Mercenaries, the rogue warriors of the battlefield, have been a popular theme in cinema for decades. Their stories, often filled with action, intrigue, and moral ambiguity, offer a thrilling viewing experience. In this article, we delve into some of the best movies about mercenaries, providing a comprehensive guide to these adrenaline-pumping films.
Now, we are long away from the movies made by Sylvester Stallone, who is one of the first actors to popularize the action genre. His John Rambo movies were legendary.
Blood Diamond (2006)
Blood Diamond is a gripping drama-thriller that effectively uses the mercenary trope to explore the devastating impact of conflict diamonds. The film is set in Sierra Leone during the civil war, and follows a fisherman, a diamond smuggler, and a syndicate of businessmen.
The story revolves around a mercenary, named Danny Archer, played by American actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who offers to help a fisherman find his family in exchange for a rare pink diamond the fisherman has hidden. The film is intense and emotional, making it one of the most compelling movies about mercenaries.
Headhunters is a Norwegian film that blends elements of a thriller and crime movie. The film follows Roger Brown, a successful headhunter who leads a double life as an art thief to support his lavish lifestyle.
When he learns about a valuable painting owned by a former mercenary, he decides to steal it, setting off a chain of events that puts his life in danger. Headhunters is a suspenseful and engaging film with a unique take on the mercenary genre.
The Last Samurai (2003)
Set in Japan during the 1870s, The Last Samurai is a historical drama that follows an American military advisor who embraces the Samurai culture he was hired to destroy after he is captured in battle.
The film stars Tom Cruise as Captain Nathan Algren, a war veteran hired by the Emperor of Japan to train the country’s first army in the art of modern warfare. Captured by samurai warriors after a disastrous battle, Algren learns about their way of life and eventually finds himself conflicuously torn between two cultures.
The Rock (1996)
The Rock is an action-thriller that offers a high-octane viewing experience. The film centers on a mild-mannered chemist and an ex-con who lead a counter strike when a rogue group of military men, led by a renegade general, threaten a nerve gas attack from Alcatraz against San Francisco.
The film features a team of mercenaries who, under the leadership of a rogue U.S. Force Recon general, seize control of Alcatraz Island, taking hostages and threatening to launch rockets filled with lethal nerve gas over San Francisco unless their demands are met.
The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006)
This war drama set during the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War, provides a different take on the mercenary genre. It sheds light on the struggle of Irish citizens against the brutal Black and Tans, a force of Temporary Constables recruited to assist the Royal Irish Constabulary in maintaining control over the population.
The film follows two brothers who join the Irish Republican Army, but become disillusioned with the violence and brutality of the war. The movie offers a stark depiction of the political and social turmoil of the time, while providing a nuanced portrayal of its mercenary characters.
Deadpool adds a touch of humor to the mercenary genre. This superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, is a blend of action, comedy, and adventure. It tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment, adopts the alter ego Deadpool.
Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life. With his irreverent tone and graphic violence, Deadpool is a refreshing take on the superhero genre and a must-watch for fans of movies about mercenaries.
Ronin is an action thriller that revolves around a team of former special operatives, known as “Ronin”, hired by an Irish woman to recover a briefcase.
The film is known for its complex plot and impressive car chase scenes. The mercenaries, each with their own specialties, must navigate a web of deception and betrayal to accomplish their mission. Ronin is a classic mercenary film that offers a compelling mix of action and intrigue.
John Wick (2014)
John Wick is a classic example of a mercenary action movie. It has everything you want, and more. There is a reason why the John Wick franchise has a cult following.
The first movie begins with John, played by Keanu Reeves, finding out his dog was killed by some mobsters. Wick, who is a former mercenary, goes on a killing revenge spree to avenge the death of his dog.
This action movie is so popular, it has spawned numerous memes of “you never kill a dog in the movies”.
Deadpool 2 (2018)
The sequel to the 2016 action film, Deadpool 2 continues the story of the wise-cracking mercenary with a host of new characters and outrageous adventures.
In Deadpool 2, our hero faces off against the time-traveling soldier Cable, forms the team X-Force, and gets involved in a host of explosive battles. With its blend of humor, action, and heart, Deadpool 2 is a worthy follow-up to the original and a standout among movies about mercenaries.
Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey (2012)
This anime action film is the second in a trilogy adapted from the Berserk manga series. It continues the story of mercenary Guts as he fights for the Band of the Hawk in the epic Battle for Doldrey.
With its stunning animation and intense battle sequences, Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey is a standout among animated movies about mercenaries. It offers a dark and gripping take on the mercenary genre, with a complex hero at its center.
In conclusion, these are just a few of the many movies about mercenaries that offer thrilling viewing experiences. From intense drama-thrillers to humorous superhero films, the mercenary genre provides a wealth of diverse stories and characters. Whether you’re a fan of action-packed sequences or intricate plots, there’s sure to be a mercenary film that will captivate you.