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How to make a good action film: 11 lessons from modern movies

Lesson #1: Create a world (John Wick)

The rules John Wick makes for itself are strict. They create context for the film’s bravura, practical-stuntwork-heavy set pieces, which come to resemble violent ritualized dance.

Lesson #2: When possible, go practical (Mad Max: Fury Road)

Most of the actual action is achieved through good ol’ fashioned stunt driving and pyrotechnics. When a car blows up, there’s a good chance you’re seeing it blow up for real.

Lesson #8: Never let up (The Raid: Redemption)

The Raid simply has the good sense to waste little of its running time on other elements, instead giving the audience an unbroken supply of exactly what it came to see.

Lesson #11: Privilege the set pieces above all else (Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol)

Ghost Protocol recognizes that these self-contained spectacles of suspense are the raison d’être of the franchise. And so director Brad Bird just keeps them coming, one after another, creating a daisy chain of wow.

Read the full list at avclub.com