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Slo-Mo Big Air

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You know, it's technically illegal to film ski jumps at standard frame rates. See?

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.


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     Anime and Manga 
  • In The New '10s' film adaptation of Berserk, Guts hits a mounted Tudor knight so hard that he gets a truly impressive amount of Slo-Mo Big Air falling out of the saddle.
  • Bakusou Kyoudai! Let's & Go!!, Go Seiba's Magnum Saber is known for a loosely weighed body. Lacking any real downforce causes it to ramp jumping into race climaxes, where he beats his dominating rival by a mere second. While reckless and damaging, this happens so effectively Go weaponizes this trope into his special move. Unfortunately, this is how his first upgrade, Victory Magnum, gets destroyed in the anime, as it was involved in a mid-air collision with Rei's Ray Stinger.
    • Go's third upgrade, Beat Magnum, is equipped with a motoocross bike's-esque suspension system, causing it to jump like mad upon slopes. This is effective considering his main rival at time, Carlo's Diosparda, is so obsessive in stabbing knives into the rear of the car.

    Asian Animation 
  • Mechamato: When MechaBot as the Mechabike rides up a building's wall and launches himself from a roof, he gets some air time in slow motion before Amato enables a water-riding mode on him as they land in the river.

  • 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!"
  • Bullitt.
  • 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 60 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. Somewhat unusually, this is portrayed as being bad for the car.
    • And then there's the original Gone in 60 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.
  • 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.
  • During the Final Battle in Zack Snyder's Justice League, the Batmobile gets hit by one of the cannons defending Steppenwolf's base and jumps in slow motion. Batman escapes death via Ejection Seat, and the wrecked car ends up crashing on a bunch of Parademons.

     Live-Action TV 
  • 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.

     Video Games 
  • 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 (mega jumps on Big Surf Island), 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 Grand Theft Auto III any time the player hits a ramp fast enough to catch some air.
    • One of the Grand Theft Auto: 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.
    • Grand Theft Auto: 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 McTwist, 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 Mega Man 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.


     Web Original 
  • 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.
  • Invoked in Red vs. Blue, when Sarge's suggestion on how to break through enemy lines is to ramp over the bad guys with an "adrenaline-fueled, slow-motion car crash."
    Grif: How do you just make something slow-motion?
    Sarge: If it's epic enough, life finds a way...

     Western Animation 
  • Possibly the earliest example is the Mach 5 in Speed Racer.


Video Example(s):


Need for Speed: Most Wanted

The final scene of the game has the player jumping over an old, dilapidated bridge in order to evade the cops and leave Rockport.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

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Main / SloMoBigAir

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