Action Films

Please note: this is archived course information from 2022 for MEDIA 221.


A most distinguished feature of contemporary cinema is action-packed. A good knowledge about action film can generate a good understanding of contemporary world cinema in terms of production and consumption. A central purpose of the course is to show that action film does not merely mean a pile of violent, empty and meaningless combats and explosions. Like films of other genres, action film is the product of its time. A close and critical study of action film may shed light on many big issues relevant to society.

Action Films explores the formal qualities of action genre and its interaction with historical, cultural, economic and media contexts. While the course focuses on action aesthetics, such as narrative devices, blending of visual and aural spectacle, and the relation between “conventions” and “inventions”, it also addresses issues of identity and examines how identity is articulated through looking at the discourses of gender, youth, nation, ethnicity and geopolitics.

Course Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will have the opportunity to:

  • Better understand the conceptual and theoretical framework of the action genre
  • Be more alert to the aesthetic elements that form the language of action films
  • Be more aware of the multi-generic nature of contemporary action films
  • Increase capacity of evaluating, applying and presenting information
  • Enhance ability to structure, shape and synthesise information


Coursework only

Availability 2022

Not taught in 2022




MEDIA 221: 15 points


15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses


FTVMS 221, FTVMS 315, MEDIA 315