Eoin Friel is a film blogger, critic and founder of The Action Elite and a long time fan of all kinds of good quality action movies. Today he took the time to share his own thoughts on the state of action films comparing big budget blockbusters and small-scale action films:
“I love my big budget actioners with cities exploding and huge set-pieces, however my favourite type of action is smaller in scale. As much as I enjoy the bigger budget fare I find the bigger the action scene, the less involving it is.
To me when two guys are fighting and just going at it with sheer rage that gets me more involved. I just find it more engaging and there’s something about tales of revenge; if you have a protagonist who is going after someone for revenge, count me in. It’s a primal thing, like if the protagonist’s family is killed then you won’t care what he does to the bad guys because you’re emotionally invested in his story.”
Eoin makes some very credible and noteworthy points about this interesting paradigm, including areas on how things get lost in the epic size and scale of big films, like the sense of danger, humamity and engagement that action films, in some ways, used to be meant for, with examples made such as John McTiernan’s 1988 thriller, Die Hard and Art Camacho’s 1998 direct-to-video action hit, Recoil with martial arts action star Gary Daniels.
As a longtime viewer of action movies, I don’t always agree that bigger is necessarily better. Personally, if it is a big budget action spectacle, I can look forward to either one of two things: A big action movie with a great story and great performances, or a crappy action movie with awesome action scenes and cool special visual effects. That’s just how I look at big budget action movies myself, that way I don’t walk away disappointed and feeling like I haven’t gained anything. It’s also a point of view that led me into another audience of martial arts fans who have grown fond of the independent action industry. As a result, I tend to enjoy the best of both worlds. Although, what with the poor performance of some films of recent, like Dredd, Parker and Bullet To The Head, one has to wonder , not only if the action movie today is a dying breed, but also, “why?”, and what the industry can do to help change that.
Question: Is “bigger” always “better”?
Click HERE to read the rest of Eoin’s article and feel free to share your own thoughts on the action movie genre. And don’t forget to follow The Action Elite on Facebook…
After all, Van Damme does!