Action sequences in today’s movies are emotionally ineffective because there’s nothing realistic about them. They’re like video games—movement that dulls the senses more than engages them. More is less.
For instance, the combat between Achilles and Hector in “Troy” isn’t remotely believable. There’s a lot of jumping around that’d be more in place in a Chinese kung fu movie. Too many fight scenes show the influence of video games, cartoons, and pro wrestling.
The joust between Rodrigo and Don Martin in “El Cid” by comparison is utterly involving and exciting. Great pageantry sets up the fight. Once it begins there’s not a wasted second—both combatants fight with complete urgency. Nothing looks easy. Swinging around heavy broadswords wasn’t easy! The viewer senses their weight. The large screen puts you into the contest. You feel like one of the participants. The result is a thrilling movie experience.