Action film is a film genre in which the protagonist or protagonists are thrust into a series of events that typically include violence, extended fighting, physical feats, and frantic chases. Action films tend to feature a resourceful hero struggling against incredible odds, which include life-threatening situations, a villain, or a pursuit which usually concludes in victory for the hero (though a small number of films in this genre have ended in the victory for the villain instead). Advancements in CGI have made it cheaper and easier to create action sequences and other visual effects that required the efforts of professional stunt crews in the past. However, reactions to action films containing significant amounts of CGI have been mixed, as films that use computer animations to create unrealistic, highly unbelievable events are often met with criticism.While action has long been a recurring component in films, the "action film" genre began to develop in the 1970s along with the increase of stunts and special effects. Common action scenes in films are generally, but not limited to, explosions, car chases, fistfights, and shootouts.
This genre is closely associated with the thriller and adventure genres, and they may also contain elements of drama and spy fiction.
Some historians consider The Great Train Robbery (1903) to be the first action film.During the 1920s and 1930s, action-based films were often "swashbuckling" adventure films in which actors, such as Douglas Fairbanks, wielded swords in period pieces or Westerns. Indian action films in this era were known as stunt films.
The 1940s and 1950s saw "action" in a new form through war and cowboy movies. Alfred Hitchcock ushered in the spy-adventure genre while also establishing the use of action-oriented "set pieces" like the famous crop-duster scene and the Mount Rushmore finale in North by Northwest (1959). The film, along with a war-adventure called The Guns of Navarone (1961), inspired producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to invest in their own spy-adventure, based on the novels of Ian Fleming.
The long-running success of the James Bond films or series (which dominated the action films of the 1960s) introduced a staple of the modern-day action film: the resourceful hero. Such larger-than-life characters were a veritable "one-man army"; able to dispatch villainous masterminds after cutting through their disposable henchmen in increasingly creative ways. Such heroes are ready with one-liners, puns, and dry quips. The Bond films also used fast cutting, car chases, fist fights, a variety of weapons and gadgets, and elaborate action sequences.
Producer-Director John Sturges' 1963 film The Great Escape , featuring Allied prisoners of war attempting to escape a German POW camp during World War II, and featuring future icons of the action genre including Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson, is an example of an action film prototype.
During the 1970s, gritty detective stories and urban crime dramas began to evolve and fuse themselves with the new "action" style, leading to a string of maverick police officer films, such as Bullitt (1968), The French Connection (1971) and The Seven-Ups (1973). Dirty Harry (1971) essentially lifted its star, Clint Eastwood, out of his cowboy typecasting, and framed him as the archetypal hero of the urban action film. In many countries, restrictions on language, adult content, and violence had loosened up, and these elements became more widespread.
In the 1970s, martial-arts films from Hong Kong became popular with Western audiences and inspired big budget films such as Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon (1973). Chuck Norris blended martial arts with 'cops and robbers' in films such as Good Guys Wear Black (1978) and A Force of One (1979).
From Japan, Sonny Chiba starred in his first martial arts movie in 1973 called the Karate Kiba . His breakthrough international hit was The Street Fighter series (1974), which established him as the reigning Japanese martial arts actor in international cinema. He also played the role of Mas Oyama in Champion of Death , Karate Bearfighter, and Karate for Life (1975–1977). Chiba's action films were not only bounded by martial arts, but also action thriller ( Doberman Cop and Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon - both from 1977), jidaigeki ( Shogun's Samurai - 1978, Samurai Reincarnation - 1981), and science fiction ( G.I. Samurai - 1979).
In the 1980s, Hollywood produced many big budget action blockbusters with actors such as Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lorenzo Lamas, Michael Dudikoff, Charles Bronson and Bruce Willis.Steven Spielberg and George Lucas paid their homage to the Bond-inspired style with Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). In 1982, veteran actor Nick Nolte and rising comedian Eddie Murphy broke box office records with the action-comedy 48 Hrs. , credited as the first "buddy-cop" movie. That same year, Sylvester Stallone starred in First Blood , the first installment in the Rambo film series which made the character John Rambo a pop culture icon.
1984 saw the beginning of the Terminator franchise starring Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger. This story provides one of the grittiest roles for a woman in action and Hamilton was required to put in extensive effort to develop a strong physique.
1987's Lethal Weapon starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, and Darlene Love was another significant action film hit of the decade, and another "buddy-cop" genre classic, launching a franchise that spawned 3 sequels.
The 1988 film, Die Hard , was particularly influential on the development of the action genre. In the film, Bruce Willis plays a New York police detective who inadvertently becomes embroiled in a terrorist take-over of a Los Angeles office building high-rise.The use of a maverick, resourceful lone hero has always been a common thread from James Bond to John Rambo, but John McClane in Die Hard is much more of an 'everyday' person whom circumstance turns into a reluctant hero. The film set a pattern for a host of imitators, like Under Siege (1992) and Sudden Death, which used the same formula in a different setting.
By the end of the 1980s, the influence of the successful action film could be felt in almost every genre.
Like the Western genre, spy-movies, as well as urban-action films, were starting to parody themselves, and with the growing revolution in CGI (computer generated imagery), the "real-world" settings began to give way to increasingly fantastic environments.This new era of action films often had budgets unlike any in the history of motion pictures. The success of the many Dirty Harry and James Bond sequels had proven that a single successful action film could lead to a continuing action franchise. Thus, the 1980s and 1990s saw a rise in both budgets and the number of sequels a film could generally have. This led to an increasing number of filmmakers to create new technologies that would allow them to beat the competition and take audiences to new heights. The success of Tim Burton's Batman (1989) led to a string of financially successful sequels. Within a single decade, they proved the viability of a novel subgenre of action film: the comic-book movie.
Action films also became important in the direct-to-video market. The Chicago Tribune reported in 1994 that
The direct-to-video action movie is easy to spot on store shelves because it usually has "Dead," "Death," "Future" or "Blood" in its title. The cover of the video box habitually features a rugged man snuggling some sort of semi-automatic weapon amid a backdrop of high-tech destruction.
The plots are virtually interchangeable: Tough cop tracks down brutal serial killer; tough FBI or DEA agent battles South American drug kingpins; tough CIA agent takes on Middle Eastern terrorists; tough cyborg cop squares off with sadistic cyborg villain in the 25th Century. In short, bargain-basement Schwarzenegger.
Family films became more important than such action movies in the direct-to-video market during the 1990s, as retailers stocked more copies of blockbuster films instead of more titles.
While action films continued to flourish as the medium-budget genre movie,[ example needed ] it also fused with tent-pole pictures in other genres. For example, 2009's Star Trek had several science fiction tropes and concepts like time travel through a black hole. However, most of the film was structured around action sequences, many of them quite conventional (hand-to-hand, shooting). While the original Star Wars featured some of this kind of fighting, there was just as much emphasis on star-ship chases and dogfights in outer space. The newer films featured more lightsaber duels, sometimes more intense and acrobatic than the originals. Some fan films also have similar duel scenes like those the prequel trilogy. It was action with a science fiction twist. The trend with films such as The Matrix and The Dark Knight series, is that hand-to-hand fighting and Asian martial-arts techniques are now widely used in science fiction and superhero movies.
Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables used nostalgia for a perceived golden age of action films by casting 1980s action stars alongside new actors in the genre such as Jason Statham.
In The Fast and the Furious series, the action film staple of the car chase is the central plot driver as it had been in Smokey and the Bandit films in the 1970s.
The cross-over of action with science fiction and superhero films continues with many Marvel Comics characters and settings being used for big budget films. Traditional action films like The Fast and the Furious series also remain popular.
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Currently, action films requiring extensive stunt work and special effects tend to be expensive. As such, they are regarded as mostly a large-studio genre in Hollywood, although this is not the case in Hong Kong action cinema, where action films are often modern variations of martial arts films. Because of their roots and lower budgets, Hong Kong action films typically center on physical acrobatics, martial arts fight scenes, stylized gun-play, and dangerous stunt work performed by leading stunt actors. On the other hand, American action films typically feature big explosions, car chases, stunt doubles and CGI special effects.
Hong Kong action cinema was at its peak from the 1970s to 1990s, when its action movies were experimenting with and popularizing various new techniques that would eventually be adopted by Hollywood action movies. This began in the early 1970s with the martial arts movies of Bruce Lee, which led to a wave of Bruceploitation movies that eventually gave way to the comedy kung fu films of Jackie Chan by the end of the decade. During the 1980s, Hong Kong action cinema re-invented itself with various new movies. These included the modern martial arts action movies featuring physical acrobatics and dangerous stunt work of Jackie Chan and his stunt team, as well as Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung; the wire fu and wuxia films of Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Yuen Woo-Ping and Tsui Hark; the gun fu, heroic bloodshed and Triad films of Chow Yun-Fat, Ringo Lam and John Woo; and the girls with guns films of Michelle Yeoh and Moon Lee.
A hybrid of the action and adventure genres that features the protagonist traveling to exotic locations while being chased, attacked or thrust into physical challenges that result in fights, chases, destruction and life-threatening stunts. Examples include the Indiana Jones franchise and many superhero films.
A subgenre involving action and humour.The subgenre became a popular trend in the 1980s, when actors who were known for their background in comedy, such as Eddie Murphy, began to take roles in action films. Comedy films such as Dumb & Dumber and Big Momma's House , that contain action-laden sub-plots, are not considered part of this combined genre. Action scenes have a more integral role in action comedies. A common strata of action comedy is the buddy cop film, including 48 Hrs. (1982), Beverly Hills Cop (1984), Lethal Weapon (1987), Midnight Run (1988), Bad Boys (1995), Rush Hour (1998), The Rundown (2003), Hot Fuzz (2007), The Nice Guys (2016), and the animated Zootopia (2016). Another common strata of action comedy is the martial arts comedy, which became popular in Hong Kong action cinema since the 1980s, with Jackie Chan (played Master Monkey in Kung Fu Panda (2008-present)) being the most famous example, along with Sammo Hung and Stephen Chow.
A hybrid of the action film and crime film, crime action films feature action set-pieces such as shootouts, explosions and car chases within a criminal setting. While criminality is typically featured in any action film, these films specifically feature protagonists who are mostly cops/criminals, and a heist, illegal trade, investigation or crime-busting is often the focus of the story. Examples include New Jack City , Collateral , Training Day , Street Kings , Dark Blue , End of Watch , Sabotage , Believer , Asura: The City of Madness , Master , Heat and American Made .
A subgenre involving action and drama. These films often combine action sequences with serious themes and character insight. Examples include Top Gun , Drive , Patriots Day , The Last Castle , House of the Rising Sun , Darbar, Sarkar , Lingaa and Jai Simha .
A subgenre combining the intrusion of an evil force, event, or supernatural personage of horror films with the gunfights and frenetic chases of the action genre. Themes or elements often prevalent in typical action-horror films include gore, demons, vicious animals, vampires and most commonly zombies. This category can also take elements from the fantasy genre. Examples include Aliens , Army of Darkness , Resident Evil , Ghost Rider , They Live , Planet Terror , Predator , Undead , World War Z , Train to Busan , Doomsday , Underworld ,Constantine , Swamp Thing , Priest , The Crow , Dawn of the Dead , Deep Rising , From Dusk till Dawn , Blade , Legion , and End of Days .
Featuring guns, cool explosions and amazing set pieces, this movie type first developed in the 1970s in such films as Dirty Harry and The French Connection, and became the exemplar of the Hollywood mega-blockbuster in the 1980s in such works as Die Hard and Lethal Weapon . These films often feature a race against the clock, lots of violence, and a clear—often flamboyantly evil—antagonist. Though they may involve elements of crime or mystery films, those aspects take a back seat to the action. Other significant works include Hard Boiled , True Romance , Point Break , The Warriors , Bullitt , The Seven-Ups , Cobra , First Blood , Rambo: First Blood Part II , Rambo III , Taken and John Wick .The Die Hard subgenre, in which the story takes place in limited location; a single building, plane, or vessel - which is seized or under threat by enemy agents, but are opposed by a single hero who fights an extended battle within the location using stealth and cunning to attempt to defeat them, has become popular in Hollywood because of its crowd appeal and the relative simplicity of building sets for such a constrained piece. Examples include Under Siege (terrorists take over a ship), Broken Arrow (terrorists hijack a nuclear weapon from a B-2 bomber), Snakes on a Plane (poisonous snakes take over a passenger plane), Speed (terrorist takes over a bus), Under Siege 2: Dark Territory , and Derailed (hostages are trapped on trains and buses), Sudden Death (terrorists take over an Ice Hockey stadium), Passenger 57 , Executive Decision , and Air Force One (hostages are trapped on a plane), Con Air (criminals take over a transport plane), and Half Past Dead and The Rock (criminals or terrorists take over a prison). Paul Blart: Mall Cop is a recent spoof of this trend (as Die Hard in a mall).
A subgenre that became incredibly popular in the 80's with films such as 48 Hrs. , Lethal Weapon , and Beverly Hills Cop . They typically involve two mismatched heroes, who are almost always police officers, whose relationship evolves as they advance the plot. This genre saw a minor resurgence in the 2000s with films like Rush Hour, Bad Boys, The Nice Guys , and On Probation .
Having elements of thriller and sometimes science fiction films, the main conflict of this genre is some sort of natural or artificial disaster, such as floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, pandemics, etc. Examples include Independence Day , Daylight , Earthquake , Geostorm , 2012 ,The Day After Tomorrow , The Poseidon Adventure , Poseidon , The Towering Inferno , Dante's Peak , Deep Impact , Volcano , The Core , Armageddon , Twister , Pompeii , San Andreas , Into the Storm , The 5th Wave , and The Hurricane Heist .
A subgenre of the action film, martial arts films contain numerous hand-to-hand combats between characters. They are usually the films' primary appeal and entertainment value and are often the method of storytelling, character expression, and development. Martial arts films contain many characters who are martial artists. These roles are often played by actors who are real martial artists. If not, actors usually fervently train in preparation for their roles. Another method of going around this issue is that the action director may rely more on stylized action or filmmaking tricks. Examples include Hong Kong action films such as Police Story , Kung Fu Hustle , Fearless , Fist of Legend , Drunken Master , Enter the Dragon , Shanghai Noon , Iron Monkey , Flash Point , and Shaolin Soccer , as well as The Karate Kid , A Force of One , Ninja Assassin , Ong-Bak , The Octagon , Kill Bill , Lone Wolf McQuade , Mortal Kombat , Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles , The Raid: Redemption , Champion of Death , Karate Bearfighter , Doberman Cop , Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon , Big Trouble in Little China , Charlie's Angels , and The Street Fighter series.A variant of the genre is Wuxia, a stylized action fantasy period genre typically set in Ancient Asia where skill in the martial arts can enable fantastic abilities like flying and magic like abilities.
Sharing many of the conventions of a science fiction film, science fiction action films emphasize gun-play, space battles, invented weaponry, and other sci-fi elements weaved into action film premises. Examples include G.I. Samurai , Terminator 2: Judgment Day , The Matrix , Total Recall , Minority Report , Inception , The Island , Star Wars , the Men in Black franchise , Aliens , I Robot , Transformers , The Hunger Games , Equilibrium , District 9 , Serenity , Akira , Paycheck , Predator , RoboCop , Avatar , Mad Max 2 , Divergent , They Live , Escape from New York , Demolition Man , Virtuosity and The Fifth Element .
In which the hero is generally a government agent who must take violent action against agents of a rival government or (in recent years) terrorists. They often revolve around spies who are involved in investigating various events, often on a global scale. This subgenre deals with the subject of fictional espionage, either in a realistic way (such as the adaptations of John Le Carré) or as a basis for fantasy (such as James Bond). It is a significant aspect of British cinema,with leading British directors, such as Alfred Hitchcock and Carol Reed, making notable contributions and many films set in the British Secret Service. The subgenre showcases a combination of exciting escapism, heavy action, stylized fights, technological thrills, and exotic locales. Not all spy films fall in the action genre, only those showcasing heavy action such as frequent shootouts and car chases fall in action, spy films with lesser action would be in the thriller genre (see the spy entry in the subgenres of thriller film). Action films of this subgenre include Casino Royale , the Mission: Impossible franchise , Ronin , True Lies , Salt , From Paris with Love , The International , Patriot Games , xXx , Miss Congeniality, and Jason Bourne in The Bourne series .
Usually having elements of science fiction and fantasy, they focus on the actions of one or more superheroes, who usually possess superhuman abilities and are dedicated to protecting the public. These films are almost always action-oriented and the first film of a particular character often includes a focus on the origin of the special powers, including the first fight against the character's most famous supervillain archenemy. Some superheroes are often from Marvel and DC, or they can be made-up. Examples include Batman Begins , Iron Man , Green Lantern , Spider-Man , The Avengers , X-Men , Thor , Captain America: The First Avenger , Daredevil , Black Panther , Doctor Strange , Ant-Man , Captain Marvel , Hulk , Wonder Woman , Kick-Ass , Aquaman , Shazam , Superman Returns , and Justice League .
An action subgenre featuring adventurous and heroic characters known as swashbucklers. These films are usually set in the past period and feature swordfighting scenes. The amount of actual violence is usually limited as the bad guys are thrown aside or knocked by the hilt of the swords and not really killed, except for the lead antagonist.Examples include Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl , The Sea Hawk , The Three Musketeers and The Black Pirate .
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Actors from the 1950s and 1960s, such as John Wayne, Steve McQueen, and Lee Marvin, passed the torch in the 1970s to actors such as Bruce Lee, Tom Laughlin, Charles Bronson, Chuck Norris, Clint Eastwood, and Sonny Chiba. In the 1980s, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover had a popular string of "buddy cop" films in the Lethal Weapon franchise. Beginning in the mid-1980s, actors such as ex-bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone wielded automatic weapons in a number of action films. Stern-faced martial artists Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme made a number of films. Bruce Willis played a Western-inspired hero in the popular Die Hard series of action films.
In the 1990s and 2000s, Asian actors Chow Yun-fat, Jet Li, and Jackie Chan appeared in a number of different types of Hollywood action films, and American actors Wesley Snipes and Vin Diesel both had many roles.
While Keanu Reeves and Harrison Ford both had major roles in science fiction action films ( The Matrix and Blade Runner , respectively), they later branched out into a number of other action sub-genres, such as action-adventure films. American actor Matt Damon, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his sensitive portrayal of a math genius working as a janitor in Good Will Hunting , later morphed into an action hero with the car-chase-and-gunfire-filled Jason Bourne franchise. Same thing happened to star Tom Cruise, who turned into a mature action star with the Mission: Impossible series, Jack Reacher, and other films. Leonardo DiCaprio is another good example of it, but without a film franchise as the previous. European action actors such as Belgian Jean-Claude Van Damme ( Bloodsport , Hard Target , Timecop ), French Jean Reno ( Ronin and Mission: Impossible ), Swedish Dolph Lundgren ( Showdown in Little Tokyo , Universal Soldier , The Expendables ), Irish Colin Farrell ( SWAT , Daredevil , Miami Vice ), and English Jason Statham ( The Transporter , The Expendables , Crank ) appeared in a number of action films in the 1990s and 2000s.
Female actors with major, active roles in action films include Gal Gadot, Brie Larson, Elizabeth Olsen, Michelle Yeoh, Lucy Liu, Cynthia Rothrock, Michelle Rodriguez, Milla Jovovich, Kate Beckinsale, Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, Uma Thurman, Sandra Bullock, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hamilton, Sanaa Lathan, Geena Davis, Halle Berry, Emily Blunt, Zhang Ziyi, Maggie Q, Keira Knightley, Charlize Theron, Demi Moore, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Lawrence, Annette O'Toole, Jennifer Connelly, Brigitte Nielsen, Carrie-Anne Moss, Lori Petty, Jessica Alba, and Jamie Lee Curtis. After a successful career in stunts, Zoë Bell has recently crossed over to become an action star in her own right and Ronda Rousey and Gina Carano have both come from a mixed martial arts background to action roles.
Increasing numbers of films starring women as the action heroes are being produced. These are celebrated by Artemis Women In Action Film Festival which honours women who work as actors, stuntwomen, and directors in action films. Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media works to document the onscreen time and representation in women in all film types with a view to improving the equality of work for actresses. Analysis of the lines spoken in action films shows many recent films in this genre are dominated by male dialogue.Analysis of the lines in 2016's biggest blockbusters show that despite much hype about the lead female in Rogue One , and the female characters in Suicide Squad and Captain America: Civil War , these characters still had limited share of dialogue.
Some male actors appear to champion the cause of women in action films. Tom Cruise has been applauded for his asexual onscreen relationships with recent female co-stars,Cobie Smulders in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow . Tom Cruise has been honoured with an Artemis Action Rebel Award for his work in championing strong female heroes in film.
Notable action film directors from the 1960s and 1970s include Sam Peckinpah, whose 1969 Western The Wild Bunch was controversial for its bloody violence and nihilist tone.Influential and popular directors from the 1980s to 2000s include James Cameron (for the first two Terminator films, Aliens , True Lies ); Andrew Davis ( Code of Silence , Above the Law , Under Siege , The Fugitive ); John Woo (Hong Kong action films such as Hard Boiled and US-made English-language films such as Hard Target , Broken Arrow and Face/Off ); John McTiernan (the first and third Die Hard films, Predator , The Last Action Hero ); Ridley Scott ( Black Rain , Black Hawk Down ); The Wachowskis ( The Matrix trilogy), Andrzej Bartkowiak ( Romeo Must Die , Exit Wounds , Cradle 2 the Grave , Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li ), Robert Rodriguez ( Mexico trilogy, From Dusk till Dawn , Machete ), and Michael Bay (the first two Bad Boys films, The Rock , Transformers pentalogy); Louis Leterrier (the first two Transporter films, Unleashed ). For a longer list, see the List of action film directors article.
A comedy film is a genre of film in which the main emphasis is on humor. These films are designed to make the audience laugh through amusement and most often work by exaggerating characteristics for humorous effect. Films in this style traditionally have a happy ending. One of the oldest genres in film – and derived from the classical comedy in theatre –, some of the very first silent movies were comedies, as slapstick comedy often relies on visual depictions, without requiring sound. When sound films became more prevalent during the 1920s, comedy films took another swing, as laughter could result from burlesque situations but also dialogue.
A film genre is a motion-picture category based on similarities either in the narrative elements or in the emotional response to the film. Most theories of film genre borrow from literary-genre criticism. Each film genre is associated with "conventions, iconography, settings, narratives, characters and actors". Standard genre characters vary according to the film genre; for film noir, for example, standard characters include the femme fatale and the "hardboiled" detective; a Western film may portray the schoolmarm and the gunfighter. Some actors acquire a reputation linked to a single genre, such as John Wayne or Fred Astaire. A film's genre will influence the use of filmmaking styles and techniques, such as the use of flashbacks and low-key lighting in film noir, tight framing in horror films, fonts that look like rough-hewn logs for the titles of Western films, or the "scrawled" title-font and credits of Se7en (1995), a film about a serial killer. As well, genres have associated film-scoring conventions, such as lush string orchestras for romantic melodramas or electronic music for science-fiction films.
Martial arts films, also colloquially known as karate or kung fu films, are a subgenre of action films that feature numerous martial arts fights between characters. These fights are usually the films' primary appeal and entertainment value, and often are a method of storytelling and character expression and development. Martial arts are frequently featured in training scenes and other sequences in addition to fights. Martial arts films commonly include other types of action, such as hand-to-hand combat, stuntwork, chases, and gunfights.
Western is a genre of fiction which tells stories set primarily in the latter half of the 19th century in the American Old West, often centering on the life of a nomadic cowboy or gunfighter armed with a revolver and a rifle who rides a horse. Cowboys and gunslingers typically wear Stetson hats, neckerchief bandannas, vests, spurs, cowboy boots, and buckskins. Recurring characters include the aforementioned cowboys, Native Americans, Spaniards, Mexicans, bandits, lawmen, bounty hunters, outlaws, gamblers, soldiers, and settlers. The ambience is usually punctuated with a Western music score, including American and Spanish/Mexican folk music such as country, Native American music, New Mexico music, and rancheras.
A stunt is an unusual and difficult physical feat or an act requiring a special skill, performed for artistic purposes usually on television, theaters, or cinema. Stunts are a feature of many action films. Before computer generated imagery special effects, these effects were limited to the use of models, false perspective and other in-camera effects, unless the creator could find someone willing to jump from car to car or hang from the edge of a skyscraper: the stunt performer or stunt double.
Action fiction is the literary genre that includes spy novels, adventure stories, tales of terror and intrigue, and mysteries. This kind of story utilizes suspense, the tension that is built up when the reader wishes to know how the conflict between the protagonist and antagonist is going to be resolved or what the solution to the puzzle of a thriller is.
A swashbuckler is a heroic archetype in European adventure literature that is typified by the use of a sword, acrobatics and chivalric ideals. The archetype also became common as a film genre.
Crime films, in the broadest sense, are a cinematic genre inspired by and analogous to the crime fiction literary genre. Films of this genre generally involve various aspects of crime and its detection. Stylistically, the genre may overlap and combine with many other genres, such as drama or gangster film, but also include comedy, and, in turn, is divided into many sub-genres, such as mystery, suspense or noir.
Shinichi Chiba, also known as Sonny Chiba, is a Japanese actor, singer, film producer, film director, and martial artist.
An exploitation film is a film that attempts to succeed financially by exploiting current trends, niche genres, or lurid content. Exploitation films are generally low-quality "B movies". They sometimes attract critical attention and cult followings. Some of these films, such as Night of the Living Dead (1968), set trends and become historically important.
A buddy cop film is a film with plots involving two people of very different and conflicting personalities who are forced to work together to solve a crime and/or defeat criminals, sometimes learning from each other in the process. The two are normally either police officers (cops) or secret agents, but some films that are not about two officers may still be referred to as buddy cop films. It is a subgenre of buddy films. They can be either comedies or thrillers.
The buddy film is a film genre in which two people—often both men—are put together and on an adventure, a quest, or a road trip. The two often contrast in personality, which creates a different dynamic onscreen than a pairing of two people of the opposite gender. The contrast is sometimes accentuated by an ethnic difference between the two. The buddy film is commonplace in American cinema; unlike some other film genres, it endured through the 20th century with different pairings and different themes.
Bruceploitation refers to the practice on the part of filmmakers in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan of hiring Bruce Lee look-alike actors ("Lee-alikes") to star in many imitation martial arts films in order to cash in on Lee's success after his death. Bruceploitation is an exploitation film subgenre mostly seen in the 1970s after Lee's death in 1973.
Hong Kong action cinema is the principal source of the Hong Kong film industry's global fame. It combines elements from the action film, as codified by Hollywood, with Chinese storytelling, aesthetic traditions and filmmaking techniques, to create a culturally distinctive form that nevertheless has a wide transcultural appeal. In recent years, the flow has reversed somewhat, with American and European action films being heavily influenced by Hong Kong genre conventions.
Kung fu film is a subgenre of martial arts films and Hong Kong action cinema set in the contemporary period and featuring realistic martial arts. It lacks the fantasy elements seen in wuxia, a related martial arts genre that uses historical settings based on ancient China. Swordplay is also less common in kung-fu films than in wuxia and fighting is done through unarmed combat.
Girls with guns is a subgenre of action films and animation—often Asian films and anime—that portray a female protagonist who makes use of firearms to defend against or attack a group of antagonists. The genre typically involves gun-play, stunts and martial arts action.
Blaxploitation or blacksploitation is an ethnic subgenre of the exploitation film that emerged in the United States during the early 1970s. The films, while popular, suffered backlash for disproportionate numbers of stereotypical film characters showing bad or questionable motives, including criminals, etc. However, the genre does rank among the first in which black characters and communities are the heroes and subjects of film and television, rather than sidekicks or villains or victims of brutality. The genre's inception coincides with the rethinking of race relations in the 1970s.
Thriller film, also known as suspense film or suspense thriller, is a broad film genre that evokes excitement and suspense in the audience. The suspense element found in most films' plots is particularly exploited by the filmmaker in this genre. Tension is created by delaying what the audience sees as inevitable, and is built through situations that are menacing or where escape seems impossible.
Mike Leeder is a casting director, producer and actor based in Hong Kong. Leeder has been responsible for DVD and Blu-ray special features for many Hong Kong productions. He worked on such projects as Fearless (2006), The Raid 2 (2014), The Man with the Iron Fists (2012), Man of Tai Chi (2013), Ultimate Justice (2016), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), Chasing the Dragon (2017) and Donnie Yen's Big Brother (2018).
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