5 of the Most Overused Action Movie Cliches You Probably Didn’t Even Realize Were Cliches

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1. Saved at the Last Second by an Unexpected Character’s Well-Timed Gunshot

Desert Eagle Gun

Tom Smith down the street is no good in a tight situation. But when the bad guy has our hero in his crosshairs and is about to pull the trigger, Tom Smith just might find the courage to save the day with a nicely well-timed gunshot! This usually happens at the end of the movie — Reginald VelJohnson’s hapless cop character, who just happens to have a “bad shooting” story in his past, saves John McClane’s life in “Die Hard” — or it could come early to prove a character’s mettle or trustworthiness. After all, nothing says “trust” like when someone saves your life with a well-timed gunshot to the bad guy’s dome. Good guys shooting people in the back is usually frown upon in action movies, unless, of course, it’s for dramatic effect. There’s nothing more dramatic than an improbable appearance at the very last second by a savior, especially when that savior is the last person you’d expect.

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About Nix

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Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.

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  • ErickKwon

    If I can suggest one more: We Both Brought Guns To A Gunfight, But–The Bad Guy Who Throws Away His Gun and Decides to Go Mano-a-mano

    Recent examples: “The Raid”, “The Man From Nowhere”, “The Expendables 2″.

    You’re the bad guy whose crimes range from harvesting human organs to butchering cops, but when facing possibly the most dangerous and capable good guy, you decide, “No, shooting you would be too fast and not enough fun. Or maybe despite the horrible things I’ve done in this movie already, I have a tweaked out sense of honor that demands we fight like men, so let me put away this loaded and locked gun and give you a chance to kick my ass.” Now, I’m not going to grudge a movie for fitting in another kickass fight scene, but this gambit almost always goes south for the bad guy. Even if the bad guy wins, it’s not an easy win and he can expect at a bloody nose and maybe a broken finger or two. Even for henchmen, there’s gotta be easier ways to get your cardio in for the day.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

      I believe Van Damme ran out of bullets and it was Stallone who decides to go mano-a-mano. But I get your point. I actually don’t mind tis because like running from explosives, this kind of enhances the movie.

      • ErickKwon

        Ah, damn, stand corrected. And you’re right, I can’t begrudge it because in the case of “Man… Nowhere” and “The Raid”, it did lead to probably those movies’ best fights.

  • http://reeltalkonline.org/ Candice Frederick

    ahaha. love it.

  • Debo4735

    The badasss killer from Man from Nowhere really had to test his skills against this uber bad ass killer everyone thought was just a pawn shop broker, and that led to the best knife fight I’ve ever seen in a movie.

  • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

    GREAT LIST!!! Now lets get a Cabin in the Woods style actioner where they play with all the cliches and make them fun again!!