Bad guys fight for many things. They fight for fame, money, reputation–sometimes they fight just because they can. Good guys, on the other hand, fight for one thing: family. Because good guys fight for their family–because family is the only thing worth dying for–they do really cool things to win. And because we want good guys to win, most of us movie watchers give filmmakers a tremendous amount of liberty with little things such as physics. Of course, however, each of us has our own internal sliding scale when it comes to these liberties.
For instance, I found Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s 2-story, 30 foot leap from his moving (and ridiculously bad-ass) Humvee down onto an Indy-car-turned-wedge-with-possibly-magnetic-suspension believable. He’s a big guy. Surely those muscles are good for jumping and cushioning. My friend George agreed.
And when Vin Diesel leapt 50 feet to catch his woman mid-air (she’s also leaping) and has enough situational awareness and foresight to twist to his back so that when they land on an innocent bystander’s car’s windshield she is unharmed, I found myself lowering my just-raised-in-celebration arms and wiping a tear from my eye. Then, as that now dry eye checked in on George, it discovered he was wearing a large grin and nodding a hushed “Yes!”.
And when I hit STOP on my timer as the giant bad-guy-filled Russian Antonov cargo plane finally comes to a halt on the runway, along with the smiling good guys and their many cars, I discover the car/plane chase that just happened on a runway that can’t be longer than three miles at speeds somewhere near 120 mph lasted all of thirteen minutes. And that’s impossible. Then, I quickly remember that my limitation of the runway’s length to three miles is because that’s about how long the longest runway in America is. I have no idea how long runways are anywhere else on the planet, and the scene did not happen here in the States. And in that moment, the scene became believable. Seemingly we both decided the point was not worth debating, so George and I silently waited for the anti-climax scenes.
Did I mention that good guys have great barbecues and hold hands while praying? They do. And sometimes, part of the table spread is an enormous bowl of baked beans.
“Did you see that bowl of baked beans?!” George exclaimed. “No way those seven people can eat all of those beans! Back it up. Tell me I’m wrong.”
So we backed it up. And the bowl was rather large and rather full. Not noticing it the first time, now that I saw it I just figured someone liked left-over beans.
George did not agree.
And now you know what it’s like to watch Fast and the Furious 6 with George.