4Ellen Ripley - Aliens
Occupation Impersonated: Consultant and honorary Marine/alien destroyer
Actual Occupation: Warrant officer/salvager/90-year-old
Training Time Required: 12 weeks to five Years, not counting Alien Destroying School
In the beginning of Aliens, Ripley is recovered by a salvage team and brought to the Gateway Station, which is currently orbiting Earth. Once there she is awkwardly told that she has been in hypersleep for 57 years and everyone she ever knew or loved is dead. Due to her appearance of mental instability, Ripley is stripped of her flight license and forced to get a shitty job loading space docks.
We'd take a job with the Condom Disposal Squad if it meant access to that thing.
Later, her old employers lose contact with their colony on LV-426, the planet on which the aliens were first discovered. They decide to send a team of badass space Marines and Ripley (as a consultant), to the planet to find out what happened, and possibly rescue any survivors.
Do the Marines use consultants often?
Ripley is one of the only people with knowledge of the aliens, but that in no way makes her a qualified consultant. She's a 90-year-old, nightmare-infested, post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ridden civilian. She wakes up screaming, talks to her cat and the information she provides is jumbled, half-remembered and incomplete. Bishop the android does a better job conveying information after spending just a few minutes on the aliens' planet.
Further, Ripley has no military training. The Marines must have all attended space boot-camp to get to the rank of Flamethrower-Wielding Alien-Blaster, while Ripley had spent the previous 60 years sleeping and, before that, screaming at giant monsters. Her one lesson involves Corporal Hicks spending a couple of minutes showing her where the trigger is.
"Which button makes it go, again?"
Yet, the entire climax of the film involves her strapping on a machine gun/grenade launcher combo, flamethrower and lots of spare grenades. She conducts a direct assault on the alien queen and manages to use all of her weapons effectively, when just not accidentally murdering herself would have qualified her as a prodigy.
You get so used to that iconic image of her brandishing the guns on the poster that you forget she had no idea how to use any of that stuff.
3Countless Car Chase Drivers
Occupation Impersonated: Defense and stunt driver
Actual Occupation: FBI biochemist; prisoner; secret service agent; etc.
Training Time Required: Two weeks for stunt driving school
We love car chases. We're not trying to suck the fun out of them. But it gets silly when movies throw random drivers behind the wheel and they're suddenly squealing around corners and jumping over trains.
One particularly goofy example is in Michael Bay's The Rock. In it, a chase occurs between Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage), a geeky FBI biochemist, and John Mason (Sean Connery), a former British officer wrongfully imprisoned for 33 years. Due to a series of totally understandable plot holes, John Mason takes off in a Hummer, and it's up to Goodspeed to chase him down in a Ferrari through the streets of San Francisco. Yes, it's a car chase between a big black Hummer and a bright yellow Ferrari, because Michael Bay directed this movie with his boner.
Not only does Mason outdrive the five cop cars and Goodspeed's adequately fast Ferrari that are following him, he manages to set up elaborate obstacles and shout back aggravating one-liners in the process. An overturned traffic light, a derailed trolley and six explosions that are as sensational as they are unrealistic later, the chase is over.
Mr. Connery's erection would persist for several hours, though.
So let's look at the two men who did all of this amazing stunt driving. Mason, a longtime prisoner, has not driven a car since 1963. On top of that, this particular vehicle he commandeered, the Hummer, was not invented until roughly 1983 -- that's 20 years after Mason was shoved in jail -- and he just jumps in and speeds off and even makes a phone call while outrunning the police. We're sorry, but no matter how badass of a fighter and escape artist he may be, this would not be like riding a bike, because, well ... it's a fucking Hummer.
And let's not forget Goodspeed. The entire point of his character is he's an inexperienced desk jockey whose FBI training days are long behind him. (Even if they weren't, "Stunt-Driving a Ferrari" is not part of the FBI's lesson program.) He spends 80 percent of the film as a scared little bitch when it comes to anything awesome ... that is, with the exception of jumping into a goddamned Ferrari and going bananas in it.
But that film is a freaking documentary compared to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Our heroes, the League (the Invisible Man, Captain Nemo, Dr. Jekyll, Tom Sawyer, a vampire, and Sean Connery), travel to Venice, Italy. There, decide they have to race ahead of a series of explosions in order to save the city. Tom Sawyer springs into action by jumping in Captain Nemo's automobile and speeding off to intercept the explosions.
The first thing Tom does is make a jump out of Nemo's ship and land in a 360 skid before picking up his fellow Gentlemen. He then haul-asses this white mother down the skinny streets of Venice while dodging gun fire from every direction. Sawyer makes his way past a barrage of exploding and collapsing buildings, barely having the time to swerve around the rain of debris and rock. He ices this cupcake by jumping 50 feet in the air while simultaneously firing a flare gun before landing upside down. So he didn't totally stick the landing, but we are nonetheless impressed, considering the conditions surrounding this whole scenario.
We're not complaining about the explosions, or the fact that this movie is full of invisible men and monsters -- we accept all of that stuff. What upsets us is that Tom is really, really good at driving a car when A) he had never driven one before and B) this was all happening in an era when as far as he knew, cars didn't fucking exist yet. He didn't even have the average modern person's experience of watching other people do car chases.
Also, shooting accurately from a moving vehicle is pretty impressive for someone with a background primarily in fence-painting and mischief.
We hate to spoil all action movies ever, but this is what an actual car chase looks like:
If you want to participate in a car chase more advanced than the, "swerve down the interstate for an hour before smashing through a guardrail" style you see on the local news, you need something called a defensive or stunt driving school. They usually cost a couple thousand bucks and teach a variety of stunts and techniques depending on your skill lvel. We're not trying to be pedantic here, it's just that we're pretty sure all of the drivers participating in those car chases you see on the news all started out thinking it would look like The Fast and the Furious.
In reality, the only humans capable of doing the stunt driving you see in movies are actual, professional stunt drivers. So please, just pull over.