If you’re as old as I am, then you’re bound to have seen a few “karate” movies. You know, the ones with the bad dubbing, the old master, and the hella cool boss fight at the end? Well, where the hell have all these martial arts action movies gone? Why don’t we see them anymore? Why does this make me sad? Let me share my pain with you.
Everyone likes a CGI-spectacle right? RIGHT?! Well, everyone likes CGI action set pieces with a dash of explosions everywhere…according to the Hollywood machine. While we all love the CGI superhero slugfest, Hollywood has deemed it the only thing profitable and now we don’t get to see a good bare-knuckle brawl any longer.
The other major issue is that the West doesn’t have any stand out martial arts action stars? You beg to differ? Name one? Donnie Yen, Iko Uwais, and Tony Jaa, arguably the three best martial arts stars, are all based in the Far East. Sure, they’ve done some work in Hollywood? But they truly get to flex in the Far East.
Have you watched a fight scene recently? What did you notice? It’s all cut up. Yip, fight scenes are often handled with shaky cam and lots, and I mean LOTS of cuts. This is mainly to hide the stunt doubles who are handling the scene whilst giving it an air of realism. BUT more often than not, it looks crappy. To be fair, it’s hard for directors to work around this because they don’t have the actors who have the classical martial arts training. It sucks…
The truth is that it will be a while before the West goes back into a martial arts phase again. Until then you should check out the likes of the IP MAN series, and Gareth Evens’ brilliant Raid series for some bone-crunching action!
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