Action Movies

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What are Action Films?

Action Films are a film genre, that focuses on gaining a response from their audience through the use of quick, flashy, loud and bright scenes (Dirks). Often this technique is given precedence over elements that build on characters or plot. This particular genre can often be seen as overlapping other genres such as thrillers and adventure films (Dirks).

Action Films became a dominant form in Hollywood in the 1980's and 1990's with the rise of actors such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone and Jean Claude Van Dam. Who through specific films created a trend in Hollywood which required movies to have special effects, stunt doubles, bright colours, loud explosions and quick sex scenes in order to be successful (Dirks). Nowadays, new action stars such as The Rock, Will Smith, and John Cena are trying to replicate what their childhood heroes have done in the past.

Current trends in action movies consist of more elaborate special effects, intense fight scenes and the collaboration of eastern action movie characteristics (kung fu and karate) into western films. The characters within action films have also within the last few years become more developed (Dirk). The main character has also moved from being portrayed as the brawn to actually having a brain, which further aids in developing the movies plot and making not only the story more intriguing but the chracters as well.

Female characters have also begun to take the center stage within action films. Their has been a shift from the 1970's portrayal of women as a prize for the winner, hostages, sex slaves and loving wives to actually be ing a main character that operates on the same level as a male action hero would (Dirk).


  • Action Horror
    • Aliens
  • Action Drama
  • Action Comedy
    • Lethal Weapon
  • Action Thriller
    • Mission Impossible
    • James Bond
  • Science Fiction Action

The Matrix


In 1999, the Waschowski Brothers delivered a stunning new world with The Matrix. The Matrix did not exactly have a great plot, however the characters were developed enough to be convincing. The Matrix did not do as well as it should of because the movie was ahead of its time, with too many high tech special effects, the complexity of the idea that reality is not real, and the martial arts extravaganza. Interestingly enough, The Matrix promoted the DVD revolution, with many viewers purchasing their first DVD players in combination with the release of The Matrix on DVD. This is largely due to stylish advertising techniques and word of mouth.(Johnson, 2004). Quite noticeably, the digital work of composting and manipulating the images is not what made The Matrix unique, it was the side effects and the holographic images that made it a far more complex process. The innovation transpired in how the digital images and actors were combined. This case depicts how society values action and new improved digital alterations verses the substance of a film. A trend can be seen in society, for instances many individuals watch movies as a form of escapism which offers audiences a vacation away from the pressures of reality.

Works Cited:

JOHNSON, Gary(2000). “Movie Review” Online at:, consulted on November 10, 2004 cinemaparadiso/sf/Matrix.htm

Tim Dirks. 1996-2006