What's more cool than a witty one liner after you've shot some smarmy asshole through the face? Well... saying a witty one liner BEFORE you've shot some smarmy asshole through the face!
Action films are always a bit tongue in cheek, the main hero can usually sustain any ammount of punishment and is back in peak physical condition for the following sequels without so much as a bruise to show for it.
But what annoys me the most about action films is the timing of the comedic one liners. For instance, take the amazingly great mind f**k that is Total Recall. A film that has some great use special effects and leaves you wondering at the end if the main character was dreaming it all or if it actually happened. Either way, he dies/lives happily ever after so who cares right?
Now Arnie was the king of 80's action films, and he's had his fare share of One Liner's, Total Recall has a few. In this film however, his wife attacks him at a few points, and as Arnie pulls a gun on her she stares at him lovingly and says "But honey, I'm your wife" Arnie shoots her and quips "consider that a divorce"
Now if I was about to shoot my spouse (a situation that I have become very familiar with in the past few years) I would instead say "Consider this a divorce" and then shoot her. That way the last thing she hears is a witty one liner. There's nothing worse than coming back with a good retort and there being no one near to hear you.
Lethal Weapon 2 is another one, with one of the best villains ever. Here we have Danny Glover facing off against the white supremisist South African Consulate (I believe that was his job title including the white supremisist part) All the way through the film he's been flaunting off the fact that he's untouchable, as it would create an international incident apparantly. Personally I think the government of South Africa wouldn't give two hoots if he died, they must have known he was a prick, why else would you send him to America?!? I'm always sending people I don't like to America (the postage is pretty expensive though)
So right at the end, this evil bastard pulls out his papers and shouts "Diplomatic Immunity" in probably the most comic accent I have ever heard. Glover then cricks his neck, which is a signal to the audience that he is lining up a decent shot, then shoots him and after he's dead quips "Just been revoked" Wow, what a cool come back. But no one can hear it!?
I guess that maybe they say it after they kill them because if they said the one liner BEFORE they kill them, it'd give them time to escape or shoot back. Whatever the reasoning, I do enjoy a good retort, but I would ask that anyone reading this who has the intention of killing me, please say your witty retort before you kill me, I'd like to go to hell thinking "man, that was a good comeback"