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Cable-Car Action Sequence

A Cable-Car Action Sequence is a fight scene or other tense Action/Adventure moment that take place aboard the gondola of an aerial-lift cable car, preferably while it is moving along its cableway.

This has some similarities with the Elevator Action Sequence, in that it forces a fight within enclosed quarters, while moving to another place. Amongst the differences is that it relies on acrophobia (fear of heights) rather than claustrophobia, as it has much more of a scenery. It also tends to be much longer a sequence, a cable-car ride taking more time than any ordinary elevator ride. It can also involve more people, and of course adds the danger of someone falling from a great height.

More often than not, the fight will take place on the roof of the cable-car rather than the cabin, to increase the chances of a Literal Cliffhanger or Disney Villain Death. This variant is closer to a Traintop Battle, though not as speedy.

Any such sequence might involve the antagonist trying to sabotage the cable-car and making all occupants of the gondola fall to their deaths, adding more pressure to the protagonist trying to stop this. If two cable-cars going in opposite directions cross, a character may jump from one roof to the other.

A subtrope of Interesting Situation Duel. Compare Elevator Action Sequence, Traintop Battle. Contrast Stuck on a Ski Lift.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, from Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, uses a special attack called "Gondola Tour". It involves him riding a cable-car to the ceiling and then dropping it on his opponent's head.
  • During the Ruby & Sapphire arc of Pokémon Special, Sapphire battles Team Aqua Admin Ark/Matt inside a stalled cable-car filled with water. N also forces White to battle him inside a Ferris wheel cabin during the Black & White arc.
  • The fourth Lupin series, Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, had Lupin trying to escape from Fujiko with his "treasure", riding an empty cable car with Jigen and the "treasure". Fujiko chases after them and they force one of the cars to drop, with her in it.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Hoodwinked, Red Puckett gets taken hostage and is put into a cable-car cabin that is loaded with dynamite and padlocked.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • James Bond:
    • A non-action but still nail-biting suspense scene involves Bond's escape in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Bond is locked up in the cable-car room, and the only way out is by crawling out over a sheer drop along the cable, and then dropping onto the roof of a cable-car just before his fingers are severed.
    • In Moonraker, a fight between Jaws and Bond happens aboard the gondola leading to Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro.
  • Toward the end of the movie Where Eagles Dare, a lengthy fight inside and on top of a cable-car happens, complete with jumps between two crossing gondolas. The movie poster provides the action-packed page illustration.
  • At the climax of Night Train to Munich (1940), there is an exciting escape that is nearly the same.
  • The funicular version involving a gunfight with the Big Bad occurs at the end of the 1986 crime drama 8 Million Ways to Die.
  • At the climax of Johnny English Reborn, Johnny jumps with a snowmobile unto the cable-car where Big Bad Simon Ambrose is trying to flee. Fistycuffs, Groin Attacks and explosion ensue.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The end of the Chuck episode "Chuck Versus the Fear of Death" has a fight aboard a gondola.
  • The climax of the episode "Sanctuary" of Human Target also has a gondola fight.
  • The MacGyver episode "Cease Fire" has MacGuyver dispose of a bomb on a gondola.
  • In an episode of White Collar, Neal Caffrey jumps from one Roosevelt Island tram car to another to avoid arrestation.
  • Mission: Impossible: In "The Tram", the IMF must infiltrate a Syndicate financial meeting — held at a mountain resort only accessible by aerial tramway — to discover the group's Swiss bank account number. Naturaly the eponymous tram features heavily in the action.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb features a cable-car complete with a mounted machine gun, and a bunch of Mooks to use it on.
  • Resident Evil:
  • Twice in Halo 2, first with the two gondolas on the Lake of Regret, and the gondola ride to the Library in the Quarantine Zone.
  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein has a short cable-car battle after escaping the castle.
  • In Snake's Revenge, one of the later stages forces the player to ride atop a series of cable-cars in order to get from one place to the next. The game switches to a side-view perspective, where the player must avoid being discovered by the guard inside the gondola.
  • In The Punisher video game, Grand Nixon Island has a gondola ride to a Boss Fight, while sniping bad guys along the way. Don't find all the snipers? They'll plug the machinery and you are going for a fall to the bottom of the valley.
  • Haze has the player ride a cable-car at one point, but most of it consists of listening to a recording talking about the boring scenery. A few soldiers do show up halfway through, but half of them walk off the car and plunge to their death.
  • 007 Legends: An interactive example in the second On Her Majesty's Secret Service mission. Bond uses a piece of chain to ride down to a cable-car, blows up a helicopter with an RPG and jumps across to a second car before the first one falls off the track.
  • Duke Nukem Forever has one in a dumpster suspended from a crane.

    Western Animation 
  • The escape from the Boiling Rock in Avatar: The Last Airbender involves an epic fight over a steam-powered gondola lift.
  • In Wakfu season 2 episode 7, the heroes ride on a Clock Punk cable-car and are attacked by flying pirates above a sea strait. The fight scene is a bit more extensive than usual, since the gondola is the size of a house and armed with a cannon, and the pirates have magical flying steeds.
  • The Simpsons: When the family goes to Brazil and Homer gets kidnapped, they decide to do the hand-over on two cable-cars. Naturally throwing the money over is a lot easier than Homer jumping over; when he does the cable snaps. The kicker is that it turned out to be Homer's idea in the first place.
    Kidnapper #1: We should make our transfers in a safer place!
    Kidnapper #2: It was Homer's idea. You say no to that face.
  • The Hey Arnold! TV movie "The Journal" has one during Arnold's parent's honeymoon in Rio de Janeiro.


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