1. Getting "the call"
I love any scene where someone gets "the call." It's such a great cliché: one minute you're a strapping, grizzled retired cop/marine/mountain climber doing something very chill, like grieving your dead wife/partner or perhaps feeding a docile animal with you daughter, and the next minute you're "getting the call" from a high-ranking official and that gruff authority figure needs you to come back and help restore order to this fucked-up world. You're fired up! You're checking your ammo stash! You're handing out Predator-esque handshakes right and left! The call can come from a retired Army buddy, a forgotten childhood friend, a shadowy government employee, or even a member of your family -- it doesn't matter. What matters is that you spring into action, typically after your peaceful cabin blows up or your daughter gets kidnapped.
In movies like Shooter, Commando, and Cliffhanger, a reluctant hero gets the call. Watching the hero get the call gets me charged up every time it happens; it's like someone distilled the "take chains off/take rings off" part of "Ante Up" into an espresso you can shoot into your eyelids. These moments are a distant cousin of another excellent trope, the "One last job…" story, where a thief gets recruited by his old gang for, well, you get it... one last job. But the crucial difference here is that the action hero isn't motivated by money. No, the action hero is out for sweet, sweet revenge -- or to rescue his or her family.
(Side note: if the action hero's nice cabin doesn't get blown up as part of the bad guy's plot, who takes care of it? It seems like maintaining a permanent residence would be a difficult task for a non-drifter, Jack Reacher-style hero. Someone has to cut the grass when you're out fighting Russian terrorists. They can't let the mail pile up. Manicured lawns are important. When a hero is off saving the world, do they Airbnb their tricked-out cabin to yuppies on vacation? Is there a special service they use? I need answers.)