tisdag 22 september 2015


Allright, this is a book I´ve been meaning to buy for some time. It´s written by a like-minded guy who enjoys the same kind of action-films I like myself. The book contains quite a lot of interviews. ranging from actors,stunt-people to filmmakers. From Scott Adkins , the formidable force from Undisputed 2-4, to lesser known stunt guys and girls and filmmakers.

There are some more well-known stars here like Dolph Lundgren, but also a som people I´ve never heard of before which makes this a package for both newcomers and aficionados. There are a lot of information that might not be new for hardcore fans, but there are also a lot that is new. At least for me. A nice balance of different levels of information. I approve. I really do.

One slight problem I had was  the Andy Lau interview. Now, I understand the difficulty of getting superstars  to agree to an interview, but the superficiality and the diplomatic answers from publicity interviews are limited in getting earnest and personal answers, and it is a shame. But I am interested in seeing Detective Dee, which I haven´t, So it´s not entirely without merits.

I also would have  liked to have perhaps a more fullpage pictures, maybe a couple of posters  of some stills. It would be great to have a full sized poster of Boyka in action from the Undisputeds on my wall. Perhaps it´s a licensing issue, I don´t know.

Mike Fury gets some great answers out of the more unknown ( initially to me , at least)  talents which made me look them up. 

Take Eric Jacobus.  He  has some great YouTube videos. I highly recommend checking out the Rope a Dope videos. Martial arts in a Ground hog day/Edge of Tomorrow concept. Very creative, funny as well as containing great martial arts sequences and manages to build a quirky world at the same time, using only action  and little to no dialogue. More cinema than most movies made today.

Life of Action is clearly written by a guy who is serious about action. It is refreshing. A lot of people seem to  think of action films as something to get drunk in front of. Unfortunately, it can be said for most of the time. But there are also a lot of hard working men and women who bleed for their interest of putting up great fight scenes and not only that, they try to elevate the genre by focusing on better story, plot and characters. by being innovative and creative in a genre that is held in very low esteem.

And it comes through in the interviews. For example Don "The Dragon"Wilson emphasizes the importance of story in today's action movies and uses The Bourne Identity as an example. The movies that were produced back in the 80´s and 90´s were in hindsight crippled by generic plots and bad acting. But look at the movies by Garth Evans (The Raid 1 &2, Merantau) and you see you can craft powerful action cinema using character and story. I think as an art form,  action/martial arts films need to develop with the times, but also not overuse technology like

A suggestion for the next volume might be an interview with the fight choreographer for the Netflix show Daredevil.  I think the most recent blend of the old school action and modern sensibilities can be found in that. It is  a superhero franchise, which is in vogue, but the attention to both the action choreography and the character and story is so good it brings tears to my eyes.

Good book, good read and I liked it!