By: John M jerva
Book Review: Life Of Action Vol. II: Interviews With The Men And Women Of Action Cinema
Aurthor: Mike Fury
Following the success of the original Life of Action book released in 2015, author and action coordinator Mike Fury has interviewed a new line-up of top international film talent from in front of and behind the camera. Released in March 2020, the new book continues exploring the artistry and the physically demanding, dangerous work involved in creating some of the world’s best loved films and television shows.
Life of Action II takes readers behind-the-scenes once again for a compelling series of conversations, shedding light on the overlooked and misunderstood world of action genre cinema. In this new collection of original interviews, we meet and get under the skin of some of the hardest working actors, filmmakers and stunt professionals working today to find out what motivates and inspires them, and the lessons we can take.
THE REVIEW: Alright, before the last month hit, I can’t remeber the last time I read a book and now I have read two. Two awesome books I might say as the first book was the astounding Stories From The Trenches which take a candid look at iconic director Sam Firstenberg and all the adrenalized films he directed in the 80’s and 90’s.
While that book, which is a massive 755 pages in length, focuses on yesteryear, the second book I was honored to read delves into the world of action cinema from the fine men and women who are working in the industry today. That book is Mike Fury’s Life Of Action Vol. II: Interviews with the Men and Women of Action Cinema. Sure there are parts of the book that focuses on the past but for the most part it highlights what is happening today from the stellar men and women who give us such great action entertainment on a daily basis.
Life Of Action Vol. II delivers another fierce roundhouse kick for fans of the genre who are looking to soak up anyhting and everything when it comes to high-octane films. The book is a compilation of several interviews from such legends as Zoë Bell (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Death Proof), Michael Jai White (Black Dynamite, Spawn), Frank Grillo (Captain America: Civil War, Wheelman), Tony Jaa (Fast & Furious 7, Ong Bak), Simon West (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Con Air), Vic Armstrong (Total Recall, Raiders of the Lost Ark), Gareth Evans (Gangs of London, The Raid), Alain Moussi (The Kickboxer Franchise) and many more. It is a veritable who’s who of the action world.
I must admit, that I haven’t had the opprtunity to ready Fury’s first book but I plan on rectifying that in the future. Judging from this sequel, I really need to check out the original because Vol. II is a must have if you call yourself a serious action film buff. The stories that you will read from this great collection of experts are priceless and it literally takes you deep into the extreme world of action movie making and exactly how hard it is to make action come alive on screen.
This book once again is a true passion project for Fury who has worked in the industry for many years now and with that, he asks all the right questions when chatting to the stars who work both in front of and behind the camera. Fury really understands the genre that we all love and it comes through in spades when you read each and every page.
Life Of Action Vol. II also includes some astounding pictures of those interviewed in action and the images alone take you deep behind the scenes of action filmmaking at its finest. The pictures are sharp and candid and feature some awesome images from the films we love as well as capturing the magic behind the cameras. There are some really candid shots included here that you won’t see anywhere else and it really enhances the words on the pages. You have some great action shots from these adrenalized films and it is worth the price alone to just view them.
Personal highlights for me was reading the interviews for Daniel Bernhardt whom I’ve been a fan of since the 90’s as well as Frank Grillo, Alain Moussi and, of course, the legendary Tony Jaa. I won’t go into any spoilers with this review because you just need to experience it for yourself but I will say that I learned a great deal from reading it and it truly enhanced my love for this great genre that I have whorshiped since I was a kid.
Just like Stories From the Trenches, readers are able to jump around and read different parts of the book that interest them the most and you don’t have to read it in order as it is a complilation of interviews. I was fortunate enough to receive the digital copy of the book and it was very easy to navigate around the book and jump to interview to interview and it was hard to put down once I got going.
To sum it up, Life Of Action Vol. II is essential reading for serious and hardcore action film afficianados. Fury really shows off his love for the genre in the finished product and fans will definitely want to revisit the book once completed. You really get a great sense on how these men and women pour their blood, sweat and tears into this wonderful genre that they love and I learnded a lot about the art of interviewing from Fury and the way he handles each interview. Bottom line, if you’re an action fan then you will be a Life Of Action fan!
VERDICT: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS
ACTION-FLIX APPROVED AND ESSENTIAL!
Life of Action II is available now in Limited Edition hardback, softcover and kindle
Order Life Of Action II from the links below:
Author signed copies: http://www.mikefury.net/shop
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Action-II-Interviews-Cinema/dp/1916251811