Image by Victor1558
Speeding trains/buses, battlefields, big cities, dangerous jungles and arid deserts are extremely common settings for exciting set-pieces for action/adventure/thriller films. Few though have been set in a setting as drab and stale as an office. The following list points out five film moments in which Hollywood has livened up the office setting, showing those partitioned desks don’t have to be such a dreary place after all…
1) The Matrix (1999)
The first piece of drama in the film sees Neo (Keanu Reeves) in his office at work, where he receives a call from Morpheus (Laurence Fishburn) warning him of the impending arrival of The Agents. Whilst receiving directions from Morpheus, Neo crawls through the office to attempt to escape the clutches of Agent Smith. At this stage of the film, the audience doesn’t know anything about Morpheus or The Agents, and whether either is good or bad. They only know that Neo is caught in a web and is struggling to get out.
2) Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
The third film in the Michael Bay franchise is probably the most action packed of them all. The Decepticons (evil Transformers) open a portal in Chicago to bring their world, Cybertron, into the Milky Way in order to drain Earth’s resources and enslave humanity. It’s up to Sam Whitwicky (Shia LaBeouf), a handful of U.S. marines and the Autobots (good Transformers) to infiltrate Decepticon-controlled Chicago and take down the portal. At one point, the team are trapped high up inside a floor of an office building, hiding from the Decepticons, who proceed to knock down the office block whilst they are inside it. Cue extravagant special effects and stunts.
3) Vampires Kiss (1988)
The black comedy saw Nicholas Cage portray literary agent Peter Loew who believes has been bitten by a vampire after a one night stand, and shows increasingly erratic and unstable behaviour. In one scene, made famous now by the ‘You Don’t Say’ meme of Cage’s expression, Loew beckons Alva (Maria Conchita Alonso), his receptionist, into his office. Wearing sun glasses and a plaster on his neck, Loew slowly and gradually tells Alva how worthless she is, and his tone of voice changes from sarcastically soft and caring, to threateningly harsh as he does so. Watching Cage’s transformation is captivating.
4) 24 (2001-10) – Day 5: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
In Day 5 of the hit U.S. show, terrorists have stolen toxic nerve gas and threaten to release it if the government don’t meet their demands. C.T.U becomes a target and when the gas is leaked in the ventilation system, Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub) has to seal as many rooms as she can. Once herself, Jack and most of the main characters are safely in the room, Chloe activates the seals on the glass partition screens to stop the gas leaking in. The glass which had always divided the office is now the only thing keeping them alive.
5) Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
‘Anchorman’ has been considered one of the funniest films of its generation, since the entire script reads like one long list of quotable references. When Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) comes to San Diego to become the first woman news anchor on Ron Burgundy’s (Will Ferrell) news station, he tries everything he can to discredit her. After a string of failures they finally break into a fight, including being whipped by a T.V. aerial, mace to the face and throwing typewriters at each other.
Did you agree with these selections? Care to offer any scenes yourself? Feel free to comment and share below.
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James Duval is a blogger for applied workplace ltd and an avid film fanatic. He sometimes wishes that his office would have spontaneous explosions and that Jack Bauer would leap through the window from a helicopter to make the day more interesting.