Rolling your eyes at the latest Hollywood inanity is normal these days. In an attempt to wow an audience that has seen it all, filmmakers continue to push the boundaries further and further beyond the realms of credibility.
This has led to some wild stunts and out of this world escapes to the delight of action junkies. The problem is that when it goes too far, the suspension of disbelief itself gets blown away and the audience is immediately taken out of the movie.
Yet sometimes a movie scene is so outrageous that it goes beyond disbelief and into what-is-so-ridiculous-I-will-accept-whatever-this-movie-throws-at-me- over-nirvana – being so wacky becomes the main reason for the thrill.
Achieving this level of crafting can be tricky, but if successful, it produces an unparalleled adrenaline rush. Beneath the disbelief arises a sense of admiration for the courage to attempt something so out there. This feeling is finally transformed into happiness to be brought to see the impossible as a reality.
No court would dare to declare any of the following moments believable, yet pinch people’s arms a bit and many will admit they found these ten action scenes hugely entertaining.
At the end of Rambo 3, John Rambo successfully executed a solo rescue operation to save his friend Colonel Samuel Trautman from a Soviet base in Afghanistan. Before they can cross the Pakistani border, they are greeted by Commander Zaysen, who is accompanied by an entire army. So, with the timely help of the mujahideen rebel forces, Rambo and Trautman confront Mother Russia.
It’s ’80s action at its finest, culminating in a wild tank vs. helicopter head-to-head. Rambo drives, fires and reloads the tank as a one-man triple team while Zaysen’s helicopter strafes parallel to the ground thinking he’s in a joust.
Yet despite all the improbability, it is shot with great clarity. The editing is quick but not chaotic while the cinematography gives an accurate sense of the geography. Real vehicles have also been used to give the sequence a realistic feel while booming sound effects help quell logic questions. Finally, the tank and helicopter pilots deserve medals for the extreme maneuvers they have performed.
Of course, by this point, Rambo has already been established as a one-man super soldier, so honestly, we were ready for the over-the-top tone. All they had to do was make it awesome to which we say mission accomplished.