To the roof!

Almost nothing* in movies causes me eyerolling whiplash more than this:

  • chase scene in a tall building
  • the one being chased ends up in the stairwell
  • every single time, instead of running to the street he climbs the stairs to the roof

I can see how this would make sense if the chasee knows there is a neighbouring rooftop very close by that they can jump to (then presumable had to streel level). But even if the building is a skyscraper and the nearest neighbour is far taller/shorter to allow escape, they always go to the roof.

Why? Don’t they realize it’s a trap? Or is it just lazy writing - a way to force the big confrontation?

(*hyperbolic OPs make my eyes roll at Mach II)

In Real Life, apparently it is very common for humans to race upward, urban or rural.

People aren’t thinking in this situation. It’s instinct. Maybe it’s the old “climb a tree to get away from the lion” thing kicking in.

But as a viewer, it always gets me. “Hey idiot, you just ran into a stand alone parking garage and went up! Nice job.”

But what really gets me is the cops then follow the guy, even going up the stairwell themselves and eventually a fistfight ensues. There’s these things called radios, you know. You call for backup, wait for backup to arrive, start calling out on the bullhorn that the place is surrounded, etc.

There are some species of game birds that hardwired up or down fleeing behavior, which hunters take advantage of. We’re not all that different.