I love action movies. They’re awesome. Seriously. No finer form of cinematic entertainment exists. What’s not to like about any of the following thematic elements.
- Diabolically intelligent sociopath (usually some sort of sexy foreigner) bent on blowing up the city for no other reason than to torture Our Hero
- Our Tortured Hero. Either an ex-cop, nearly fired cop, ex military, ex special forces, or regular guy who suddenly is forced to become a badass. He hates society. Hates authority. Is usually a drunk or has some other character flaw. He’s a smart ass, plays by his own rules. Has marital problems. The bad guy almost always goes after his family. He doesn’t shave.
- EXPLOSIONS Somethings always has to explode, whether it should or not. Cars without gas, fire hydrants, gas stations, somebody’s garage, a boat, a covered wagon, a random piece of forest, and my personal favorite: The Chrysler Building. That thing is always falling down!
- Annoying Sidekick. Usually a kid, younger person or black guy. This is the salt to Our Hero’s pepper. He’s an optimist while Our Hero is the gravest of cynics. He’s clean and fashionable while Our Hero is grungy and wears wife beaters. He listens to the coolest trendy pop music, Our Hero likes good old fashioned Rock and Roll. He recycles and has faith in the goodness of people, Our Hero throws beer cans out his car window to pop the homeless guy pushing a shopping cart. He’s a pathetic wimp who couldn’t stand up to a little girl kicking his shins. Our Hero doesn’t take shit from anybody. He’s got super ninja nerd powers, and Our Hero still can’t run a VCR. But, it doesn’t really matter how good he is there’s always something about this guy that makes you want Our Hero to smash his face in.
- Sexy Sidekick. Sometimes indistinguishable from the Annoying Sidekick due to his goodness. But he’s usually got a bad-ass side to back it up. He’s Our Hero’s right hand man. Best Friend from forever. Annoys the crap out of Our Hero, but they compliment each other. He’s often cleaner and sometimes better looking than Our Hero. He doesn’t always have to be sexy, though. The fact that he’s such a good friend will make him sexy in our hearts. He sticks with Our Hero no matter what. Keeps him from going totally darkside. Gets him up off his sorry ass and out saving the world. Gives him pep talks, and well placed snark. Takes away his scotch when necessary.
- SEXY CARS. Sometimes exploding. Sometimes not. But we like it when they explode. Oh yes we do.
One of my favorites is Con-Air. It’s got it all.
- Diabolically Intelligent Sociopath. Check. Cyrus “The Virus” Grissom. Killed more men than cancer. Not really after Our Hero at first, but he fits the bill. All except for sexy. And foreign. You lose points for that John Malkovitch.
- Our Tortured Hero. Cameron Poe. US Army Ranger sent to prison for using his deadly Ranger skills in a bar fight. He’s not really an anti-hero. More of a boy scout. But he’s got some serious anger issues, and he doesn’t shave.
- Annoying Sidekick/Sexy Sidekick. Vince Larkin. He’s an annoying do-gooder, yet badass and not bad looking. He’s got some cojones. Why? Because he’s scared as shit, but does what needs to be done anyway. Plus he steals a car. Poe doesn’t know him, but he’s the only guy lending him a helping hand through the whole movie.
- Sexy Car. Oh yes. The AZZ KICKR Corvette. Yummy. Driven by a douchebag who doesn’t deserve it, but he gets his.
Who can forget this scene.
Yes my friends. Con-Air has it all. Explosions. Good guys, bad guys. Hot cars. One-liners. Dead bodies falling from the sky to smash a car out on a Sunday drive. They crash a plane onto the Las Vegas strip. Excitement and adventure around every turn.
But then, after all the shoot-em-up, bare knuckle, Yippe-Ki-Yay-Motherfucker, action bad-assery. They hit you with this scene.
Whyyyyy? If I wanted to get all sappy I’d watch that movie where Patrick Swayze haunts Demi Moore or something. Not this Over the Top Action Extravaganza!
Con-Air. The first movie to ever move me to tears. No lie.