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John Woo Essay

934 words - 4 pages

John Woo

The bread-and-butter of the film industry is the action movie. Each summer, audiences can expect to see car chases, gunfights and explosions, and studios can expect to see millions and millions of dollars in return. Though most viewers and critics see these movies as "fluff" entertainment (and rightfully so), there is one director that puts as much heart and soul into his "fluff" as any number of talented directors put into their "serious" movies. His name is John Woo. Even though you may not have heard about him, he is widely considered to be "the best contemporary director of action films working anywhere."

John Woo, after many years of hard work, has become known as the world's best action film director. His action sequences have become the stuff of legend and are now the basis from which all other action movies are judged. More importantly, along with the bloodshed, Woo has proven that he can create real characters with real emotions that the audience can sympathize with. Perhaps that is his greatest talent, and perhaps that is why he will become known as one of the greatest directors in the years to come.

John Woo’s style is definitely fast paced an exciting. Mostly throughout all of his movies his themes are good against evil. It is always the case of a standoff between the good guy and the bad guy, in their last battle, always to the death. Woo’s would often use montages to make time go faster, as in Face/Off when the swat team breaks into the house and where Castor Troy kills the men that he once commanded.

Most of the movie is very dark as the subject matter is. Nicholas Cage is all alone in the movie, but on the other hand in The Big Hit, it has a funny theme to it, as often there were parts where one might laugh. Woo also uses special effects well. He combines montages with slow motion to create a tenser environment. Of course Woo directs very fast and furious action sequences in which viewers often get caught up in, mixed in are the duel gun battles and the Mexican standoffs.

Woo is known for action, and this is where a great deal of the "new breed" of action directors (and some old veterans) get their "inspiration" for their action sequences. One of Woo's trademarks, men shooting it out with a gun in each hand, has almost become a cliché of the action genre. Even Pamela Anderson in the "fluffy" Barb Wire took out the "bad guys" with dual guns blazing. Bruce Willis in Last Man Standing always fights with two guns out, dropping one only to take a drink. Returning to A Low Down Dirty Shame, one character directly mimics Chow Yun-Fat in A Better Tomorrow II by taking out his...

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