So this fellow lists out ten Hollywood plot generators for action / disaster / save the world movies.  They are interesting but not really convincing.

I present my list of  Action / Disaster / War lots with how to use them

1. Bruce Willis Saves the World

  • Figure out a new way to f#$@ the planet – e.g. nukes all over the place; renegade comet; disgruntled German bounty hunters, etc
  • Give him a reluctant partner who is good at breaking locks or hacking into computers
  • Women are optional though a separated wife helps in adding angst and an occasional dramatic moment
  • Extensive research on guns, rocket launchers, cars crashing into choppers, tanks, missiles, space ships, astronauts carrying guns in space, manual switches on nuke bombs, spaceship parts made in Taiwan are essential

2. The Nam

  • Most Americans still can’t point out where Vietnam is on the map. But they love to see a grizzly haired hobo lumber through paddy fields and chuck napalm bombs on little Vietcong soldiers
  • Mandatory scene of hairy hobo having an emotional epiphany seeing a young Vietnamese mother taking care of her infant in a rain of bullets
  • Hairy hobo knows exactly how to win the war. Lyndon B Johnson, the US Army, Douglas McArthur, etc are just too theoretical

3. Daylight Saving Time (took the line from an XKCD piece, can’t find the link now)

  • Cook up a scientific experiment and announce that it has all gone wrong – experiment to increase immortality has converted humans into baboons; genetic experiments have been compromised and in the control of communists;
  • Remember scientists can’t do action; and those who do action don’t know science. That’s the creative space for dialogue writers. Here’s a sample

“Remember the laws of thermodynamics in zero gravity”
“What does that mean in English”
“The world will explode in 3 hours”
“What can we do?”
“We need to reach the Control Room and switch of the Brain”
“Follow Me”

4. The dormant volcano

  • A volcano that has never erupted in 5000 years gets fed up with the local politics and erupts. You need to plan for the scene of lava flowing through the streets in downtown NY, LA, London, etc.
  • Retired / forgotten government official in some nondescript department becomes the only man who can save millions
  • Every person in the city except the politicians becomes Mother Theresa.
  • Volcanoes can shut down airports. They can also be used as locations for Mordor.

General Rules

Always follow the Clint Eastwood Rule: Have two people in any action / war movie – one of them does the talking, the other does the killing.  This rule was first executed successfully for Where Eagles Dare.

Every movie has one great line. Broadsword calling Danny Boy; I’ll be back; … This must be respected.

Ok, running out of ideas. More later.


2 thoughts on “… and Bruce Willis saves the world

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