IT IS ON! Deciding Moments in Movies


I think I’ll call it the “OH SHIT-SON YOU ARE SO DEAD” face. Every good action movie that features one person going out to rescue or revenge another will feature this face and the moment that goes with it. That moment where the audience goes “IT IS ON!” After this, no one will be spared. No one will survive and even our hero might not make it out alive. He doesn’t care anymore, he is gonna get what he wants and the bad guys will realize, much to late of course, that their time has run out.

The following quote is a bad translation:

You only think about what happens tomorrow. People like you get destroyed by people who live today. I live today.

It is from “The Man from Nowhere” a korean action movie that moved me to tears. Then there is the almost classic bunch of lines from Taken:

I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.

Third in the exemplary bunch shall be the picture at the top, here is is again:


This is the main character from “The Aggression Scale”. He is a mentally damaged kid. Doesn’t say a single word throughout the whole movie. You should watch that movie. There is a moment though, the titular “IT IS ON!” combined with the “OH SHIT SON YOU ARE SO DEAD!” face (I need a better name for this, any ideas?) that will make the viewer forget his or her personal morales. These moments turn us into morally unstable human beings. They make us cherish whatever follows. They make us pick a side and then support that side, nost times we will allow everything. It is very rare that someone gets up and says: “Dude, that’s enough, you can stop killing bad guys now!”

It is quite the interesting mechanic. Combined with great fight scenes it makes for the best action movies out there. When John McClane hears that his wife is in trouble, when Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson in Taken, amazing, I bet no one knows his name in the movie) hears his daughter scream on the phone, when Owen sees the door of the truck open again and when Cha Tae-sik finally knows the face of his prey, in these moments you’ll realize that this chair isn’t as uncomfortable as you thought. Most likely you wont even know you sit in a chair anymore. All you care about is the guys who deserve a beating getting the beating.

Another one, god damn he scared the shit out of me in that movie.

I highly encourage you to watch the mentioned movies: The Aggression Scale, The Man from Nowhere, Taken and the first two Die Hard movies. The last two should be taught in High-School, so you might have already seen them. Tell me in the comments if you have a better name for the faces the heores make and give me more movies like this to watch!

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