We can never repeat it enough, but “Michael Mann is the man”! And when the director of “Heat” gives his opinion on modern action cinema, we listen.
Michael Mann, still as modern as ever
When we think of Michael Mannthe first movie that comes is probably Heat (1996). A huge masterpiece worn by Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, and which had an undeniable influence on cinema. There would be a lot to say, but for once, the images speak for themselves. We thus note in particularHeat the shootout between the robbers and the police. A larger-than-life sequence obtained by Michael Mann’s staging choices.
Outraged Heatone could also cite Collateral (2004), miami vice (2006), or even The Last of the Mohicans (1992) to stay in a genre, let’s say, “action”. Different films but in which the director always includes his style and manages to redefine codes. His use of digital on Collateral and Miami Vice gives these films, for example, a very special aesthetic that allows them to film the night like no one else.
His opinion on action movies
With such a filmography, Michael Mann can afford to say what he thinks about cinema. And he recently shared his opinion on modern action movies during an interview with Total Film (via Screening), on the occasion of the release of his book Heat 2 (which he would soon like to adapt into a film). The filmmaker did not go with a dead hand in looking at the productions of the moment, which he finds already “expired”.
It bothers me. It’s not very interesting. Sometimes the choreography is so extravagant that it becomes fascinating, and rather good. But most of the time this is not the case. It’s just expired.
We would obviously have liked to know which films Michael Mann is talking about precisely. But the filmmaker refrains from giving specific examples. On our side, we would have some ideas (superhero films perhaps?).
More seriously, when we look at the current proposals, the action is rarely truly memorable. Either because of an over-cut montage, or because of a staging which first seeks to represent a situation rather than to provoke real feelings. The scene ofHeat mentioned above is a good example as the power of the shots is felt thanks to the camera placed at the heart of the action, and the precise work on the sound. Therefore, apart from a film like Ambulance (or in another genre Top Gun: Maverick), we admit not remembering much this year in terms of action.