October 22, 2012

Why So Serious?

One of the most important aspects of any decent action movie is the one-liner; that quip the hero says whenever he kills a bad guy or is trying to piss the villain off “Yippee-kiyay, motherf*cker”, “You’re discharged, Sarge!”  and so on.

If you see my recent blog about the new Die Hard film, there is mention that audiences don’t want humour in action movies anymore. Is this true? I’m pretty sure The Avengers had quite a few one-liners and it made over a billion dollars worldwide in a week.

There seem to be a few directors out there today who think you can make an action movie by simply shaking the camera around and having everyone look miserable. It is certainly the case that a lot of action movies these days lack the fun/humour that they once did.

I wrote an action movie script a while back and entered it into a competition. It made it into the second round, but no further because they wanted it to be more like “Bourne” or “Taken”. They completely missed the point that the film was MEANT to have humour and one-liners in it as that’s one of the most important aspects of an action movie. I was deliberately going for an old-school action approach and an R rating because of my hatred of all things Bourne.  But as we’ve discovered an R rating is basically death at the box office these days, at least in the States.

To quote my good friend Cochise “Just make it PG-13 and you’ll have success. Expect a lot more PG-13 action flicks now, I bet it’ll be a rarity we’ll even see one of the Dredd-type flicks a year from now.”

So, I ended up up rewriting the script and taking out a lot of the humour/violence and it completely ruined the story. It was no longer fun and I ended up hating it and basically stopped writing. Are the kind of movies that I want to see a dying breed after all? Do we really want no more action movies with one-liners and humour?

John McClane without his one-liners is just a normal, bored looking guy who kills bad guys and looks sad.

I seriously doubt that everyone wants to sit around and feel sorry for themselves when watching an action movie. The whole point in watching one is the escape from the tedium of reality and wish fulfillment. Sure, times are hard but we don’t need the movies to be miserable as well, that’s what reality is for!

So everyone, quit yer whining and enjoy yourselves again. I want more fun action movies like “Expendables”, etc and less “Bourne” rip-offs. I bid you good day.

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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