July 29, 2012

Why Do So Many Big-Budget Action Scenes Look The Same?

There seems to be a trend with the blockbusters just now for any action scene to look just like Transformers. All robots/aliens seem to have the grey gun-metal look to them. Battleship just looks like Transformers 4: “Oh look big grey robot things destroying a city, haven’t seen that since… last summer.”

Even the Avengers has that big, grey, robot dragon thing at the end of the trailer. I think that’s the bit you’re meant to go “WOW!” but it’s the bit where I go “YAWN!” Another Transformers-esque action scene. Probably why I couldn’t really care less about the film.

Another big problem is the shaky cam, for the love of God hold the camera steady! People wonder why I hate the Bourne movies, THAT is why. Everyone now tries to copy them by giving action scenes a “gritty, real” look. Actually no it doesn’t, it looks like shit, do you have epilepsy?

Some of the best shot action scenes I’ve seen recently are in low budget straight to DVD movies like The Tournament and Universal Soldier: Regeneration. In Uni Sol, John Hyams gets the crew to hold the camera steady and let the actors do the fight scenes, no flashy tricks. Just good old fashioned skill. The same can be said for the Undisputed movies; THOSE are fight scenes.

It’s like when a film has a bigger budget, the less effort is put into action scenes. “Ah just shake the camera around endlessly, that’ll work.” Siiiigh. It seems that with a lower budget comes greater originality, no money for blowing up buildings so we’ll do something more intimate and real.

Some troll wrote a few weeks ago that “Most movies before the year 2000 are so bad; thank God we have the filmmakers we have now who can shoot an action scene.” Yes, because Die Hard, Terminator 2 and Predator are SO poorly made. You sir, are a tit and a moron! When you’re dealing with this kind of idiocy, I lose all hope in mankind and gleefully await the apocalypse.

But I digress; people need to demand more from their action films. I don’t mean bigger, I mean better. Hold the camera straight, make aliens and robots look different. Maybe try animatronics instead of synthetic looking CGI. Is it really too much to ask? Yup.

About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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