I feel like good action choreography in general is a dying art form. Really struggling to think of a good action set piece from the past let's say 15 years that wasn't in a John Wick movie or an Edgar Wright movie.
You need to cross the International Date Line to find good action. There are Chinese/HK, Thai, and Korean film makers doing absolute bonkers stuff right now, and still carrying the HK torch from the 60s-90s. But those stuff don't typically pierce the bubble of your casual 'Western' audience. Some of it filters through like Andy Cheng's stunt/fight coordination in Shang-Chi, or the HK disciples in charge of the John Wick films. But it's not nearly enough.
Here's the thing though. It's not that the choreography
is bad. All the choreographers in these big Hollywood productions have exemplary and accomplished backgrounds. What's bad is the filming and editing
. You go back to the great HK classics directed by Sammo Hung, or Lau Kar-leung, etc, and they do 100 takes on just a single scene just to make sure it looks and is performed perfectly. So a scene will play out, and it's totally impressive and believable when you can see a whole fight sequence performed for an extended duration without any or minimal cuts.
Hollywood does not have that patience or diligence. So they'll do a handful of takes, and then smash it together in editing. Which is how you get action scenes that are unimpressive and discombobulated with the camera cutting every other second after every other punch/kick thrown. The choreographers involved would love to do things the right way, but they're not in control here. And you can really tell when they have been given more control in films like John Wick because you get a better product as a result.
This video is Jackie Chan-centric, but its criticisms can be applied pretty generally to "Eastern" vs "Western" film making ethos, and is a really solid visual representation of what I'm describing. Everyone should watch it to get a better feel about what I'm talking about: