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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Action Movie Cliches

I was watching the episode “The Lazarus Experiment” of Doctor Who. The main villain was played by Mark Gatiss, of Sherlock fame. At one point in the episode, he rolled his shoulders and cracked his neck. It was a cliche I hate in movies and TV shows. It is most prevalent in a action movies, I think. Usually the main character is about to go into battle, and to loosen up, their neck makes a cracking sound. Drives me crazy. There are a few other action movie cliches I dislike.
Final fights in the rain - Most of the time, rain has no place in stories. This cliche goes along with the ‘sad scene/funeral in the rain’, which I hate too. Unless the weather is directly involved in the story, most of the time these spontaneous rainstorms are frivolous. It worked in Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla. The reporter said it would rain all weekend, people commented on it, and it was fairly constant and consistent. Rain was unnecessary at the end of The Matrix Revolutions. Besides a few cool shots, the water was pointless. Fight rain usually does nothing to add an obstacle to the hero’s journey. 
The sidekick/minor character gets the final shot/killing blow - This happened inDie Hard, another-wise perfect action film. After killing Hans Gruber and reuniting with Holly, John McClane is about to go home. Up pops the supposedly-dead terrorist for one last gun blast. Is it McClane that puts a bullet in him? Is it the hero who has been shot at, beaten up, forced to remove glass from his feet, and ruined a white shirt? No. It was patrol officer Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson) who kills him. If he gets the final shot, then why wasn’t he the hero of the movie. In The Dark Knight Rises, Selena Kyle killed Bane, which I was really disappointed with. And her bad joke. The entire setup of the movie was Bane versus Batman. He should have had the killing blow, not Catwoman. I have no problem with the sidekick helping the hero. I just hate it when they come in at the last minute. It always seems to me the writers wrote themselves into a corner and couldn’t figure out how to save the hero.
I’m sure there are plenty more I’m forgetting about but those are my major peeves. How about you, readers? What movie cliches do you hate? As always, thanks for reading.

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