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