As most of you have gathered by now, I am a woman who loves her action, martial arts and zinematic classics. Now these movies wouldn't be half as successful if it wasn't for the soundtracks which are 9 times out 10 used in a montage. You know shit has gotten real in a movie if there is a montage or in Rocky IV's case, 4 montages.
I love a montage more than ANYBODY. Growing up watching these movies, I always felt a montage was needed in these kind of films because it showed you the hard work these men were putting themselves through as an act of vengeance.
Unfortunately, montage's just seem a thing of the past. We never see a good montage any more. As much as I still love modern action and martial art movies, I feel a bit of the heart has gone because the montages have been phased out. I understand as the years go on, film also changes and they are looking to do different things, so obviously people see montages of a thing of the past which can only be associated with cheesy 1980's movies right? WRONG!! Montages are what seal the deal for me in terms of action movies. As much as I loved Expendables 2, it would have been so cool to have had some kind of training montage. It wouldn't have had to make sense, it would have just added to the MOTHERFUCKIN' BADASSERY that it already possessed.
I think the montage use in a film is very effective especially in action movies. The reason? You are watching a Rocky movie right? Now let's face it only a small portion of us are going to be able to look like Stallone in terms of his body. So when you see him struggling, trying to find his feet, trying to be the best he can be, it makes you realise he is just human like the rest of us. The montage makes you realise 'okay he isn't as invincible as I once thought'.
There are different kind of montages out there. You got the training
montage which shows the star of the movie training, trying to push himself to the ultimate limit. And these montage's are great because you see the anguish, the pain, but you see at the end of the montage how all that pain was worth what they have achieved
Then you have the thinking montage, just like the example I gave from Rocky IV. The protagonist will have to spend some time alone to reflect on what is happening in their lives. They are at a crossroads, and they don't know what to do, so they think about everything that is important to them, and how it has affected them personally. This can be just as powerful as a training montage. I mean these guys aren't just about working out and getting bigger biceps...they do have emotions too.
You also have the credit montage. You know the ones I mean. With the really awesome fire up music at the end with a montage of scenes from the movie whether it is stills or actual footage. I always love the credit montage, it knows how to fire me up!
And finally you have the fighting montage. You know which ones I mean. Sure I would love to see Rocky fight each opponent for 15 rounds a piece, but if we had that in the film, it would be just way too long. But, what is just as good is seeing a montage through the fight. Sure you will see the first couple of rounds, but then the montage really kicks in. The music gets heavier, faster and more epic. This would fire anyone up with a soul!
I think a really good montage, is what makes these great films become classic films. People tend to make fun of montages in these movies, because to them it looks outdated, and lame. But they can't be so lame, that pop culture always feels the need to reference them, whether it is in cartoons, magazines or even in other movies. The action movie montage is a classic, and the sooner everyone realises that, the more people will want this classic scenes to be restored in more recent films. Sure montages are used in films still to this day. But they will never be remembered, cherished or immortalised as much as the action movie montage.
I know I have used Rocky as an example for the meaning of a montage. And there is plenty of films that have used montages. But c'mon now, we all know Rocky is the ahead of the pack in terms of how to make a perfect montage. In the next couple of articles, I will be talking about different montages used in action and martial art movies.
I hope you have enjoyed the ride so far into the mind of a montage...because Part II is about to get real...