Thursday, May 16, 2024

Action Films" Fantasy Vs. Realism

With all my movie reviews I have avoided action films.  To me they do not seem realistic, but I recognize that my adrenaline is flowing and the tension can be enjoyable.  Film can be realistic, but most people watch for enjoyment.  My contention is that too much action is not good for realism or enjoyment.

"Bullitt" (1968) with Steve McQueen and a few years later "The French Connection"  (1971) with Gene Hackman had innovative dynamic car chases and I was open for more.  I watched a few lesser action films and I couldn't resist "Face/Off" (1997) that had an interesting story about one criminal hiding behind plastic surgery.  A bonus was an elaborate chase scene.  It started as car chase and then transitioning to even more precarious airplane chase and boat chase scenes.  It was contrived and ridiculous.  The director John Woo learned film making in Hong Kong and established himself with ultra violent movies.  It was tense until they added on the extras.  I am sure others saw the added segments as an exciting bonus.

A year or two ago my wife and I latched onto "The Blacklist" (2013-2023) that we mostly watched a streamed version. until the last year.  Every episode had at a minimum at least one automatic guns shooting  Also a fair amount of hand combat and sometimes stunt driving and explosions.  The attraction was criminal conspiracies with global connections that never seemed to end.

More recently two films caught my attention.  

"Vagabond" (2024) is a Korean series pairing a stuntman and a National Security officer up against a very elaborate conspiracy which turned out to be evern more elaborate.  The plot was intriguing and I liked the two lead characters as well as one of the villains.  Naturally there were loads of explosions rapid shooting and more martial fighting.  I did enjoy, but for me the action dragged on more than necessary.

"13 Bombs" (2024) was promoted as the most expensive film from Indonesia.  Obviously they wanted to be considered major league and naturally action played a critical role.  It was expensive because they blew up lots of buildings.  Lots of gun fighting as well.  A unique feature was the role of crypto currency and that the heroes were actually naive young adults, but it did make some sense.  I have watched a number of Indonesian films and felt they were making progress. Now I feel they have been sidetracked

Robert J. Sawyer. is one whose science books were thought provoking and enjoyable.  At a local presentation he commented that he was grateful that a few of his books were picked up by film studios.  He did not include explosions in his writing, but found the film adaptations included lots of them.

Once a viewer gets used to a level of violence it takes more action  to reach the same level of excitement.  Satiety demands more stimulus.  Do action films encourage societal violence?  It depends, but it must be admitted too much is not good.  Violence does exist and it is not desirable to turn your back on it.  War and crime exist and if it is far away we can ignore it.  Denying violence makes you vulnerable.

Chaz Ebert mentioned that her husband Roger felt movies allow you to walk in the shoes of others and to empathize.  Might fantasizing yourself in the shoes of an action hero (or villain) help you better understand or enjoy the experience?  Check

This post is my opinions.  I try to keep a middle ground and see a need to have balance.  When I feel the action is not making a point I tend to turn away, but sometimes it is too exciting.  Sex, romance and mystery are other attractive features to absorb.   What you enjoy with watching films is your choice; I just suggest films I have enjoyed.  Hopefully I haven't steered you wrong.

No comments:

Post a Comment