What would you say are the main features of action adventure films?
The two films I have decided to write about when answering the above question are Gladiator (starring Russell Crowe) and Star Wars (starring Ewan Mcgregor).
Gladiator is set way back in 180 AD, and uses actual people and events throughout the story. The successful roman general Maximus (Russell Crowe) is out leading the Roman army to a victory in Germany and his only wish now is to return home to his family, upon victory the emperor of Rome, Marcus Arilius is lying upon his death bed and wishes for Maximus to become emperor himself. At first he refuses but then accepts the task with gratitude, Marcus Arilius picked the new emperor over his own son, and when Comidus finds out, he sets out to kill Maximus for stealing what he thought would be his crown.
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Star wars is set way into the future and episode III: revenge of the sith sees the downfall of Anakin Skywalker, as he turns from a Jedi Knight to Darth Vadar, a member of the dark side. Anakin is trained by Obi Wan Kenobi, though the jedi council have always doubted the Anakins fate, and whether he really is destined to be a Jedi Knight. He is persuaded that he can be given eternal life if he turns to the dark side and this is something that Anakin cannot give up, the thought of eternal life. He goes on to destroy the Jedi empire and Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda leave and go to two separate planets in exile.
The two sequences from the two films I am going to exam are the final fight scene between Maximus and Commodus from gladiator and the final battle between Obi wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, where obi wan believes he has left the young Dark warrior to die.
As both fighters step out into the colloseum great cheers go up from the crowd who have come to see the emperor of rome fight the great “Spaniard”. As the fight starts it is clear to see that Maximus is struggling after a stab wound to his side. The camera pans around the two fighters and there is no music, the tension is building. The fight begins and the first clangs of the swords bring the first close shots of the fighters faces, Commodus with a smile on his and Maximus with a look of revenge. The camera pans out and we got a shot off the two fighters in battle, really going for each other now, the camera comes down every now and again to show the pain on maximus face.
Both fighters lose their swords and the tension starts, the camera is in close for the final part of the fight, both fighters go for the knife of which the camera zooms right into and the final stab is made, form maximus to commodus, everything slows down as the camera focuses, firstly on commodus face but then completely on maximus, you see his facial expression change as he falls to his knees then completely on the floor. The music then starts playing which we heard when he found his wife and son had been killed and we know from this he has die and has gone to meet them again. We also get the image of him walking through a wheat field, like the one at his house though this time, his wife and son are waiting for him.
Star wars episode II was rated highly for its stunning visual effects. In the final Fight between Obi wan Kenobi and Aniakin Skywalker many special effects were used to get then most out of the fight. They begin dualling, it is not what either want to do but know it must be done. Music, fast paced and racy is playin throughout, many camera shots,mainly form up close are used and the fight travels through many corridors and hallways, and they end up fighting right out on the lava. This is where the camera pulls out and we see a final part, as the music continues to play, obi wan Kenobi has the upper hand And fights Anakin to the floor, he kicks away the lightsaber and leaves him for death, as the lava covers Anakin, the music is very dramatic, adding to the suspense and tension.
Overall I feel that many different aspects make up a great action adventure film,these include camera angles, positioning and music, these three things have to be completely balanced in order to maintain the thrill and suspense needed in a high octane action film.