Barry got back to his feet inside the Bright Falls General Store and dusted himself off. Right next to the cans of baked beans was a locked case filled with flare guns. And yet, here was a conveniently placed barrel of crowbars! Barry's smile widened as he realized that this was the classic movie scene where the hero had to gear up and arm himself to the teeth. He threw himself into the role.
Similar to the Training Montage
, it consists of the hero (and his optional team) gearing up for the big fight, preparing a multitude of weapons in anticipation of the need for More Dakka
, usually taken from a Wall of Weapons
. Usually features close-up shots of guns being loaded, knives being sheathed, headbands being tied, etc. Never
complete without a veritable symphony of metallic clicking noises.
Whether or not all the weapons are used
or whether the hero is held to the limits of what is shown
is up for grabs.
Frequently there will be one "special" weapon, a small and somewhat unusual one normally, which will play a critical role in the upcoming battle.
As the use of firearms is a modern contrivance, works such as The Iliad
often depicted warriors donning their arms and armor in scenes heavy with ceremony and ritual.
The A-Team Montage
might be seen as a variant. The Transformation Sequence
is a close cousin, and the Extended Disarming
the opposite. Sometimes ends up as Technology Porn
, and in military or law enforcement-themed media it frequently happens during Red Alert
A Sister Trope
to Fighter Launching Sequence
, Lipstick and Load Montage
(the Distaff Counterpart
open/close all folders
- Parodied in the Parazone sponsorship thingies for The Bill. The cop-show obsessed character does this — with cleaning products.
- Kevin Butler: "Two words for you: Mon Tage."
Anime & Manga
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha devotes an inordinate proportion of its Transformation Sequences to shots of the characters' magical armaments, which include a surprisingly large number of moving parts. These evolved into Lock And Load Montages by the second season, when the characters began literally loading their weapons with "cartridges" for extra oomph.
- Misato in End of Evangelion, when preparing her pistol to go rescue Shinji from his Heroic BSOD. Misato's H&K USP makes some pretty satisfying metallic clicks.
- The Cowboy Bebop episode "Toys In The Attic" parodies Ripley's Lock and Load Montage in Aliens, with Spike equipping himself with a blowtorch, among other things. The whole episode, as a matter of fact, was one big Shout-Out to the original Alien.
- Yoko does this in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, though she ends up removing her clothes in favor of her flame-patterned bikini. Did we mention that she's the show's go-to girl for fanservice?
- Go-to girl? I think you mean poster girl. She's the frikkin' page image!
- It's "during" the battle rather than "before", but Kaze's Magun from Final Fantasy: Unlimited has a pretty awesome pre-fire sequence: whenever he wants to take down a baddie with it, he loads three bullets full of "Soil" into it and fires — summoning a Final Fantasy monster.
- Done in chapter 15/episode 18 of Soul Eater where, having been at a party, the students put on their usual outfits in order to face Medusa and her followers in battle.
- Gundam series tend to feature these in the booting up format. If the Gundam is unused and being prepped for the debut battle, it will inevitably take much longer to suit up to give you the rundown. This comes complete with the interface completely opening up before your eyes. If the Gundam has weapons, they will be manually equipped.
- At the beginning of the Title Sequence for Samurai Gun.
- Fate/Zero has Kiritsugu and Maiya preparing themselves for combat, which usually involves at least one gun each (usually rifle and pistol, plus attachments like scopes and silencers), ammunition, knives, a couple of varieties of grenade and a few kilos of C4. Finally, there will always be Kiritsugu's Contender and its case of Depleted Phlebotinum Shells.
- In chapter 70 of A Growing Affection, Hinata gears up after Naruto is kidnapped while they are swimming.
Films — Animated
- The final story in the film Heavy Metal combines this with some heavy Fanservice as Taarna, the last Tarakian, prepares to fight her zombie-like enemies, in a leather bikini and stripper boots.
- Appears in Disney's Mulan as she puts on her father's armor and leaves home to join the army in disguise.
- The teaser trailer for The Incredibles spoofed this, with Mr. Incredible suiting up. It's when the belt fails to buckle that the audience discovers that he's let himself go.
Films — Live-Action
- The Interview has one, which ends with a sudden sex scene between Aaron and Sook. Justified, as they were trying to have sex earlier, but were interrupted.
- The Rambo movie series features a number of iconic example, especially the one from Rambo: First Blood Part II, the most frequently parodied.
- Commando: There's two of them; one when Arnie's stealing the weapons and equipment from a surplus store (except he's loading them on a shopping trolley), the other when he's gearing up for Storming the Castle.
- The 2004 Punisher movie has a great one as Frank gets ready to storm the castle, complete with Thomas Jane's broody narration.
This is not vengeance. Revenge is not a valid motive, it's an emotional response. No, not vengeance. Punishment.
- Hot Shots! Part Deux has a prime parody of Rambo, with Charlie Sheen preparing an improbable number of weapons. He finishes with a bandana, which he puts over his eyes - and promptly walks into something.
- Another famous parody, this time with Charlie's brother Emilio Estevez, is in Loaded Weapon 1, when Colt straps on so many weapons that he can't stand up. When we cut to the next scene, he's decided to storm the villain's hideout with just the one gun.
- Another parody appears in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, where Isaac Hayes' character preps for the final battle by holstering more than a dozen guns under his long coat. He then trips and falls while leaving the building, causing all the guns inside his coat to go off.
- The Blade Trilogy has one of these per film. All of them show Blade loading guns, sheathing knives and his sword, and putting on various other weapons. In the second movie, Whistler and the Blood Pack suit up alongside Blade. In the third film, it's Blade and Abigail Whistler who are loading up.
- Shows up several times in The Lord of the Rings in the ceremonial donning of armour style.
- Théoden has his armour put on for him by Gamling and uses the free time to recite some (presumably traditional) poetry over a montage of the other men and boys of Rohan despondently taking up old weapons and putting on ill fitting armour.
- By contrast, Aragorn puts on all his own clothing and gear without a word, and looks very much the workman rapidly and methodically preparing for a hard day's work. (He has at least two decades on Théoden, and so might be expected to have more thoroughly put away childish things.)
- An earlier scene has a villainous example: goblins strapping armour onto Uruks, pressing weapons into their hands, and marking them with the White Hand of Saruman.
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan had a good one in Act 3 when the Enterprise makes its run for the Mutara Nebula and the big showdown with the starship Reliant. As James Horner's navy music plays, we see repair teams deploying to all sensitive areas of the ship, activity in engineering, and the now-famous shot of actual torpedoes being loaded. Considering the crew is primarily made up of cadets, they have passed their trial by fire and perform with the efficiency you'd expect students of Starfleet Academy to achieve.
- A callback to this scene appears in Star Trek after Captain Pike gives the order to "prepare to fire all weapons" with crew members scrambling for their places and two six-round quick-loads of torpedoes being slammed shut.
- Star Trek: Nemesis has a scene very similar to the Mutara Nebula scene as well, with keycode-locked wall panels that rotate to reveal stored phasers.
- The Batman movies often have a sequence where Bruce dons the batsuit, punctuated with dramatic angles, closeups, and movements. This convention has since trickled down into some of the animated series.
- This is subverted in Batman Returns, as while Bruce breaks off a date with Selina Kyle to suit up as Batman, it's intercut with Selina frantically trying to get into her catsuit while still driving.
- Hot Fuzz features a seriously amped-up version of this montage, as Nicholas Angel straps several gun racks' worth of pistols, shotguns and rifles to his body, then stomps out with thudding footsteps from the extra weight, and walks right past the main villain, who is too busy eating ice cream to notice...
- Both Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness feature Ash tooling up, complete with whooshes and zooms. "Groovy."
- Every single montage in Shaun of the Dead. Hell, Edgar Wright even does Lock and Load Montages for "getting ready for work" or "going down the pub". Take that, banality!
- In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Scott gets one of these. Which pauses for several seconds while he ties his shoes. The original purpose of the scene was to get Scott into a new T-shirt for the final battle; the whole sequence, complete with shoelace gag, was worked out in only a few minutes on the set.
- Ripley locks, loads and duct tapes near the end of Aliens in order to rescue Newt from the Alien Queen. Earlier in the film the entire crew of the Sulaco has a Lock and Load Montage preparing for the drop.
- Raw Deal, another Schwarzenegger film, except Arnie stuffs the guns into a nylon bag instead of strapping them on.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. Alice suits herself up with articles of clothing that belonged to her dead friends before going off to fight Freddy.
- Phantasm Oblivion, when Reggie loads his guns and straightens his bow tie before going off to guard the hearse.
- Predator series
- In Predator, Dutch prepares primitive weapons and covers himself with mud prior to fighting the title opponent.
- In Predator 2, Harrigan strapping on and preparing his weapons before confronting the Predator in the slaughterhouse.
- The Matrix: "So what do you need? Besides a miracle." "Guns. Lots of guns." We do not see the actual tooling up, just the racks of virtual weapons and Neo slapping down the cocking lever on an MP5K-PDW.
- Parodied in The Pacifier, when Vin Diesel's SEAL-turned-babysitter character gears up with baby bottles, diapers, and the like for a walk in the park.
- Short Circuit 2 had robot Johnny 5 "suit" up for revenge in a Radio Shack after getting essentially pounded into scrap by a pair of crooks and having to rebuild himself. With random electronic components. To turn himself into a Punk Rock Android. Complete with Mohawk.
- Done in The Last Samurai, with Katsumoto's whole village abuzz with training, meditating, and making arms, armor, and incendiaries. Algren's suiting up near the end is particularly contemplative.
- Though the protagonist hitman in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai does not decorate himself with tons of metal; he always meticulously checks his guns (but then, there are "meditative" scenes when he cleans barrels and even assembles a silencer).
- Parodied in Spy Hard. When the protagonists are finally finished with gearing up, they are surrounded by mooks and get captured.
- Iron Man: Tony Stark suiting up before he takes the fight to the Afghan warlords is Technology Porn, a Lock and Load Montage, and a Crowning Moment of Awesome mixed into one.
- The Hebrew Hammer: The Kwanzaa Liberation Front has one of these every time they show up — only it's made entirely of them cocking their guns.
- The Sylvester Stallone movie Cobra had a different take on this; scenes of the bikers approaching the small town where he's hiding are intercut with Stallone slowly assembling his Jatimatic submachinegun which had been carried stripped down in a suitcase.
- The Kevin Bacon film, Death Sentence, features such a montage where Kevin Bacon is in his shed shaving his head à la Taxi Driver and fooling around with his newly bought weapons (up until this point of the film, Kevin Bacon plays a family man who has most likely never used a gun before in his life so he is most likely trying to figure out how the guns operate) before embarking on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- The action flick Supreme Sanction subverts it (technically): during the opening, we see someone prepare a sniper rifle, but when the actual shooting occurs, the protagonist uses completely different weapon: an Austrian Steyr AUG assault rifle (and she uses it like a sniper rifle).
- Parodied in Raising Arizona. H.I. is going back and forth speechifying, putting another handgun in his pants every time he reappears on screen. Finally, he appears with a shotgun.
"So let's go, honey! (cocks gun) Let's go get Nathan Jr.!"
- Used in Malcolm X, where we see several men sitting around a table, loading numerous weapons. Inverted in that it's not a heroic moment—they're preparing to assassinate the title character.
- At the Opera Tonight of Repo! The Genetic Opera consists of characters getting ready for the titular event. The Repo Man just can't help packing a couple of scalpels.
- In the Spy Kids films, this is seen quite a bit with the gadgets and such.
- In Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, this trope is seen when Dog's crew and Rory Breaker's crew are on their way to ambush the main characters.
- Split Second (the 1992 movie) had one of those near the end when the two cops prepare for their showdown with the monster.
- The 1984 vigilante movie Savage Streets has Linda Blair's character Brenda, after the death of her friend Francine at the hands of the Scars, suiting up in black leather and grabbing a switchblade as John Farnham's "Justice for One" plays. The real weapons she uses against the gang (a crossbow and some bear traps) come later.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, there is a montage of the pirate fleet hoisting their colours just before battle, after a Rousing Speech by the Pirate King Elizabeth Swann.
- Sin City has one when Marv goes in for a rematch against Kevin.
- In Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, the film begins with Batman suiting up, picking his gadgets, and getting in the Batmobile.
- Gladiator has the opening sequence of the Romans preparing for battle against the Germanic tribe. Arrows are nocked, ballistas are wound, to much clicking and clacking.
- Eraser. Arnie has a brief one when he's with a group of federal agents gearing up to raid a house. It serves as a Chekhov's Gun by showing the belt knife Arnie uses to escape The Mole later on.
- In Captain America: The First Avenger, there's a brief sequence with Captain America arming his motorcycle with weapons and wielding his shield right before the proper montage of him and his team in action against the forces of HYDRA.
- In The Wild Hunt, one occurs as Bjorn, Erik and their allies prepare a raid into the Celts' camp. Tamara even "equips" her cleavage.
- In Black Hawk Down, there's a montage of the Rangers gearing up for their mission, complete with rock music blaring in the background.
- In The Avengers, once our heroes decide to collectively start, erm, avenging, we're treated to a montage of Iron Man making repairs to his armor (prepping the new one comes later), Captain America suiting up, Black Widow arming her gauntlets, Thor grabbing Mjolnir, and Hawkeye checking his bow.
- The trailer of Skyfall features one. This also occurs before the final battle at the titular household of the same name, complete with training with the weapons and setting up booby traps.
- Tank features a "lock and load montage" as the protagonist fires up his Sherman tank to rescue his son.
- In G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the Joes (and Storm Shadow) go to General Joe Colton's house to arm themselves. We are greeted to a montage showcasing his over-the-top stockpile of weaponry concealed in his suburban kitchen.
- Hooper starts with a long scene of the stuntman Sonney Hooper (played by Burt Reynolds) donning protective gear.
- The short film parody Night of the Living Bread has the male protagonists attaching extension cords and turning on electric toasters before taking on the zombie bread slices.
- Man on Fire has a variation. We see John Creasy buy the guns alongside other pieces of equipment (like additional cell phones presumably for calling without being traced), most of which get used at some point afterwards in the movie. Set to Nine Inch Nails' "The Mark Has Been Made".
- Dredd opens with the titular Judge suiting up for work. It's the only scene in the movie where Dredd doesn't wear his helmet, but since he spends the entire scene in shadow with his back to the camera, you still can't see his face.
- Older Than Feudalism: The gearing up scene is one of the most frequent formulae (that is, groups of lines periodically repeated almost identically with a few significant variations) of The Iliad. Several heroes get one and each one reveals something about them: while Menelaus has the "standard" scene, Paris is seen donning borrowed armour (which marks him as not a real warrior), and Patroclus puts on Achilles' but is unable to lift his great spear, a foreshadowing of him being ultimately unable to fill Achilles' shoes and dying because of it. Later, when Achilles has his own Lock and Load Montage and is seen grabbing said spear, you know He's Back and arse is going to be kicked.
- Beowulf also includes a scene in which the character donning his armor is described as an almost religious ritual.
- The Discworld novel Pyramids begins with Teppic the student assassin preparing for his final exam by loading up an arsenal of knives, poison darts, climbing gear,
piano cheesewire, etc. He then puts on his hat, stands up to look in the mirror, and falls over backward. With echo scenes later, involving crazy symbolic ceremonial gear or being ordered to throw down all weapons.
- Also done in Wyrd Sisters when Granny Weatherwax puts on her black cloak and secures her pointy witch hat with hairpins.
[The pins] slid on one by one, as unstoppable as the wrath of God. No samurai, no questing knight, was ever dressed with as much ceremony. Finally she surveyed herself in the mirror, gave a thin little smile of satisfaction, and left via the back door. The air of menace was only slightly dispelled by the sound of her running up and down outside, trying to get her broomstick started.
- In A Brother's Price, Jerin decides that man or not, he is still a Whistler and must do everything he can to protect his wives from the impending threat, so he puts on his old walking-robe with the pockets, goes to his wedding chest, and straps on his lockpicks, knife, and derringer - a tiny pistol. He is then promptly kidnapped.
Live Action TV
- The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Valiant" features one before the ill-fated battle.
- The station itself gets one in "The Way of The Warrior" after revealing that Deep Space Nine now sports a complement of 5000 photon torpedos, there's a sequence of the photon launchers deploying from various parts of the station.
- Captain Janeway, in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Macrocosm," got to do her own Ripley impression as she girded for battle with giant flying one-celled organisms.
- Another one occurs in "Scorpion, Part I" as Voyager approaches Borg space (specifically, a Borg-free corridor running through the region) and the crew prepares for a possible confrontation.
- Star Trek: Enterprise features one in "Countdown" before the battle to rescue Hoshi Sato and destroy the superweapon.
- A mild spoof in Chuck: as Chuck and Sarah prepare for their first date, we see a montage of Sarah strapping on body armor, prepping poisoned darts, checking throwing knives, and loading her gun, intercut with Chuck combing his hair, choosing a shirt, tying his shoes, etc.
- The entire series starts with one of these. It turns out to be a subversion, as it's actually Morgan trying to sneak Chuck out of the house. Even funnier is that Morgan has a grappling hook to "climb down" from Chuck's window... Chuck lives on the first floor.
- One Babylon 5 episode, "No Surrender, No Retreat", combined this with the Captain's Log; the log is read over shots of fighters launching, White Stars flying in formation, etc.
- Supernatural liked using these in the first season, though they're common enough to be understated when they happen now.
- Parodied in Misfits, where several of the characters are shown "gearing-up" for their confrontation with the Virtue organization. Their "gear" consists of ipods and rubber gloves (it sort of makes sense in context, but still looks really silly).
- The Firefly episode "War Stories" featured one of these.
- Subverted in "Objects in Space" when Jayne hears something moving around upstairs, pulls a blanket off the wall to reveal a rack full of weapons... wraps the blanket around himself, and rolls over in bed.
- Appears in Kamen Rider Agito, while Agito, Gills, and Another Agito get the usual Transformation Sequence, G3/G3-X has to manually don his armor and weapons in a dramatic fashion.
- Spoofed in the Doctor Who episode Dalek when the Doctor goes through van Statten's collection of alien weaponry tossing them aside with comments like "broken - broken - hairdryer". When he finds one that he thinks is suitable, he says "Lock and load!" just in case we missed the point.
- Parodied in Spaced - Mike pulls a Commando-style montage (with knife/grenades) getting kitted up for paintballing before dropping in Ash's 'Groovy'.
- Teen Wolf has Chris Argent and his associates preparing to hunt down Derek, Scott, and the Season 1 Alpha.
- Allison's preparations to hunt down Derek for the death of her mother.
- The Aquabats! Super Show! episode "Showtime!" has a musical number appropriately titled "Showtime!" in which the band gears up to stop a downtown menace.
- Full Metal Jousting: Several times during the series, we are shown scenes of the contestants suiting up in modern versions of 16th century jousting armor.
- "Jerusalem", of all things.
- Dethklok uses an absolutely lovely one in Murmaider, illustrated in the song's official music video:
There are no fingerprints underwater
Nothing to tie one to your crime
And if you seek vengeance,
You will need your instruments of pain
You'll need your:
But beware, for when you quench your bloodthirst,
Others will seek vengeance on you
And they won't rest until you're dead.
They'll have their:
- Mass Effect 2 has a lock and load montage right before you take the Normandy through the Omega-4 Relay. From a story perspective, the entire freaking game is this, as everything you do (recruiting and getting squad members loyal to you, upgrading the ship and weapons, etc.) is in preparation for the final mission.
- Body Harvest for the N64 features an opening cinematic where the protagonist suits up while the aliens invade his space station. It looks bad ass up until the part where he gets shot.
- Similarly, the first Worms game starts by showing one of the worm soldiers loading and strapping on everything from pistols to a bazooka, readying them to rock and roll. After a moment of standing there looking like a badass, he topples over. This itself was a parody of the intro sequence to Operation Wolf.
- In the Xbox remake of Ninja Gaiden, Ryu Hayabusa is shown tightening the straps on his outfit and putting three kunai into holders.
- Although the player starts with only one weapon, the demo for the video game Dark Forces began with a sequence of Player Character Kyle Katarn strapping on his equipment. Strangely, this montage was absent from the full version of the game, though fan-created mods put it back in.
- Done every time you make a major kill in Assassin's Creed I, but with the most notable being Altair's preparation for the final assassination target, in which he does the most well-recognized form of the montage (swinging his swords to test the balance, tightening straps etc.).
- The 1987 arcade shooting gallery game Operation Wolf began with a Lock and Load montage sequence based loosely on a similar sequence from the 1985 action film Rambo: First Blood Part II.
- The Trauma Center games always show a quick sequence of the main surgeon dramatically donning surgical gear and striking a pose just before each operation.
- The beginning of the first Splinter Cell game features Sam Fisher gearing up en route to his first mission to The Crystal Method's "Name of the Game".
- The Witcher's opening sequence features a prolonged montage as Geralt prepares his monster-hunting tools, his swords, a knife, a silver chain, drinks potions etc...
- Happens to Barry in episode 4 of Alan Wake. It's off-screen, but we learn about it via a manuscript page, which also lampshades it.
- Armored Core series love this. Even the very first game feature an Armored Core being constructed, from each individual parts starting from the Core selected, attached, briefly tested before finally the head is attached and the mecha is activated. Several variations exist like in Master of Arena's powerup opening or more recently, For Answer's White Glint being armed by having a rifle airlifted using an AH-64.
- Some games instead have an entire army gearing up, like the opening introduction for Halo.
- Team Fortress 2's Medic gets one of these in his Meet the Team video, where he prepares to set out to the battlefield with the Heavy.(Not that other heavy.)
- At the end of Policenauts, Jonathan Ingram has one near the beginning of the climactic final act of the game.
- In Perfect Dark, the cutscene before the last level shows Joanna loading a series of guns while preparing for an assault on the Skedar homeworld.
- Sgt. Rex Power Colt does this in the opening cutscene of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, and finishes it off by grabbing his crotch.
- The intro video of War Craft II has soldiers running past a rack of spears, each grabbing one as they go past.
- The Black Prince gets an elaborate arming scene before the Battle of Poitiers in Shakespeare-and-unknown-writing-partner's Edward III.
- Cry Havoc features a page of the mercenaries loading machine guns and swords before setting off across the jungle.
- The "Let's kick fang!" sequence in Sluggy Freelance, when Riff, Aylee, Kiki and Bun-bun prepare to rescue Torg and Zoë from vampires. Featured weapons include sharpened stakes, a stake-launcher, a Star of David, high-power lamps, a whoopee cushion filled with holy water, a ferret flying device, Bun-bun's switchblade (now with silver-plating) and Aylee's claws (which really don't need any improving).
- Spoofed in this Sam and Fuzzy strip, adding in (for no apparent reason) pouring a fizzy solution into a test tube and building a snowman to the more standard montage fare.
- The Order of the Stick has a variety of these, getting lengthier as the strip developed a plot and the battles got bigger. The most elaborate one to date was when Azure City was about to be invaded, and the characters' preparations included writing new spell scrolls, forging a new sword, and making out.
- The Senkari has one whenever Freija dons her armor.
- The Street Fighters have this in Street Fighter: The Later Years complete with a cheap imitation of the song Battle Without Honor Or Humanity and ending with Zangief wearing a too short speedo.
- Parodied in the first part of Kickassia. The Nostalgia Critic's team is loading up for battle, with characters like Eight-Bit Mickey having 300-style muscles drawn onto his chest, Paw putting on a pair of headphones dramatically, the Cinema Snob taking off his glasses, spinning around, and putting them back on, and Handsome Tom simply standing there, having changed to a red "Villain" shirt off screen, and shrugging.
- A standard feature of FIGHT THE PATRIARCHY photosets on Tumblr.