Chaos Cinema, or how ‘action’ in film became synonymous with ‘tedium’ (albeit blizzards of tedium)
In this short two-part video essay Matthais Stork traces the devolution of the action film and lays bare the bag of tricks today’s filmmakers employ to achieve previously impossible combinations of abrasiveness and banality. It isn’t the inane plots or threadbare characters that make contemporary actions movies so ho-hum, it’s the action sequences themselves. Sad but true, as soon as you smell a car chase forming up you know it’s a good time for a pee break.
Correctly, Stork lauds John Woo’s Hard-Boiled as a showcase of choreography and editing craft. Though it is nearly 20 years old, I can’t name an action film to rival it. Hat tip to Malcolm for prompting me to go see that one on the big screen way back then.
Part 2 after the break
And now a palate cleanser by the master:
Originally posted Aug. 22, 2011