Movie scene
HIGH BUDDIES Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze bond at 10,000 feet in this skydiving scene from 1991’s ‘Point Break,’ an action movie that still delivers the thrills.

Okay, it’s officially hot outside, which means most of you are going to start summer adventuring. I’ve heard of such things, but being that I am what the experts call an “indoor kid,” I will continue living vicariously through all of you while you do all those outdoor things that would definitely break me in half the first time I try them.

Instead, I’m going to post up near some air conditioning and watch as many summer adventure movies as I possibly can over the next few months. Since there are so many to choose from, here are a few great ones to start with that will make you feel like your own personal action hero.

The African Queen (1952): If you haven’t seen this movie then you’re missing out on one of the all-time greats. We’ve got Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn as a rough-and-tumble riverboat captain and a prim-and-proper missionary who adventure down a dangerous river in East Africa while fighting evil Germans. This has it all: romance, adventure, heroism and comedy in equal measures. Truly one of the best movies ever made.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016): This might be more of a fall adventure, but it’s still one hell of an adventure and looks pretty warm sometimes. A rebellious orphan kid runs away from his new foster family into the New Zealand outback on his own journey of self-discovery. The film effortlessly bounces between a gorgeous travelog of the New Zealand bush, a touching and poignant look at found family, and a hilarious and profane adventure. Buy this movie and watch it over and over.

The Kings of Summer (2013): Three teenagers try to build their own house in the middle of the woods. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts turns what could have been a stereotypical coming-of-age dramedy into an exciting and touching adventure about that feeling of invincibility we have when we’re at our youthful bravest. Surprisingly great with a wonderful performance from Nick Offerman.

Midsommar (2019): This might not be an adventure, but it’s certainly intense and the sun is shining in almost every frame of the movie, so I’m calling it one! Plus, there are a ton of ominous Swedes who are obviously up to no good, so that’s exciting too. The definition of a slow-burn, Midsommar takes characters we both love and hate and sends them down a twisted and insane folk-horror rabbit hole that is literally unforgettable.

Point Break (1991): Skydiving, bank robberies, surfing, Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Gary F**king Busey … this movie has it all. You’ve seen it, you probably love it. It’s the quintessential summer adventure that was extreme before Mountain Dew or Doritos.

Sorcerer (1977): The sweatiest movie ever made follows Roy Scheider and a small group of men with nothing to lose as they drive two trucks filled with also-sweaty dynamite through the South American jungle. Based on the 1953 masterpiece The Wages of Fear, there’s a sequence in this film set on a swaying bridge that is, quite literally, one of the most adventurous sequences of all time. When we talk about movies having the power to transport you, watch this and tell me you don’t feel like you went on this jungle adventure along with these four crazy men.

There are so many summer adventure movies to choose from that trying to make a comprehensive list is a losing battle. I would be remiss to make a list like this and not mention The Goonies, Dope, Adventureland, Luca, Jaws, Stand By Me, Thelma & Louise, True Romance, Moonrise Kingdom, Y Tu Mamá También, The Endless Summer, Do the Right Thing and dozens more.

Life itself can be an adventure, so it doesn’t always take Indiana Jones to navigate the booby traps. Sometimes all it takes is you.

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