchman render his opponents into an abyss while taking him on an irrefutable journey.

The film follows a black-market mercenary who has nothing to lose, but things get going when he is hired to rescue the kidnapped son of an international crime lord. As he embarks on splitting bodies and cracking bones into the murky underworld of ammunition dealers and drug traffickers, an already deadly mission soon turns impossible to get out of. The final act of the movie takes place on a blockaded bridge and features one of the most well-staged gun battle sequences you’d see in a film.

3. Hardcore Henry (2015)

Hardcore Henry (2015) - 5 Movies to Watch if You Liked Kill

In many ways, this one comes across as the most audacious entry on the list. The wacky premise follows the titular lead, who is one day resurrected with a cybernetically enhanced body. With no memory of his past life, he is then led onto a mission where he must save his wife from the hands of a telekinetic killer who kidnaps her. But for that, Henry must also face an army of mercenaries who remain adamant about destroying everything that stops them.

Most action films notoriously turn apparent filmmaking tools into gimmicky tropes shoehorned in. What makes “Hardcore Henry” stand out is in how well it turns this contrived trope into an exciting narrative avenue for its premise. Thus, watching Henry hurtle from one exquisitely staged first-person sequence to another makes the all-encompassing violence around even more palpable. The route this robotic hybrid takes involves hand-to-hand combat and also a striking killing spree through high-speed road chases and engrossing shootout set pieces.

4. Polite Society (2023)

Polite Society (2023)

This criminally underrated indie-action comedy cleverly blends and upends the trope of its sister genres (pun intended). Set in London, it follows the story of a first-generation martial artist-in-training, Ria Khan, who grows increasingly adamant about saving her older sister, Lena, from an impending arranged marriage. With an endearing story of the mundane struggles of immigrants with not-so-mundane characteristics, “Polite Society” offers action-packed sequences where the tension actually arises from orthodox intergenerational dynamics and familial intricacies of a Desi household.

The film taps into hitherto unexplored territory by swapping realist melodramatic notes of a family drama with a full-blown martial arts aesthetic. This is what makes Nida Manzoor’s earnestly delightful debut feature a rare feat in action storytelling. Even when the Bollywood-esque music punches hit more than the actual ones, it still deserves a place on the list despite being the least gory film on the list.

5. Monkey Man (2024)

Monkey Man (2024)

Every inspiration for Dev Patel’s gloriously made feature film stems from some of the best films in the martial arts genre. This is a way of saying that it’s the ideal film to double-bill along with Nagesh Bhat’s “Kill.” From setting up the ultra-sleek version of Mumbai to delving into its underbelly of wrought and crony government crooks, “Monkey Man” will leave you exhausted with its frantic pace but won’t let you flinch. From in-camera action set pieces to a genuinely rooted cultural subtext, the film interlaces its aesthetic appeal along sociopolitical and intellectual tension that makes it as urgent as it is captivating.

Wearing a mask resembling the ancient Hindu god, Hanuman, the protagonist here, goes around living in an underground fight club where, night after night, he’s beaten bloody by popular fighters for cash. But with his childhood trauma slowly bridling underneath his eyes, he soon gets involved with the notoriously scarred hands of powerful men who took everything away from him. Despite not being officially released in the country where it is set, the film has garnered international praise. This acclaim likely stems from its raw portrayal of the simmering tension between faith and state, a conflict relevant to many countries around the world.

Related to Movies like Kill: 8 Movies to Watch If You Liked ‘Monkey Man’ (2024)

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