Explosions, chases, stunts, and uber-violence! If this is the stuff of your screenplay, then you’re probably writing an action movie. Usually armed with a fast-paced plot and a super-human hero, action movies are high-stakes adrenaline rushes designed to keep their audiences glued to their seats.
Action-film protagonists are usually exceptional human beings from the start of the movie; spies, ninjas, elite cops, cyborgs and soldiers are regular actors. Usually pulled into the chaos by a man-made disaster, the action hero is generally called in to save the day by otherwise helpless stooges. The antagonist is quickly identified, and is usually both smarter than the hero and adept at exploiting the protagonists’ innermost flaws. Act Two starts when the hero realizes who the bad guy is; Act Three starts when the hero realizes who the bad guy really is. The hero in action films will regularly face off with death, and will arrive victorious only when they realize: a) they can’t do it alone this time, or b) they had what it takes all along.
Action Movies to watch: Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Fist of Legend, Speed, Bad Boys, Rambo, La Femme Nikita, Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Genre hybrids: Matrix (Sci-Fi Action), Blade Runner (Sci-Fi Action), Never Say Never Again (Action Adventure), Spiderman (Action Comic), Terminator 2 (Action Fantasy)