10 Movie Clichés that Drive Me Crazy

exasperated manWe all have them. Pet peeves that drive us crazy, ranging from eye-roll status to hair-pulling territory. At times, they drive us to the ice cream bowl or cookie jar to cope with the stress.

Which can be a good or a bad thing. 😉

A few weeks ago, I read a fun post by my writing friend Nadine Brandes, in which she talked about pet peeves in books. I enjoyed it so much it inspired me to write a sort of companion post about annoying clichés in movies.

Let’s get to it.

1. Excessive Fight Scenes

*cough* first-scene-of-Agent-Carter-season-two *cough*. Also, every fight scene in a Jason Bourne movie. Ever. Don’t even get me started on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Yeah it looks cool, but do we really need to see two people, or more, smashing each other into walls and over tables for two minutes? When they should both be unconscious after the first thirty seconds?

2. The Terrible Shooting Skills of the Bad Guys

Almost as bad as the excessive fight scenes. Seriously, did NONE of these people ever learn how to aim? And if they didn’t, why in the world does the villain use them?

3. The Utter Uselessness of the Police Force

Common in superhero movies, where it makes at least some sense. I mean, we all know the cops are inferior to the Avengers. But still, can’t they ever do anything right?

4. Impossible Survivals by Ordinary People

I get it. Our culture feasts on the thrill, the adrenaline rush. But not every character is an indestructible superhero. The car flips across the parking lot, and the person still gets up and walks away. I know eating your Wheaties is important, but come on.

5. World-ending Destruction

*headdesk* Sooo old. Sooo predictable. It makes me weep internally. Don’t get me wrong—I love sci-fi and fantasy, which are often most culpable. But if anyone’s listening, please come up with a new twist, a different motivation, a unique end goal.

6. The Need to Make Everything Bigger and More Explosive

Schemes that put the entire world at risk. Explosions. Chase scenes that seem bent on going on…and on…and on. Again common in sci-fi and fantasy, this formula is a nasty plague that needs to die. Not every movie needs to be louder and more impressive than the last.

7. Overuse of CGI

CGI can do incredible things. Too often, though, it becomes a crutch, an excuse to make everything too flashy. And unnecessary flashiness = GRRRR!

8. Overly Protective Heroes

This one is difficult, because at one level, you’re like, “Okay, tell the person already and stop lying to protect them.” Yet the desire to protect those we love is universal. I just wish these situations were handled in a way that added twists to make them less predictable.

9. Slow-motion Henchmen

I’ve noticed this a lot. The hero is fighting off a swarm of the villain’s men, who, despite their elite training and supposedly kick-butt skills, flail helplessly as the hero. Unless we’re talking amazing superpowers on the part of the hero, the henchmen shouldn’t look like amateurs wading through molasses.

10. The Chosen One

As a fantasy fanatic, this one hurts, but it also makes me want to bash my head against something when I see it happen. Too many repeats. Too many rip-offs. Watchwords like “destiny” and “calling” induce pangs of annoyance.

It’s waaaay too popular in movies for characters to discover (or be told) that they’ve been chosen for greatness. Or destined for some future.

Enough already.

What are some movie clichés that make you cringe? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


10 Movie Clichés that Drive Me Crazy — 8 Comments

  1. lol – I can think of a bunch of movies that pretty much encapsulate your entire list! And, yes, they are irritating! I dislike illogical drama – like an episode of a certain tv show I saw recently where the protagonist discovered he had a son. The mother agreed to allow him to get to know the boy, but only if he agreed to not tell anyone about the son. It created a secret between the man and his fiancee which the writers wanted to drum up tension. But why? It made no sense. So much soap-opera-worthy drama for no reason that made any sense.

    • Ah, yes. THAT TV show.:/ It seems happy to include as much illogical drama, or drama in general, as possible. It’s gotten waaaay too old, which is the main reason I lost interest.

      • lol – I had a feeling you’d know what show I was referring to! 😉 I’ve dropped it, myself, except for the Flash crossover episodes. Hubby still watches it out of morbid curiosity so every now & then he fills me in on the gist of what I’ve missed.

        • Hahaha…yep. I only watch it when it intersects with Flash, though I’ve heard this season is much better than season 3. Maybe I’ll try to get back into it. *shrug*

  2. I like my fight scenes! But I get what you’re saying! What I CANNOT stand is when someone is knocked in the back of the head, and goes unconscious. But then, after like two hours, the person wakes up and is totally fine, sometimes able to fight off like six guards. And there’s another annoying one. Guards. They never do their job in movies. They are never a problem in movies for the good guys or bad guys.

    • Yeah, the ability to so easily recover is annoying. And yes! Guards. It’s like the villain’s henchmen who can’t shoot. If they can’t do their job, why are they even around?

  3. I agree about the Marvel superhero movie formula. They save the world every movie. It’s getting old. I did enjoy Guardians of the Galaxy since it departed from the formula a little.
    Knocking people out is one I’m tired of. Head trauma tends to lead to serious issues. If it worked like it does in the movies, there would be no need for anesthesiologists.
    With the CGI, I think the issue isn’t overuse, but reliance. I’m getting the idea that CGI is often used to cover up problems with the storytelling. It’s basically the equivalent to using pretty wrapping paper when the gift inside is cheap.
    I’m getting really tired of is the evil minions with no explanation as to why they’re evil. It’s a common tactic to dehumanize the enemy, and I don’t care for it. (Think Stormtroopers, orcs, Nazis.) Even worse, showing things as black and white in the media can lead to people viewing real life situations as black and white, when in reality, things are rarely black and white.

    • Agreed about Marvel and GoG, and that’s one major reason I’m so excited for Civil War. It’s going to bring a new angle to the table, something we haven’t seen yet.

      Hahaha…movies always get away with bending reality. Sometimes I don’t care, other times…well, that’s why I wrote this post. 😀

      Good point about the CGI. Making things look awesome takes precedence over the quality of the storytelling.

      I hadn’t thought of the evil minions, but that makes sense. Exploring the reasons behind why they’re on the evil side would be a cool way to develop some personality and diversity in stories. Totally agree with the need to face reality and not always draw a neat line between black and white.

      Thanks for stopping by, Jessi! 🙂

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