OK - so we were watching MI4: Ghost Protocol the other night and the scene where Ethan has to scale the outside of the skyscraper he's given a pair of sticky gloves with blue for working lights and red for not working lights. There's a bit of chat that goes along the lines of: "If the light's blue, it means glue. If the light's red, you're dead."
Now as soon as we get this info, both myself and girlfriend turned to each other and said "They're gonna break halfway through" and lo and behold, halfway through his climb one light turns red, the gloves breaks and Ethan falls to his doom.
Except, no he doesn't, he's the star of the show and manages to save his fall with the other glove. Hooray - didn't see that coming.
Now the thing is, why do they bother with such redundant devices to create tension? I mean we know that Tom Cruise's character will survive to the final frame and there's plenty of other ways that the story could and did put him in peril without a device that telegraphs it from a 100 miles off.
You could argue that we always known that Bond will survive until the final frame and yet we watch him go up against ridiculous odds only to survive miraculously, but to return to MI4, these gloves seemed to exist for a specific purpose, not to help Ethan in his climb, but to break halfway though and give a little gasp! moment.
They just seemed like such a cheap and lazy device. Are there any others that simply exist for a particular scene only to become redundant or fail at the crucial moment to add a little tension?