What action movies tell us about the repetitiveness of life

Over the past year I have watched more action movies than I had ever cared to and I couldn’t help but notice that each one is exactly the same. Sure, the plot might be altered just slightly but they follow an identical formula in an identical pattern: brief exposition – initial complication – bland nothingness – punching – running – car chase – running – punching – final monologue – more punching – and everything’s fine. If we can sit through this repetitiveness over and over again then are we not complacent with repetitiveness in our lives?

  • I couldn't agree with you more, although many at the Artifice would disagree with your opinion. Perhaps an angle to take would be to look at why formula works - and not just in action movies. Romance films also have a formula, as do crime films, detective films etc. I'd therefore suggest that people sit through the same old same old, over and over again because of its familiarity and the sense of comfort that offers. We know that the hero/heroine will always beat the bad guy, we know that when boy meets girl (or vice versa), boy will inevitably lose girl, only to find girl again and all will be fine. Is this complacency? To a large degree, yes, but then many mainstream cinema goers are there to be entertained not challenged. – Amyus 5 years ago
  • I think something that could be helpful here is clarifying whether or not you believe the comfort of repetitiveness is inherently wrong or not. It seems that you are inclined to think it is not a virtue. Also, another thought--does repetitiveness of a movie necessarily reflect the lives/characters of the audience enjoying said movie? – rachelwitzig 5 years ago

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