The Blank Book #2: John Wick 2 and Action Movies

I originally was going to write a review, but I watched John Wick 2 last night and I loved it. But this post is not going to be about how good the movie is, but rather the problem with action movies today.  I love movies and action movies are one of my favorite genres. The visceral brutality or the elegance of Kung-Fu or a skilled fighter taking on several other and the list goes on and on. There is nothing that gets an audience more excited than a beautifully shot action scene with great editing and a soundtrack to back it up. The problem is that is getting less and less often today. When I watched John Wick 2, every action scene was clear. The director, cinematographer, and everyone involved did a fantastic job of keeping the action clear. It also helps that Keanu Reeves does actually know what he is doing and can perform the action himself. I don’t recall any scene in the movie where shaky-cam was used. Each action scene moved at a nice pace and you could clearly see what was happening.

The problem is action movies nowadays have used the hyper active editing style that is quite common. It seems that the movies opt for a lightning pace that they believe recreates the frenetic pace that they are trying to go for. As a result, quick cuts that end up resulting in a million amount of cuts combined with techno music and odd shots have become the standard and it absolutely sucks. The action becomes blurred  and often confusing as there is no clear shot of, well, the action. Take for example, Iron Fist. I actually liked Iron Fist and believe it’s better than Luke Cage. However, this style I described is used quite often. The worst action scene in the entire series occurs in one of the first several episodes where Danny fights someone in a file room. There are an obscene amount of cuts aimed to hide the fact that actor Finn Jones has little to no experience of fighting. Although, it was revealed that he was given about 30 minutes to practice before they filmed. Still, the quick cuts were jarring and terrible causing me to lose track of who was fighting who. The show could have been better (but I think most of that is due to the terrible showrunner Scott Buck. I hope he doesn’t mess up Inhumans).

I hope this trend does not continue for the sake of action movies. I love action movies, but they have become more and more muddled with these type of action scenes. Please let there be more action movies with scenes such as John Wick 2.


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