“I’m gettin’ too old for this shit!”
Any action film where endless waves of commandos and helicopters are dispatched like swatting away flies by either the hero or the villain. Do they have any idea how much money and time is invested in training these people and building the equipment they use? Just once it would actually be refreshing to have the action hero throw up his hands and say, “aw, fuck it” when confronted with a bunch of top tier special operators who have been trained to work seamlessly as a team for the past 10 years.
Movies always do tend to idealize the individual over the collective though.
Movies also tend to do a very poor job of just how much fire is going downrange when you have a dozen soldiers all firing at once. The entire target area should be covered in impact hits.
This may be too obvious because I think it gets complained about fairly frequently, but bad guys who corner the good guy and then stand around talking instead of shooting him in the guts and/or head immediately.
Typing on the computer without using a mouse. I still see that, and by now all actors will have grown up with PCs so know very well how they work. You don’t type just by wiggling your fingers either, and it’s okay to look down at your hands once in a while.
That one bugs me, too. Always reminds me of a video game with the player just blasting away at an endless stream of bad guys. There’s usually so much going on that I can’t get any sense of space; of who is where, what they’re doing, and why. It’s not necessary in a movie. I always think they could do better action sequences with just a few antagonists who give the hero a genuine challenge.
That’s one of the things that bugged me about Skyfall. When Silva is escaping through the underground, Bond has him dead to rights. He has his gun trained on him, and even says that he can’t miss. There’s no reason to be keeping Silva alive. Just shoot him.
Law of Conservation of Ninjutsu. Wins every time.
In rom-coms, where the only chance at reconciliation is some last-minute mad-dash to the airport. Often resulting in a situation would moot the relationship IRL as our hero would likely find themselves arrested by Homeland Security.
Normal, well adjusted adults don’t live in New York City. If Hollywood is to be believed, people typically move to NY in their 20s after college and then spend years with their close-knit group of friends drinking excessively and struggling with careers and relationships much longer than they should be. While there is some element of truth to that, it would be nice to not see Manhattan and Brooklyn portrayed as a giant half-way house for young adults going through their quarter life crisis.
Swords and other melee weapons in science fiction. Yes, a lightsaber is a more elegant weapon from a more civilized age. It still has the range of a sword.
The “career vs family” dichotomy dilemma. Usually resulting in “I didn’t take that promotion or dream job so I can be with my family”. As if raising a family doesn’t cost money and they want dad around that much anyway.
Don’t these commandos receive the training and have the same selection standards as the hero? Why are they so bad and commandoing?
The Chosen One.
“There’s no time! I’ll explain later!”
I caught some glimpses of an action movie yesterday while on a airliner. Among the dumbest tropes were:
The hero and heroine jumping through a plate-glass window without so much as getting nicked, just as an “explosion” happens immediately behind them, leaving them unscathed.
Bullets from pistols and submachine guns flying everywhere down a narrow hallway, not hitting their targets but making sparks wherever they impact.
The hero and heroine breaking a plate-glass window with a single shot from a 9mm, and then jumping out to get away from the bad guys without any hesitation, even though they’re on the fifteenth or sixteenth floor.
Landing in the swimming pool that “just happens” to be beneath them, without the slightest of complications.
The medical examiner/pathologist type who pokes around inside cadavers in between bites of his tuna sandwich.
Mine is the where the detective has successfully solved EVERY SINGLE crime he’s been given to investigate, usually showing great skill and imagination, but his supervisor and fellow officers don’t believe him THIS time. “So, you think you know better than us, Detective 100-Percent-Clearance? Just because you’ve been right every week so far doesn’t mean you’re right this week!”
I came to mention this one. This is, of course, a writer’s shortcut to get out of having the character explain the plan again or give the viewer a bit of a mystery before they get to see the plan unfold.
Also related is the “Captain, you better get down to engineering right away!” The captain is busy captaining his ship on the bridge but taking the two minutes or so for the engineer to explain that there’s a big alien cyberplant growing out of the main reactor will not build suspense.
Another line that I noticed in sitcoms and now can’t unnotice is when the main character says “listen” or “look.” Situations are similar to this exchange:
Main Character Girl: I’m worried that Hunky Senior isn’t going to ask me to Homecoming.
Goofy Brother: Why don’t you go to the zoo, I’m sure you can find a date there.
Canned Laughter: ha ha ha
Main Character Girl: Listen, I’m worried that Hunky Senior is having trouble with Chemistry and might be having a nervous breakdown.
It’s a quick way to get the storyline back on track after a character says a funny line but like I said, I noticed it once and now it really sticks out for me. Fortunately, I think that either Hollywood writers are moving away from that or maybe I am not watching the shows that feature it so much.
My favorite examples of this were on Lost. “Come on! We have to go now! There’s no time to explain! Now let’s walk across the island for six hours in complete silence.”
Any show with the nerdy guy and the stupid-but-pretty babe doing the on-again/off-again dance. Big Bang was predicted to be headed for failure with this troupe, but they made the characters believable. The worst offender for this one is Friend’s Ross and Rachel.
Rom-com trope where the super hot guy and super hot girl are strangely single and have no friends that they spend time with (and no family either).
Or the hot girl with the perfectly conventional but somewhat boring type boyfriend who she dumps like nothing so she can get with hot guy. Could we try a little harder to make current boyfriend more objectionable and dump-worthy than just “somewhat boring”?
The other one that wore out it’s welcome on LOST: “It’s complicated.”
The heart of military training, whether it’s grunt infantry or SEALs, is teamwork. Those faceless commandos being dispatched left and right in the movies, they care more about each other than the guy shooting at them cares about anything in the world.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen mine mentioned before:
When someone is in a large facility (empty warehouse, sports stadium, etc.) and they toggle the gargantuan switch that turns on the lights.
The part that bugs me is the over-the-top sound effect that always accompanies the switching of the switch: ka-KLUNK.
Whether it’s a vacant 7-Eleven store or Shea Stadium, it’s always the same exact, ridiculously loud sound.