Tripping the Fight Fantastix…..

Heehee…it seems that someone I know and love thinks that the fight scenes in Hero, Crouching Tiger…. and their ilk are somewhat OTT….

MY gripe is more along the lines of…why aren’t the fight scenes in the latest Hollywood flicks more like that – more “unrealistic”?

Okay, so some are turned off by the lavish and fantastic fisticuffs evident in much of Sino-cinema, as well as in films like The Matrix and Kill Bill. But shouldn’t cinematic fight scenes be epic, stylized and pleasing on the eye? The strong comic book visuals of the aforementioned films play a key role in both their success and merit; I doubt they’d have made the same impact if they were choreographed in the manner of a drunken pub brawl, or – god forbid – an episode of Eastenders! (My Brit friends know what I’m on about there….)

Give me wire-work, elaborate fighting stances and bullet time over “realism” any day of the week! Over the course of a month, I saw both The Bourne Supremacy and The Chronicles of Riddick, two films that took the “realistic” approach when it came to fight scenes. In both these flicks, especially the former, it was obvious that cameraman conceit was the aim of these scenes, as opposed to truly showing you what was going on. Quick cuts and wobbly lenses were very much the odour (sic) of the day….at the expense of any enjoyment one might have got if the scenes had been shot in a no-bullshit fashion.

Maybe they were trying to evoke a stronger sense of urgency and kinetics though the kooky camera movement – nevertheless, for this viewer at least, it just didn’t work!

When I watch a good cinematic scuff, I wanna say “Wow – did (s)he just do that?”…not “Er…what the hell did (s)he just do?”

This is why I love watching anime, 80’s action flicks, superhero adaptations and the occasional kung-fu movie – theircamera crews let the characters/actors shine in their balletically violent glory, instead of pretending to be art-house students with an inflated budget….

Maybe I’m alone in this, but can anyone see the irony in imposing “realism” on a medium built on style and artifice?

Oh well – Hero and The Punisher should both be out by the end of the month…..


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