A while back I ranted about how I had grown tired of movies and TV shows in which heating and cooling duct-work was used as convenient entrance ways and exits by all sorts of critters — antagonists and protagonists alike. And how the entire plot of countless action adventure thrillers often hinged on the shenanigans conducted inside these vast networks of unsecured passageways, even though the remainder of the heavily guarded premises contained retina-scanners, heat sensors, motion detectors, crisscrossing laser beam detectors, as well as dozens of scar-faced commando security forces brandishing machine-guns, hand grenades, Kevlar bullet-proof vests and night vision goggles.
Well, there’s a couple of new cinematic crutch kids on the block who are every bit as aggravating to me as those Interstate-wide air duct escape-ways: cellphones needed in crisis but only in areas where there are absolutely “NO SERVICE” bars available, and flashlights whose dead batteries flicker and dim at the most inopportune moment. The other night I was watching a show where the hero was escaping through duct-work and frantically trying to call in the cavalry on his cellphone while his flashlight was flickering on and off all at the same time: a Perfect Storm of cheap plotting devices congealing like flypaper glue inside tinny, aluminum duct-work walls.
Okay, Hollywood, it’s time for a new crutch: how about railroad tracks upon which mobsters and fair damsels in distress can be trussed just ahead of a looming, rushing train?