The action genre has always been one of the most exciting on the big screen has produced some great movies and characters over the years.

The Gunman

The Gunman

The Gunman is all set to be released on DVD & Blu-Ray tomorrow and is based on the novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette. To celebrate, we take a look at some of the action novels that have been given a big screen makeover over the years.

- The Gunman (2015)

Based on the novel The Prone Gunman by Jean-Patrick Manchette, this slick, action packed thriller stars Sean Penn as former hitman Terrier and sees Pierre Morel back in the director's chair. Morel is no stranger to the action genre with District 13 and Taken under his belt.

Eight years after fleeing the Congo following his assassination of that country's minister of mining, he's left juggling his need to atone for a violent past with the debilitating reality of post-traumatic stress disorder. After an attempt is made on his life, Terrier flies to London to find out who wants him dead - and why...

We are no use to seeing Penn take on an action role and is seems him take a break from the dramatic characters that we are use to seeing him play.

The Gunman is an action packed shoot-em-up with Morel have shot some edge of your seat set pieces.

The Gunman

- The Bourne Identity (2002)

A fan favourite, and widely regarded as the start of one of the best action trilogies of recent years, this action-packed thriller is loosely based on Robert Ludlum's novel of the same name, and tells the story of a man (Damon) whose wounded body is discovered by fishermen who nurse him back to health.

Unable to remember anything, he starts trying to rebuild his memory based on clues, including a number implanted on his hip, which turns out to be a Swiss bank account. He soon realizes that he is being hunted and takes off with new friend Marie (Franka Potente), in a desperate race against time to find out who he is, and just why he is being tracked...

It is hard to believe that The Bourne Identity is over a decade old and was the character and franchise that really helped to send Damon's career rocketing.

From start to finish, The Bourne Identity is a movie that is a perfect blend of action, suspense, and some terrific characters. Damon returned to the role of Jason Bourne in The Bourne Supremacy in 2004 and The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007 - a franchise that got better and better with each movie.

The Bourne Identity

- Man On Fire (2004)

The second adaptation of AJ Quinnell's novel of the same name, Man on Fire stars Denzel Washington as a disillusioned ex-CIA officer turned bodyguard, who embarks on a desperate bid to recover his charge, 9 year-old Pita Ramos (Dakota Fanning) after she is abducted.

Washington is perfectly cast as the unhappy, guilt-ridden former assassin, and assisted by a star turn from Fanning, the burgeoning father-daughter relationship between them avoids falling into saccharine territory.

Man on Fire hit the big screen back in 2004 and saw Washington team up with director Tony Scott, while Brian Helgeland - who wrote L.A. Confidential - penned the screenplay.

Man on Fire is a movie that is action packed and is a great tale of revenge with some rather gruesome deaths. However, it is the central performance from Washington that really makes this movie as he has charm and a charism that makes you root for him from the very beginning.

Man On Fire

- The Town (2010)

The Town was one of my favourite films of 2010 and saw Ben Affleck back in the director's chair for the second time - coming after the critical success of Gone Baby Gone.

The Town is an adaptation of Chuck Hogan's novel Prince of Thieves and saw Affleck take on the central role, while Jeremy Renner and Rebecca Hall were some of the other names on the cast list.

Focusing on a group of bank robbers in downtown Boston, The Town stars Affleck as the leader of the group, struggling with his feelings for a bank manager connected to one of his earlier heists (Hall), as well as attempting to evade an FBI agent, played by Jon Hamm, looking to bring him to justice.

The Town is a crime thriller of exceptional quality biting hard with cutting dialogue, gripping action and a twisting story that will keep you on the edge of your seat right until the credits.

This is a film firmly grounded, where criminals wear tracksuits and work in brickyards, where crime is a career choice. It's a hugely authentic film, which just makes all the action hit harder than ever.

The Town

- Jack Reacher (2012)

Tom Cruise returned to the action genre in 2012 as he took on the title role of Jack Reached, which was based on Lee Child's novel One Shot.

Jack Reacher opens with a mass assassination of five, swiftly followed by a police investigation that captures the culprit. But instead of a confession, the accused demands the authorities 'get Jack Reacher'. And ex-military investigator Jack Reacher (Cruise) is on his way; he knows the shooter to be a trained military sniper who would never miss a shot, and is certain something is not right.

Soon the seemingly simple case explodes and Reacher is forced to team up with young defence lawyer Helen (Rosamund Pike) in order to track down which unseen threat is manipulating events.

The casting of Cruise did ruffle a few feathers when it was announced but it is the actor's charisma that really does help elevate this character. The movie saw Cruise team up with director Christopher McQuarrie for the first time - they have since worked together on Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation - and has delivered a movie that is a mix of great action as well as some terrific dialogue.

Jack Reacher

- Casino Royale (2006)

Daniel Craig took over the role of James Bond for the first time back in 2006 as Casino Royale hit the big screen. The movie is based on the Ian Fleming novel of the same name and marked a new era for the 007 franchise.

The boss of MI6, known simply as M (Judi Dench) sends Bond on his first mission as a 00, along with Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) to attend a poker game and prevent banker to international terrorists Le Chiffre from winning.

Bond, having Vesper pose as his partner, enters the most important game in his already impossibly dangerous career. But defeating Le Chiffre is only the start- and definitely won't guarantee his safety...

Casino Royale was one of the grittiest Bond movies to ever hit the big screen and saw Craig announce himself in this role with an almighty bang. There is something wilder and more dangerous about Craig's Bond and it really showed that this character was set to go in a new and different direction.

Martin Campbell was in the director's chair for the film, and he mixed action and glamour to deliver a strong and well-defined story with a more interesting Bond at its core.

Casino Royale

- Die Hard (1988)

Loosely based on Roderick Thorp's novel Nothing Lasts Forever, the first outing of action hero heavyweight John McClane has gone down in history as a cinematic classic, in no small part due to Bruce Willis' wisecracking turn as NYPD officer McClane, who finds himself inadvertently thrust into a horrific hostage situation during a Christmas party with his wife at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Locking horns with the sadistic German terrorist Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), McClane finds himself thrust into the midst of some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world- and he's the only one who can stop them...

This movie saw Willis utter the world 'Yippie-Ki-Yay, Motherfucker!' for the first time and here we saw the birth of an action movie icon. To this day, Die Hard remains one of the greatest movies in the action film genre and it is a role that Willis will forever be synonymous with.

Die Hard is a movie that is great fun packed with some great action set pieces that are delivered to us at a quick and almost unrelenting pace.

However, Die Hard is not all about Willis as Alan Rickman gives us one of the best movie villain performances of all time as Hans Gruber.

Die Hard

The Gunman is released on digital platforms on 13th July, 2015 and on Blu-ray and DVD on 20th July 2015, courtesy of STUDIOCANAL.

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