While feature film productions have the time and money to devote a few working days to their big action set pieces, the limited budgets and tight schedules of television shows usually result in generic, stripped-down, decidedly uncinematic action sequences. From the computer generated CDC explosion in the Walking Dead to the many indecipherable battle scenes in Lost, TV action scenes don’t typically pull viewers to the edge of the seat and keep them there. But there’s one exception to that rule, which is currently airing on HBO. Unlike most TV action scenes, Bill Hader and Alec Berg’s action scenes are barry are really cinematic.
It can be difficult to recommend barry to friends, although the show is incredible because the unconventional elevator pitch – a killer wants to be an actor – sounds too gimmicky to work. But Hader and co. took that gimmicky premise and turned it into a timely modern tragedy about a murderer seeking redemption. The beauty of the show is the tricky tonal balance it strikes between its different genres. It’s a deadbeat comedy, intense drama, and gripping action thriller all at once. barryThe action sequences of have their own tonal identity with a unique blend of visceral, minimalist thrills and dry, dead laughs.
Audiences have known for years that Hader is a gifted actor, both comedic and dramatic. But the most surprising thing about it barry is that he could be an even more gifted writer and director. Hader’s talent as an actor – both his perfect comic timing and his non-verbal dramatic nuances – are on full display barry. But the show’s great tonal balance is largely achieved behind the camera. The action scenes in barry are engaging, crystal clear and completely unpredictable.
It makes sense that Hader started out as an editor in the industry, since editing is part of it barrythe greatest strengths. Many action sequences (both in film and on TV) are neglected in editing. Action editors often insert rude cuts, and the audience ends up being lost. The genius of barry‘s cut is its restraint. The show’s action feels cinematic without getting too big. There are no confusing rapid-fire cuts; the visual style is deliberately minimalist. barry Every genre set piece like a gunfight or a chase is grounded in the surreal, slightly exaggerated, but still very relatable reality of the series.
The recently aired Season 3 episode “710N” culminated in one of the show’s best action scenes to date. When Barry leaves for a dinner party, his car is surrounded by assassins on dirt bikes. The suspenseful offset scene that follows is the kind of car chase that only exists barry could deduct. Weaving in and out of traffic (and bullets flying) on the titular interstate is pure action movie madness, but Hader’s excited “Ahh, s***!” deliveries ground the real-world chase in a hilarious way. Long tracking shots over the bikes give the viewer the impression of sitting on the back of one of them. Instead of a musical score, the sound design uses the terrifying roar of cars speeding by.
Great action sequences alone are not enough to make an action-packed narrative compelling. Not only can they provide an exciting distraction between mundane exhibition scenes; The action must be integrated into the plot and structure of the story. The dirt bike chase turns out to be a grand, extravagant deception to hide the episode’s biggest twist. Barry thinks he’s over the hill when the motocross killers are after him, and he makes it to the dinner party – but then, seconds later, he’s poisoned. The bike chase set up this shocking cliffhanger beautifully.
Arguably the show’s strongest episode, Season 2’s “ronny/lily” is an action-packed solo episode in which Barry’s attempts not to kill his target have all sorts of unforeseen consequences. As the guy packs for a new life that Barry promised him, Barry notices that the house has a room full of martial arts trophies. Moments later, the inevitable happens: this martial arts master attacks Barry and a brutal fight ensues. This fight is captured in one glorious, uninterrupted, long take that intentionally omits much of the action as if it’s about watching these two guys pummel each other.
When Ronny, the martial arts master, passes out, Barry’s troubles seem to be over. But as it turns out, they’re just getting started. As he is about to leave, Ronny’s daughter Lily, who is just as badass, comes home. After finding her father’s lifeless body, the girl disappears. Barry thinks she may have escaped, but the reality is far worse. She growls like a dog in charge position, ready to strike. Lily throws everything from her flying feet to food cans to a frying pan at Barry before jumping onto his back and stabbing him a few times. From start to finish, the Ronny/Lily episode is highly entertaining, totally unpredictable and a perfect example of what it is all about barry the best action show on air.
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