According to Dictionary.com, a cliché is "usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse" That's about 80% of recent movies, so let's dig into the most annoying ones.
If there's been a sentence that has been said at least a billion times in the whole history of movies, it's "Great. That's just... great.". Disgustingly over-used, this sentence was in 90% of bad movies. I say 90% because the movie that started it all is Jaws and it was then featured in Die Hard With A Vengeance, Toy Story 2 and couple of other good movies. How did they get away with it? Well, the rest of the script usually forgives that lazy part. It has been used so many times that it has carved itself a place in our common sayings.
Great. That's just... great.
It's painful to hear talentless brain-dead writers sound like they can master the complex dialect of the sarcasm. Not everybody can speak it fluently and sound funny. Especially not lazy jackasses who are not shy to throw us a script that has been seen and heard a bazillion times before without even denying it!
Ever heard Hugh Grant say that what he does is "great"? Me neither.
Most of the time, this infamous sentence is said by the main character or the (not-so) comic relief of the movie, who just learned something that screws up all of his plans. Writers try to make the character sound angry, desperate and/or sad. Well, dear Hollywood writers, let me tell you something: IT DOESN'T WORK ANYMORE! Instead, it makes us, the experienced viewers, angry, desperate and/or sad. Also, some writers said that, with this sentence, the character is trying to hide his real feelings. Look... It's not hiding, when we KNOW that he's feeling anger or that he's scared. Nobody is going to meet Transformers and be like "Well... It could be worse." Usually, in a movie, when it happens, you flip out and say "Great! That's just... great!" .
But when you're the audience, you say:
Well... It could be worse.
Oh fuck you, Michael Bay...
Why will it never die?:
Because people usually don't care for ONE line in the entire movie. It's like marrying a hot girl with a high-pitched voice who talks too much; sure, it's annoying, but the best solution is just to put your hands on your ears and enjoy the view.
Eyeballs say "Thank you, Fran Drescher!", but eardrums say "Fuck you, Fran Drescher!"
You've heard that before, right? Detective thriller. Detective thinks he's got the ultimate proof that the guy he suspected from the beginning is the one who is guilty of all these bloody murders... but, there's still half of the movie left? What are they gonna do for the next 45 minutes of the movie? Give themselves taps on the shoulder? Put their hands down their pockets and be like...
Yup, yup, yup... That was the guy... Knew it all along... Fun, huh?
It kinda worked a few times, like for the David Fincher movie Seven and Edgar Wright's Hot Fuzz, but then again, these movies had alternatives to this cliché that made them interesting. They save something more complex after the capture of the bad guy. But, typically Hollywoodian movies don't do that. They hope that we, dumbasses that we are, will believe that the main character killed the bad guy with half of the movie remaining. It's VERY obvious that it's not the killer/whatever. And we also find this cliché on popular TV shows like CSI and 24.
Well, it looks like our show's just been (puts on sunglasses) cracked. (YEEEEEAAAAH!!!)
Why will it never die?:
Because of something I call the "Inception factor". When you create something that makes the audience feel smart, you are sure to make money out of it. I'm not saying Inception isn't smart, it's really entertaining and complex, but the way it is presented is made to make us feel like we're smart because we're thinking. Well, this has the same effect. Of course, you know that it's not the bad guy. It's just a way to delete a character from my list of suspects. But then again, when the bad guy dies after half of the movie, the fact that we know he's not dead whilst the characters don't somehow creates a feeling of superiority in our mind... kinda. It can also create some kind of suspense because we don't know WHEN the bad guy will come back. For stupid people, this is gold! They FINALLY feel like they are as smart as those people who read big books in the park!
Even if I feel smarter, I still have a hard time reading in the park. So many distractions.
It's quite recent but we've noticed this cliché in some 80's and 90's movies too. This cliché consists of NOT showing the monster/killer even though we know what he looks like! Either if it's from the poster or promotional photos or even the freakin' trailer, if you show us the monster before we go see the movie, don't make us wait. We want to see the monster in action! Not a cheap first-person wide-angle shot of a killing. And don't hide it in the shadows either. It just frustrates us and doesn't entertain at all.
I wonder where that fish did go? A fish, a fish, a fishy-o?
Don't act like we don't know what were watching. And with the Internet nowadays, even the most top-secret monsters usually get leaked pictures. Not showing the monster/killer just doesn't work anymore, so stop trying, Hollywood. It only works when we have NO clue of what the monster looks like. If I go see a movie called BIG GREEN MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE, I expect to see a BIG GREEN MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE!
Well... I admit I didn't see that one coming...
Why will it never die?:
Because most Hollywood producers think most people are idiots that don't give a flying fuck about cinema and will watch any random movie because the title sounds good. We're not in the 40's anymore! We know what to expect when we go see a movie! But, nobody told them so they continued the cliché without knowing how annoying it got. Our only hope is that one of them actually learns about the Internet and reads this article. And we all know for a fact that it's going to take a very long time.
What your saying is; I can type anything and naked women will magically appear on the screen? AMAZING!
Action movies seem to take that one for granted. This cliché is annoying only when the movie takes itself too seriously. What happens is that the hero, if we can call him that way, starts shooting people that are shooting at him. Legitimate defense, right? WRONG. Action heros kill bad guys in the streets all the time and police just seems to let them do whatever the fuck they want. The laws change from state to state, but the one that generalizes it the most is from Lousiana. People are only in right to use force or violence if they believe it is absolutely necessery. Commando tought us that bad guys are lousy shooters, so you could just run past them or just shoot them a bullet or two in the legs. You don't need to shoot them to DEATH! What if one of them was about to live a wonderful life after everything was over? Typical action hero just ruined it. What if any of them had a family? Congratulations on the new widow and fatherless kids! Seriously, killing people creates issues, but action heroes just seem to take it like they're eating cheese!
But then again, police officers tend to be incredibly stupid in bad action movies, especially when a no-name body-builder is making their job a lot harder by killing people he has no business killing. We're guessing that, most of the time, they say: "Wow! 50 murders in 15 minutes?... Screw it. Too much paperwork. Just throw those bodies in the river. We'll just tell the families they were involved in a cult."
NO. Not that one!
Why will it never die?
Because it can lead to fucking awesome action sequences. As much as it's annoying how the main character is considered a hero even though he murdered a large number of people, it's still pretty cool to see him kick some ass! We all fantasize on killing random people at least once in our life and movies usually tend to make our wishes come true. That brings entertainment and enterainment brings money. As long as people get entertained by people killing each other, the cliché will live.
And it seems like we're pretty far from getting tired of it.
Everytime we see a trailer with the latest ear-buster that's popular on the radio right now, the only thing we can hear is : "We're too lazy to have a score, so we take the most popular song there is right now and then, when brainless idiots teenagers will see that trailer, they'll be like "Man! That song rocks! It's like OMG my favorite song ever! This movie is going to be soooooooo good!" and make plenty of cash on those dumbasses' backs."
In our minds, all producers sound like Donald Trump.
The song has absolutely nothing to do with the movie, but, because it's popular, everybody's fighting for the rights to put it in its next bad summer movie. I, as a wannabe filmmaker, also had that reflex when I heard a song that I liked to put in my next B movie... when I was 13. I was naive and thought that what was cool and popular was good.
Boy, was I wrong...
Now, I was 13 back in the time. I was an idiot. If Hollywood producers think the same way a 13-year-old boy does, no wonder movies are so bad these days!
Why will it never die?:
As long as their will be stupid teenagers who like music because it's popular and not for it's quality, the cliché will live on. Now, maybe intelligence will be the next fad (I doubt it), but until then we have to endure those ridiculous trailers. When the song starts, you know the movie's gonna suck. Don't even bother watching the rest.
The ultimate cliché. The one everybody KNOWS. The whole movie was so predictable, you were almost sure that you've already seen it. And then there's the "climax" of the movie, where the hero confronts time in order to disarm a bomb/save the universe in some way. The movie streches for what seems like hours of predictable, unoriginal crap, until the hero finally saves the day... NO SHIT, SHERLOCK!
These movies make Scooby-Doo sound like Agatha Christie!
You wrote the most predictable story of all time, you haven't made a single effort and you think that we're going to bite our nails at the most predictable climax and ending of all time? Of course, this is the worst case scenario, but still, if the whole movie was predictable, what makes you think the ending won't be? Nothing, because it never is. Predictable movie = predictable ending. Of course, they're going to get back together. Of course, he's going to kill the bad guy. Of course, the funny guy isn't really dead. Of course, the heroic douchebag died heroically. Of course, everybody loves him at the end. Don't try to make us feel like we're stupid and like we have never seen a movie before.
Say... Isn't it starting to sound familiar to you?
If Hollywood screenwriters were really honest, they would make a 30-minute movie about a guy saying obvious things like "After the rain, it's wet." or "The color brown is brown.". At least, we would feel like they don't take us for idiots whilst really, THEY are the moronic douchebags.