It’s March Madness. And don’t get me wrong, I like basketball fine. But what I really dig about this tourney is the highlights montage at the end. You know, with the song One Shining Moment—a timeless treasure that, like the guitarist from Queen’s hairstyle, absolutely does not need modernized and never ever will. I just like montages. Sure, they feel a little bit like cheating. A way to breeze over a major point in a character arc or plot. But there’s a certain ham-fisted art to it.
So with that:
Welcome to Brokaw’s Montage Final Four™!
In real time, teaching this big, arrhythmic lug to dance would take Kevin Bacon two weeks (longer for anyone but KB). With a montage, it only takes three minutes. Add an uplifting rah-rah pop song. Show a variety of rustic settings and vacant sporting locations. And before you know it, the student is doing an intricate hoedown-inspired freestyle routine that will turn this weird dance-less town on its head. Your move, John Lithgow.
#3: The Breakfast Club
Will these five misfits ever understand each other? Sure they will. All they need is a four-minute song that will release their animalistic instincts. If there’s one takeaway this montage (and well, the entire movie) absolutely hammers home, it’s that each character is different—but also, the same. And this montage is the point when they truly start to realize it. It’s also the part when Emilio Estevez shatters glass by screaming. Try including that in the movie without a montage, John Hughes. I freaking dare you.
#2: The Karate Kid
Listen, I’ve been to a karate tournament. What a snore! How could we possibly speed up the action and highlight the two contenders who will ultimately rise to the top? A montage, baby! Immediately after someone screams, “You’re the best!” to the Karate Kid, the song You’re The Best kicks in, and this all-day event is cut down to a much more palatable length of time. Thanks, montage.
#1: Rocky IV
Ok, so this one is about two-montages long. Could it have been shorter? Of course. But I say, the more montage, the merrier! On one hand, we see Ivan Drago at a facility using the latest training equipment and technology that blinks and bloops. So where’s Rocky? He’s in a crummy, old cabin in Siberia, carrying logs, cutting down trees, and even rescuing horses to get stronger! (“No fair!” I screamed in the theater.) The result is the ultimate montage transformation. After nearly seven minutes, these two athletes are in peak physical condition and ready to represent their countries in the ring. U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
So there’s our Montage Final Four. Each one is a champion in its own right. If you’d like a recap of this O-News, you can just check out this highlights montage we made.
Have a highlight-filled weekend, everybody.
-Your montage-making friends at Brokaw.