Action films are a firm favourite among many movie fans across the globe, but one of the things that really makes a big impact on a viewer’s first impression of a film is the title sequence. Title sequences are often overlooked, but they can have a huge effect on what the viewer thinks of a film. Many famous action films have incredible title sequences that are often taken for granted or not fully appreciated, and a great title sequence can make for a great start to an action film. A lot of action films, particularly the older ones, will not jump straight into a high action scene, and instead ease in the viewer slowly. In recent years, more and more filmmakers are introducing action films with an action packed first scene, which often incorporate the title scene within them, or come before the title sequence all together. Here are our top picks for the best action move title sequences out there:
Raging Bull (1980)
Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull is a masterpiece in its own right, and the title sequence certainly doesn’t disappoint. Credits emerge over a black background which slowly lifts to reveal a robed figure shadowboxing in the corner of a smoky boxing ring. Flashbulbs explode in the background as three of the ring’s ropes appear in the foreground, in barbed wire-esque style that imprisons the boxer. Bold and bright red letters announce the film’s title, as red is the only colour used in the black and white film.
Casino Royale (2006)
The Bond franchise is world famous for its incredible and unique opening sequences and has been ever since the very first James Bond film back in 1962. Casino Royale is among one of the best of the bond title sequence in our opinion. The stylish opening with a retro feel is just perfect for the action-packed film. The credits and title are displayed against a background of playing card motifs and animated monochrome James Bond cut outs, with a nod to the 1960s.
The Pink Panther (1963)
Okay, so The Pink Panther might officially be an American comedy, but the film could also be considered action by some. The title sequence is iconic and easily one of the best ever made. A pendant is placed on a young girl’s neck and begins to turn a bright pink, and then rapidly fades into the much-loved animated opening. Viewers are introduced to the famous Pink Panther cartoon character, accompanied by cool yet classic jazz by henry Mancini. The title sequence features various vignettes of Pink Panther causing mischief and being followed by Inspector Clouseau.
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Easily one of the most captivating title sequences of recent years, that was created using inspiration from titling legend Saul Bass. Designed by Kuntzel + Deygas, they effortlessly capture the spirit of bass’ work from the ‘60s. The Catch Me If You Can title sequence offers minimalist animation, bold graphic illustrations and a cool jazz background by John Williams. It beautifully expresses the story in a metaphorical way, giving the audience a subtle glimpse of what’s to come.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (1966)
Powerful animation sets this impressive title sequence apart from all the others, but as well as this, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly has a title sequence that perfectly sets the scene for the film ahead. A cowboy on a horse rides in white silhouette with red blood splats, before the names of cast and crew begin to appear on screen. This is accompanied by gunshots sound effects as stark stills of the actors bathed in red appear. All the fonts used in this action title sequence are a nod to the wild west, and the western theme is completed with images of bandits, stagecoaches and steam locomotives.
Directed by David Fincher, Se7en has a unique title sequence that reflects the films theme; a trademark for the Oscar-nominated director. The title sequence is often acclaimed for its originality and introduces the action-packed thriller perfectly. Veteran homicide detective Somerset, played by Morgan Freeman, and rookie Mills, played by Brad Pitt, are introduced to viewers on the trial of a serial killer. This is followed by the frantic title sequence which follows a man’s hands as he creates entries into a diary. A screeching remix of Closer by Trent Reznor accompanies the sequence perfectly, alongside flickering edits.