Think That New Trailer Looks Familiar? This Supercut Shows Why

Slate's Culture Blog
July 25 2012 4:26 PM

Why Every Summer Action Movie Looks the Same

Avengers aliens
Insectoid aliens attack New York in The Avengers.

© Marvel 2012.

Action movies have always had their clichés, but if you’re like me, you might feel you’re picking up on a whole new range of them in 2012. Sitting in The Avengers, you might think, why does this movie look just like Transformers? Or, for that matter, Battleship?

This new supercut from Funny or Die shows exactly why. It’s called “Every 3-D Movie Is the Same,” but it’s not really just about 3-D movies. In fact, Peter Berg and Brad Bird would take exception to that title: Neither the great Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol or, for what it’s worth, Battleship, were given a 3-D release.

But the point remains the same. In this summer’s blockbusters, the clichés go well beyond that one booming sound effect I noted last year. Take, for example, shots of blue lasers shooting up at the sky (appearing this year in Battleship and Transformers: Dark of the Moon), or point-of-view nosedives toward the pavement of New York City (featured in Men In Black 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man). An impressive (and depressing) number of such clichés are collected here.


Of course, not all these clichés are bad—the compilation notes the growing popularity of zip-lines, for example, which is an encouraging development—but the point is that this summer it’s not just the sequels and the remakes that look a little familiar. When it comes to the effects-driven extravaganzas, it’s just about everything.

Is the Hollywood Explosion Collapsing In on Itself?
The Rise and Fall of Action Movie Jumping

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 


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