Wednesday, May 24, 2006

calling all fight scene addicts

Someone has already posted a bootleg clip from the French actioner "District B13" online (I mentioned the movie earlier, in a post related to the new "sport" called Parkours).

The following clip (NB: it might get yanked since it's a copyright violation; I've seen other YouTube and Google vids yanked) contains clichés from so many different American action movies that I stopped counting them after a while. What struck me, too, was the simplicity of the choreography: as with the old kung fu movies, the hero faces off against one opponent at a time; the bad guys never rush him as a group (I like how the Wachowksi Brothers dealt with this issue in "The Matrix Reloaded" during the so-called Burly Brawl, the scene where Neo fights a hundred Smiths).

Look for references to "Die Hard" (under-the-table shooting), "Hard to Kill" (some hapkido/aikido-style moves), and "Lethal Weapon" (neck-breaking and using your opponent's gun-- still in his hand-- to kill a third opponent), among other films.

You might argue that the above-mentioned clichés aren't unique to the movies I've associated them with, and you'd be right. But watch the camera work along with the choreography, then tell me what you think.

Strangely enough, I'm a fan of the old Steven Seagal movies because (1) it was a chance to watch Seagal do his street aikido thing (he does a variant of Tomiki, right?*), and (2) Seagal's fights often do involve opponents who rush him as a group.

Here's that clip from "District B13":

*Wrong: His background is apparently in Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido.


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