UAMC Explores How Action Crosses Over Into Other Movie Genres…

Since the advent of cinema, viewers have been engaging in debates pertaining to what they’ve seen on-screen. Among them include:

  • Who is the prettiest actress/most handsome actor?
  • Which movie sequels surpassed the quality of the original?
  • When did a series “jump the shark”?
  • Which movie has the best lines?
  • What is the best “buddy cop” movie?
  • Has an actor/actress who replaced another actor/actress better in the role than the replaced person?

And on and on … But when it comes to cinema, we here at The Ultimate Action Movie Club care about one thing and one thing only: action movies! (The website URL should have clued you in to that.)

Lately, however, I’ve been pondering something that I’d like to ask the reading audience: What defines an action movie?

Action Movie Genre Origins

Back when we were kids, genres were pretty well-defined. If you walked into a video rental store (remember them?) without looking at any area titles within the store, just be looking at movie covers you knew what constituted horror films, drama films, romance films, comedies, and of course, action films.

But nowadays there seems to be a gray area. What I mean by that is that it seems action movies increasingly have been crossing over into other genres. It’s becoming rare to see a full-blown, old-school action movie get greenlit anymore.

I’d argue that Scott Adkins seems to be the torch bearer for the genre, but cases could certainly be made for Jason Statham among others.

The Main Action Cross Genres

If an action movie has a sci-fi element (Predator; Robocop; Timecop; Megalodon), is it still an action movie? How about a disaster film (Poseidon Adventure; Armageddon)? Martial arts tournament (Bloodsport; Raze; American Samurai; The Quest)? And with the ubiquity of comic book movies being released practically every other month, do you think they’re considered action movies? While they certainly have a lot of action in them, they’re no Rambo, Commando, American Ninja, Road House or Missing in Action — movies that are inarguably action films.

When Action Cross-Overs Are Acceptable

Thus, I ask thee, good readers: Must an action movie be completely devoted to the genre to be considered as such, or is an amount of genre cross-over acceptable? And if so, how much?

I know how I’d respond, but I’d like to hear your esteemed opinions on the matter. Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!

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