As the summer blockbuster season limps to a close, some of you may look back with nostalgia on the mass karate fights, kicked-in doors and de-wired bombs that make up your most cherished action flicks. Grownheadz.com is here to remind you that lots of events that look like killer fun in movies would be disproportionately less fun in real life. Below, our Top Five.
5. Jumping into a Pool Fully Dressed
MOVIES: Whether you’ve just graduated from high school or landed the girl of your dreams, there are few ways to broadcast a life-changing event more directly than jumping into a pool dressed head to toe. It’s also, apparently, a great party starter: electric guitars squeal out of nowhere, drinks appear in everybody’s hands and invariably someone yells, “Let’s party!”
REALITY: That exhilarating splash is soon over, leaving you hobbled as you struggle to swim in a waterlogged sports coat. Once you get out of the pool, unless you strip naked you can’t really sit on any upholstered furniture, so here’s hoping the party stays on the patio all night. You thought that little stunt would be the talk of the party, but as the night wears it dawns on you that it was more of a you-had-to-be-there moment. Also, someone stole your shoes, you can’t get the water out of your ears, and that cute girl you were trying to impress? She can hear your squelching from a mile away, and she thinks you’re wet and desperate.
4. High Speed Chase
MOVIES: What a rush! The coppers (or mafia, or whichever side of the law you prefer) are hot on your tail and eating your dust as you execute one daring maneuver after another. Suddenly, your gas light comes on. Luckily, there’s a drawbridge nearby, but its warning lights are blinking, signaling an oncoming ship. Do you floor it? Do I even have to ask? In the movies, you soar over the 6-foot gap and down safely on the other side as your pursuers skid out at the last minute and shake their fists from the wrong side of the bridge. But in real life…
REALITY: You die. A lot. And way before you hit the drawbridge. Remember when you drove through that large pane of glass two guys were carrying across the street? In real life, a razor-edged shard shattered your windshield and beheaded you. Don’t like that? Well, how about those three red lights downtown? You may have floored it through the first two, leaving multiple-car collisions in your wake, but a 1981 Datsun T-boned you on the third, breaking your legs and puncturing your lung. That hairpin spinout when you drove against the flow of traffic? Dead, dead, dead. If by some slice of luck you even make it to the drawbridge, there’s no way your car would make the jump. The average car traveling at high speed, say 120 mph, has a jump of 10 meters, or 32 feet. That sounds good until you take into account that a car drops 7 inches every second of unsupported flight. So unless you’re riding on 42s, you’re going down in a watery grave my friend. And bystanders will laugh at you.
MOVIES: You don’t have to start it. You don’t even have to know who threw the first punch. All you have to do is duck down and keep an eye out for hilarious instruments to hit people with. Barstools are handy, liquor bottles are dramatic, and if you can pull some hapless sucker in front of you in time for him to take a punch aimed your way, all the better. At the end, you and the guys kick back, order another round and laugh as the uptight proprietor moans in despair at the state of the bar. It’s good, manly fun, and bars have insurance for this type of thing, right?
REALITY: Wrong. As a participant in a bar fight, you’re subject to charges of disorderly conduct, felony assault, destruction of property and public drunkenness. And “he threw the first punch” won’t cut you any slack. As the victim of attack, your chances of arrest double. Bonus: If you hit a guy in just the right way, he dies—and then it’s a good thing you had practice with group brawls, because you’ll have plenty of opportunity to test those skills in the pen. Also, concussions and closed head injuries become distinctly less hilarious over time.
2. Walking Away from an Explosion
MOVIES: Good Guys know that eventually, you have to fight fire with fire. It can be a warehouse full of drugs, weaponry headed for the wrong side of a foreign civil conflict, ill-gotten artifacts from the Amazon Rain Forest or the headquarters of an evil genius. Point is, Bad Guys’ property sure burns pretty, especially if you set off the fire by flicking a cigarette over your shoulder as you stride away. A hero ain’t a hero till he gets his point across with a huge freaking fireball.
REALITY: Or back lacerations and third-degree burns. When you blow up a multi-story warehouse, looking cool and nonchalant takes a backseat to the frantic scramble for cover as you try to avoid getting smacked in the head with flying pieces of flaming debris. Oxygen deprivation makes peeling off in your getaway car a bit unrealistic; you may just want to drive a block and pull over before you pass out from smoke inhalation.
MOVIES: Yelling catchphrases, blasting on bad guys, diving through windows and over conveniently located counters—there’s nothing like a good shootout to get the adrenaline pumping.
REALITY: I don’t know if we mentioned this before but it might sound vaguely familiar. Dead, dead, DEAD. Or at the least paralyzed. Shooting a gun is no joke and unless you go to a firing range on the regular your chances of hitting anything are little to none. There’s a reason movie Bad Guys are such terrible shots–do you know how hard it is to focus with all that adrenaline pumping through your system? And lest we forget, stray bullets like innocent bystanders. There will be blood, and unless you are a duly sanctioned officer of the law there will also be charges. Unlawful discharge of a firearm and reckless endangerment can net you up to 10 years, depending on whether the jury had a V8. If you manage to nail a Bad Guy, self defense MIGHT get you off with involuntary manslaughter, for 2. But that group of terminally ill 5-year-olds walking home with their adopted pet bunnies that you just shot up is going to get you at least 25 years in the big house. Now don’t you wish you’d settled things by thumb wrestling?