If you love movies as much as I do, you probably watch a lot of them. Generally that’s a joy, but some overused movie tropes can eventually to wear down even the most devoted cineaste. I have previously highlighted some of these, such as people yelling no-o-o-o-o-o-o!! in slow motion, military personnel signing off by saying “over and out“, the tell-tale cough of death, the mystery of weightless money, bullets that throw people across the room, and very patient villains who stand around pointing a gun for however long it takes a hero to show up.
Today I highlight one that always gives me a chuckle and that you — fair warning — will not be able to “unsee” once you know about it: The completely ransacked room. You know the set up: Our hero/heroine has hidden the black bird/legendary cumbersome diamond/exonerating evidence/incriminating photos/only copy of Great Uncle Casmir’s will in his/her room. But upon returning, s/he gasps as the camera shows us that the room has been tossed! All the drawers are open, the cushions on the couch are slashed, the floor is cluttered. The protagonist runs to the hiding spot, opens the box/drawer/envelope and says “Oh no — It’s gone!”.
What’s wrong with this picture? The room is invariably completely ransacked. But unless the bad guys have the bad luck to always look in the right place at the very end of their search, this wouldn’t happen. As soon as they found the black bird/legendary cumbersome diamond/exonerating evidence/incriminating photos/only copy of Great Uncle Casmir’s will, they would stop searching, leaving the rest of the room in a pristine state.
I imagine the exchange:
Senior bad guy: I found the treasure map!
Junior bad guy (stops stabbing the cushions): Right let’s go!
Senior bad guy: No way, keep stabbing those cushions while I toss the bedroom!
Junior bad guy: But…
Senior bad guy: You aren’t a scab are you?
Junior bad guy: No, I’m a member of the Loyal Brotherhood of Thugs, Yeggs and Second Story Men, just like you.
Senior bad guy: Then what the hell are you doing throwing away a good hour of work just ’cause we found the map? Remember, it will be 5 o’clock soon — that’s time and half for both of us!
Junior bad guy: Yippee! I don’t know what I was thinking. Can I pull up the linoleum after I finish with the cushions?
Senior bad guy: Good thinking, kid.