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Monday, May 12, 2014

Action Movie Cliches Part 2

While watching another movie the other day, I came across more movie cliches I don’t like.
Deadlines are an easy way to add tension to a story. After all, we face deadlines of one sort or another every day; like the start of work, assigned papers in college, or manuscript deadlines given by editors to writers. But when it comes to movies, I dislike the seasonal, and moon/sun/insert-celestial-body-here alignment. If the sacrifice or incantation has to be done at precisely the right time (and the hero usually knows this several days in advance) then really why battle them when all you have to do is stall them? And if the event lasts only seconds or minutes, it seems simply stalling the villains isn’t very heroic. It doesn’t feel like the hero really stopped them. Do you see what I’m getting at?
And if all this evilness is supposed to occur at a certain time, usually midnight, how is it every single clock and watch in the world is perfectly synchronized? Go into any building with more than two clocks and I’m sure they won’t match exactly. How about a movie where the hero fails because his watch was off by three minutes? And when is midnight? Is it Central Mountain Time? Greenwich Mean Time? If the man-beast transforms at the stroke of twelve, does it turn sooner or later if you take it to another time zone?
Another cliche is the evil creature/employee who turns good at the last moment when shown kindness earlier in the film. They also often come barreling in right when the hero or heroine is about to die. There is a lesson here, villains. Treat your minions with respect and they won’t turn on you.
Another one that bothers me is when direct sun/moonlight triggers something. Usually it is a transformation, like a werewolf, or something similar. Often, cloud cover reverses the effect. But really, if sunlight kills vampires, why are they okay in the shade, or somewhat dark buildings? Wouldn’t it sting even a little bit? This was somewhat averted in the Blade movies when they said UV light hurts vampires. If there is something special that is in sunlight that harms your creature, mention it. And don’t let cloud cover totally reverse the effect. If moonlight makes a werewolf, it will revert back to human as soon as he goes into a building. Just because the moon is covered doesn’t mean it isn’t there. If the rays are filtered, the effects should be filtered, not shown as an on/off effect.
There may be a part three to this post if I see any more cliches I don’t like. Do you have any that drive you nuts? Thanks for reading.

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