5 Oddly Specific Movie Tropes Hollywood Is Obsessed With Right Now

5. Opening Movies With Low-Quality Handheld Camera Footage

Warner Bros.

They say the opening of a movie is the most important bit. These are the moments that will either invest the audience in your story, put them off completely, or leave them totally disinterested in whatever it is you're doing. Let's hope for the first one.

Lately, a lot of movies have tried to make their opening minutes a bit more unique by featuring a scene or two that's filmed by one of the characters in a vlog-style fashion (often complete with "REC" or timestamp overlays, grainy amateur film quality, and a side letterbox).

But it turns out that everyone has started doing this, so it's really not that unique at all.

The very first thing you see in Justice League is Henry Cavill's mutant CGI upper lip being recorded by a kid with a smartphone, and Spider-Man: Homecoming - after a short opening section involving Vulture - shows us a vlog Peter Parker made when he visited Germany during Captain America: Civil War.

Spider Man Homecoming Giant Man
Marvel Studios

In addition, American Assassin opens with a few shaky handheld shots of a couple holidaying on a Spanish beach, and The Shallows shows two people being recorded while surfing, after a kid finds a helmet-cam and plays the footage back for himself.

In a similar vein, last year's Valerian and the City Of A Thousand Planets opens with several grainy letterboxed shots of a space crew in 1975.

American Assassin opening scene

It's an odd trend, especially when you consider that a few years ago, blockbusters often started by trying to wow us with bombastic action sequences (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, Man Of Steel, Star Trek).

This method is a lot more intimate and puts you right in the middle of the action, so it works just as well all things considered.


Video and content editor at WhatCulture. Perpetually waiting for the next Christopher Nolan movie.