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A lot of modern action movies forget this, and they string together action scenes that are designed to smother the viewer but that don’t have much reason for being. There’s a car chase scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier that doesn’t change the story but merely prolongs the inevitable. The 2009 Star Trek comes to mind, too: quite a few of its action scenes could be taken out with no change on the story. When Kirk and Scotty beam aboard the Enterprise late in the film, Scotty winds up in a tube filled with water, and Kirk has to race to free him. Take that out, and they still make it to the ship, and they still get apprehended by security. It doesn’t do anything but pad the run time.

Action as Narrative – Daniel Carlson

Sometimes, I wish I could get cuts of these big action movies with the action sequences removed, to be replaced with a Greek chorus style, “Oh man, you shoulda seen what just happened. Let me tell you all about it.” 

Sometimes, the tell is mightier than the show.

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