The Action Movie Handbook

We all love a good action movie don’t we? I know I do! Gosh, ‘splosions, gunplay, and painful villain death is a cornerstone in what I look for in my cinematic entertainment! I also enjoy gratuitous nudity and potty humor, but that’s for another blog. Now, we all know that sometimes belief has to be suspended for the sake of a good movie. Realism and accuracy just get in the way. We all love a good cliche, right? Hot damn we do! So here is a list of the standard shit you will probably find in any action flick.


1. Never, ever, ever assist the hero in his quest to defeat the evil overlord, villain, or terrorist. Horrible things WILL happen to you….such as a painful death. You are the sidekick. The comic relief. Do not help. You will die. Embarassingly so. Remember Bucky Barnes? Robin? (1)

When you dress like this on purpose, you are asking for death.


2. Under no circumstances  should you go on a mission in which all of the important people on your ship or vessel or base are also going on. Especially if your last name is Johnson, Jackson, Smith, James, Johnston, or any variation thereof or you are wearing a ‘red-shirt’ or anything on your person is also red. Also, if you are ‘short’on your enlisted time in, have just had a baby, got married, are a virgin, or are going to start a business when you get ‘back to the world’, stay away. You will die. Again, embarassingly so. (2)


3. Always park your car out front of your desired destination. There will always be an empty spot no matter what time of day it is.


Never trust a black man in a cape.

4. Never let strange mechanics fix your ship/car/boat. Be extra wary if said mechanics work for an ‘old friend’ whom with you go ‘way back’. They are going to sabotage your shit, take your woman and your pet/co-pilot, your droids, freeze you in something, then hand you over to the bad guy; who in turn will turn you over to another bad guy, usually his boss.


5. Never make a deal with the villain. He will alter it. A lot.

Seriously, what'd I say about black dudes wearing capes?! Are you listening?!


"There's three minutes on the timer. We've got time Chuck. You wanna get some ice cream?"

6. Do not ever cut the green wire until there is less than 10 seconds on the bomb clock. Anytime before that and the bomb will explode, killing everyone in the building except you. You have to stay alive so that you may feel the guilt and anguish, fall into a drunken stupor, get kicked off the ‘force’, and redeem yourself by catching the evil bastard that got you in the first place. (3)


7. If you have a choice between taking the long way around or jumping an impossibly wide chasm with your ‘way too cool and heavy to be jumping’ car…choose the jump. Be sure to scream or whoop something unintelligible while you are airborne. Also, fire all your weapons out the window while doing it. This also works when you have to take out the enemies’ plane, boat, helicopter, or evil lair.  Just jump your car right into that shit!

Car-1, Chopper-0


8. If your father has a dispute with an evil landowner/overlord/mob boss or is the lead cop/soldier hunting down a terrorist, your entire family will be killed for your father’s big ass mouth. You will, of course, be the only survivor and will be taken by said landowner/overlord/mob boss/terrorist, trained in the ways of evil, grow up to be the potential second in command at which time you will exact your long gestating revenge by killing the evil landowner/overlord/mob boss/terrorist. (4)


9. The hero needs a catchphrase or stupid one-liner. Yippee Ki Yay motherfucker, Get away from her you bitch, if it bleeds we can kill it, I’m your worst nightmare, there is no spoon, etc. Without a good tagline you are naked and incomplete. (5)

"It bled, so I killed it. Wait, what do you mean it was a puppy?"


10. Please try to avoid making out with your significant other, partner, fellow squad member while in the ‘shit’, your parked car staking out the bad guy, during a war, on a boat, or while you are supposed to be on patrol. You will die. Either from a crazed assassin, a crazed terrorist, a sniper’s bullet, a car bomb, or a crazed terrorist assassin with a sniper rifle and a bomb.


11. Contrary to popular belief, ugly people do not actually exist. Especially in action movies. The action hero must be a chiseled hunk of exceptional man meat with a large dick and a hair trigger. Otherwise he cannot possibly save the universe and score chicks.

Chicks dig the whip.


12. The hero is immune to all explosions including those of the nuclear variety. Grenade? No biggie. C-4? Small stuff. Land mine? Pfft. Thermonuclear detonation? Motherfucker, please!!!  Walking away in slow motion while not looking back at an explosion you caused is also a requirement.

"Come on, I can do this...just be casual....don't look back man...just keep strolling."


The most prestigious graduate of the Action Hero School of Unlimited Ammo.

13. Reloading is for pussies. An unlimited clip is an absolute necessity. Otherwise the villain escapes because you had to get more bullets. What kind of hero are you?!







Whew, this one stings a bit! Lemme walk it off for a minute.

14. Every wound the hero receives is a flesh wound. The hero could be shot 12 twelve times and each one misses a major artery, organ, or bone. However if you are the partner, subordinate, or sidekick…a splinter in your big toe would be fatal.


15. If you are the villain, YOU MUST MONOLOGUE. Telling the hero your entire plan for world domination or theft of large amounts of money/bombs/women/weapons can only lead to glorious gun play shenanigans. Also, it helps to tell the hero that you killed his family/partner/dog/pet ferret. (6)


16. Inevitably, the awesome 30 foot sentient robot that happens to transform into a 40 ton semi truck will require the help of a douche-bag teenager to stop his evil nemesis. Because the millions of years it took them to destroy their world with their intergalactic bitch fight can be resolved in 2 hours by a stupid kid and his vapid, large breasted girlfriend.

Two of these three are robots in disguise. The other one is a Transformer.


17. If at any point in time one of your friends utters, “I have a bad feeling about this.”,…….RUN.

"Bad feeling?! What tipped you off?!"



(1) Sidekick Syndrome is the leading cause of death among young, impressionable post-teen wannabes.

(2) This is a common phenomenon known as “Red-Shirt” syndrome. You wearing a red shirt? Then you are expendable, jackass. If you aren’t named Kirk, Spock, Chekov, Sulu, Uhura, Bones, Scott, Ripley, Rambo or Bauer then you are fucked royal.

(3) Jack Traven understands this. See Speed for a prime example.

(4) Examples of this include Conan the Barbarian, any Jean Claude Van Damme movie, many Kung-Fu chop-sockys, and most westerns.

(5) Known as The Schwarzenegger Principle.

(6) This is known as the Hans Gruber Syndrome. All villains suffer from this affliction apparently.