Swinging Jailbreak
How else do you escape from a suspended cage?
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(permanent link) added: 2011-09-13 09:31:24 sponsor: Stratadrake (last reply: 2013-01-18 10:42:29)

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Hanging cages are one of the stock imprisonments that a Big Bad can secure the heroes in while deciding whatever he's going to actually do with them. Of course, once he's out of the room, the heroes will come up with a plan to escape -- and one of the first things suggested to them (perhaps by the Cloud Cuckoolander, because they're always right) is to start rocking and swinging their form of imprisonment back and forth.

Generally, the idea is that they'll get the cage swinging widely enough (and fast enough) that it will impact a nearby wall, causing the door of the cage to pop open (or snapping the cage loose from its mooring), and they're free!

This usually works, although the exact details of how tend to vary.


Examples

Animated films

  • After Nigel's Villain Song in Rio, Jewel's idea for escaping the cage the smugglers have placed them in is to bash herself against the sides to get it swinging. When she asks if Blu is going to help, he asks why they can't just open the cage's latch -- which (much to Jewel's surprise) he does easily.

Live-action films

  • The crew's manner of escape from the Peligostos cannibal tribe in Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest after being suspended in two cages hewn from human bones; they are able to grab a nearby cliff face in the process and climb their way up, although it takes a little longer to actually free themselves from the cage.
    • The third movie used a comparable escape from the bleak white abyss of Davy Jones's locker, when Barbossa realizes that Jack's frantic back-and-forth running across deck is actually an attempt to capsize the Black Pearl. (It Makes Sense in Context.)
  • In Time Bandits, they don't swing the cage, they swing one of themselves at the end of a long rope hanging from the cage. Which they got by partially unraveling the rope holding the cage up. Hilarity Ensues.

Video Games

  • In Another World, the hero is at one point trapped in a hanging cage with a native. The player must get it swinging with careful button presses to escape (whereupon it crashes on a nearby guard).
  • During Disc Two of Final Fantasy IX, Marcus and Steiner are imprisoned in this manner. It is the player's job to get the cage swinging fast enough to crash into a nearby ledge and break them free.
  • This is the manner for rescuing Beat hidden in Mega Man 7: Shooting Beat's cage causes it to swing back and forth, and it ultimately shatters against the wall.

Western animation

  • In a first-season episode of Beast Wars, Cheetor and Tigatron were captured by Megatron after being hit with a Mode Lock-inflicting weapon. It was Tigatron's idea to swing their cage loose.

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