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Action Genre

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Genre featuring a lot of fight scenes

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
Laevatein on Dec 17th 2017 at 12:22:18 AM
Last Edited By:
lakingsif on Jan 4th 2018 at 4:06:31 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

The Action genre is highly prevalent in movies and video games, and is characterised by a lot of adrenaline and blowing things up.

The typical scenario of the protagonists in an Action is a plot-specific — usually MacGuffin-retrieving — series of mini-stories in the form of fights or challenges, usually featuring extended violence with a prevalence of firearms because the protagonists are in direct physical danger. Over the years, the visual impression of these action scenes has become of tantamount importance, using cinematic techniques like The Oner with liberal use of Visual Effects and Special Effects. Protagonists may be varying shades of Anti-Hero, but will almost always win.

The story or tension in Action typically shades in comparison to the visuals, but will be a threat of physical danger to the heroes or a loved one, often with a Race Against the Clock aspect.

Increasingly, the soundtrack has become as important to works in the action genre as the action sequences are. In film, the genre developed in the 1970s with the increase of modern stunt work.

In Hong Kong, they have a particularly booming Action movie production line — it's the home of John Woo, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li movies — seen as the gem of the country's film industry and being heavily influenced by Chinese Circus and Peking Opera (stylised, highly dramatic acrobatic fight scenes as entertainment). See the Martial Arts Movie for more.

The Action genre can be qualified as submitting to Rule of Cool.

Has a lot of overlap with the Spy genre.

The main guy is the Action Hero (usually film, see Arnie, Jason Statham and The Rock) or the Action Genre Hero Guy (usually games, see Nolan North).

See also: So You Want to Write an Action Movie? and Action/Adventure Tropes.

Super Trope to the Action Game and super-super to Action RPG and Action-Adventure game.


Examples of Action Movies:


Feedback: 13 replies

Dec 17th 2017 at 10:11:43 AM

We don't have a page for Action, huh? Do we need one for Adventure as well? Or sort them together as Action Adventure?

Dec 20th 2017 at 7:22:34 AM

I threw a bomb since I expected more than 1 line. But it's true that Action is needed as a general trope

Dec 20th 2017 at 9:45:39 AM

Bombing for clear lack of effort.

Dec 20th 2017 at 12:39:03 PM

grabbing this to give it something

Dec 20th 2017 at 1:53:18 PM

There are video game and RPG game versions, but not an overarching Action page.

Dec 20th 2017 at 2:42:23 PM

The name should be Action Genre. "Action" could be a reference to a director yelling "Action!" or the very concept of dramatic action itself. It's just needlessly unclear, is my point.

Dec 21st 2017 at 5:39:23 AM

Now THAT'S a good description!! Thanks @lakingsif, now I can change my bomb for a hat. Good job there :D

Dec 25th 2017 at 9:05:32 AM

Some minor things:

I think "will be Rated M For Manly" is a bit too strong, there are enough influential action movies where women are the heroes (Aliens, Long Kiss Goodnight, Kill Bill et c).

I also think there is a bit too much focus on fighting and firearms. I think it's more important to look at the source of tension: the protagonists are in direct physical danger and often act under time constraints.

Some movies that I think can be viewed as influential precursors are The Guns Of Navarone or James Bond (in many ways, the Bond movies *are* more action than spy movies).

Jan 4th 2018 at 4:06:46 PM

technical unlaunch bump

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