Saturday, 19 April 2014

Shoot To Thrill

There are only three things in the world that I hate, and one of them is crap that only works in thrillers.

It's generally accepted that the laws that govern the fictional worlds of film and TV are quite different from the pesky logic that we real folk have to contend with on a daily basis. But there are recurring techniques in thrillers that surely don't work in real life, which our on-screen heroes are programmed to do by lazy writers. Here are 3 examples:

3. Spying from cars: Our protagonist Mr Lovely is tailing Mr Nasty, waiting for him outside his house. So where does Mr Lovely hide? In the bushes? Up a tree? In a bin? No, in a car, parked right outside Mr Nasty's house. Last time I checked, windscreens are see-through, otherwise people would crash more. But not in thrillers, where being in a car seems to turn you invisible. It doesn't work in real life and you'd get a parking ticket.

2. CPR: Mr Lovely's girlfriend, Miss Pretty, has been killed. She got run over, set on fire, shot in the face, run over again and then died of cancer. But wait, Mr Lovely knows CPR, and shouts things like "don't give up on me now!" while pummelling her suspiciously exposed chest and shoving his tongue down her throat. And Miss Pretty comes back to life, spluttering water even though she hasn't swallowed any. In our boring world, the chances of CPR completely working is around 2%, according to some website I just found. It's likely that those who are revived will die within a month, which puts a real dampener on the end of most thrillers. Imagine that, everyone who's ever been revived on screen has actually just died a few weeks after the credits rolled.

1. Using guns on your buddies: While it's true that most gunshot wounds aren't actually fatal, I'd still be cautious about shooting someone I cared about. But characters such as Sherlock and James Bond are happy to lodge a bullet in their friends, their expert marksmanship guaranteeing the survival of their loved ones. There are surely too many variables in play to warrant such a casual attitude to gunplay. And the reason I say using guns rather than just shooting is down to Lost. On the craziest island outside of all those party islands, characters are constantly thwacking each other over the head with rifles to knock them out "for their own good." Once passed out, Charlie can be carried to safety by Locke or whoever, and we get a few gloriously peaceful moments of Charlie being unconscious. This seems like another massive risk, given the high probability of them never coming round or being concussed. I don't really know what that means, but it sounds bad. They could become seriously brain damaged, but in the case of Charlie I'm not sure anyone would notice.