What Would Happen To A Real-Life Action Hero?

Paul Hair

Action heroes remain a staple of American cinema. They can be quite entertaining. Nevertheless, an interesting question to ask is: What would happen if someone tried to be an action hero in real life?

John Wick: Chapter 2 is set for release in 2017, and if you haven’t seen it yet, the first teaser trailer is available to whet your appetite.


When I was watching the trailer, I thought about what would happen if someone decided to be an action hero in real life. I don’t think it would go very well.

For instance, if a guy vowed to get the thugs who murdered his wife and 2.5 kids, his quest for vengeance probably would end in disaster.

For starters, he’d probably be out of shape. And if he tried to get back in shape—for the first time in 20 years—he’d probably only run maybe once or twice until he stopped.

I mean, seriously, have you ever tried running or working out on a regular basis? Many (or most) people can’t do it. It’s hard and it requires a lot of dedication and perseverance—particularly if you haven’t done it in a long time.

If our notional, would-be action hero decided to skip the running and move on to learning how to fight, he’d probably not last long in that either. One punch to the face would stop that training. Again, try taking a punch to the face as an adult if you haven’t been hit in some time. You’ll remember why you’re glad the days of childhood fighting are over.

Even if our theoretical hero just decided to arm up, he’d probably be unfamiliar with purchasing a weapon and ammunition (which can be a lengthy process). Then there’s the whole learning how to shoot thing.

If he managed to get past that and go hunting for the thugs who slaughtered his family, he’d probably get himself killed as soon as he found them.

True, a lot of action movies define the hero as having a military or law enforcement background. And that does address a lot of the problems I just described. But even then, it won’t go well for that lone man whom “the system wronged, and now he’s going to wrong it back.”

I’m not knocking action movies. I understand the appeal of them and have enjoyed them.

But if anyone tried to be an action hero in real life, he’d likely end up dead pretty quick (or he’d stop his quest for vengeance before he got very far).

So I guess my point is: if you’re ever moved to become an action hero, think twice. You probably don’t want to do it.