Analysis Of John Vargas ' The Tenth Mile

912 WordsSep 8, 20154 Pages
Real: A Review of John Vargas’ The Tenth Mile “In action pictures, there was no virtuous side to identify with and nobody you really felt very good about cheering for. (Kael 113)” This forty-two-year-old remark is still true for at least half of present-day action movies; the remaining ones are either about good triumphing over evil or about dopey loser unlocking inner genius. These movies usually (and perhaps unavoidably) involve vendettas too bad to be true or masters too good to be true. While I openly distain their outright unreality and secretly savor their gripping intensity, I am aware of a hope, an expectation, a desire, deep in my heart, awaiting something with both stylish actions and a realistic plot. The Tenth Mile perfectly fits that blank space. Born in America and raised in six different countries, the young avant-garde director John Vargas set out to produce something different. And he did it. The story seems incredibly real and resonates well with us normal people—partly because Vargas based the story largely on his own experience living and learning martial arts in different countries. There is no dark, dread, dangerous gang leader, nor old, white, near-divine grandmaster. The protagonist Pete Harkin, played by the action movie icon Mason Grey, is no more than an avid lover of martial arts. Anyone can be Pete. Anyone can learn martial arts. Convinced by his very first western boxing master of “the Nine Miles” to becoming a real martial artist, Pete goes

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