The Problem with Today’s Fight Scenes

One of the first movies I saw in theaters this year was Mortal Kombat and I gotta say, it felt good to be back. Hearing that bombastic MK theme and Hiroyuki Sanada laying down the most badass line of dialogue ever just screamed CINEMA to me. Which is to say I was all too happy to return to the theater for me to be completely objective to the movie. Something stuck out to me that I couldn’t quite pinpoint until I re-watched Mortal Kombat before it left HBO Max last week – how lackluster its fight scenes really are.

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‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’: A Master Class in Action Filmmaking

I blame my taste in action movies on Jackie Chan. Police Story 3: Supercop left quite the impression on me as a kid. I grew up during the action boom of the ‘90s. Movies like Speed, Hard Boiled, The Professional, Point Break, and Lethal Weapon (to name a few) were more memories to me than movies. Supercop is a particularly cherished one.

When Jackie Chan is dangling off that helicopter, or when Michelle Yeoh is hanging onto that truck for dear life, I was immediately engaged. They could fall! Indeed they do. When they fight teams of bad guys, it looks like they actually got hit, or hurt. They do, and when you see the end credits, you know that they did many times over. Both Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh did superhuman things, but they always came across as unpretentiously human. To me, that’s what makes a great action film.

I thought a lot about Supercop as I watched Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Continue reading