As we sign off 2012 for the last time and look forward to the coming year, I feel it’s important to look back and acknowledge the great year we’ve seen in the movies and specifically the action genre. We were treated to highly anticipated titles like The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall, The Expendables 2, Marvel’s The Avengers Assemble, Snow White and The Huntsman, Men in Black 3, The Raid and many more. Obviously some were better than others and everyone has their favourite, but it’s good to recognise all the great work that’s gone into these films and continue supporting our favourite stars, filmmakers and ensuring the financial support is there for the studios’ and filmmakers’ next projects.
Just to single out two of my favourite movies this year, one was pretty visible on the radar and the other may be a little outside mainstream audiences. These are The Raid and Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning. Again, I think it’s been a good year for action fans and these titles are two examples which have proudly returned the genre to its roots of physical, practical action and away from the CGI-driven epics we’ve been seeing (nothing wrong with Blockbusters of course, but I’ve always been a huge fan of stunts, human ability and physical accomplishment over green screen). But back to The Raid and Day of Reckoning, earning critical and commercial success between them, its proof there’s still a hunger for hardcore, quality action and that the role of skilled performers and stunt teams will never be surpassed. The Raid was a breakthrough ‘must see’ stunt-fest which truly lived up to the hype and Day of Reckoning surprised a lot of people… with the exception of Regeneration fans who knew what was coming was always going to be good. Impressively it’s also taken on new fans and after John Hyams shook up the franchise with the previous entry, he managed to do it all over again and still offer something fresh. I’m certain he’ll be going onto bigger things very soon. The same can be said for Gareth Evans.
These were also vehicles for rising stars who have proven they’re capable of much more and have a lot on the horizon, namely The Raid’s Iko Uwais (Merantau Warrior) and our very own Scott Adkins (Undisputed II & III, Expendables 2). We need to get behind all these guys and support what they’re doing. I always speak against the illegal download culture and the importance of supporting these films, especially those in the low-mid budget range. We need to be vigilant and pro-active: see them in the cinema, buy the DVDs and Blu-rays, tell your friends and family and recommend titles. In short do our part to support these releases because the business depends on it and people need to be paid properly. We’re lucky to have had a great year in the movies and there’s a lot to follow so let’s keep supporting these guys and their efforts!
Happy New Year and best wishes for 2013!