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By Pam Burke 

Too real for action reels


Maybe I watch too many movies and I’ve become jaded, bored by the action movie formula, but thoughts of reality keep intruding on my action/adventure cinema experience.

In a scene where thieves break into a downtown office to steal solid gold bars to finance a major drug and firearms purchase from dastardly no-good-nicks, (this is what I see):

Two mastermind thieves enter the building through the roof (one of them gets stuck in the opening they made and, in the process of getting him free, the second guy missteps and falls through the ceiling panels. An astute guard immediately notices the ruckus and calls the cops and an ambulance. They arrive on scene, surrounding the getaway car and driver. All three would-be criminals are arrested for breaking and entering. No. Wait. That can’t be right. Where’s the action? Where’s the adventure?)

They successfully breech the building and the state-of-the-art safe and proceed to load two backpacks full of gold bars. (Score! But, hey, they can’t lift the bags because the standard gold bar weighs 400-troy-ounces, which is 438.9 ounces, also known as 27.43 pounds. Each. Hefty payoff of about $572,575.77 per bar at today’s prices not withstanding, the backpacks full of gold are too heavy for the men to carry. They have to settle for taking a few gold bars each. One of the backpacks rips as the men are climbing to safety. The gold bars hit the floor and cause the alarm to sound. See previous description for arrest details.)

The thieves, their backpacks heaped with gold bars, make their way out of the building by hooking their body harnesses to an elaborate, laser activated, rope-and-pulley system (which fails. Please see previous arrest details).

They reach the getaway car and fling their loot into the trunk (and drive straight to the nearest orthopedic surgeon to repair their bodies, damaged from their recent excess-weight bearing activities — those tendon tears will come back to haunt them in their middle years).

The driver roars away from the curb and tears down the street to avoid the local cops who are now in hot pursuit. (The driver hits a pothole, a tire blows because the car is not designed to carry two tons of gold in the trunk, the cops catch them. Thus ends of the world’s shortest movie. Jokes.)

The two cars careen through the streets causing massive vehicle accidents and danger to people diving out of the way. Bullets fly. General mayhem ensues. (Speaking of suing: The department is sued for all damages, and the cops are fired. Just keepin’ it real.)

The cops put on more pressure in their car chase, and then a joint ATF and DEA task force commander radios them to demand the pair back down (by promising that a chunk of federal funding, assault gear for four cops and an armored Hummer go to the local police department. Awesome! Toys! The task force completes its secret investigation several months later, and convicts all three criminals, though two of them have a much reduced sentence for rolling over on the third who, unfortunately, had a cutthroat lawyer, so he does even less time. But reality is so boring.)

The two cops go rogue and at some point the vehicle chase becomes a foot chase across roof tops, the lead criminal jumps an open span between buildings, catching himself on the far ledge, 10-stories up, (but in reality that much gravitational force can’t be caught by the fingertips like that and he falls to his death. It's messy).

His two accomplices surrender at gun point. He scrambles up the side of the building and, while walking away with a smirk on his face, the cops shoot him. Dead. (Uh, no, excessive force. We have laws for everyone, y’know. The cops get the two in the hand to roll over on the one on the lamb. See conviction rates listed above. And all the lawyers are kept gainfully financed for many repeat offender years into the future.)

The end.

(I think in my version the lawyers lived happily ever after, or at least financially well-off ever after, but the cops slept better at pam@viewfromthenorth40.com.)


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