Why I Prefer Bone-crunching Martial Arts/Action Films From Asia to Hollywood’s Idea of Action Films
I’m not sure if it’s something about the various cultural influences in Asia, but when it comes to their martial arts and action films, there is a serious difference in what they perceive and present as “realistic action” and what we usually see out of Hollywood’s need to intersperse everything with special effects.
I just watched “The Raid: Redemption” the other day, and it was incredible. I believe it was made in Indonesia and tells the tale of a SWAT team that attempts to take down one of the area’s most well-known and ruthless drug lords in his high rise apartment complex compound. They become trapped and slowly learn their mission wasn’t exactly “official”, so they must fight their way out, while still trying to apprehend the criminal they went there for. The main protagonist, Rama (Iko Uwais), is a young cop who’s still filled with the type of vim and vigor that drives him to want to both avenge the officers he sees slaughtered by the hood’s many soldiers, as well as survive to get back to his pregnant wife.
Iko’s many incredibly realistic and fantastically thrilling fight scenes are reminiscent of another of my favorites “Ong Bak” (which I’ll get into in a later blog). The actor/martial artist is a whirlwind of devastating kicks, punches, and those nasty knees to just about wherever his acrobatic abilities wish those strikes to be placed. Trust me, check out the preview and you’ll want to check out the movie.
I guess, when it’s all said and done, I just prefer those movies that take a bit of a more realistic view of what a punch or kick does to the human body and then multiplies it by adding the possibilities that training in martial arts to the extremes can give an individual the ability to do such things. I may not be a black belt in any particular martial discipline, but when I have trained (Hapkido, Tae Kwon Do, Kempo) I’ve seen demonstrations of power and skill that were amazing.
We humans are an amazing lot, and I love these movies that make us seem incredible!