Action movies are popular to audiences who crave for high energy scenes in films. But even with this pumped-up explosiveness, the action movie is no longer just aimed at male audiences. Combined with other film genres, an action movie can be transformed into a multi-layered creation. For example, adding romance into the action movie brew may help capture interest of female audiences. Female action movie heroes actually appeal to both genders; women find role models, while men are thrilled to see these strong, often attractive female leads. Generally, the action movie is well-known for being an escapist film. This somehow explains why this film type is a popular choice in rental video stores and movie shops and as a net download.
History of the action movie
The action movie had already existed during the silent movie era, through then-called serial films. The 1903 action-western "The Great Train Robbery" had been released during that era. During the 1920s and 1930s, action movies involved heroes wielding swords and wearing period costumes. The '60s and '70s saw the emergence of modern action movies, through the sexy and tech-savvy James Bond. More recent action movies also feature more violence, stunts and more advanced technology.
Subcategories of the action movie
The subcategories of the action movie originated from some recurring themes. One subcategory involves having all the action movie happen in one location. This type of action movie has some people trapped in a small area, be it a certain place or vehicle. Female action leads also create their own subcategory. This is because the action movie is still dominated by male heroes. Heroic causes is another subcategory of this type of film. Fights that highly emphasise on emotions may belong to action movies of this subcategory.
Examples of popular action movie cliches
An action movie is appreciated mostly for their stunts and fight sequences. Because of the craving for escapism by its audience, recurrent themes and established action movie "rules" have emerged. These action movie cliches include, but are not limited, to the following situations:
- When the hero is faced with several opponents, he gets to fight all of them but only one by one.
- Villains have difficulty shooting the hero even at close range.
- Supposedly secret files are easily accessed by the hero or the tech-savvy sidekick.
- Older heroes can complain about their age, but they are still able to defeat much younger enemies.
- The villain has to make a speech before shooting the hero or a hostage.
- The hero has to stop the ticking time bomb at the very last second.
- Heroes celebrate their wins too early only to be surprised by the still breathing enemy.