Sergio Leone Web Board

Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: Groggy on July 26, 2008, 04:24:50 AM

Title: Action Movie Cliches
Post by: Groggy on July 26, 2008, 04:24:50 AM
Fun article I found on AOL this morning. (
Title: Re: Action Movie Cliches
Post by: cigar joe on July 26, 2008, 09:15:25 AM
all good ones
Title: Re: Action Movie Cliches
Post by: Noodles_SlowStir on July 26, 2008, 09:37:54 AM
Thanks.  That was fun to go through. 

The Expository Speech        When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk
Title: Re: Action Movie Cliches
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on July 26, 2008, 09:56:19 AM

Great article Groggy. Thanks for posting! All the cliches listed are true indeed.
Title: Re: Action Movie Cliches
Post by: dave jenkins on July 26, 2008, 11:02:04 AM
I think it's important to distinguish between cliches (threadbare elements) and conventions (necessary ingredients that serve as genre markers and heighten our enjoyment of the film). A car chase, for example, is a convention, but it can be executed with a number of cliches (the fruit cart being one). The trick is to do a car chase without resorting to cliches (which becomes harder with time). By all means, lets get rid of the fruit cart cliche, but keep the car chases (which continue to be cool).

Henchmen will be with us always--they're necessary to do the villain's heavy lifting and provide someone for him to talk to. We just need better imagined henchmen.

The villain's monologue is also a convention, and serves a number of functions. It provides the audience with info detailing the big picture; sometimes we don't really know what the stakes are until that moment, and can't quite appreciate the magnitude of the villainy until then. Also, it pleasantly delays the hero's trial, adding anticipation and suspense. Sure it's ridiculously unrealistic, but what part of an action movie is supposed to represent real life? I'd say, keep the monologue, just make it interesting (have Robert Downey Jr. deliver it). [Idea for a new thread: 10 Best List of Movie Villain Monologues]

Okay, here's my pet peeve: the flaming man. A blast or explosion occurring near a well-populated locale always produces a guy on fire running across the frame. Is there a flaming man union that always must be appeased in such cases? And why can't the guy do what we all know is the correct thing to do: drop to the ground and roll, in an attempt to deny oxygen to the fire. The answer of course is the same one for all such movie cliches--long ago someone worked out an efficient way of staging the effect, and its much easier to just keep following standard industry practice than to innovate.