Action movies have made us all believe in the power of the everyman hero.
The story goes something like this: He’s an uninteresting working man with a vaguely-defined menial job and a house, maybe even a couple of kids and an estranged wife.
Then suddenly, his boring life is ripped from its comfortable little couch as he’s attacked by terrorists, or criminals, or aliens. He takes a bullet or two in the intense gunfight scene, in some part of his body that signals to the audience, hey, this hurts, but I’m tough. It won’t kill me.
Instead of freaking out and running away — like most of us would do in real life — our hero fires back, with uncanny aim, killing a couple of bad guys and maybe even saving the life of a beautiful female co-star.
Once in a great while, drama does imitate real life.
Early Thursday morning, at the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Fruitvale Avenue in Oakland, the co-owner of a taco truck was approached by two would-be robbers demanding money.
Instead of turning over his cash, the truck owner made a run for cover.
He took two bullets in the back and the leg before returning fire from behind a parked car. One of the robbers was hit before the pair made their escape. They drove to a nearby hospital, where they were detained.
The main difference between this story and most action movies? The encounter ended without anyone dying, without any serious plot build-up into an even bigger gunfight later in the movie, and without a ten-minute car-chase scene.
And oh yeah, and to the disappointment of action-movie buffs, nothing got blown up.