The old “We’re not so different” schpiel- The villain will attempt a few simpatico points with the protagonist by dragging out this tired line, as if there’s a chance in hell the two of them are going to negotiate a truce over a couple of brews at a strip club. Truth is, the screenwriters put it in for the thirty seconds of ‘layering’ they devote to their angel hair thin characters. Which makes them not so different from most sitcom writers.
Take an ass kicking and keep on ticking- While it’s true that the human body is quite resilient, there are limits. Getting thrown out of a third story window, getting pummeled by steel tipped boots, acting as a chew toy for hungry german shepherds, catapulting from speeding cars . . . after which you immediately remove your spleen from the ground while walking upright and lighting up a cigarette? Outside of Gary Busey, how many human beings could pull this off? Believe it or not, the character’s superhuman resume is not written this way for the thrills it provides. It’s written this way in case they need to bring in a younger actor for the sequel.
Fiery explosions? Eat my dust!- Bruce Willis would hardly be believable as a jogger, yet he can outrun a fire mushroom in the movies. And in bare feet, no less. And he’s not alone. The Governator has done it several times over in his movies, despite possessing the mobility of a rocking chair. Same with Sly Stallone. Now, I understand the suspension of disbelief that one must bring to the movies- I watched Lindsay Lohan play a grounded teenage girl, after all. But when you figure that the fastest recorded human speed is somewhere in the neighborhood of 27 mph while an explosion is several thousand times faster than that, the only realistic way you make it to the next scene is on someone’s plate- served up with hot sauce, bleu cheese dressing and plenty of napkins.
Bang You’re Alive!- The average number of shots fired by the bad guys in a gun fight is approximately 356 with exactly 0 hits (unless the good guy has a love interest, in which case he suffers a flesh wound which will be the only thing dressed in the next scene). The average number of shots fired by said good guy is 7 with exactly 18 hits. That’s called Congressional Mathematics.
Speaking of love interests– Basically, there are three types of action flick relationship guy.
You have the most happily married cop in the history of cops, who is either still honeymooning with his wife of twenty years or looking to avenge her untimely and tragic death. Then there is the divorced guy who still pines for his ex, but she won’t have him back unless he saves Manhattan and promises to pick up his boxers once in a while. Finally, there is the tortured artist single guy. He’s tired of killing bad guys, living in a condo that is several pay grades above his salary and nailing runway models. He just wants to settle down with a nice girl and raise a family, and maybe kill bad guys on the weekend.
The old adage which says first impressions are important doesn’t pertain to this guy and his love interest because they instantly despise each other. All is forgiven within forty minutes when the two of them multi-task each other across her kitchen counter. Writers make certain to place a sex scene within forty minutes of the opening credits so as to leave open the possibility of squeezing in another one in the event they run out of new and exciting ways of killing people off.