The one-liners that you hear in movies can make you cringe or pump you up according to how they’re used and whether or not they’re warranted for that moment. Sometimes their a little flat and don’t seem to fit, other times they’re a little lame just on the outset. For some reason film makers seem to find this an attractive thing to put into a movie quite often though. The protagonist just has to get the final word in and make their point at the same time. It can’t just be a simple beat down and then walk away, they’ve got to have the verbal equivalent of spitting in the guys face, or what’s left of him, before flexing their muscles and getting back to the business of being a hero. Even during a fight we don’t always get away from these sometimes very unnecessary quips. If you’re going to fight someone then fight them, don’t waste time talking.
Here are some of the corniest one-liners that have ever made it into an action movie.
5. “Consider that a divorce!”- Arnold Schwarzenegger, Total Recall
You really need to play that sham marriage card one more time? It was enough that Arnold already knew that he wasn’t Douglas Quaid. It was enough that his former “wife” was trying to kill him, and that she belonged to a clandestine agency that wanted him either detained or dead. Was it really wise to pull the “we’re married” card out again?
4. “You’re a disease, and I’m the cure.”- Sylvester Stallone, Cobra
Every fight it seems like we have to have a dialogue between the bad guy and the good guy. Do you ever wonder why the bad guy loses and their plans are foiled by the good guy? It’s because they TALK TOO MUCH. If the bad guy would just get down to business the good guy wouldn’t have a chance to belt out these horrible one-liners that really don’t have much of a place in their movies. “You’re a disease, and I’m the-BAM!” Really, it’s that simple. Don’t talk, fight.
3. “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick a**…and I’m all out of bubblegum.”- Roddy Piper, They Live
Now I’ll go easy on this one because it’s actually not the worst and it’s been redone in a movie within recent years and I’ve come to like it. Roddy Piper was a guy that was easy to like because he usually spoke his mind and wasn’t a fake person. He wasn’t always a nice person but at least he let you know what the deal was without trying to spare your feelings. You know, like this line. Plain, simple, and to the point.
2. “You know how I said I’d kill you last? I lied.”- Arnold Schwarzenegger, Commando
Truthfully this line didn’t even need the add on. That’s two words wasted when just ending it would have been fine. Plus I think the guy can guess that you’re about to off him when you have him hanging upside down and are obviously going to drop him.
1. “I’m gonna take you to the bank Senator Trent…to the blood bank!”- Steven Seagal, Hard to Kill
One thing about Steven Seagal. Great action sequences, horrible one-liners. He’s like a kid that’s running on autopilot while trying to come up with a really good burn. It just doesn’t work that way, you really need to think about what you’re going to say before you let it go. Sadly his dialogue hasn’t gotten any better in the years since this film.
One-liners can either get you pumped up or make you shake your head and hide your eyes as you wonder what the writers were thinking.