After publishing my video, the problem with horror movies today, many requested that I tackle other genres as well. Choosing another genre to dissect was simple: there's, really no competition action movies are suffering today and not just in the way they're crafted, but at the box office as well sure nearly every huge superhero film and it's sequels rake in crazy money, but this video will focus more on pure action films, the issues with how they're made and my suggestions for how to improve them.
For this video, I came up with a simple process that action filmmakers can employ, and, of course, this is just my opinion. Films are subjective and my thoughts on this subject may not resonate with everyone.
After listing these steps, I will discuss one final requirement, which i think is the absolute most important and something that action filmmakers seem to have forgotten about entirely. Let's get started number one.
The story. This is likely the most important aspect of all filmmaking. Can we be invested in the story, yet it is a particular person, stew, action films. Why is that action? Movie plots have become very overused at this point.
There's only so many times. We can see a really evil guy threatened to blow up the world or some power-hungry baddie take somebody's. Daughter audiences may not be able to put their finger on it, but they know when they & # 39.
Ve seen something special, something unique that actually gets their adrenaline pumping. Let's. Talk about a film released in 1994 called speed. This movie has one of the best action plots of all time there's, a bomb on a bus.
If it goes under 50 miles per hour, it explodes there, you go instant two-hour thrill ride. This is a terrific concept, because our hero is constantly on edge. He never has a second to breathe and it gives the audience something to be excited about every single moment.
How about another little Keanu, Reeves film called the matrix. This movie has arguably one of the coolest stories ever put up on the screen. Not only was the action mind-blowing, but the film presented a world in which nothing was what it seemed and the movie as whole pulled the rug out from under all of us.
Action movies nowadays seem to have lost the sense of presenting a great story. Nearly every single one is a recycled plot from another. Better film taken, three is essentially a cheap. Watered-Down version of the fugitive RIPD is a rehashed attempt to recreate the charm of men and black.
The legend of Hercules is a shameless ripoff of gladiator and 300. Don't even get me started with the endless string of reboots and remakes action. Movies need a story that is not only inhabited by characters.
We care about, but features a plot that keeps the audience on the edge of their seat. In Raiders of the Lost Ark Nazis want the Ark of the Covenant and so does Indy, and he'll do anything to get it. This is a story that lends to action because it's, a story that always keeps our hero.
Moving he's. Rarely given the chance to stop so the film's, momentum never drags. If your action, film, doesn't, have a plot that supports fast paced filmmaking. Then you're, doing something wrong. Number.
2, the hero, an action movie without someone to root for, is an unholy sin against cinema goers, our hero is the man or woman that we desperately want to relate to. When this person is in peril, we should be gripping our hands tighter and tighter, not checking our watch wondering when the credits will start.
Let's. Take one of the quintessential action heroes of our time, John McClane, and compare the same character from two different films die hard and a good day to die hard in the original film. The character of John McClane is not an invincible badass.
He's. Actually, a husband trying to reconnect with his wife. This is what his character is doing in California. He's, not there to fight terrorists. He's, just unfortunately, the only guy left the film takes its time in the beginning.
To briefly present a man afraid of flying a man having difficulty with his marriage and somebody we can actually care about. So when the action starts, we want to see him succeed because at this point it's.
All he has left in his life and he is all danaka Tom Plaza has left. He is, but a pale shadow of this man in die hard five. There is not even one single moment in the entire runtime of this film in which our hero, isn't completely.
On top of things, John McClane was a lovable [ __ ] in the previous four films, but in this abomination he actually is an [ __ ] that guy you run into on the street. That makes you question humanity. He punches a pedestrian steals.
His car then crushes many civilian vehicles, including one with an innocent woman inside the previous Ford, die hard films presented McClane as a character who, despite being a total ass, actually cared about people that's.
Why he became a cop die hard, five lost all sense of these things, and the movie sucked Indiana Jones is considered one of the greatest movie heroes of all time. A lot of this is due to him just being a regular guy.
This is something that I want to cover towards the end of this video, and it is, in my opinion, the most important part of presenting an above-average action movie hero number three: the villain there's, a saying that your story is only as good As your villain, this is very true.
In my opinion, a compelling villain is generally the polar opposite of our hero, but perhaps has one thing that connects them, for instance, consider the t1000 from Terminator 2. He and Arnold are both terminators.
They're, both connected by John and Sarah Connor, and yet the t1000 is vastly superior technologically and isn't governed by the orders of John like Arnie, is this makes for a very interesting villain and, most importantly, one that can actually Challenge our hero.
Another prime example is the Joker in the excellent crime drama. Yes, crime drama, The Dark Knight, if brute strength, money and power were the deciding factors. Batman would crush the Joker in a split second, but unfortunately for Batman.
The Joker knows every single button to push psychologically to ruin our hero in the film's best scene. The Joker explains to Batman how similar they actually are saying. He's, really just a freak like him.
For these reasons, the Joker is not only one of the best villains of all time, but serves as an example for all writers out there on how to craft a powerful antagonist. Another very important aspect of getting the villain right is giving him motivation that we can understand so often the bad guy is portrayed as a cartoon character.
Who just wants money? The best villains are the ones we can actually understand. Consider the sheep from Casino Royale to this day. He remains my favorite Bond villain. Why? Because we can actually understand where he's coming from he's at the end of his rope.
Financially, he absolutely requires money because his life is being threatened by a powerful organization. He's, not some faceless, head of some powerful place who continuously strokes his cat. He's, actually someone who not only challenges bonds, psychologically, but a human being.
A great example of this is the one and only Darth Vader next to the Emperor he's, the most evil guy in the galaxy, or is he in reality? He's. A person who watched his entire life crumble lost his children and the majority of his body, but it's, his connection with Luke that made those original three films, so unforgettable and the humanity under that helmet.
That made him so intriguing number. Four. The stunts an action movie without great stunts is like a comedy without laughs. However, before the filming can even take place, it's, important to cast an actor.
Who actually does some? Let's. Talk about Tom Cruise. This man is the best example of a hugely famous artist, who legitimately wants the audience to have a good time and someone who recognizes that actually seeing the action hero doing these amazing things makes not only the experience better, but the film better.
From the very first Mission Impossible, Cruise has proven himself to be an excellent sport and has continued to do stunts so insane he's, essentially the American Jackie Chan in most action films, when the hero does something dangerous.
The camera is positioned behind him. So that we are unable to tell that a stunt double has replaced the actor during the entire Burj Khalifa scene in Mission Impossible, Ghost Protocol, our palms, sweat, because Cruise is actually out there suspended from a line.
Some audience members assume they're. Looking at CGI yet are unable to explain in words why the scene was so great. Well simply put it's actually happening the best and most entertaining action. Scenes in history revolve around breathtaking stunt work and are performed by brave men and women who have a serious love of their craft actors like Harrison.
Ford and Keanu Reeves have been famously very dedicated to what they call physical, acting, not necessarily death-defying stunts, but performances infused with adrenaline that provide us with the knowledge that our favorite action heroes can actually do the things they are depicted on screen doing an actor.
Who is unwilling to get involved with the stunts puts a strain on the director. It causes him to incorporate more cuts and angle changes to his vision than perhaps he originally planned on. This can be very frustrating not just for him, but the audience it's vastly important to cast actors who actually are invested in the action scenes and who want the audience to have as much enjoyment as possible.
Number 5, the camerawork dear Lord. This is what I've, been waiting to talk about. You all knew it was coming: shaky-cam, [, __, ] shaky-cam. At some point, someone somewhere told Hollywood that people like incoherent, incompetent, camerawork, blinding the audience with multiple cuts and assaulting us with nothing.
But a barrage of sound effects that are supposed to subconsciously tell us that something is happening. On-Screen there is, but one director out there, who uses shaky cam successfully Paul Greengrass, the Bourne Ultimatum, is considered by many to be one of the best action movies of recent years, and yet it is littered with shaky cam.
So why does it work? Many directors now use shaky cam as a cheap, quick way to film a scene between two actors who have not won single clue how to pull off a stunt. So it's used as a way to mask poor stunt work.
Other directors actually do it, because they like it. I guess some of the worst examples of this technique are every film directed by Olivier Megaton. His action scenes are extremely difficult to follow, filled with endless cuts and angle changes that serve no purpose other than to make our eyes sting.
Greengrass doesn't, use shaky cam to hide anything. It's clear throughout the film that Damon and the other stunt people are very invested in the action scenes and the seamless, editing and use of wides at just the right moment make this apparent.
Rob Cohen's. Direction of the final fight scene in Alex Cross is so unimaginably awful that I struggle to comprehend how it was approved. It's very easy to look at this scene and assume that these actors are unable to perform a convincing fight and that Coen is using this technique in an attempt to cover up their inability to sell convincing stunt work.
Yet a quick look at this brief, but memorable fight scene from another Matthew, Fox film, called Speed. Racer shows us the exact opposite so clearly the man can do stunts. So why film your action scene like there's, an earthquake going on on the set Speed, Racer was directed by the Wachowski to people who clearly understand the art of an action scene, take, for instance, the final fight between neo and Smith.
I watch and drool at the fluidity of the camerawork and how beautifully it glides across the subway filming these talented actors and excellent, wide angles, letting our eyes soak in the moments Keanu Reeves recent film, John wick, is another excellent example of how to do it right.
This movie was directed by veteran stuntman, who made their love of the genre infectiously obvious with the vivid lighting and terrific camerawork something people often confuse is handheld cam for shakey cam.
These are two very different things. A film like Saving Private Ryan used, handheld camp, two beautiful results and a glowing example of handheld cams defectively is the nightclub scene in collateral.
Handheld cam is simply a shot that isn't locked down by a tripod or any other device oftentimes. The cameraman is physically holding the camera, and this creates an unpredictability to the camera work and with unpredictability being a major theme of collateral.
It was the perfect choice. Shaky cam is literally just the cameraman shaking the camera back and forth on purpose and even scarier. Sometimes the shakey cam effect is even enhanced in post with more vibration.
Added foreign films have been a consistent example of how to do it right. The raid 2 features Swift, cinematography and actors who've, clearly trained tirelessly to make the action look convincing, but there is a danger to excessive choreography and fight training.
That danger is that the battle will more closely resemble a dance than a fight. This is what I fear happened with Revenge of the Sith. The final lightsaber battle is cool and all, but it was so flashy and well practiced that rarely throughout the fight do we ever get the sense that either of them are actually in danger.
The excuse has been made by some very forgiving Star Wars, fans that these are Jedi in their prime and they're using the force at such a fast level that they can successfully predict the other's; movements that'S, fine and all, but that doesn't change.
The fact that they don't appear worried or concerned even remotely. One of the most important things to choreograph is not just the hits kicks and blocks, but the acting that happens in between them. This is something that Jackie Chan excels at.
He is a brilliant physical actor and one that understands that it's, not just about the action it's about the drama that happens in between the action too often. Today, action scenes appears so well staged that we can often sit back and watch the punches fly without being concerned for our hero.
This leads me to my final and most important point: the vulnerability of our hero. Let's. Talk about a movie called Lucy, which was entertaining at time, but that was mostly because it had a sleek look and Scarlett.
Johansson is effortlessly watchable, but one of my largest complaints with the film was that once Lucy was able to unlock the recesses of her brain. There was not a single person left alive able to challenge her.
She took on hordes of people without even blinking an eye due to her invincibility. This made the action scenes tensionless an action hero should have something about him or her. That makes us relate to them a vulnerability of humanity.
We need to fear for our hero's survival, let's, compare the matrix to its sequel, The Matrix Reloaded in the first film during the climactic battle between neo and Smith. The hits felt real dust flies off their chests blood trickles from Neos mouth.
There are legitimate moments throughout where you wonder if neo can actually win. This is a vulnerable hero we feel like. We could be like this man in the Matrix Reloaded. We are given a series of fight scenes with dazzling, choreography, wondrous, camerawork and no sense of pain.
Neo has literally become a superhero and nearly all tension has drained from the action. The hits feel powerless. The endless parades of Smith's appear like balloon. People being smacked into the air like toys, the best fight scene in that film is the chateaux sword fight and largely because there are moments throughout that.
Neo genuinely appears a little bit concerned. The sunglasses also have something to do with it. By taking away our hero's eyes, it's even harder to connect with him consider Mel Gibson in the first Lethal Weapon.
Awesome badass, cool, crazy guy right well sure, but he's. Also, a man mourning the loss of his wife and contemplating suicide. The character of Martin Riggs has an emotional Center and his friendship with Murtaugh made it all the better.
As already mentioned, John McClane is the ultimate everyman action hero throughout the action he's, always more concerned about his children, his wife and the hostages that how many people he can blow up the quintessential vulnerable action hero is Indiana Jones, observe the brilliant Truck chase scene from Raiders, why is this scene so perfect? Besides the incredible stunt work, John Williams, pounding score and a live wire direction.
Its success is due to the physical journey of Indy throughout the scene once he gets inside the truck and has the upper hand on the guards he then gets shot in the arm and a smart ear will notice Williams score instantly changes at this moment to a Continuously building theme that tells us it just got serious one.
Relentless soldier gets the best of Indy pummeling him in the gunshot wound. He then tosses Indy through the windshield, putting him inches away from being run over. This is what I call the breaking point moment.
Most great action films have this the moment where our hero is at his lowest point and has no choice but to dig his way out and somehow come out on top in John McTiernan x'predator. It's this incredible moment.
After all of Arnie's, team has been killed and he realizes he's. The only one left Alan Silvestri's. Amazing score reflects the horror. His character is feeling as he realizes he has no one left but himself.
This is why watching, indeed pull himself under the truck then getting dragged behind it only to come around and knock the crap out of the soldier is so enthralling. We've, seen our hero taken to the breaking point and then come out on top.
It makes my adrenaline rush every single time. The last crusade had this moment as well Indy hanging on the edge of the tank getting beaten by a shovel, but eventually just at the last second, he climbs back up Temple of Doom.
Had it too, when mola Ram nearly pulls Indy's heart out near the finale, you know what film doesn't have the breaking point moment. You guessed it Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. You might argue that there was about five seconds during Indies fight with the Russian, where he crawled on the ground briefly, but essentially Indy remained perfectly on top of things throughout the entire film.
There was never a moment where we feared for Indy survival like in the previous three, and that is just one of the reasons why in d4, didn't succeed. So basically, our heroes need to be relatable in some way.
You'll, find that even the best superheroes are the ones that have something about them that make them human something about them. They're, hiding or perhaps it's, a belief system. They're harboring that they are coming to realize is false.
Another discussion I'd love to have is entirely about the pg-13 rating, but that's for another video. My sincere hope is that filmmakers who are making action films can perhaps use this video as a guide on what to avoid.
If you are planning an action film. Currently, please consider these points because I strongly believe they will make your film better and if you are concerned with the current state of action films, please share this video.
Maybe we can make a difference. So what do you guys think on this subject and if you missed my video on the problem with horror movies today, there will be an annotation for it here shortly. Thank you as always so much for watching guys, and if you like this, you can click right here and get steppen eyes.