Action is a genre that involves high energy stories, featuring fighting, car chases, rescues, battles, and escapes. In action films, these elements often take precedence from the emotional drama or character development. Instead, the focus is usually on a protagonist who must survive against all odds in a difficult and often dangerous situation. Stunts are used frequently in action films. Sometimes actors have stunt doubles who are trained how to do dangerous activities. An example of an action film is Mission Impossible, where Tom Cruise does all sorts of crazy stuff.
Action movies are made up of action scenes that feature fighting, stunts, car chases or explosions that take more importance over other elements like characterization or complex plots. An action movie typically has a strong hero, revenge plot, montages and scenes of the hero training, car chases, and a final fight between the hero and antagonist. Action movies are often paired with the thriller or adventure genre.
The typical conventions of action movies include a hero, victim, and villain, a goal to stop the villain force and save the victim, and a power divide between the hero and the villain. Other typical conventions include a speech in praise of the villain. The men in action movies are generally portrayed as strong and brave, the women as vulnerable and beautiful, while the villains are seen as evil, devious, and nasty.
An action thriller can be defined as a genre that blends both anticipation and suspense. Action thrillers aim to keep audiences alert and looking at the screen at all times. The protagonist in the films are placed against a problem and have a mission that will showcase the danger that the protagonist faces. Tension is tied to the main problem and continues to build throughout the film, leading to a provocative movie climax.