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The Power Walk is a wide shot of the main cast, shoulder to shoulder, suited up for battle and looking cool/determined/fierce as they walk towards the camera, often in slow motion. Typically shot from a slightly lower than normal angle to add stature to the characters in the shot. Extra power can be gained from a dramatic backdrop, especially flames or explosions. The walk often continues until the characters are out of frame, and is often followed by an Act Break.

Sometimes (especially when used in the opening credits) called a Hero Shot (although there can be other types of hero shots -- e.g. a shot from a low angle to make a character look larger than life)

Can be combined with an Unflinching Walk (as in the Smallville picture) for extra badassitude. If they're standing still, it's the V-Formation Team Shot.

Commonly used as an intro shot of an ensemble cast in TV dramas, e.g. procedurals.

See also The Strut from Saturday Night Fever.

Examples of Power Walk include:


Anime and Manga


Comic Books

  • Played with on the cover to the first issue of the X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back miniseries. All the other girls on the cover have the standard determined expression of a normal Power Walk. Pixie, by contrast, is smiling happily and her head is turned to one side sort of jauntily.
  • Performed in The Thanos Imperative by Quasar, Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator, Nova, the Silver Surfer and Ronan the Accuser. Damn...
  • Played completely straight in, of all things, Nextwave.


Commercials

  • Subverted with an utterly straight face by the newly-infamous local commercial for Cullman Liquidators of Cullman, Alabama when the walk starts out including a preschooler and ends up, after a couple of quick cuts, as more of a jog.


Fan Fiction


Film

  • The Magnificent Seven (1960)
  • Averted (at least in part) in the film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension. The end credits roll features Team Banzai gathering together (even the member who died during the film) and marching in unison to the peppy "Team Banzai March". Not a true Power Walk in that the team walks across the screen from right to left, there is not a dramatic shot of the team walking towards the camera, much of the sequence focuses in on individual members of Team Banzai, and the tempo of the entire sequence is a bit too peppy to be as dramatic as a Power Walk should be.
  • The Wild Bunch (1969) "Let's go!" as the aging outlaws decide to rescue their comrade, walking through a Mexican village they will shortly massacre.
  • The Right Stuff. This is probably the single most-parodied (or ripped off) Power Walk ever.
    • A "Right Stuff Walk" is almost obligatory in anything involving astronauts or space flight:
      • Armageddon (1998). Slightly subverted as someone in the background complains, "Talk about the 'wrong' stuff", during the thuggish heroes' power walk. Also, at the end of the mission, it's contrasted by the heroic lineup being about 60% thinner than at the beginning.
      • Phineas and Ferb did a parody of this in one of the episodes where they went to space.
      • Parodied in The Simpsons episode "Deep Space Homer". When Homer gets close up during his Power Walk and sees the shuttle, he gets cold feet and runs all the way back down the hall (...out of the building, and across the street) to call his wife.
      • Also parodied in Futurama, wherein, during their Power Walk, Fry and Leela hold their space helmets while Bender holds his own head.
      • Monsters, Inc., as the monsters enter the power company, and then again in its blooper reel as the monsters stumble and bowl each other over in slow motion.
      • Terry Pratchett might have had this trope in mind when he says that Twoflower and Rincewind (disguised as astronauts in The Colour of Magic) weren't "walking like heroes" as they make their way through cheering crowds to the Discworld's first spacecraft, the Potent Voyager. They're just kind of...waddling.
  • A Clockwork Orange (1971), with a twist: the power walk suddenly degenerates into a fight, while everything is still in slow motion and cool music keeps playing (and is synchronized with the fight for added coolness).
  • The title sequence of Reservoir Dogs, as the criminals all walk out to their cars to begin the heist, with "Little Green Bag" playing on the soundtrack. This scene is often parodied.
  • 300 (2007). As with everything else in 300, beaten into the ground and kicked a few times for good measure.
  • Bubba Ho-Tep (2002). Once Elvis and Jack (as in JFK) decide to challenge the titular soul-sucking monster, they do a Power Walk of sorts through the corridor of their rest home. Kinda. Elvis needs a walker, and Jack rides a powered wheelchair. But it's still totally badass.
  • The title character and his Cowboy Cop partner from John Woo's The Killer get one of these at the end of the church shootout before the action is taken outside the church.
  • Kill Bill, Vol 1 (2003). O-Ren Ishii and members of the Crazy 88 Power Walk in the House of Blue Leaves to the song Battle Without Honor or Humanity.
    • Yu Yu Hakusho Abridged did a parody of this - the characters freeze at the end of their power walk (set to the same tune) and Hinageshi screams "Again!" Hiei shuts her down by bluntly saying "No."
    • The World Police team in Team America Power Walk into Kim Jong-Il's lair while the same song plays. YMMV if it's homage, parody, etc., since the entire film is a parody of action movies.
  • Tombstone (1993). The Earps with Doc Holliday walking towards the O.K. Corral to confront the Cowboys. The image of Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Kurt Russell, and Bill Paxton in Bad Ass Longcoats has been used in posters and video covers for the film. It even replays a more Badass version of the walk during the end credits. Since the Earp crew really did walk halfway across town to confront the Clanton crew, just about every movie featuring the O.K. Corral includes such a scene.
  • 1999's Mystery Men also parodies the Power Walk, with one character (Mr. Furious) suddenly turning around and trying to flee only to be grabbed by his fellows on either side and forced to continue to walk with them. Their facial expressions never change.
  • Comes up in Transformers (2007). Strictly speaking, it's a bunch of cars driving in a straight line, but the way Michael Bay directs it...
  • Parodied in Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth: while the main characters dramatically Power Walk, background extras move through the frame at a normal pace.
  • Parodied in Jackass: The Movie. After the credits there was a fake trailer for a sequel sixty years from now called Son of Jackass, with all of the star are incredibly old. What happens is... you know, it's best just to watch it for yourself
  • The shots of Fender and his pirates in the Jean-Claude Van Damme movie Cyborg as most viewers will agree that the big bad Fender actually stole the show.
  • In one scene of Hard Core Logo the band Power Walks towards the camera in slow motion with The Ramones handling the music.
  • It's not the main cast, but the scene of thousands of V's converging on the Houses of Parliament in the film version of V for Vendetta is awesome.
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra does this briefly, before Ripcord turns and says "Damn, we look good!"
  • Oh so subverted in The Wizard of Oz especially the way Dorothy keeps having to haul Scarecrow back on his feet. Not to mention keeping Tinman oiled and Cowardly Lion from running away... Really more of an Un-Power Walk.
  • This scene from Pirates of the Caribbean, complete with Western music.
  • Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker has a nineteen-man Power Walk at the beginning of the climatic battle featuring nearly every Kamen Rider hero at that point (the Double Riders and Kamen Rider V 3 led the power walking on their bikes to Decade and Diend who were already getting their asses whooped on the battlefield, Kamen Rider Kuuga was Brainwashed and Crazy when the battle began, and Kamen Rider Double and Kamen Rider J had their separate moments at the end).
  • The Nutty Professor II has the Klumps walking in this fashion as they head to the all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant.
  • The House Bunny after the girls get their makeovers.
  • Deliver Us From Eva when Ray and the Dandridge sisters do the chick flick version of the power walk with their very angry boyfriends trailing behind.
  • Kingdom of Heaven: Saladin after the Muslim capture of Jerusalem.
  • Parodied in Captain America: The First Avenger during the propaganda film that Steve was participating in. Later, it was played straight (also as a Call Back) when Steve liberates the POW camp.
  • Done twice in This Is England. The first time is very light-spirited, highlighting Shaun's acceptance into Woody's gang of skinheads. This was in the '80s, just before neo-Nazism and racism infiltrated the skinhead movement. The second time is much darker in tone, when Shaun joins Combo's gang of skinheads, who are much more violent and racist than Woody's.
  • An exceptionally moving Power Walk occurs just before the USA/Soviet Union match in Miracle, depicting the 1980 Olympic "Miracle on Ice", as the underdog US team leaves their locker room and heads to the ice, where they will face off the greatest hockey team on Earth.
  • When the Ghostbusters confront Gozer they stand shoulder-to-shoulder, marching towards her as they ready their proton guns.

 Peter: Grab your stick.

Egon, Ray, and Winston: Holdin'!

Peter: Heat 'em up!

Egon, Ray, and Winston: Smokin'!

Peter: Make 'em hard!

Egon, Ray, and Winston: Ready!

Peter: Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown. THROW IT!

  • In The Avengers, we get a great shot of Captain America, Hawkeye, and Black Widow walking with purpose just before the final battle.


Live Action TV

  • Seen in the Smallville episode "Justice" (and at the top of this page) where the proto-Justice League of Clark Kent, Green Arrow, Aquaman, Cyborg and Bart Allen do the Power Walk away from one of Lex Luthor's secret bases. Complete with the slo-mo, the explosions in the background, dramatic music and a dramatic double close-up - starting off with a shot of all 5, zooming in to show the middle 3 (with a sound effect cue), then repeating to zoom in on Clark alone.
    • Lex does his own Power Walk through 33.1 in Season 6's "Subterranean" after imprisoning a mutant there, dooming him to life as a lab rat. Lex strides unremorsefully down a hallway to leave as AFI's "Prelude 12/21" plays in the background. All the while, prisoners stretch out their hands to try and grab their captor, but cannot reach him. Lex, totally unperturbed, continues his exit calmly. This scene underlined just how far to the dark side Lex had fallen.
  • Given new meaning in Baywatch.
  • Law and Order
    • Though the Special Victims Unit cast eventually became so large that they opted for just a shot of them standing in their office.
  • Torchwood has this as its opening shot for the first two series.
  • The Practice
  • Queer Eye For The Straight Guy
  • History Detectives (a PBS non-fiction show)
  • The Unit. With business suits. And not the rifles they generally carry.
  • House MD and his team in the opening credits
    • Worth mentioning that House does a Power Walk with a cane.
  • The Argentinian series Los Simuladores has this in the opening credits and commercial breaks.
  • Earthstorm (Made for TV, 2007)
  • Spooks has also done this in its closing shot.
  • Stargate Atlantis season two teasers had this. Yes, the one with the poor cast wading through the water.
  • This visual idiom is also put to repeated use on Joss Whedon's Mutant Enemy shows, including parodies:
    • In one episode of Angel, "Smile Time," the doors to Angel's office open and Wesley, Gunn, and Fred walk out in slow-mo... and then the camera pans downward, revealing Angel as a puppet walking in front of them.
    • In another, "Dad," the cast Power Walk out of a hospital with a baby carriage.
    • In yet another, "Disharmony," Angel, Cordelia, Wesley and Gunn Power Walk with deadly seriousness on their way to confront a vampire cult leader. The camera starts with a group shot, then focuses on each of their intent expressions in turn, suddenly revealing Cordelia's ditsy friend-cum-vampire Harmony skipping along beside them.
    • Done straight in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Fool for Love." After Spike kills the Chinese slayer, we get several shots of him, Angel, Drusilla and Darla walking, tall and hard, with lots of fire in the background. Spike even skips over a random piece of debris, adding a sadistic child-like glee to his triumph.
    • Lampshade hung with an entire song in Once More, With Feeling, during 'Walk Through the Fire.'
    • Buffy, Angel, and Xander do a power walk to the school in the season one finale, "Prophecy Girl". Unusual in that the accompanying music is fast-paced, and that Buffy is wearing a beautiful evening gown.
      • Though bonus points for the music being the theme tune. Bizarrely, it breaks right as the pushover bad guy falls.
    • Played straight by the Hyena gang in "The Pack".
    • The intros for both Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel ended with a clip of one of the power walks that had happened during the show. It would be at the end, after the cast had been introduced and as the intro song was ending, for exceedingly cool effect.
  • The episode of Myth Busters broadcast on 2 March 2005 shows Jamie, Adam and the Build Team doing a Power walk down an abandoned runway.
    • August 27, 2008, the "NASA Moon Landing" episode, shows Jamie and Adam power walking to one of the tests.
  • Doctor Who: After defeating his first alien adversary in the Christmas special, the Tenth Doctor's Power Walk is coupled with the dialogue - "No second chances. I'm that sort of a man."
  • An episode of the BBC's Coupling parodied the Power Walk, with the leading men strutting slowly down the sidewalk in dark suits, narrow ties, and sunglasses, to be brought to a screeching halt by their girlfriends saying, "Stop playing Reservoir Dogs!"
    • Doubly parodied, really, because the characters are actually walking in slow motion.
    • The Reservoir Dogs parody is intensified by the fact that they're all in black suits for a funeral (in contrast to their casual dress in most of the show), two of them are smoking (the only time they are seen smoking in the entire four seasons if the show), and the Reservoir Dogs opening credits song plays over the top. Susan shouting, "Stop playing Reservoir Dogs!" is a classic lampshading moment, too.
  • Aaron Sorkin (and later John Wells) abused it a bit in The West Wing. Sorkin's iconic shot of President Bartlet's Redemption in the Rain in "Two Cathedrals" is immediately followed by the Senior Staff power-walking to the motorcade, and then into the State Department, set to the Dire Straits song "Brothers in Arms".
  • The Cast of Stargate SG-1 frequently enters the Stargate (and exits the other side) in this manner. In fact, the times they don't Power Walk usually indicate that something is wrong.
  • Parodied in an episode of Penn and Teller Bullshit, where Penn and Teller deliberately give a group of ghost hunters a power walk to show that they're not trying to make them look silly.
    • I believe that Michael Shermer and his crew of skeptics once used the same technique for the same reason as a show of good faith to their hopefuls of the week.
  • Parodied in, of all things, Power Rangers Dino Thunder where the Three Amigos Power Walk as they head out to rescue Tommy from the Big Bad's lair. Haley wishes them luck while inexplicably telling them they most likely won't survive. They stop and turn around in slow motion.
  • Power Rangers Operation Overdrive's Anniversary team up Once a Ranger does this with the anniversary cast immediately prior to the morph sequence, as well as Wild Force's Forever Red before they enter their spaceship.
  • The second episode of Hustle featured the main cast doing a power walk combined with an Orbital Shot at the end just before the credits.
  • Done quite a bit with Boston Legal, although the number and importance of the characters in the lineup (besides Denny Crane front and center) will vary depending on the case.
  • Ace, Sparx and Random Virus get one of thesein the last episode of Ace Lightning.
  • In an episode of the show Dharma and Greg, we see two of these, first a straight one of the male characters (who have gotten fairly drunk and decided the manly thing to do is go bobsledding), and then one of the females... who have decided to go to a bar full of Navy men pretending to be bimbos. Identical shot and music... but rather different effect.
  • Parodied in Misfits during the pseudo Misfit Mobilization Moment in episode 6, and made particularly ridiculous by the fact that the team were all wearing rubber gloves at the time.
  • Played straight in The Wire, when Avon Barksdale and his posse march through the projects glowering at people.
  • In the Deep Space Nine episode, "Badda Bing, Badda Bang", the main cast does one of these while walking down the promenade into the holosuite to perform a heist that composes the episode's main event. The bartender notices and shrugs as they walk by.
  • Many, many times in Alias. "Passage Pt. 1" has two Bristow Family Power Walks, the first out of the CIA on their way to India, and the second set to U2's "Walk On" when they set out for the border to Kashmir.
  • Happens in Charmed, in the season six premiere.
  • Played with in the opening to Breakout Kings. The power walk starts with the five leads walking together, but then prison doors slam shut in front of the three Boxed Crooks.
  • In Community Abed has the entire group do one in slow motion walking towards a space simulator. They end up being very late because he keeps making them redo it until it's sufficiently dramatic.
  • In True Blood season four episode "Burning Down the House" the episode ends with a four-vampire powerwalk in '80s clothes. With a rocket launcher.
  • The last scene of A Study in Pink from Sherlock: "Sherlock Holmes...and Doctor Watson."

Music Videos

  • The music video for the Captain Bogg and Salty song Pieces of 8ight begins and ends with power walks, though the voice-over of Salty whining provides a counterpoint to their visual awesomeness.
  • A music video made by the creators of 'Demyx Time' titled 'Consign to Oblivion' has all of Organization XIII(thirteen cosplayers in this case) doing a Power Walk near the end of the video.
  • Richard Cheese and Lounge Against The Machine do it in their video to their cover of SnoopDogg's "Gin and Juice."


Professional Wrestling

  • The Professional Wrestling programs produced by WWE typically show the participants in the next match Power Walking to the entrance stage before they go to commercial. This has led several internet wrestling columnists to mock the practice in their recaps of the shows:

 CRZ: It's Triple H, and he's WALKING~!!


Video Games

  • Anachronox ends with a Power Walk cutscene on an obvious Sequel Hook. A sequel that has no chance of happening.
  • Solid Snake, Raiden, and Otacon have a Power Walk scene near the end of Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty.
    • Snake does a very good one after murdering Raven in Metal Gear Solid, walking silently as Raven talks about how 'the path he walks on is paved with the corpses of his enemies'. Wonderfully melodramatic, creepy stuff.
    • The beginning of Act 5 of MGS4 has Snake, Meryl, Johnny Sasaki, and Otacon doing one before they attempt to board Outer Haven. The twist here is that Snake is lagging behind the others due to his physical injuries, and Otacon is walking next to him out of dedication, where the original Power Walk in Metal Gear Solid 2 had Otacon and Snake at the front.
  • The Mass Effect game cover shows Shepard flanked by Ashley and Kaidan.
  • The AI in Knights of the Old Republic is set up in such a way that your two party members will try to stay right behind you and a little off to the side, though the fact that you are always moving at a quick trot ruins the drama.
    • You can walk. Walking up to a group of enemies that outnumber you 3-to-1 and proceeding to utterly demolish them makes this even more awesome. Want bonus points? Walk away.
  • In the opening trailer of Final Fantasy XII, the Judges Magister get one of these, with airships taking off beside them. This never actually happens in-game.
  • Done during the ending of the second Saints Row after you tear up the Ultor HQ in an attack helo and kill Dane Vogel with the Boss, Pierce and Shaundi power-walking to the high-altitude helipad.
  • Shadow the Hedgehog features a Power Run, with Sonic and most of the supporting cast tearing down the street.
  • Guitar Hero: Metallica had this in the opening cutscene.
  • When you first see the villains in Dissidia Final Fantasy, they are doing this. While walking out of an active volcano, hundreds of feet above the heroes. It ends in a panning V-Formation Team Shot and then their boss, their god, a titan made of lava, rearing up out of the crater. The villains in Dissidia don't dick around.
  • In World of Warcraft, Memetic Badass High Overlord Saurfang does one of these as his corrupted son comes charging out to face you and your group and issues his challenge to the group and his father. Overlord Saurfang then calmly and unflinchingly walks forward in defiance of his son's wishes (this only happens if you're on the Horde). The fact that he remains calm and collected until he (hopelessly) charges in just adds to the amount of badass points this guy has racked up in his life for members of the horde.

 High Overlord Saurfang yells: Kor'kron, move out! Champions, watch your backs. The Scourge have been...

Deathbringer Saurfang yells: Join me, father. Join me and we will crush this world in the name of the Scourge -- for the glory of the Lich King!

insert power walk here

High Overlord Saurfang says: My boy died at the Wrath Gate. I am here only to collect his body.

  • Often used in RPGs to show off all the awesome loot your party is wearing at the end of the game.


Webcomics


Web Original

  • On his Top Eleven Coolest Cliches, The Nostalgia Critic brought up this trope, saying how badass it makes your team look. In the special Kickassia, he and the rest of the people on the site even did it when they were about to take over Molossia. And they looked badass doing it until... until the president pulled out a gun and they wound up fleeing.


Western Animation

  • Lampshaded in the Futurama episode "Lethal Inspection": "He did it! And he's not looking back at that cool explosion! He's a hero!"
  • The intro for Justice League plays this completely straight. But then, how can you NOT, when you've got Superman walking in the middle?
    • And yet they do -- in the Unlimited episode set in the Old West. Not only do the heroes stride down the deserted Main Street of the town -- (along with the phony Heel Face Turn Chronos) -- but the music playing is a Morricone-style take on the original theme music.
    • They parodied this in The Fairly Odd Parents: "They're slow, but they look good!"
  • The Season 2 Finale of Ben 10 Alien Force has the team Ben assembles for the attack on the La Soledad base doing this.
  • Parodied in The Penguins of Madagascar episode "Launchtime." The penguins power-walk on the way to their rocket ship with dramatic music playing. Then Skipper says: "Well, we'll never get to the moon at this rate. Let's pick up the pace." They speed up.
  • Parodied in American Dad with that group of cheating housewives walking into the supermarket. They really do walk that slow and a child on a tricycle is faster than them.
  • The X-Men do this, along with a V-Formation Team Shot[1] in the Japanese dub's second opening.


Others

  • This video featuring Arsenal footballers Andrey Arshavin, Bacary Sagna, Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott doing a Power Walk- while wearing furry animal costumes.
  • The music video for Kanye West's "Power", appropriately enough - the uncensored version shows Kanye animated instead of a still shot.
  • Just to show that this happens in Real Life, this is a picture of the Swiss Federal Council in 2003. Somehow, the Swiss cross on the floor makes it even better.
  • The BBC series The Planets (About, surprisingly enough, the planets), has a shot of several planetary geologists before they talk about some of Mars's features.
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