You know what got to me recently? Explosions. Not just explosions, but those ridiculously huuuuuge explosions you see in films every now and again where the actors never turn around to look, they just coolly and calmly walk towards the camera without a care in the world, while the whole damn apocalypse could be raining down around them. This has become such an accepted movie cliche that it now features in practically 1 in 3 action movies [statistic taken from imaginary poll I just made up].
The latest offender that has spurred me into writing this article is The Green Hornet, a fantastic (ignore the insultingly low IMDB rating) movie reboot of the classic 60’s TV series which originally featured the legendary Bruce Lee in the role of sidekick Kato. Now I could sing high praises of this remake for several pages: there are some amazing fight scenes with Jay Chou, some hilarious moments from Seth Rogen and a geniusly (is that a word? It should be) underplayed villain by Christoph Waltz – the movie is non-stop mindless entertainment with just the right amount of CGI and special effects. Of course I could spend just as long ripping into its more ridiculous moments! I mean they never explain Kato’s robot like ability to make the world move in slow motion and pinpoint enemies weapons in “red vision” – other than saying it’s an adrenaline burst when he gets in tight situations…and what about the buried car explosion scene? I try to avoid spoilers, but let’s just say I refuse to believe anyone was walking away from that one!
However, it’s actually a short 15 second scene at the very beginning of the film that had me screaming “WHAT?! WHAT?!?” at the TV this time: as a small suitcase bomb on the upper floor of a building left by the dual-barrel-wielding Chudnofsky [great name – ed] somehow destroyed the entire building in a mammoth explosion while our trio of baddies calmly walk on from only a few meters away as debris literally flies past their heads.
Now I don’t pretend to be some kind of explosions specialist – in this day and age that would mean you’re either working for the police, the movies, the Mythbusters (who incidentally have actually spent a recent episode debunking the aforementioned buried car explosion) or are a terrorist. However I’ve gotta say – logic dictates that the only way this guy is slowly sidling away from the scene with the smug impression of someone who’s just taken a record breaking dump, is with the rear half of his body in flames. I would love to see that scene: the villain slo-mo walks towards the camera, smug grin on his face – only to come to a stop and fall forwards, revealing the charred back of his body while someone off-screen comments on how charred internal organs really DO smell like chicken! I swear this flick would’ve been over only 5 minutes in if that was the case.
Of course, as previously mentioned this certainly isn’t the first and I seriously doubt it’s the last movie to demonstrate the almost god-like ability of most villains to walk away from (hell, sometimes through) flames and explosions like they’re sauntering through the frackin’ supermarket – not a flinch in sight. These things don’t become a movie cliché on their own, here are a few other movies worth checking out when you’ve got a spare rainy afternoon, I was going to give the time frames of each occasion, but that would ruin the fun. Instead see if you can spot the insanity for yourselves! And if you spot any other similar film moments (and believe me they’re everywhere – see any good mafia/gangster/over-the-top-action movie for a start) please go ahead and leave a comment to let the world know.
Just remember, if your TV set explodes due to the sheer smug awesomeness on-screen, try not to slowly walk away with your back turned – unlike Hollywood, real-life contains shards, shrapnel & an overall insufferable human tolerance to flame. Be warned!
[update – I have also just been informed of possibly the most hilarious “music video” to feature this material, Cool Guys Don’t Look At Explosions – it includes a number of the scenes from movies referenced above. I’m not one to reference other peoples material (and I’m a tad depressed that I’m evidently not the first person to touch on this subject) but check it out – if only for Will Ferrell’s dancing and JJ Abrams’ fantastic keyboard solo!]
Cool Guys Don’t Look At Explosions – Youtube