12 June 2006 | lyre
The Perfect Action Movie
This film takes everything that has been learned in the last 100 years about how to make an action movie and distills it into a perfect 85 minutes.
The stars are true athletes, including David Belle, the co-founder of the sport of Parkour. He has spent 18 years perfecting his skills, which means that most of the spectacular stunts are real, not done with special effects.
The plot is action-movie perfect as well: A criminal kingpin, a damsel in distress, an honest cop, a noble criminal, corrupt officials, double crosses, nearly superhuman enemies. And at stake: honor, truth and the lives of millions.
There are hardly any extraneous elements, few scenes that don't make sense, no characters that do something really stupid when they should have known better. Every loose end is wrapped up in a very satisfying way. And there's even meaningful social commentary. All (though I said it before) in 85 minutes.
Why do other action movies drag on for two or even three hours and have long slow spots? Why do other action movies have plot holes big enough to walk through? Why do some of them lack drama, get silly and end up feeling like a waste of time? Why can't they all be as taut and tightly written as this one?
Because it's hard. It's hard to reach this level of perfection. It's hard to make a movie in which every scene counts. It's hard to get the plot, the acting, the action and the emotions right.
It's so hard it took 100 years. But here it is. Don't miss it.