What I Learned from Movies, XV: Cop-Out Answers

One thing I really hate? Unacceptable answers to cover a weak plot or to justify why a character can do a certain thing. The second and third Matrix movies are notorious for covering plot gaps with lines that at first listen sound like they could be deep—then you remember that these are movies with Keanu Reeves as a savior figure. Maybe it’s a childhood thing of hating when my mother always said, “Because I said so, that’s why!” but I really dislike copout answers. Here’s some that appear in multiple films that have irked me greatly.

  1. “How do you know this will work?”
    “It has to work.”
  2. “How can you possibly know that?”
    “Because it is my job to know.”
  3. “What if the killer doesn’t show up?”
    “He has to show up. He can’t help himself.”
  4. “I just don’t see how this can possibly work.”
    “You gotta have faith. It will work.”

What I Learned from Movies XIV: Military Movies

  • Holding up a fist will instantly stop an entire army dead in their tracks.
  • Any time bullets are shot at you in slow motion, you can avoid them (in slow motion) by leaning way back until your spine is almost broken. Hover in this position for several seconds until the bullet-time effect has ended.
  • Make a ‘V’ with your index and middle finger. Now point them at your eyes, then your fellow soldiers’ eyes. This alerts them to use vision instead of their sense of smell to navigate streets and tunnels.
  • The enemy can’t smell lit cigars due to their inferior, foreign senses, so by all means, smoke up!
  • After you’ve used up your clip, you can safely throw your weapon to the ground in favor of a handgun. The army doesn’t mind you throwing away M16s. They have thousands more laying about.
  • Covering oneself in mud will drop the body temperature enough to fool aliens and thermographic registers, but won’t cause hydrothermia.

What I Learned About Caves from Movies

  1. An explosion in a cave, no matter how small the blast, will result in the precise amount of falling rocks needed to just cover the solitary entrance. The rocks will always be small enough to be carried away by hand.
  2. Even when there are tens of thousands of bats, the guano will have no affect on air quality.
  3. All caves have a three meter ceiling throughout the walkways.
  4. All caves have torch sconces on the walls. If they aren’t lit when you arrive, you needn’t worry. They have plenty of fuel still soaked in them and will blaze with the slightest spark.
  5. There is always a deep, rushing river in every cave, drinkable and free of E coli.
  6. Masks aren’t needed in movie caves, not even in coal mines. That Black Lung disease is a myth.
  7. All it takes to cover up an abandoned mine is a few rotted planks of wood that are nailed to the very cave itself. They will never be level and there will always be a warning, half washed away in black paint.
  8. It is possible to walk about inside active volcanoes without special outer gear. Remember, you can always outrun lava.
  9. What have you learned about caves from movies?

What I Learned About Car Theft from Movies

  1. All cars can be hotwired. The first time the wires contact, they will spark. The second contact will always start the car.
  2. You’ll never steal a car with bad brakes, poor suspension, etc. Stolen cars can jump cliffs, bridges and take impossible turns.
  3. Stolen cars never have safety glass.
  4. Shooting a criminal’s windshield will always kill the driver instantly, causing the vehicle to roll off a cliff into a fireball. Shooting a hero’s windshield will cause the glass to spider 14″ to the right or left of the driver.
  5. When your car is too narrow to fit through a thin European alley, leaning to the side will angle the car upward on the passenger-side wheels only.
  6. When you steal a car, no matter how intense the security or parking regulations, there will always be a parking space out front.
  7. Wht have you learned about car theft from movies?

What I Learned from Movies: Car Chases

  1. All car in a chase will eventually run into an Italian fruit stand ominously parked in the middle of the road. This fruit stand is an omen of death and the proprietor is actually a minor demon; a minion of Lucifer set to test mankind’s will… and driving skills.
  2. Alternatively, two elderly identical men will be carrying a large pane of glass across the street without OSHA-approved gear. It is rumored that the glass industry is in a slump, and employees are required to listen to police radios for possible police chases. This gives them ample opportunity to sue for exorbitant insurance claims.
  3. All car car chases will at some point, venture through a narrow alley requiring drivers to either turn their cars at an angle to continue, or fire a Glock 27 at a dumpster, turning it into a single-use ramp.
  4. At some point, it will be necessary to drive at top speed on a crowded sidewalk, preferably through an outdoor café. The patrons of the café—their senses heightened by espresso and Brésiliennes—have cat-like reflexes and will roll and flip away from the oncoming vehicles with an agility that would put an Olympic gymnast to shame.
  5. Another omen appearing in the typical car chase is the elderly woman or blind man who crosses the street painfully slow, but timed perfectly to avoid being hit. These are in fact, large squirrels in the guise of old women.
  6. Midway through a car chase, the driver may tire of the drudgery of street after endless street and decide to off-road it a bit. There are two globally-approved methods of signaling to the other driver that it’s time for some unpaved action:
    1. Veer off the freeway unexpectedly on the one section of road where the embankment is missing
    2. Using the top of a parking structure as a ramp and careening into space. Best to land neatly on solid ground without damaging the suspension or breaking a tie rod.
  7. Leaning back in your seat will prevent you from being hit by enemy gunfire, as will ducking for a split second. Car doors are impervious to rounds up to .50 caliber and hand-held grenades.
  8. Audis are the fastest cars known to man and have up to 37 forward gears. They can and should be used in the War Against Terror, as they can withstand more abuse than an M1A Abrams tank.
  9. Crime-lords sitting in the rear seat of a vehicle can—and will—be shot to death during a high-speed pursuit. Attractive women in the same seat will miraculously escape unscathed. Something to do with the weight of their breasts counterbalancing the fabric of their slender, strapless gowns and the ratio of how much sheen their hair has. I think. It’s all very scientific.
  10. But the most important thing of all: no matter how old or smashed up the vehicle, brakes never fail in a car chase.

What have you learned from car chases in movies?