08 July 2012

Action, or not?


I’m filling in for my critique partner Amy Ruttan, who’s still on her road trip. She’ll be back soon, but in the meantime, let’s talk action…

I’ll preface this by saying I’m not a huge movie buff. If you can pin me down long enough, I’ll happily watch one…it’s the pinning down that’s the problem! I’ll get out to see maybe two a year and watch a few more with my sweetie on television or computer. So, as you can imagine, I’m pretty picky about what I watch.

For me action, whether in movies or books, has to make sense and be believable in the framework of the story. I don’t care if the movie is billed as an Action flick or the book’s supposed to be a thriller, I’d rather they leave out that car chase or gun battle than throw it in there just to up the voltage (sorry Noonie!). It’s the same with any kind of story, even romances. Umm…did the couple really pause to have sex while on the run from the bad guys? WHY?

My Hubster is really careful about what he suggests we watch together, because he knows if there’s any anomaly I’m going to see and comment on it. (“Okay, so how exactly did the bad guy know that they were going to be in this particular place, at this particular time, so as to set the ambush?” “I. Don’t. Know. Just watch the damn movie!”) He’d probably say I’m an annoying movie-watching partner, but I say I’m a plot junkie. I don’t need explosions or murders or explicit sex to enjoy a film or book. I just need a compelling, flowing plot. Besides, where does it say “action” equates to loud noise, fighting, car chases or sex? To me it’s anything that makes your heart skip a beat, and that can be achieved with just a look exchanged between characters.

But, having said all that, the judicious use of action, whether the BOOM-POW or the BOW-CHICA-BOW-WOW type, really can make the difference between a so-so and an amazing story. And I freely acknowledge that there are some movies where the action is the plot and sometimes you have to just sit back, relax as best you can and go along for the ride.
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