Action movies are fun to watch but there’s a smart way to do action scenes and an epically dumb way to do it. The smart way focuses in on the details, tells a story within a story, and makes sure we know just what the hell is going on amidst all the crazy. The dumb way? Explosions, shaky camera effects, chaos to blur the action, and just a general messiness that doesn’t make any sense but looks cool.
CineFix lists 5 of the most brilliant action scenes in movies and it’s an illuminating lists that focuses in on what makes a good sequence. For something like The Raid: Redemption, it can be a tense yet totally easy to understand montage of what’s going to happen. For a movie like Mad Max: Fury Road, it can be a perfectly orchestrated linear sequence that gets a bunch of characters involved while still making sense.
The video below is a really enjoyable look at action sequences that include takes on The Lord of The Rings, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (plus the two movies mentioned above).