Thursday, January 04, 2007

Top 5 "Dodge the Laser Beams during a Heist" scenes

As is the film tradition, when a heist has to be perpetrated, the thieves will inevitability have to navigate or disable a protective grid of laser beams. This is another lie that films need to tell. Never mind the fact that laser light is invisible to the naked eye. Forget that although airborne aerosols or powders can make the beam visible, it is only momentary, and will likely set off the alarm. Ignore the reality that infrared sensors are cheaper, easier to implement, harder to bypass and quite ubiquitous.

Our hero is stymied, and it will take some wit, cunning and dexterity to proceed. More importantly however, it will take style.

5) Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny

In the clearest farce of this convention, The Pick of Destiny has Jack Black and Kyle Gass break into a Rock and Roll museum. After the obligatory crawl through the air vent and dodging the overly inept night guards, the only thing standing between Tenacious D and the Pick is laser grid. Jack Black somewhat awkwardly shuffles and skips through the beam grid in his expected tongue in cheek style. The real bonus points come at the end when he can't reach the off switch with any traditional limb, so he has to use a more unorthodox appendage and some tremendous will-power.

Add to that a soundtrack with the self-referential song "Break In-city"
"Ninja style, samurai (Storm the gates)
Metal pole, climb that shit (Storm the gates)
Two air-vents on the roof,
thats what the guy was talkin a- Shit! Electric Eye

Infiltrate (Storm the gates)"
Not for the faint of heart, faint of butt, or easily offended.

4) Mystery Men

The second class heroes of Mystery Men (1999) have to by pass two laser based roadblocks set for them by the flamboyant Casanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush). First is the "laser eye" that will disintegrate those who pass through to the "Disco Room." This is a job for Invisible Boy (Kel Mitchell). The lad strips naked, and walks unseen towards the off switch. His job done and visible again, the snarky and lovable Bowler (Janeane Garofalo) drops the line:
"Maybe you should put some shorts on or something, if you want to keep fighting evil today."

Later another grid of lasers protects Casanova when he grabs Mr. Furious' girl. He is so evil, turning on this trap kills one of his own men, as is noted by an over-the-top and gloating Rush. This calls for the fork flinging finger of The Blue Raja (Hank Azaria), who builds an alternate staircase out of embedded cutlery.

3) Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

While filming Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) , Kevin Smith clearly had a checklist of things he always wanted to do in film.
  • Orangutan buddy: Check
  • Dance with Morris Day and The Time: Check
  • Jewel heist perpetrated by pleather clad vixens: Check.

Chrissy, Sissy and Justice (can you spot the turn-coat?) run, backflip and gyrate past a hallway of danger beams to get to the diamonds.

2) Oceans 12

Initially I thought this sequel was unnecessary, but it does grow on you after a while. Oceans 12 ( 2004) is fairly charming, and a clear love letter to the kicky and fun crime films of the 60's and 70's.

It is not until the final half hour of the film to we see the laser obstacle. The entire movie is a series of misdirections and failed attempts at the big job. The grid here is a randomly moving field of visible blue movie lasers. Here we learn that evil Frenchmen only need to dance their way to victory, if he has a suitable euro-trash techno soundtrack.

1) Entrapment

The trailer for Entrapment (1999) had its offering up front for the viewer. It featured a nubile Catherine Zeta-Jones weaving her taught buttocks through yet another hallway of danger beams. A leering Sean Connery looks on in obvious delight, creeping out many a viewer.

While not the centrepiece of the film, we get to see Catherine go through these manoeuvres twice. Once in training with yarn replacing the beams, and once with the real thing.


Anonymous said...

How could you have not included Ali-G's spectacular version in the classic "Ali-G Indahouse"?

prince said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.