We all love action movies. That blend of thrilling action, suspense, and adrenaline is always a fun way to spend a few hours on a lazy day. Many movie historians consider the film The Great Train Robbery from 1903 to be the first action movie ever made. Then during the 1920s and 1930s, action-based films were often "swashbuckling"adventure films in which actors, such as Errol Flynn wielded swords in period pieces or Westerns.
As more and more action films were being made, it did not take long for action cliches to form. An action cliche being something that is over used due to it being popular. So lets get into the top five overused action movie cliches that need to be retired.
Shooting past the hero to hit an unseen enemy
This is a very old action cliche, you have probably seen it a thousand times. The hero is faced down by a enemy who was once a friend who is holding him at gun point. You think the enemy is going to shoot the hero as they pull the trigger, only to have the camera pan to show that they shoot past and hit an unseen enemy coming up behind the Hero. This was most recently seen in Captain American: Civil War, when Black Widow shoots Black Panther to allow Captain American to escape.
Chasing a criminal only to have the perp run into the chasing cops partners car
This is one of the most overused action cliches. This is most often used in a buddy cop film or an action comedy. It normally involves a rookie cop chasing a criminal through a series of difficult locations. The rookie is normally banged up and having a hard time keeping up with the criminal. Meanwhile the wise senior officer gets his car and drives around and heads the perp off, the chase normally ends with the criminal running into the police car and flying across the hood. If Only this scenario just existed in the movies.....see below
Bomb countdown being stopped with a few seconds to spare
I literally roll my eyes when this one happens anymore. Everyone knows this one. The bomb is counting down and there is normally hostages at stake. The heroes try and disarm the bomb and a few false starts are show. In the end the bomb is defused with normal 1-2 seconds to spare.
Slow motion walk in front of an explosion
Despite seeing hundreds of variations of this action cliche I still find myself enjoying it. This one is normally seen in a large action set piece near the middle or end of a action film. The hero or villain is seen walking in slow motion and then a huge explosion is seen behind them. Variations of this include the hero or villain setting off the explosion or walking away with a rescued hostage. A hilarious video by the Lonely Islands does a great job making fun of this action cliche.
A hero's certain death only to show that they escaped
This action cliche normally occurs near the films end after a dangerous encounter. The hero or heroes have fought the bad guys and won, but in the fallout all the evidence indicates our brave heroes died in the fight. Normally there is dramatic music and those who are still alive are saddened, then as things look the bleakest someone calls out and the camera pans to show us the Hero or Heroes walking out of the carnage safe and sound.
Movie cliches are fun, don't get me wrong, It can be fun to see variations of our favorite scenes in multiple films. I certainly still find some of the above mentioned cliches fun and entertaining still, but I wish that filmmakers would find us some new exciting scenes that can themselves become cliche in the future. Lets not rely on the same old same old lets be creative and try new things.