It's all about the action heroes
My favorite car chase is from Matrix. The suspension of disbelief is vital in all action movies. You have to fully immerse yourself in the concept of nothing being real, and hence carnage on the roads in any action movie is okay. I love the car flying into the helicopter scene in Die Hard (can’t recall which one… lol) and I adore James Bond parking his car remotely into the rental shop.
There is something about flipping cars, and speeding, and the cool way the directors slow down the point of impact. Very clever special effects.
In Accidental Hero there is a car chase, and I wrote it, realizing I wasn’t able to describe the terms or get to the heart of it. So I called on my petrol-head husband and he detailed the car chase that I then took and added to… so when you read the car chase, remember that at the core of it is a Ferrari loving petrol-head. I also had a car chase in Ghost which had a fiery end – this one I managed to write all on my own!!!!
I love a fight in a film, and one of my favorite gunfights is from the first Matrix movie with that awesome special effect where Keanu’s character is able to twist away from the bullets. Add in any gunfight where there are actual people being hit by the heroes, as opposed to the seemingly awesome sharpshooting hero unable to hit the side of a barn whenever his partner is in danger of being kidnapped.
Ghost actually begins with a fistfight in an alleyway between the heroes of the book – never let it be said I give my guys an easy ride!
I also love Terminator with Arnie walking through the police station before saying he’d be back, there is something icily dramatic about that scene, a classic.
The sword fighting in early Robin Hood films, up and down Castle stairs, losing the sword, flipping the sword, all that power and grace behind wielding the sword… *swoons*
I recall the shootouts in old cowboy movies, the laser battles in Sci-fi films, and more importantly the light saber battle in Return of the Jedi between Luke and Vader. The tension is ramped up with swelling music and every time I see it I get shivers down my spine.
My favorite buddy relationship has to be Riggs and Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon, and I love writing buddy stories even if most of them begin with a hate to love LOL – for example Still Waters and A Reason to Stay I first saw this film way back when it came out and it ticked every single one of my boxes for action, drama, and most importantly two guys working together who at first really don’t enjoy it, only for a few weeks later to be prepared to die for each other. This dials into my kink of heroes who will do anything for each other because they are *that close*. Inserts winky face.
The iconic scene for me is the scenes in the factory towards the end of the film – Riggs tied up, Murtaugh being beaten up and his daughter threatened. I love that point in a film where even though you know the heroes will escape you can sit back and enjoy the fact that they are seemingly going to die.
The movie/book villain is vital in any spy/buddy story because it the one thing the heroes have to defeat before they can move on. The best villain of all time was, to me, being a Star Wars freak, is Darth Vader. Oh my God, when I saw Star Wars for the first time (aged 10) I was so scared of him. The absolute unbeatable power he had, meant that the destruction of the death star became so much more; the heroes had overcome the near impossible. The bad guys in my Heroes books Last Marine Standing are the same people that sent my Marines out to do their job!
And Hans Gruber in Die Hard – the perfect evil nasty, randomly shooting people, apparently without morals, or redemption, he had to die, and boy was his death a good one! His evil was the perfect foil for John McClane’s white T-shirted, barefooted, hero. Oh, and T-1000 (the silvery changing baddie from Terminator 2) he was again apparently unbeatable, which made his ending all the sweeter.
A good bad guy will have you rooting more for the hero.
Heroes in movies, the ones you root for, are a vital part of an action movie. My favorites include John McClane (Die Hard), Han Solo (Star Wars), and Riggs (Lethal Weapon) (although add in anything with Dwayne Johnson in it – particularly San Andreas!) As I thought about this post I realized my favorites had something in common. They were all wise-cracking bad boys in some way. Each had complicated backstories, each was flawed (the cop with no time for his family, the smuggler, the man on the edge of a breakdown), and each was beautifully played against the straight guy. Even John McClane had the cop outside who was his *foil* to make his actions seem even crazier.
Then there is the quiet hero, Sam from the Lord Of the Rings books and subsequent films, and Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon who quietly loved his family and was pushed to extremes when they were threatened. Accidental Hero features the quietest of my heroes.
I love the hero who is willing to sacrifice themselves for the rest of the characters; the one who will fly to the asteroid on a space shuttle and know it was a one-way mission, the one who throws himself at the bad guy, the one who stays behind when others leave. Of course, I would hate for my heroes to die. I recall one film from my youth, where the hero flew his helicopter into a hanger to get the bad guys. The film ended with him dead and I was bereft and sobbing. So, no deaths for my heroes, please. LOL.
This month I’ll be featuring all kinds of heroes, from firefighters to single dads, to those men who go out of their comfort zones and become heroes.