Let's pretend for a moment that you're a movie character. So what are you? Probably a little taller, more slender, you've got a six-pack, and you're great with an AK-47. But if you want to survive in this new movie life of yours, there are probably a few things that you won't want to be. If you're any of the following things, well, let's just say we hope you have your estate in order...
Source: 20th Century Fox
By Jeff Kelly
8. You're a Man of Faith and/or Questioning Your Faith
Are you a religious person? Are you spiritual in a way where people look at you and say, "Hey, that dude's seriously digging God's vibe?" Not necessarily Christian, but you could simply be a man of faith. You believe in a higher power. Or, let's say you used to but something has happened that has you questioning your faith and wondering if there really is a God.
Well the good news is the likelihood that you'll wind up meeting your maker has just increased. If you're in a movie, that is. Just ask Gene Hackman in The Poseidon Adventure, or Billy, the spiritual Native American warrior in Predator who, being said spiritual warrior, felt it might be a good idea to embrace that. He was mistaken. In Gene's case, he finally cracked and called out God. What happened? He bit it. Apparently despite being a preacher, he was unfamiliar with the concept of "the wrath of God."
7. You're a Bad Guy Who's Going Soft and/or Conflicted
Source: Miramax Films
Okay, so let's just start out by saying that, obviously, if you're siding with bad guys in a movie your chances of biting the dust increase exponentially. When the "good guys" come in guns blazing and you fire back, your bullets are about, oh, 50 times more likely to miss than theirs are. Well, unless you're fighting the A-Team, in which case everyone's going to be missing everyone.
But if you do start on the side of evil it's probably in your best interest to stick with that side. No one likes a flip-flopper, and when you start buddying up with a good guy, who is usually undercover and trying to take your organization down, things aren't going to end well for you. And if he finally reveals who he is? You're extra screwed, because that means you've got about a day, tops, to live. Just ask Al Pacino in Donnie Brasco or Harvey Keitel in Reservoir Dogs.
6. You're on a Path to Redemption
Source: New Line Cinema
But let's say you're someone who decides that yes, you do want to become a better person. You've had enough of being a douchebag and you're ready to turn over a new leaf. You sheepishly look at your good guy friends and quietly mumble, "My bad, guys." And hooray, they forgive you for some reason despite the fact that all you've done is serve as a giant deterrent in whatever mission it is you're on! Yeah, we're looking at you, Boromir from Fellowship of the Rings.
Well chances are you're going to end up just like poor Boromir, who spent most of the movie acting like a prick before finally seeing the light and deciding the best course of action would be to protect a couple midgets from a giant army of Orcs. First of all, he probably should have known better, but hopefully you will too if ever faced with a similar situation. When it comes to movies, redemption is for suckers.
5. You're an Arrogant Douchebag
Source: 20th Century Fox
We have to admit, if you're hanging around inside of a movie and you're acting like a giant douche, you probably deserve to die. It's kind of cinematic karma for the cocky a-hole to bite it, which is precisely why you want to avoid walking around acting like you own the joint and everyone is beneath you.
Take it from Ellis in Die Hard, who learned that doing coke and trying to hook up with John McClane's wife while also calling Hans Gruber "bubby" might not be the best idea in the world. Look at a guy like Bump Bailey in The Natural, who figured out the hard way that being an arrogant ballplayer will only lead to you dying in an unintentionally hilarious way. The point being, if you're a flaming ass and you're standing in the way of the hero doing what he does best (save the day, ruin baseballs, etc.) your death is, frankly, kind of necessary. This just makes it all the more baffling that James Spader has ever survived a single film he's been in.
4. You Like to Follow the Majority in a Time of Crisis
Source: Thomas Hawk/Flickr/Getty Images
Quick - what do you do in a panic? When disaster strikes, what's your course of action? For a lot of people, this would probably include wetting themselves and weeping openly, followed by the time-honored tradition of running for your life or looting. We'd go with looting, honestly, because hey, free iPad. Anyway, another course of action would be to find out what everyone else is doing and follow the herd.
Well if you're ever in a movie and in a big time crisis scenario, this is a mistake. If you seem to be in a situation in which the world might actually end, like in Day After Tomorrow or 2012, or if you're ever in a predicament in which it seems all hope is lost, like The Poseidon Adventure, it's probably a bad idea to follow the majority. Typically, there's one outsider offering sage advice, and he's turned into the outsider basically because he's the only person using logic. So if you're a fan of rational thinking, this is your guy. Stick with him. Of course if you're not a fan of logic, well, have fun freezing to death, and remember that you should have listened to Jake Gyllenhaal.
3. You're Visiting a Famous Landmark
Let's say you've managed to avoid death through those first five items. You've earned a vacation, wouldn't you say? After all, avoiding imminent danger at every turn can be pretty stressful, so you hop on a plane and head off for a relaxing holiday. Just be sure that wherever you go, there's nothing famous there. Seriously, it's for you own good, because if you ever visit any famous landmarks, odds are pretty solid that the day you're touring the White House is the day it gets blown right the hell up.
If movies such as Independence Day, 2012, North by Northwest, and, well, pretty much every disaster movie ever made have taught us anything it's that when disaster strikes, it will do so in only the most recognizable places on earth. So if you need to take a vacation, maybe you should try someplace like, oh, Winnipeg. We hear it's nice this time of year!
2. You're Someone's Mentor
This may be a controversial stance to take, but you should probably avoid being helpful or teaching anyone anything valuable. At least, when you're in a movie. Because lord knows that if your role in a movie is to be the wise mentor to some snot-nosed little punk who needs to learn a lesson or two, you're pretty much done for.
Now it could all work out for you if your name is Obi Wan or Galdalf or Dumbledore, because even though they both ate it they eventually got to come back and continue to be useful in one way or another. But what if you're not a space wizard or, well, a regular wizard? What if you're a hardened Chicago cop helping out Elliot Ness, or an old boxing trainer priming your Italian Stallion for the big fight? We can only hope that Mickey didn't come back as Rocky's jock or, maybe even worse, that weird robot in Rocky IV.
1. You're Someone's Best Friend
Source: Paramount Pictures
We're going to get it out of the way right now: friendship is a hazardous endeavor. It's probably not a popular philosophy, but sometimes loners are better off than a lovable chum. That's exactly why if your best friend is suddenly at the heart of perilous adventures, you can bet that your number is just about up.
That's why Bubba never stood a chance when he opened his big fat mouth and started hanging around with Forrest Gump, and it's why at the end of Shaun of the Dead, there was just no way Ed stood a chance. Frankly, the more we think about it the more we're starting to think that if you find yourself in what appears to be a movie you should probably do yourself a favor and cut off all human contact. It's really your only chance for survival.