This weekend marks the American wide release of the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. The movie is famous for 007’s getaway car — a Lotus Esprit, which transforms into a submarine. It even has the ability to launch torpedoes and set land mines. During one chase scene, Bond makes a seamless escape into the water, eventually emerging on land to the amazement of a group of gawking sunbathers. It’s one of the film’s funniest moments and certainly one of the most ridiculous scenes in action cinema. Movie heroes like Bond are thrust into death-defying situations for our entertainment, but sometimes these scenes elicit a bit of laughter, too. Here are ten ridiculous action scenes in films that require us to really suspend our disbelief.
Is John Woo’s Hard Target a loose adaptation of Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game or a violent, extended commercial for denim? It’s hard to say, but the Hong Kong director’s first American movie, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, has several wildly improbable action scenes that are heavy on the cheese. Wearing his finest blue cotton twill and greasy mullet, the “Muscles from Brussels” surfs a speeding motorcycle in one scene, before flipping off the vehicle and landing with a resounding, “Yeahhh!” Between the explosions and JCVD’s telepathic communication with pigeons, there’s an action-lite moment involving a fistfight with a rattlesnake. Universal Pictures was anxious about the execution of Woo’s American debut, so they hired Evil Dead director Sam Raimi to monitor the filmmaker’s progress. Still, the studio’s stifling treatment has little to do with Hard Target’s unintentional hilarity.