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Action Adventure Genre Codes & Conventions

Rob Miller | Tuesday June 23, 2015

Categories: GCSE, OCR GCSE, Film, Action, Action Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Key Concepts, Genre, Hot Entries, Legacy

Contemporary Action Adventure Films (including hybrids)

  • Your Highness (Adventure/Comedy Hybrid) 2011
  • Raiders of The Lost Ark (1981)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides (2011)
  • Superman Returns (2006)
  • The Italian Job (1969)
  • Romancing The Stone (1984)
  • Stormbreaker (2006)
  • Godzilla (1998)
  • King Arthur (2004)
  • Back to the Future (1985)
  • Chicken Run (2000)
  • Star Trek (2009)
  • Chronicles of Narnia (2005)
  • The Musketeer (2001)
  • Blackbeard (2006)
  • The Mummy (1999)
  • Robin Hood (2010)
  • Beowolf (2007)
  • Gulliver’s Travels (2010)
  • Bourne Identity (2002)

Codes and Conventions

  • 12/15 certificate, maximising youth audiences
  • Young, male, aspirational target audience – secondary female target audience
  • Hybridised – often also with Sci Fi, Animation and Romance
  • Innocent, often childlike representations
  • Graphic violence is tolerated but dumbed down and often encoded with humour
  • The narrative commonly involves a quest
  • Major Hollywood studio produced and distributed
  • High production values including CGI FX
  • Fast paced editing
  • Classic Hollywood 3 act narrative structure
  • Predictable chain of events – narrative cause and effect
  • Single stranded, linear, closed narrative
  • Dramatic non-diegetic soundtrack
  • More narrative action codes than enigma codes
  • Clear binary oppositions positioning audiences into a preferred reading
  • Star Marketing: Audience identification/expectations e.g. Johnny Depp, Harrison Ford
  • Generic Typecasting and Secondary Persona apply (actors are expected to play certain characters)
  • Romantic sub-plot (see Propp)
  • Humorous dialogue underpinning the narrative
  • Relationships with new technology (youth audiences)
  • Use of Close up / Insert shots / High Key Lighting
  • Dominant representation of gender: male/female action hero encoding a hegemonic cultural stereotype
  • Mulvey’s male gaze and contemporary female gaze can apply (many Action Adventure films have a post feminist, strong female character e.g. Your Highness)
  • Propp’s theories applicable...

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