Like movies from other genres, adventure movies are constantly combined with features from other genres of film. The relationship of adventure movies to the action film genre is however, stronger than most. This is because adventure movies possess the energetic vibe of action movies. Another similarity is having more obvious contrasts between the hero or heroine and the villain. In adventure movies, the hero or heroine is usually on a mission and has outstanding qualities, like bravery, patriotism and honour. What further separates adventure movies from action movies in general is the adventure movie's lesser emphasis on violence and inclusion of exotic locations. After all, some definitions of the word "adventure" describes it as an exciting and unusual undertaking.
Types of adventure movies
Adventure movies are blended with other genres to create hybrid adventure movies. Other types of adventure movies, however, differ based on their concepts. Here are some of types of adventure movies:
- Swashbucklers/pirate films
- Jungle boy/Tarzan
- Epic adventure
- Aviation adventure
- Disaster films
Meanwhile, here are some common combinations of adventure movies with other genres:
- Sci-fi adventure
- Fantasy adventure
- Action adventure
- Horror adventure
Taking The Mummy, a movie starring Brendan Fraser, as an example, you will be able to identify action and horror elements. The movie is still distinguishable as an adventure because of the foreign location and the extreme contrast between the good-hearted hero and the evil villain.
Adventure movies generally appeal to a male audience. However, with the hybrid adventure movies being formed, the whole family will most likely enjoy the genre. Some adventure movies, however, have potent horror elements like Pan's Labyrinth. So though considered an adventure, smaller children may get scared.
Common themes explored in adventure movies
If you are looking for clues as to whether you are watching an adventure movie or not, you may consider some recurring themes that adventure movies make use of. If the movie has more than one of the elements, it is most likely an adventure movie. Here are some of them:
- Conquests or explorations
- Heroes fighting for beliefs
- An outlaw hero fighting for justice
- Fight over treasure or important relic
- Perilous journey to an important destination
- Mutiny at sea
Notable adventure movies
Most notable adventure movies are box-office hits because they appeal to the whole family. These are also the ones that come with big budgets. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is one example. The movie has revitalised the pirate sub-genre which produced one of the greatest adventure movie flops, through Cutthroat Island. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, meanwhile, succeeds as a trio of films years after it was written.