The Gospel of Action Movies According to Hollywood.

I know this is true, because Hollywood tells me so:

Every Asian is an expert in Kung-Fu, and they’re ready to use it at a moment’s notice.

Similarly, everyone in Japan has Ninja skills, and is an expert with a samurai sword.

A Good Guy rarely gets shot.  And if he does, it’s only a flesh wound which quickly heals itself, and is of no consequence within the next couple of scenes.

People can easily outrun explosions.   Diving into the air in slow-motion at the last moment helps.

Terrorists aren’t Arabs (or any other visible minority).   They’re always Euro-Trash White Supremacists.   Just remember:  the only acceptable villains are Neo-Nazis.

After a brutal fight scene,  the only injury the Good Guy will ever exhibit is a small cut on his lip, or a tiny trickle of blood from one nostril.    He’ll then touch his wound, incredulously look at the blood on his fingers, get angry and come back fighting even stronger than ever.

Someone armed with a gun is no match for a skilled swordsman.

The 250-lb. Bad Guy who’s a martial arts expert will still get his ass whupped by a 115-lb. woman.

City waterfronts are huge areas of urban blight, with countless miles of abandoned buildings.  It’s where the Bad Guys can hide, and their kidnap victims can be concealed.

Don’t worry about torn muscles, damaged organs or the risk of infection.   A gunshot wound can instantly be healed, by just removing the bullet from the victim’s body.

Every secret agent or Special Ops person can fly a fighter jet with greater skill than the Air Force pilots who spend their entire careers mastering the same aircraft.

Downtown streets are always full of fruit vendors,  whose carts are readily available to be destroyed during car-chase scenes.

Falling through a plate-glass window is perfectly harmless.  You won’t so much as get a sliver of glass stuck in you.

Women are rarely ever the Bad Guy.   If they are, it’s mandatory that they’re portrayed as either East-German or Russian.

Bad Guys have still not figured out how to use handcuffs or zip-ties to restrain people, like the Cops do on a daily basis.

There is no set limit of the firepower of a shotgun shell.  It can be used to shoot a victim, or it can blow up and overturn an armored vehicle.

Helicopters are constantly flying into sky-scrapers and/or crashing in downtown streets.   No one ever gets hurt, though.  (Except the helicopter pilot, we assume).

All factories are poorly-lit buildings, and run automatically with no production staff or management supervisors.  There is plenty of steam and welding sparks, but nothing ever seems to be manufactured.

A high-caliber gun will have no recoil on the shooter, but it will lift the victim in the air and hurl him back ten feet through a window.

Every Police Captain is a stressed-out Type-A personality, often an African- American.  He constantly yells at the Cop Hero, and reminds him: “One more screw up, and it’s your badge!”.     Despite his grumpiness, the Captain grudgingly tolerates the Cop Hero’s unorthodox methods, because in the end, he gets the job done.

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25 Comments on “The Gospel of Action Movies According to Hollywood.”

  1. ayjayjay Says:

    Nobody is a skilled marksman. Out of hundreds of rounds fired during a given shootout, you’ll be lucky if three to four of them actually hit the intended target.

  2. Friar Says:

    @ayjayjay

    Heh heh heh. Good point.

    It especially doesn’t help if they’re firing the guys, while flipping through the air in slow motion! :-)


  3. I never cared that much for these action movies, except Die Hard, which only passed muster because Bruce Willis is so damn charming. I’m all about superhero movies! Just saw Batman Begins (loved it) and Spiderman 3 (sucked). Yes, I’m behind on my movie-watching.

  4. liamdempsey Says:

    And a few more …

    It’s very easy to shoot a person who is running whilst one is diving through the air, holding the gun with one hand.

    When facing the good guy in some sort of hand-to-hand combat, bad guys are always polite enough to attack one at a time, rather than all at once.

  5. Friar Says:

    @Melissa

    I’m getting tired of Superhero movies. And I’ve seen pretty much all the action movies I care to see (they all seem to be the same after a while).

    Though I just saw Batman (Dark Knight) and it rocked! I was susprised at that.

    (As for Spiderman III…It really pissed me off when Peter Parker (Toby McGuire) started to cry

    ….WUSS!!!! (Superheros do NOT cry!)

    @liamdempsey

    One of my friends used to do competitive pistol-shooting. He described how you have to be perfectly still and line up your gunsights to be accurate. Shooting from the hip or while running is totally useless and the bullet can go anywhere, even if you’re 6 feet away.

    Yeah, I like the classic scene where the bad guys surround the Good Guy, and they only attack one at a time. (And never EVER from the rear). Take a number….:_)


  6. “Women are rarely ever the Bad Guy.”
    That’s because women are all angels!
    *wink* batting eyelashes * smiling innocently * flying away *

    Superhero movies are being a bit too mass produced these days, indeed.

    You should put a link to this article in my comments section, since it goes so well with my Sexist America, Racist Hollywood:
    http://www.screenwritingforhollywood.com/what-sells/sexist-america-racist-hollywood


  7. Add to that being 40-something and yet able to run an obstacle course up and over fences, up sky cranes, jumping to the top of the nearby building, falling off said building, getting up, keep running, keep climbing, keep falling..on and on ad infinitum. Can you say James Bond Casino Royale? NOBODY, not even the fittest triathelete can run for 20 minutes straight through all those obstacles. NOBODY! I quit watching the movie at that point.

  8. Friar Says:

    @Jaden

    heh heh. Thought you might like this. :-)

    I think your Sexist-Racist Hollywood post started my inspiration to write this!

    @Urban

    Yeah, I get SO tired of those long chase scenes. Okay….okay….we GET IT…catch him or DIE already!

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s expensive filler material. Easier to have someone run than write another 5-10 minutes of dialogue.

  9. Kelly Says:

    Friar,

    I just watched Roman Holiday with my daughter tonight (Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn). In spite of being over 50 years old, they had the “downtown streets are always full of fruit vendors, whose carts are readily available to be destroyed during car-chase scenes” part down perfectly. Very funny to see that on the list.

    I liked them all, but especially this one: “All factories are poorly-lit buildings, and run automatically with no production staff or management supervisors. There is plenty of steam and welding sparks, but nothing ever seems to be manufactured.”—Isn’t that how the Widget Factory works?
    ;)

    Regards,

    Kelly

  10. Jenny Says:

    This post is great! It is spot on! It was actually making me laugh out loud reading this, it is SOOOO TRUE! Great Post!

  11. Friar Says:

    @Jenny

    Thanks! I call ‘em as I see ‘em (heh heh)

    @Kelly
    So we’ve pinpointed the fruit-vendor cart phenomenon as being at least 50 years old…! :-)

    As for the Widget Factory…it would be all steam and sparks, but instead, there would be a manager reading procedures every 10 feet.


  12. I can’t stand how action heroes always make out with the girl after the final blow-out scene. I mean, aren’t they tired? And sore? And a little emotional from just killing 300 people? Oh, and stinky?

  13. Friar Says:

    @Rebecca

    ..yet the Action Hero girfriends seem to like them when they’re hot tired and stinky.

    They never take the guy in for questionning either (after killing 300 people). Even if they were Bad Guys and it was self-defence, there would be lots of paperwork to fill out.


  14. Two Words. Uma Thurman.

    Course she’s totally justified as the bad guy. :)

  15. Friar Says:

    @Janice

    Yeah, you got a point there (and she’s not Russian or East German either!)

    She could beat me up any day :-)

  16. Brett Legree Says:

    Kristanna Loken as the T-X in Terminator 3.
    :)

  17. Friar Says:

    @Brett

    Yeah..she was HOT.

    But she was a robot…so does that cound as a female Bad Guy?

  18. Karen Swim Says:

    LOL! You forgot that an anvil falling on your head does not result in death. :-) Totally funny list Friar! Heheehee…


  19. Seriously! Wouldn’t there be forms to fill out or something??
    “Check reason for killing bad guys: Drug runners, assassins, terrorists.”
    Too funny.

  20. Brett Legree Says:

    @Friar,

    Just an actor *pretending* to be a robot… ;)

  21. Friar Says:

    @Karen

    No, falling anvils only counts for cartoon characters

    (But then again, actors like Bruce Willis or Sly Stallone ARE cartoon characters!) :-)

    @Rebecca

    Yeah….I get pulled over for a speeding ticket, I spend more time with the cop than the hero who blows up a warehouse and kills 20 bag guys.

    @Brett
    The robot didnt’ talk much, did she? (Maybe she had an East German accent)

  22. Rita Says:

    I had to come over for a visit after we both gave Writer Dad some Olympic Thnking to do. (Oh gosh, I DO hope that was you!) Either way, I think I’ll extend my visit to a long-term stay. (Don’t worry, I’ll wash my own sheets and split the utilities.)

    My husband, Dr. Cerebral is a HUGE action movie fan. Whenever we sit down to watch one – at his suggestion – I sit there saying “but…” And then he has to playback the (non-existant) dialogue because I interrupted his viewing experience!

    I finally found a way to watch an action movie with him so that it DOESN’T take 5 hours, with his constant rewinds. I just tell him the “dialoguge” he missed. You are SO on the money about these movies – but what about the dialogue? He has begun to think I’m psychic because I can tell him what the characters will say! He’s awed by my ability to “predict” the lines. And what gets him even more enchanted is how, after the first 11 seconds, I can tell him who the good guys are, who the bad guys are, and, usually, how the “honest Senator” is REALLY the mass murderer. He thinks I’m brilliant!

    Well damn…they’re all one movie, written by one person! How hard can it be?

    (Though I do admit, I am quiet when Vin is on. And Jackie Chan IS in a class of his own!)

    Great post…now can you PLEASE direct one with ALL of the scenes stated above, so we can let that one poor writer out of his cave?

    Rita

  23. Friar Says:

    @Rita

    I used to really like action movies. But then again, this was back in the early 80′s. When Rambo or Ah-nold’s films were still relatively novel. (And also, I was in my early 20′s..the prime Testosterone-driven target audience).

    Since then, I find that every possible car chase/terrorist plot/cop movie has been done over and OVER. I’ve just become BORED.

    And the dialogue…CLASSIC! (Yes, I think it’s only one writer who does all the plots!) :-)

    The Simpsons really have a handle on it…when they spoof these movies.

    I can just hear McBain cry out “MEN-DOHHHH-ZAH!”


  24. That is interesting to see we all kind of moved away from watching action movies. maybe it’s a sign of aging. LOL. Or maybe we just like to take thing to a deeper level than the mere *bang *shot *explode and all the other aspects of lame action movies.

    I have to say though, despite all this I’m a sucker for Bond, not because of the action though. :-)

    @ Rita: who did you mean by Vin? Could that be Vin Diesel? If yes, you wouldn’t believe when I said I cooked for him and spoke to him in SA.

  25. Friar Says:

    @Monika

    I’m trying to figure it out….am I growing up, or are action movies becoming the same-old same-old boring predictable plots. Almost everything was been done.

    But then again, I saw the latest Batman movie, and it was pretty good. Fewer car chases, and more character development.

    So maybe there’s hope…I’m not too old yet!

    (So WHEN did you cook for Vin Diesel?).


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