A key escape technique in our hero's arsenal — their car can actually fly, but only very slowly.
Police cars in Hot Pursuit
frequently achieve Slo-Mo Big Air
but generally with disastrous results because Every Car Is a Pinto
An actual ramp
or other apparatus for launching the car into the air may be required - unless the chase takes place in San Francisco
, whose steep "stair streets" make for an excellent place to grab a lot of air.
Furthermore, being that the heroes typically have a Cool Car
, the matter that landing from such jumps would mean serious and irreparable damage to the car's structural integrity is never an issue.
- The Blues Brothers had this in their Bluesmobile. Some say it was because they were on a Mission from God. Apparently, the director said "It's just a magic car!".
- Der Clown – Payday. Not only do all cars that are sent flying in this movie adaptation of a German action show perform corkscrews and other insane maneuvers in slow motion—the heroes even manage to drive their minivan out of town after it flew some 10 feet high, spun around, smashed hard into the concrete, and rolled over, a stunt which would lead to the immediate explosion of the car in many Hollywood flicks.
- Parodied in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, when two garage attendants steal the Ferrari. A later scene shows them on their joyride, getting serious air time while the Star Wars theme is playing.
- Don't forget his leap over the lawn chairs in the race home at the end.
- The final car chase in Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000) features a car that's apparently capable of entering low earth orbit.
- Also, it zig-zags up and down while in the air.
- And then there's the original Gone in Sixty Seconds (1974) where the Big Air scene towards the end is shown about half a dozen times in Slo Mo and then once more in one cut with a fixed camera at normal speed.
- As one might guess, The Matrix trilogy loves this trope. It's subverted once in the first movie when Morpheus demonstrates the roof-to-roof jump to Neo. He covers so much height and distance that a slow-mo would be needless.
- Notwithstanding the Rule of Cool, this is actually an important part of the plot. Every time the action goes into Slo-Mo Big Air, it represents a character bending the reality of the Matrix. The reason it wasn't used during the jump program is that Neo wasn't able to separate from the Matrix at that point, so he saw it happen in real time. There are little tastes of it during the initial martial arts battle (which is why Morpheus decided it was time for the jump program) and in the jump itself, where he almost got a handle on it right at the jump but then fell in real time because he failed to free his mind at that point. Notice on the rooftop scene that, from Trinity's presepective, Agent Smith dodges all of Neo's gunshots in real time, but when Neo does the same to Agent Smith's bullets, the time shift represents Neo freeing his consciousness from the Matrix so he can perceive it slowly enough to get out of the way (almost). The same is true in the beginning when Trinity runs across the walls and during such events as the helicopter rescue of Morpheus and the fight in the subway station.
- Done by the main character in Rad on his BMX while he's being chased by the local law enforcement.
- In the movie Speed, this is done with a bus.
- Triple-X does this multiple times within the first half hour of xXx. First with a Corvette, and all the other times with a motorcycle.
- The Soviet "Liberation" film series of the late 60's does this with a TANK.
- It's done in Rush but it's a subversion in this case: given that a few minutes later the car crashes and catches fire it comes off as more ominous than cool. Not to mention that the wings and fins on a Formula One car are specifically designed to prevent flying and it's a sign that the car's not performing correctly.
- Each and every episode of The Dukes of Hazzard. As a matter of fact, that show would be unrecognizable without this trope.
- KITT on Knight Rider had a "turbo boost" function that unfailingly resulted in Slo Mo Big Air. A bit more justified than many, as the dialog hinted KITT had some sort of rocket assist in order to get airborne. Furthermore, since it's well established that KITT is near-indestructible, KITT can go jumping all day if he has to and never worry about being damaged.
- Common enough on Mannix that whenever it occurs in Mystery Science Theater 3000, one of the bots will yell "Mannix!"
- Happens in an episode of The Professionals, thereby revealing there are two crash test dummies in the front seat. One of whom has its head fall off in slow motion.
- It's MOLASSES TIME! In Backyard Skateboarding, just get this, move up a big ramp, and you'll go flying really slowly.
- When you go over the super-jumps in Burnout Paradise, you're treated to one of these with the camera flashing. With the slo-mo it often becomes painfully obvious if you're going to make it or not.
- Driv3r gives the player the choice to switch to Slo Mo in mid-game whenever they please as long as they're using a vehicle, including (but not limited to) the frequent Big Air scenes.
- Occurs in every Grand Theft Auto starting with GTA 3 any time the player hits a ramp fast enough to catch some air.
- One of the Vice City missions was just a string of these as you drove your bike around the roofs of a quarter of the city, making jumps from one to the next.
- San Andreas had this for one of the missions for the predetermined path for the player to go by. Hearing Catalina curse at you while the game was playing in slow motion during your big jump is exceptionally hilarious.
- Every single Need for Speed game from Hot Pursuit 2 onwards punctuates Big Air with Slo Mo, though there's always an option to disable this.
- In Scarface: The World is Yours, this sometimes appears in the lead-up to a large "Air Time Bonus".
- The Interceptor in the 2001 Spy Hunter game has a turbo boost which results in this if used while approaching a ramp (or other suitable terrain.)
- In Tony Hawk's Underground, a free-roam in Hawaii in search of places to do great tricks for a skateboard video culminates in the player hitting a ramp on the roof of a hotel, launching themselves over a hovering helicopter, hitting a Mc Twist, missing the whirling blades by a foot or two, and dropping an incredible thirty stories without injury, in slow-motion.
- There was also a cheat in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 to achieve this effect; on the cheat select screen it was called "Matrix air".
- Unintentional example via Good Bad Bugs in the first Megaman X game. In Armored Armadillo's level, in the final minecart ride before the boss fight, a huge number of enemies come at you, causing the game to slow down because it simply can't process that much going on, invoking the trope when the minecart jumps the various gaps.
- In the reboot of SSX, there is a dedicated Rewind buttonnote . When you hold the button, as you're supposed to do, you can reverse time, allowing you a do-over when you get stuck, fall off a cliff, and so on. However, if you merely tap the button, the game goes into slo-mo, which creates a cinematic effect when you're doing crazy tricks or dodging obstacles.
- Parodied in The Hire episode Star. The Driver (heavily implied to have been hired by the star's manager to bring her down a few notches is racing around the city at high speed, while his passenger bounces around in the back seat because she did not put on her seatbelt when he asked. At one point, the car ends up airborne coming off a hill, while the soundtrack (Blur's "Song 2") is abruptly interrupted by Ride of the Valkyries... until the car touches the pavement again, at which point the soundtrack switches back.
- Possibly the earliest example is the Mach 5 in Speed Racer.
- In PVP the characters wished for General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard - and it occasionally reappears as a Running Gag.