Martin Campbell is a highly experienced director renowned for his significant influence across diverse film genres, with a notable presence in the action category. His distinguished work includes captivating swashbuckling tales like The Mask of Zorro and intense thrillers such as The Foreigner. Campbell’s cinematic prowess extends across several decades. But he has slammed Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel for killing action films.
Martin Campbell has witnessed the evolution of action cinema over the past three decades and played a significant role in shaping it. He’s helmed iconic James Bond films like Goldeneye and Casino Royale. Campbell’s directorial prowess extends to superhero fare like Green Lantern, solidifying his influence in the action genre.
Martin Campbell Isn’t Impressed By Transitions In Action Genre
In discussing the recent evolution of the action genre, Martin Campbell remarked to SlashFilm that the transition to digital has been the prevailing change. However, this shift is not one that he particularly favors.
Campbell told SlashFilm:
“And you now get obviously all the superhero stuff, I get that, that’s all like the Marvel comics and so forth. But then you get Hobbs and Shaw, which the action gets close to preposterous, but it’s fun to kind of watch. And then you get ludicrous action of something like Fast and Furious, the last Fast and Furious which is so nuts that you just switch off. I mean, that’s what happens.”
“What we used to do in the old days, like in the ’70s and ’80s, was there was no digital. So your action was much more realistic in terms of what you could achieve, everything else, because that’s all you had. There was no cheating. I mean, you couldn’t, sure the way you cut it, and yes you could use a double here and there, but these days you can just replace a face.”
Martin Campbell expressed his perspective, noting that contemporary action filmmaking has embraced digital technology extensively. This allows for the use of stunt doubles with digital face replacements and facilitates exaggerated, almost implausible action sequences, like cars surviving enormous drops and performing acrobatics. Campbell believes that these digital tools have, in some ways, negatively impacted the quality of action scenes, making them less credible and more extravagant than before.
Dwyane Johnson’s Contract Forced Fast 8 Makers To Alter The Script
Dwayne Johnson possesses an on-screen charisma that’s truly unique. Consequently, when the opportunity arose for him to join the fifth installment of the Fast and Furious franchise as the formidable agent Luke Hobbs, he swiftly earned a place as one of the series’ most beloved characters. This success led to pivotal roles in subsequent sequels.
Johnson made his debut in the franchise as an initially unsympathetic character, relentlessly pursuing the protagonist, Dominic Toretto. Hobbs and Vin Diesel’s characters engaged in multiple conflicts, and as the story unfolded, they eventually formed an alliance. However, one constant throughout their enduring journey remained unchanged: Hobbs consistently matched his adversaries blow for blow.
According to The Wall Street Journal:
“Mr. Johnson, 47, enlists producers, editors and fight coordinators to help make sure he always gives as good as he gets.”
Notably, in The Fate of the Furious, the franchise’s eighth installment, there were claims that Johnson had a script alteration. As a result, he was depicted as sitting instead of lying on the ground during a fight where he endured a beating.