Technically, this isn’t a music video, and technically, I don’t care.
IT IS THE GENIUS.
Watch, then let’s discuss.
Perfect, right? The music matches the scene.
Not a little, not a lot, but so much I want to marry it.
It’s a slow burn. Tension keeps rising and rising, until it breaks and the drums kick in and it’s like Phil Collins song except Denzel Washington is slaying bad guys with severe amounts of style.
What I love about this action sequence, and the entire movie, is how Denzel’s Washington character keeps surviving and thriving despite being outnumbered and outgunned.
In 99.9 percent of action movies, the hero wins because he’s bigger and stronger (Arnold Schwarzenegger), flexible enough to do the side splits on different planets (Jean-Claude Van Damme), has better gear (IRON MAN, BATMAN), or has superpowers.
Denzel’s character wins by being clever. It’s so much more satisfying than mowing down acre after acre of faceless bad guys before confronting the Final Boss Villain on a rooftop, at night, while it’s raining, then listening to his maniac monologue and chucking him down a chasm to get impaled on something long and sharp.
There’s no creativity in showing us that again. We have seen it 329 times.
Denzel’s character in this movie, and the sequel, wins by being smarter than the bad guys. And he does it without getting repetitive, which is refreshing and entertaining. Even the first real fight scene of this movie, he’s planning things out and out-smarting the villains.
The final Home Depot-ish fight is the most creative of all. I love how he chains his traps together, starting with the stuff on the floor to use his barbed-wire and cement bag trap, then the next thug getting speared with a gardening tool when he stops to check out the body of his buddy.
Without music, this would be a wonderful scene.
With this music, it’s iconic, and I’ve watched the thing, like, five bazillion times. Do I rewatch Schwarzenegger mowing through 200 extras in baggy uniforms again and again? No.
Hat’s off to the director and the songwriter for pulling this off.
And yes, I have seen THE LITTLE THINGS, and yes, we will chat about it later this week. A beautiful film.
Bonus: full song from the movie soundtrack.