It’s not just the high-octane plots and incredible stunts that make an action film memorable. Those spies, hitmen and agents on the run have a knack for finding breathtaking places to escape to. As Jason Statham’s new film Mechanic: Resurrection arrives in cinemas, we salivate over the most gorgeous hideouts…
1. Rio de Janeiro
As Britain’s Olympic athletes have just discovered, Rio is one of the most beautiful cities in South America thanks to its beautiful beaches and the iconic Sugarloaf Mountain. The latter’s spectacular cable car is the setting for one of the death-defying stunts from Jason Statham’s hitman Arthur Bishop in Mechanic: Resurrection who travels the globe to complete three impossible assassinations (in cinemas on Friday 26th).
2. Abruzzo, Italy
When George Clooney’s contract killer is forced to go on the run in The American, he takes refuge in a stunning part of the world. From its western border near Rome to the stunning Adriatic coast in the east, one third of Abruzzo is given over to national parks and nature reserves, which are home to first-class wine as well as flora and fauna.
Most arresting of all is the tiny town of Castel del Monte (pictured above), nestled in the heart of the Gran Sasso mountain range. The valley beneath is believed to be the site of an ancient necropolis, and the town’s imposing walls and great gates tell of a rich history of rule from the Roman Empire to the Counts of Aquaviva to Medici rule before officially becoming part of Italy in the 1860s.
3. Khao Phing Kan, Thailand
The setting of Scaramanga’s hideout in The Man With The Golden Gun and Tomorrow Never Dies, this isle northeast of Phuket has been dubbed ‘James Bond Island’. As a result, the striking 20-metre tall rock stack Ko Tapu has also starred in many a backpacker’s photo. The island is mainly visited as a stop-off in the Ao Phang Nga Marine National Park.
A Unesco world-heritage site, Bruges’s fairytale canals and spires hide Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in dark comedy In Bruges, after the former botches his first ‘job’. The Belfry’s medieval tower is the heart of the city’s historical centre and the location of the denouement. Steeped in history that dates back to the Bronze Age, Bruges is an easy and quick getaway from the UK, making it the perfect destination for a long weekend away.
5. New York
Always a character in its own right, the Big Apple was the hideout of choice for assassins Leon and John Wick in the 2014 film named after the latter. Of course, it’s never long before the action starts – and bullets fly when Wick uncovers some shady goings-on inside Manhattan’s handsome St Frances Xavier Church, which is tucked away in the Flatiron District on West 16th Street.
6. Vienna, Austria
Vienna’s Opera House has a dazzling cameo in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. Known as the ‘City of Dreams’ because it was the home of Sigmund Freud, Vienna has been voted one of the world’s most liveable cities. For those just looking to visit, there’s a wealth of culture, with more than 100 art museums, the world’s oldest zoo (Tiergarten Schonbrunn) and the resting place of Beethoven.
Mechanic: Resurrection is in cinemas from Friday 26th August. Watch the trailer: