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Old 05-03-2011, 08:55 AM   #1
TylerLeisher
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Default Difference between Action and Adventure

Hey all,

What is the difference between an action story and an adventure story? Can you have an adventure story without action?

Someone explained to me that action was more violence based while adventure was more about the discover and journey. Is that accurate? Is there such a genre as just adventure with no action?

Also, if anyone has any books, articles or adventure/action films they suggest I read/watch in order to understand the genre more, let me know. I am trying to learn as much as I can about it because that is the genre I want to write in.
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:54 AM   #2
BattleDolphinZero
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Default Re: Difference between Action and Adventure

This is off the top of my head. There will be plenty of exceptions...

Action = usually about a hero facing down crime or exacting some kind of justice. Facing down crime = Die Hard, exacting justice = Man on Fire.

Adventure = your hero usually is thrust out of his own world in the name of some kind of quest. Star Wars, Wizard of Oz, even Matrix.

You look at Man on Fire and technically (meaning physically) he's not in his own world but because the character is a former special ops guy, being in Mexico is not transporting him to unfamiliar territory. He's still in his natural environement.

You look at Pirates of Carribean, somehow that IS an adventure even though Jack Sparrow has done this a million times. So maybe the primary element of an adventure is a quest - because Indiana Jones has done it a million times and so has Michael Douglas' character in Romancing the Stone, but those are all adventures. However, I'd bet that most follow my initial example.

Both movies have "action" in them but they're not even slightly similar.
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:29 PM   #3
wcmartell
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Default Re: Difference between Action and Adventure

What BDZ said, plus...

Action is usually man against man as the source of conflict, Adventure has man against nature (environment) as the source of conflict.

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Old 05-05-2011, 06:10 PM   #4
ComicBent
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Default Re: Difference between Action and Adventure

Nice observations, guys.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:27 PM   #5
InfiniteJest
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Default Re: Difference between Action and Adventure

I'm wondering why I watch MAN OF FIRE about five times a year...
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:38 PM   #6
F.Scott.Frazier
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Default Re: Difference between Action and Adventure

Quote:
Originally Posted by BattleDolphinZero View Post

You look at Pirates of Carribean, somehow that IS an adventure even though Jack Sparrow has done this a million times. So maybe the primary element of an adventure is a quest - because Indiana Jones has done it a million times and so has Michael Douglas' character in Romancing the Stone, but those are all adventures. However, I'd bet that most follow my initial example.
For me what makes both Pirates and Romancing the Stone adventure movies is exactly what you said: our protagonists are thrust into a new world. And while Michael Douglas and Johnny Depp are our guides through those new worlds, our actual protagonists for those movies are Kathleen Turner and Orlando Bloom.

I have no answer for why Indy is an adventure movie though. Maybe it simply feels that way because of the setting and tone.
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