A fairly common solution to the problem when a Rambo-style or super-power protagonist is pitted against an enemy that is supposed to be possible to exist in a world like our own. This can be an evil corporation, or a crime organization, or perhaps a shadowy conspiracy. When such a foe fights a normal cop or a lawyer, they can send some shady types to threaten or attack the protagonist, and it will be a credible threat. But if the protagonist is a certified Badass
, he would flatten or mow down the thugs, and the story would end quickly. So perhaps they'll have a lot of thugs. With guns. Machine guns. And rocket launchers. And tanks, and attack helicopters, and....
The Corporate Carrier Group occurs when this beefing up of a supposedly realistic enemy is taken to its (il)logical extreme. It threatens to break the Willing Suspension of Disbelief
, when a private corporate security team would give an army battalion a run for its money, or when a highly secretive organization has such a large and well equipped branch of enforcers, it leaves you wondering how they manage to remain secret. In short, whenever a semi-realistic group has far more resources than they could logically have or hide, it's a Corporate Carrier Group.
It is a common occurrence in Super-hero stories, whenever the writers want to take a break from the usual super-villain enemies (or when the super-villains run any kind of organization than includes non-superpowered people, expect it to fall into this trope). It is also very common in video games. In such cases, it is arguably an Acceptable break from reality.
It should be noted that what is a realistic for such an enemy to have depends on the country the story takes place in, among other things. In a narco-state, the drug organizations really can have enough firepower to match a small army. Or perhaps the actual army has been bribed sufficiently that they simply use that.
Usually, this trope applies to villains. But while protagonists rarely have large armies, they can have a few very nice toys or hidden bases that they really shouldn't have.
- Resident Evil. The Umbrella Corporation's private Red Shirt Army, the UBCS. Not to mention the multiple private military/research bases they own. And they're supposed to be a pharmaceutical R&D company in the public eye!
- FEAR - Armacham.
- Tom Clancy's HAWX has a private military company (or rather, large corporation) that mid-game goes rogue and attacks the United States with huge numbers of fighter jets and various other pieces of high-tech military hardware.