Not entirely appropriate celebrations in action movies

Feature Simon Brew 10/1/2013 at 8:22AM

You know at the end of some action movies where everyone jumps up in euphoria? Is it just us that thinks they've forgotten a few things?

Every now and then, there's an action movie that involves our hero fighting the good fight, whilst a crowd of people wait, tensed up, to hear the outcome. Usually these people wear expensive suits and look important. Yet these strange people share something in common. When the baddies have been defeated and they get the news, they have a habit of running around as if it's been the best day ever. Furthermore, they have a habit of forgetting that lots of people may have died, and died in some cases just minutes before. You want examples? Grab your favorite celebrating outfit, and walk this way...


What Are They Celebrating?

They won! America is saved! Harrison Ford's president has kicked ass, and Gary Oldman's nasty terrorist is defeated! World War III is averted! And Glenn Close doesn't have to be President now!

We get three different rooms full of celebrating people to mark such an unpredictable achievement. There are the government types, who have looked oh-so-serious all movie.

Then there are the miserable hacks in the White House press room.

And finally, we cut to the candlielight vigil on the lawn. Which doesn't look that well attended, but the budget was needed for the scene where the plane crashes into the water.

Most Impressive Celebratee?

This man, who does a lively little jig...

What Are They Forgetting?

Inevitably, that some people died.

In particular, close colleagues, and the heroic William H Macy, who gave his life so that others (well, Harrison Ford) could live. We salute you, William H. You will not be forgotten. Not strictly true, but we won't tell him if you don't...

How Soon Are They Forgetting It?

Within a minute or two of said deaths. And that's not counting the people who died earlier in the siege, who all carked it relatively recently, given that the movie is set all on the same day. They may yet be mourned, but not until a glass or two of bubbly has been consumed, and lots of serious men indulge in some non-homoerotic hugging.


What Are They Celebrating?

We might be being a bit harsh here, but we're pressing ahead, as this is the only entry on the list with a celebrating dog. The crew of a nuclear submarine are marking the fact that the world isn't about to engulf itself in a mass nuclear conflict, thanks to someone sending a message to Gene Hackman. Phew!

Most Impressive Celebratee?

Without question, this little fella, who is cut to in the middle of the celebration sequence. Gene Hackman may be tough as nails, but his dog was clearly soiling himself for a while there. Just look at the relief on his face!

What Are They Forgetting?

There's not a massive body count in Crimson Tide, but one or two members of the tight knit crew never saw dry land again. One man drowns...

... another has a heart attack, something about which Gene Hackman gives not even the very slightest of shits. This is something that makes Denzel sad.

How Soon Are They Forgetting It?

There's a good few hours between the deaths and the world being saved, so that's plenty of time for everyone to come to terms with their grief. They are hardened men, after all.


What Are They Celebrating?

Bruce Willis has sacrificed himself, and prevented the planet being hit by a big special effect. This is especially good news for the world, as it had only just dodged a similar incident a few months earlier when Deep Impact came out.

As this is a Michael Bay movie, the celebrations are not just confined to one place. In fact, it's a bit of a world tour of euphoria. So, from NASA...

... to, er, further afield...

... to small children playing with pretend rockets...

... to, er, this...

.. and then to two children - one of whom is dressed as Matt Smith, pre-empting a trend that wouldn't hit for a good decade or so - pointing at the sky. Never let it be said that Michael Bay never does quiet and sensitive.

Most Impressive Celebratee?

So many to choose from, but whilst lots of people are jumping up and down, this sage old man - who looks like he's just escaped from The Box Of Delights - takes the time to explain to small children that John McClane has died so future valet can live. All in slow motion, natch.

What Are They Forgetting?

That Bruce Willis' daughter in the movie, played by Liv Tyler, IS IN THE SAME ROOM AS ALL THE CELEBRATING PEOPLE. She's just watched her dad being blown up. They couldn't be happier.

Also: tens of thousands of people die in this movie. Animals die. Cities are levelled. Taxi drivers die. Animals look worried. Unconvincing astronauts perish.

(While we're here: wouldn't it have been cheaper to teach astronauts to drill, rather than turn drillers into astronauts? Just a thought.)

How Soon Are They Forgetting It?

The first raft of deaths, you can give them a pass. The movie spans several weeks. The last act? Bruce Willis has died on a massive NASA TV, and within seconds, random strangers are hugging seven shades of shit out of each other. They must have been on a special course.


What Are They Celebrating?

The alien invaders of Klendathu might finally be beaten, assuming nobody decides to make a straight to DVD sequel or two that looks like it was shot in someone's garage. But wait! We can't declare victory until Neil Patrick Harris has declared it!

He's thinking about it...

Tell us NPH! Have we won? Have we won? Turn your head or something and let us know!

Phew. Let's get celebrating...

Most Impressive Celebratee?

This is a movie with a Busey in it. Do not ask stupid questions. Buseys can celebrate with their eyes closed. Take it away Jake...

What Are They Forgetting?

Comfortably the most helpful entry on this list, Starship Troopers kindly provides tired writers for internet websites with thoughtful statistics to help illustrate their article...

More than once, too...

It's almost as if they knew this article was coming one day...

Genuine thanks to whoever put those stats into the movie.

Worst than over eight million dying though is the fact that Dina Meyer is one of them, and she and Casper van Dien only managed to get it on once, having saved him from his Denise Richards crush.

Mind you, this man died without attention from either Dinah or Casper...

How Soon Are They Forgetting It?

Parents. Friends. Colleagures. Argentinian capital cities. FBs. Their demise matters not. By the time that NPH has decreed that a massive special effect is afraid, it's party time! 

Due to the number of pictures in this piece, we've had to split it over two pages. Please note we do this quite rarely: we don't believe in making you click lots and lots of times to read one of our articles.

Okay, you still with us? Phew. On with go...


What Are They Celebrating?

He's done it again! Long before he thought that he could walk through Chernobyl and fended off radiation sickness with nothing more than a brash smirk. John McClane saved Christmas for the second year running. Specifically, he foiled William Sadler's dastardly plan, and because he blew a plane up in such a stylish way, lots of other plans could land. Legend.

The celebrations go from the mildly alarming...

To the slightly less scary...

To a few extras looking mighty chipper...

Most Impressive Celebratee?

This man. Ignore the outfit. While everyone else jumps around, this is the man that celebrates happiness with a not altogether comfortable smirk and, we'd wager, a warm shake of the hand. That, or the wind changed earlier in the movie and he's been stuck like that ever since.

What Are They Forgetting?

The fact that Die Hard 2 is the movie where they down a plane with more than 200 passengers just to prove a point.

The fact that Die Hard 2 is the movie where an entire SWAT time is wiped out, as punishment for them all congregating on a travelator (seriously: what kind of SWAT team would do that?)

The fact that Die Hard 2 is the movie where a corpse is wheeled through a busy airport on Christmas Eve.

Apart from that, a pretty quiet day.

How Soon Are They Forgetting It?

The movie starts on Christmas Eve. Hundreds of people die. The films ends on Christmas Eve. Pass the eggnog, motherfucker!


What Are They Celebrating?

They've destroyed the Death Star! That was hard enough to do in the bloody videogame, let alone in real life.

This is a civilised bunch, though. No jumping around here. For once we've gone past the bit where the ships return home...

We end up at a formal ceremony with nothing more than civilised clapping.

Most Impressive Celebratee?

There isn't one. They are all very polite and respectful, containing their celebratory desires.

What Are They Forgetting?

That R2-D2 has sustained some mild damage.

That lots of ships got blown up.

That Sir Alec Guinness had something to grumble about for the rest of his career.

How Soon Are They Forgetting It?

Ah, you have to give Star Wars credit here. A New Hope is set over a reasonable expanse of time, and the characters carry around the deaths of people like chains around their neck. If anything, in some cases they do nothing but bang on about it all the time. Given what's around the corner in The Empire Strikes Back, it's probably best to let them have their moment.

Mind you, there's still the small matter of...


What Are They Celebrating?

This is a big one. The empire has been defeated, the Emperor has met his match, Darth Vader will heavy breathe down the phone no more and the galaxy is a better place.

What better way to get things going than by getting a teddy bear to blow a horn?

So rambunctious were the original celebrations, that partymaster Mr G Lucas thoughtfully went back to them to make them feel just a little less effective, with the help of his buddies in computer graphics.

Most Impressive Celebratee?

Probably C-3P0. The metallic man's clearly drunk more than his fair share of oil, and thus seems to basically spend the party flirting with an Ewok. We've all done it.

What Are They Forgetting?

And you thought A New Hope was a teeny bit callous. Return Of The Jedi features a great big party going on, celebrating the death of an evil man. An evil man who just happens to be the father of one of the attendees. The same father that he CREMATED - BY HAND - JUST HOURS AGO! Basically, they celebrate, while one man's dad - and let's face it, it was a complicated father/son thing at the best of times - burns.

On the cutting room floor is a line where Luke mutters "thanks a lot, you insensitive bastards" and heads off to his local Bargain Booze, before a quiet night in by himself, weeping.

And of course loads of people died over the course of the movie. There's that too.

But still: more burning...

The only thing that could make this worse for Luke would be to reimagine his father in the image of Hayden Christensen, just to aim one last hefty kick towards Master Skywalker's groin area.


How Soon Are They Forgetting It?

They've not even allowed young Skywalker time to change his clothes and they're cracking open the bottles of Stella.


What Are They Celebrating?

There are two reasons for euphoria come the end of Olympus Has Fallen. On the one hand, the Cerberus missile system has been stopped with seconds left, once Gerard Butler worked out how to use the function keys on a computer keyboard. And on the other, President Harvey Dent has survived the first - and worst - of this year's White House under siege movies....

Most Impressive Celebratee?

This lady here. She looks genuinely shocked that Gerard Butler has prevailed. Her local video store did not stock 300.

What Are They Forgetting?

All the nasty stuff that happened in the two hours beforehand. The beating, the shooting of people, the planes scattering bullets onto innocent passers-by, the knife going into the side of someone's head. Two sessions in therapy and a couple of Paracetamol should help everyone get over that.

Also: did Gerard and Two Face not notice what was on the floor as they walked casually out of the White House? Bloody selfish dead people cluttering up the entrance. The pair don't even look at them, which is all the foolhardy cannon fodder WHO TRIED TO SAVE THE PRESIDENT'S LIFE deserve.

How Soon Are They Forgetting It?


The White House siege lasts hours, in which time lots of of horrible things happen. The first celebration, when world destruction is averted? Fully understandable. The second celebration scene, when Gerard Butler emerges barely scathed? A bit odd. Tending the dozens of wounded might have been a better plan, rather than giving all concered a hearty round of applause, before retiring for brandy.