Freeze Frame: The “Locked Shots” of Guy Ritchie

A supercut of all the moments the director pauses to let us catch our breath.

A supercut of all the moments the director pauses to let us catch our breath.

Every action director has his or her trademark: Tony Scott likes color, Michael Bay likes explosions, James Cameron pushes the effects envelope, John Woo loves a good Mexican standoff gone haywire (and doves, many many doves), Kathryn Bigelow likes to use slow-motion in action sequences, and Guy Ritchie likes to freeze the action entirely in what video essayist Semih Okmen refers to as “locked shots.”

The purpose of such shots, besides a flourish of style, is to accentuate the action by pausing it, giving us in the audience an opportunity to catch our breath and process, even for just a moment, the hyperactivity we’ve witnessed before being flung right back into it.

In the following short supercut, Okmen has gathered these instances into the calmest (but still effective) action sequence ever.

Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist