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The Art of the Suit-Up Scene

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Josh Reichlin

I'm a fan of several things. Mostly food, sauces and dancing.

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Epic music, quick cuts, gratuitous close-ups, and sounds of things clicking: in a nutshell, these represent the art of the Hollywood suit-up scene. They are simple, quick shots of adrenaline that kick the movie into the next gear without much viewer effort. Growing up, this was one of my favorite parts of a movie. It was easy for me to understand, and the lack of special effects made it a snap to re-enact at home.


Recently, I was fortunate to have stumbled upon the site Suitupscene.com, which has renewed my interest in these works of art. In that spirit, here are our 10 favorite suit-up scenes:

#10) The Ex-Presidents.
Movie: Point Break (1991)

An oddly silent suit-up in terms of heroic music, but makes up for where it lacks with an overzealous amount of gun clicks.

#9) Johnny 5 is alive enraged and suiting up for battle.
Movie: Short Circuit 2 (1988)

This ridiculous sequel to Short Circuit is definitely one of those films that can be described as a "Hilarity Ensues" film (i.e. a robot that is magically brought to life by a bolt of lightning moves to New York, hilarity ensues.) So the fact that it has a robot suit-up scene, complete with late 80's guitar licks and a face slapping set synth horns, doesn't surprise me.

#8) "Anyone know how to use these things?"
Movie: Zombie Strippers! (2008)

Zombie Strippers: A movie that was made purely for its title and clickity gun closet suit-up scene with a cheesy joke that brings a slight smirk to your face.

#7) The Dark Knight Suits Up.
Movie: Batman Begins (2005)

I believe it's a law that every Batman movie has to have a suit-up scene. By rule of clicks and Hans Zimmer/James Newton Howard soundtrack, this is one of the best of the series.

#6) Man of Ste...Iron.
Movie: Ironman (2008)

I would easily classify Ironman as one of the most complicated suit-up scenes in film history and by no means would I consider this suit-up, "a snap to re-enact at home."

#5) The "In-Famous" Suit-Up.
Movie: ¡Three Amigos! (1986)

What is more intimidating that seeing some close-ups of men fastening their belt buckles, tightening their spurs, and donning bedazzled sombreros? The answer: Nothing.

#4) "You Are an Animal, OOOWWWOOO!"
Movie: Teen Wolf (1985)

A unique suit-up scene without any clicks, quick cuts or any other diegetic sound for that matter (with the exception of the one-liner at the end). It does feature gratuitous close-ups of a teen aged werewolf putting on a suit, blow drying his wolf hair, and talking to himself in the mirror while disappearing into thin air all to the tune of The Bee Gees/Stayin' Alive.

#3) He Just Doesn't Turn it Off.
Movie: First Blood: Part II (1984)

The iconic headband, tight necklace, and bowie knife is what devastation looks like before it happens. "Nothing is over! Nothing! You just don't turn it off!"

#2) "I've got to go to work."
Movie: Batman (1989)

Yes, two Batman movies made our list, both of which earn the right to be here in their own respect. Although I have to say, I'm partial to this one because of its simplicity, with only 1 click and 3 shots to suit-up.

#1) The Definitive Suit-Up Scene.
Movie: Commando (1985)

I think you'd be hard-pressed to find any red blooded American male who didn't dream of being Arnold in this defining suit-up scene. It has everything one could ask for: various clicking things, gratuitous close-ups of guns, body armor and giant muscles, and insanely heroic music.

BONUS: The Worst Suit-Up. Ever.
Movie: Batman & Robin (1997)

Astonishingly offensive close-ups of asses and molded nipples for no reason.

Hat tip [Suitupscene.com]

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1 Comment

IrishSweetness said:

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No Darth Vader birth scene ? Isn't that suiting up ? Good idea ... and then you put in a load of pathetic movies. 4 or 5 proper suit-ups and they're all Batman ....

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