I’m not going to see Superman Returns, or Pirates of the Caribbean 2, or even teen action flick “Stormbreaker”; rather I’m more interested in the upcoming action movies that seemed to have gotten their kick-start, courtesy of Ong Bak; the Tony Jaa action movie.
Although I probably will go see Casino Royale (this is the last chance saloon for Bond, as far as I can tell), but I’m interested in how Free Running or Parkour is increasingly making it’s way into action movies — even Casino Royale has a free running sequence in it, and films such as Ong Bak and it’s upcoming sequel Ong Bak 2: Warrior King (which looks just as brutal as the first one) will throw down the gauntlet not only to Hollywood, but also to Hong Kong action movies.
Another movie I’m interested in seeing is the French movie “District 13”, which has had great reviews… but, like Ong Bak; it’s mainly for the action rather than the lazy scriptwriting.
Third golden era of action?
Is the start of the third golden era of action movies? The first, in my opinion, was the 70s kung fu movies and 80s steroids-powered action movies when we had films such as Death Wish, leading to all out action films such as Commando, Total Recall, Rambo and finally the movie that really defined an era; Die Hard.
The second era was basically between 1989 and 1995, the die hard clone era. Even direct to video movies tried to get in on the act such as the Cliffhanger rip-off Crackerjack. Anyway, I consider 1995 to be the end date because by then Die Hard 3 came out; for me it had nothing really new and no real action movies till the Matrix came along did we get something different.
But, the third era is different because it’s all about innovation. And although Tony Jaa has had his critics that his movies are very thin on plot, storyline and innovation (according to Donnie Yen), audiences are captivated by the brutal violence mixed with the innovation of using “Free Running” style action cherography to wow the audience.
I’m looking forward to the next few years, when hopefully action will match and beat the expectations of the paying audience and give us new thrills above and beyond the CGI wondermovie from Hollywood.