8. Sexy slutty chicks. Is it gender-biased and downright chauvinistic? Damn straight but that’s what classic action movies are all about. Sometimes the female character will try to play herself off as less than slutty, at least at first. Ultimately, though, there is just something about barely surviving explosions and car chases that makes you want to rip your clothes off and get sexed up!
7. Unlimited ammunition. Sometimes it’s halfway explained by fancy lasers or unbelievably convenient locations of extra clips stumbled upon throughout the movie. Other times, it’s not explained at all and characters just keep shooting without stopping to reload or even rest their finger. On that note, there are surprisingly few jams or other malfunctions, especially considering the general abuse most of these firearms are put through. When they do happen, it’s inevitably at the exact point where that one round matters more than the hundreds of others spent previously.
6. Car chases through major city streets with surprisingly low amounts of traffic. There’s always just enough traffic to dramatically weave between and around, but never the kind of mind-numbing bumper to bumper crawling that most normal citizens experience twice every business day. Just once, I’d like to see an action movie where everybody gets stuck in realistically horrible traffic multiple times, to the point where it stops even being funny (just like in real life).
5. Some sort of high altitude jump (helicopter, plane, tall building, etc). What’s extra frustrating about this is the fact that nearly every process of getting up to that elevated place involves multiple opportunities for the good and bad guys to kill each other several times. But no, this needs to be dramatic dammit!
4. Concerning plot twist (where the main character might not make it). Some directors and writers make this plot twist so dramatic, it necessitates a sequel or a whole trilogy. However they do it, the best ones get the audience to truly question all of their basic assumptions about the trajectory of the entire movie and the fate of each character.
3. A friend or relative of the main character dying. This tends to occur right near the beginning of the flick, or occasionally wrapped up with the concerning plot twist mentioned above in #4. This friend or relative usually has little to no functional value in the story line, but their emotional weight becomes a heavy burden on the protagonist.
2. The main evil character has either a major physical or psychological disfigurement. To be honest, this one seems the most offensively stereotypical, yet it is so commonly true. The older the classic action movie, the more grotesquely obvious this disfigurement. Hunchbacks, midgets, gimps, and more; note that those are very derogatory terms and are only being used within the theme of this aspect.
1. Henchmen with really bad aim. The epitome of the classic action movie; people other than main characters firing a ridiculous number of times and barely, if ever, hitting anything. Just as an example, check out this analysis of Stormtrooper accuracy in A New Hope.