Do you ever spare a thought for the fruit seller and the uniformed policeman? You know the ones, they always appear in action movies and fast moving crime series on television. There is always a fruit stall in the path of a car chase; whether the hero is chasing or escaping, he screeches round the corner straight into the hapless fruit seller. If he’s lucky he escapes death, but his stall is smashed, his fruit rolling down the street. A day’s earnings lost, perhaps his livelihood… and that is all we ever know of his life. The hero cares nothing about the man and all his dependents, he’s too busy grinning at the sight of the criminal crashing into a plate glass window. Another business ruined, the shop owner showered with splinters of glass and someone else’s blood, suffering from shock at the sight of the criminal’s head thrust through the windscreen, almost separated from his body. But the viewer has already left the scene, unaware of the shop keeper’s future struggles with post traumatic stress.
But there is more than one criminal the hero has to chase, uniformed police have now arrived, but their role will be brief. The slightest brush with the villain’s vehicle and the police patrol car rolls over, crushed, occupants killed instantly. Our hero spins round deftly to continue his pursuit.
Often our hero is a maverick secret agent, answerable to no one except perhaps M, if he is James Bond. If our hero is a plain clothes detective he may condescend to return briefly to the police station, before meeting his glamorous girlfriend. In real life he would have a mountain of paperwork and a great deal of explaining to do. But our hero does not hear other officers talking in shocked tones about the death of their colleagues. He slips in to see his boss and avoids the collection going round for the families of the dead officers. It’s just another day for him.