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10 Worst Jobs to have in the Action film Universe
Hollywood has many standards: obligatory nipple shots, keeping michael bay employed for some reason, preventing Asians from being in movies and most importantly having well defined action film formulas. Inside that world there certain stereotypes and profiles have become so familliar you expect to see them, and others when you do see you feel pity for. Here is a list of the 10 most undesireable jobs in that setting.
10. Cab driver who takes instructions from a passenger to "follow that car".
Least of all he can expect to be paid, more often than not he will either lose his car/life obeying any of the characters to who ordered him to chase. This is a mistake as your average cabby has no experience in driving around gunfire The most likely scenario is the driver will end up on the side of the road exclaiming "My Taxi!" as the smoldering ruin of a once yellow cab cries black tears of burning oil into the sky.
Camera time: If there'* a good chase scene here not only do you get some good face time in an action scene but you might even get a little back and forth with the male lead: "I'm going as fast as I can!", "A drug syndicate in San Diego?" or my favorite "They're shooting at us!".
Last seen: Shaking his fist on the side of road.
9. Pool Hall Badass
Most likely a biker, or a merchant marine looking for trouble, in the big time eighties cinema this populace suffered heavy casualties at the hands of Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van damme and Steven Segal respectively. If "seemy underbelly" can describe any portion of your action film, someone will get dispatched onto a pool table. These people can't leave well enough alone either. The lone wolf star of the movie shows up with a bad attitude, and even though you've all got guns and outnumber the dude you just know he'* going to beat the snot out of you.
Camera time: Short. You may even get your A$$ beat entirely with your back to the camera. Especially if you're the third guy to come at the hero. Its a known fact that the higher number in the queue you are to receive a beating from the title character the faster you are dispatched. Par example, Degenerate #1 Catches a fire extinguisher in the face and then is kicked in the sternum after he is down. Thug #2 Has the pool cue he was attacking with taken away and broken over his head. Assailant #3 Is dealt with by simply being thrown onto a pool table. Anything beyond that and you're looking at getting hit with one of the other guys who was attacking, or getting slapped.
Last seen: Facedown in what looks like broken glass and vomit.
8. Manager who knows the combination to the bank vault
With the advent of the Internet as a mystical plot device, a criminal will discover the identity and address of this hapless employee with ease. It'* a fifty fifty chance on getting killed, but the usually he will be harmed in some way to get the combination, be it the gun butt to the back of the head, a savage beating, right down to jostled and yelled at like a little B****.
Camera time: Not great, you just look like a wuss most of the time getting your desk/office ruined when they find out you don't have the code or are lying about not having it.
Last seen: Cowering behind something
7. The Father/former master of he Star of the Movie
Really unfavorable in terms of relationships to the main character. Seven eigths of all action movies involve someone getting revenge for their father/former master. This leaves the father role in pretty bad shape. So watch out next time you're an under cover cop in a shady drug deal, or you stumble onto an arms smuggling ring, or your kung fu school just got to the finals, you're next.
Camera time: If the director honors cheesy dream sequences or memory cut aways you'll be dropping pearls of wisdoms via cheesy flashback.
Last seen: Tearful funeral where the hero vows his revenge.
6. Officer Transporting Dangerous criminal (prison bus drivers)
If the film takes time to show a dangerous criminal being moved from point A to point B, 96% of the time someone is waiting around bend #1 in the road with an RPG to take out the escort car. 4% of the time a diversionary road block or fake accident is waiting to waylay the convoy so that someone on a nearby hill with an rpg can take out the escort car.
Camera time: Decent for a bit actor, you may even get one or two lines: "Quiet down back there" & "Look out!"
Last seen: Doubled over the steering wheel. or discarded on the side of the road a little blood coming out of his ears.
There are more informants in the atlantic than dolphins.
Camera time: Not much. Movies kill informants faster than cockblocks kill game at a frat party.
Last seen: In a newspaper that the Chief of police slams down on the table proclaiming that he was the only lead. And that you as the main character may infact be dangerous/reckless.
4. 2nd male lead lookalike
God forbid you look anything like the main Villain, or if you're the body double for the president or some foreign king the same rules apply: You are so screwed. No punches are pulled in killing the body double, vats of acid, tall buildings, or just the plain old bullet to the dome. Many times its worse if they discover you're the double and they may beat you a little before shooting you.
Camera time: Not a lot, but you'll get some vanity camera time trying to fool the audience into thinking it was actually the hero in that helicopter that blew up, or that was the REAL "presidente" they stuffed into a trash compactor.
Last seen: In slow motion seconds before the C4 beneath your bed blew up.
3. Security Guard (Control room)
Most of the time you get to sit around eating donuts, dozing off or being distracted by a small black and white television. This job is a hot spot for tear gas and brutal chops to the back of the neck. A good rule of thumb is that if the power happens to go out for five seconds, go to full scale alert. If one of the cameras goes out, and then turns back on, and it doesn't look quite right, like it might be a still picture of what the security camera sees and not the feed, go to full scale alert. And for God sakes, if a patrol inexplicably goes silent don't go searching for him by yourself with a lonely flashlight, he'* dead, go to full scale alert. It doesn't matter what you're guarding or watching, or how much you don't even like the job. People hate you, and will come busting through that door and get a gun on you before you can draw yours. Control room security guards have notoriously slow draw times.
Camera time: Little, Fooling the control room security guard has become so ubiquitous in film people barely elaborate on it anymore so the process has been greatly expedited.
Last seen: On the floor of the control room wondering why the the closed circuits TVs aren't on the other side of the room so you can watch them AND the entrance to the room at the same time.
2. Fruit cart proprietor
This poverty stricken subsection of the street merchant caste is one summer blockbuster away from the endangered species list. They are currently designated as: threatened. Action stars have made it hard, nay impossible to make a living selling fruit on the street, a constant barrage of cars flying into your impromptu store front, bad guys falling through the cart awnings from rooftops, or a perp getting riddled with bullets and getting blown onto your precious edible wares.
Camera time: Little and less. You might get a long distance look of shock but that'* about it.
Last seen: Diving into the stacks of chicken cages.
1. Security Guard (On patrol)
The absolute least favorable job to have, equivalent to the "short straw" in the henchmen community. In films the patrolling security guard is targeted by heroes and villains alike. Currently James Bond is tied with every ninja ever on most patrolling gaurds killed. Cinema has a veritable genocide going against patrolmen, who not only die when the villains come a-knocking, but also are the first to discover there'* a werewolf, or some kind of alien, or robot with a taste for human blood on the loose. In patrol people populations, scientists and researchers can discover trends among monsters and criminal behavior, based on number and brutality of the kill. These deaths don't just happen in the woods surrounding the head quarters to your para-military organization either. If you're a guard walking the high outside wall, or perhaps rooftop of a building, and you hear a noise, you are seconds from going over the edge or hearing the whine of a sniper round moving rapidly towards an appointment with your head.
Inside of buildings the chances are no better. If you stop to smoke a cigarette, or cough, that is a clear go signal to any nearby opportunists to club you over the head, drag you into a bathroom, and swap clothes with you. God forbid you walk near a railing, you're going over it. Don't back up into any shadowy corners either, you're begging for an effortless neck snap.
Camera time: Sadly very little time is given to these stalwart bellwethers of the plot. Now and again you'll get a good scream from one when he gets hit with the "Death ray of incredible pain" or a "Oh my god Vin Diesel is beating the crap out of me" but its pretty thin.
Last seen: In a pile wherever they landed, being reported by the patrol replacing him telling us that "They got Carter, it looks like some kind of animal did this", or "He'* here", or "They're using some kind of inside out ray" or "I didn't know someone could get sodomized to death" or the classic "Alarm! Alarm! Herr Indiana Jones ist nahe!"
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