Inaction Scenes

This is in reference to the current vogue of having no goals, events, characters or choices in an action scene. It stands in opposition to The Narrative Action Sequence, which is a mini-story within the story, usually with – gasp – an outcome.

In an action sequence, it’s the more we know, the more we enjoy it, not, as is currently in vogue, less. When Hannibal is given a pen clip to escape from a courthouse surrounded by the FBI, they don’t have super fast close ups of his shoelaces, intercut with blurry doorknobs. When John McClane jumps off the exploding Nakatomi tower hanging on to broken fire hose, you don’t show the reflection of his shirt sleeve as it artfully passes a discarded gum wrapper.

The stunt folks went through the trouble and nearly died, so how about letting us see that. We’d be able to enjoy them if the film didn’t have our face jammed up against the glass, and didn’t keep turning our head every which way, saying ‘Look over there, no, now over there, too late, now you have to look over there.’ Heightened sensation based on disorientation is not the same as excitement; it’s just easier to create.