Often the montage was used to gloss over a section of the story that was unbelievable or unwatchable. Here are the three montages that were most deftly used to get the filmmaker out of a jam.
Let' say you're inexplicably making a movie about a teenage werewolf. Unfortunately, rather than playing this ridiculous premise for campy fun, the script calls for you to play it out earnestly and under the premise that for the final half of the film, said teenager becomes the big man on campus despite looking like Chewbacca if he were a '70s porn star.
"Way To Go," Mark Vieha
A series of shots of Scott scoring in some of the most poorly filmed basketball scenes ever (basketball fans have to hate Michael J. Fox after watching him try to play basketball in this film. Sure he' Canadian, but so is Steve Nash):
If that wasn't enough, he goes on to score As in class and score with the hottest girl in school. All of it is set to a terrible song in which a white guy imitates a black blues singer by saying things like, "Take it easy and slow Joe."
This sequence is still pretty painful. However, it passes the time fast enough so you don't start asking questions like: "Why is everyone taking this in stride?" "Why hasn't the CIA captured and destroyed him?" and "Gross! That blonde chick just banged a werewolf. Why do I still find her attractive?"
The only two-category entry, Rocky IV gets mentioned here for a totally different kind of montage. 20 minutes into the film, Rocky is speeding in his Ferrari whilst contemplating the most common of moral dilemmas: on the one hand, he' a married man with a family to think about, but on the other, he wants to fly to Russia and get into a fistfight with a dude who just beat someone to death.
Unfortunately, Stallone, who' directing himself in this scene, knows that he only has two gears as an actor: 1) Struggling to correctly pronounce words and 2) Getting punched in the face. Neither of those will suffice for a man being torn apart by inner turmoil. What' a director to do?
"No Easy Way Out," Robert Tepper
goes avant-garde to show what' inside the boxer' head. The film cuts back and forth between extreme close-ups of Rocky' face, a bunch of recycled clips from the first three films and a bloodied Rocky falling in slow motion in front of an annoying strobe light.
Film scholars have argued that this scene is meant to take us inside Rocky' head, and if that' the case, then the inside of Rocky' head looks a lot like a German snuff tape. Luckily, the lyrics communicate everything there is to say about a man in turmoil: "There' no easy way out, there' no shortcut home!" Well, that' true, if you don't count a montage as an "easy way out."
Crisis averted: Rocky makes the rash decision to fight a murderous Russian and, more importantly, no one has to watch Sylvester Stallone try to act.
Todd Barrett is a poor-yet-enterprising college student who owes mucho dinero to a badass loan shark named Cactus Jack. He' about to become just another statistic in the long line of college students physically threatened by angry loan sharks in '80s movies when he devises a clever, albeit amusingly homoerotic, plan to raise cash: create a beefcake calendar! But the filmmakers have a problem of their own: this movie is supposed to be a slacker comedy and not gay soft porn. What to do about the actual photo shoot?
"Future' So Bright," Timbuk 3
Todd takes photos of muscular men, develops said photos and publishes them in calendar form, all in the span of a couple minutes.
Without the montage, we'd be watching details like the makeup guy re-taping the model' sack to the back of his leg. Instead, they use one of the greatest songs of the '80s, have their main character literally wear the shades that Timbuk3 talks about in the song and the audience' brain has been shut down long enough to make this thing happen.
Todd' calendar is a huge hit, he pays off Cactus Jack and learns the valuable life lesson that you can't take a picture of a sweaty dude straight on or you'll get something called "pec glare."