45 Example Hooks from Adventure Movies
June 6, 2015 by David T. Allen
While writing a hook for our first full-length novel, Echo Chamber Heist, I decided to look at some hooks from adventure movies. I included them here, all in one place, to make it easier for you to start your own research.
I borrowed these hooks from IMDb and Amazon. For many of these series, at least with Amazon, the hook begins to rely on the success of the prior movies instead of the stand-alone film. I included them all, so you can see for yourself what works.
Back to the Future
Back to the Future. 1985. Adventure, Comedy, Romance.
A young man is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr. Emmett Brown, and must make sure his high-school-age parents unite in order to save his own existence. —IMDb. 37 words.
Back to the Future Part II. 1989. Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi.
After visiting 2015, Marty McFly must repeat his visit to 1955 to prevent disastrous changes to 1985... without interfering with his first trip. —IMDb. 23 words.
Back to the Future Part III. 1990. Action, Comedy, Romance.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. 2001. Adventure, Family, Fantasy.
Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. —IMDb. 28 words.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. 2002. Adventure, Family, Fantasy.
Harry ignores warnings not to return to Hogwarts, only to find the school plagued by a series of mysterious attacks and a strange voice haunting him. —IMDb. 26 words.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. 2004. Adventure, Family, Fantasy.
It’s Harry’s third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new “Defense Against the Dark Arts” teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards’ Prison and is coming after Harry. —IMDb. 39 words.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. 2005. Adventure, Family, Fantasy.
Harry finds himself mysteriously selected as an under-aged competitor in a dangerous tournament between three schools of magic. —IMDb. 18 words.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. 2007. Adventure, Family, Fantasy.
With their warning about Lord Voldemort's return scoffed at, Harry and Dumbledore are targeted by the Wizard authorities as an authoritarian bureaucrat slowly seizes power at Hogwarts. —IMDb. 27 words.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. 2009. Adventure, Family, Fantasy.
As Harry Potter begins his sixth year at Hogwarts, he discovers an old book marked as “the property of the Half-Blood Prince” and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort’s dark past. —IMDb. 32 words.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. 2010. Adventure, Family, Fantasy.
As Harry races against time and evil to destroy the Horcruxes, he uncovers the existence of three most powerful objects in the wizarding world: the Deathly Hallows. —IMDb. 27 words.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. 2011. Adventure, Family, Fantasy.
Harry, Ron and Hermione search for Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord as the final battle rages on at Hogwarts. —IMDb. 25 words.
Raiders of the Lost Ark. 1981. Adventure, Action.
Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the US government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis. —IMDb. 21 words.
Accompanied by his feisty, independent ex-flame Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), the two-fisted archaeologist embarks on a thrilling quest to locate the mystical Ark of the Covenant. Indy must discover the Ark before the Nazis do, and he has to survive poison, traps, snakes and treachery to do so. —Amazon. 39 words.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. 1984. Action, Adventure.
After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees, and stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace. —IMDb. 36 words.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. 1989. Action, Adventure.
Jurassic Park. 1993. Science Fiction, Thriller, Adventure.
During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok. —IMDb. 21 words.
Genetically engineered dinosaurs run amok at a tycoon's island amusement park. Based on Michael Crichton's novel. —Amazon. 16 words.
The Lost World. 1997. Science Fiction, Adventure, Action.
A research team is sent to the Jurassic Park Site B island to study the dinosaurs there while another team approaches with another agenda. —IMDb. 24 words.
Director Steven Spielberg takes us back to the scene of Jurassic Park in The Lost World, the blockbuster sequel with even more dinosaurs, more action and more breathtaking visual effects than its record-breaking predecessor. —Amazon. 34 words.
Jurassic Park III. 2001. Science Fiction, Thriller, Adventure, Action.
A decidedly odd couple with ulterior motives convince Dr. Alan Grant to go to Isla Sorna (the second InGen dinosaur lab.), resulting in an unexpected landing...and unexpected new inhabitants on the island. —IMDb. 32 words.
Adventure runs wild when renowned paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) agrees to accompany a wealthy adventurer (William H. Macy) and his wife (Téa Leoni) on an aerial tour of Isla Sorna, InGen's former breeding ground for prehistoric creatures. —Amazon. 39 words.
Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. 2001. Adventure, Fantasy.
A meek hobbit of the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring and the dark lord Sauron. —IMDb. 27 words.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. 2002. Adventure, Fantasy.
While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron’s new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard. —IMDb. 31 words.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. 2003. Adventure, Fantasy.
Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron’s army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring. —IMDb. 28 words.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. 2012. Adventure, Fantasy.
A reluctant hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of dwarves to reclaim their mountain home - and the gold within it - from the dragon Smaug. —IMDb. 33 words.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. 2013. Adventure, Fantasy.
The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug. Bilbo Baggins is in possession of a mysterious and magical ring. —IMDb. 31 words.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. 2014. Adventure, Fantasy.
Bilbo and Company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the Lonely Mountain from falling into the hands of a rising darkness. —IMDb. 29 words.
The Mummy Series (with Brendan Frasier)
The Mummy. 1999. Fantasy, Adventure, Action.
An American serving in the French Foreign Legion on an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Hamunaptra accidentally awakens a Mummy. —IMDb. 24 words.
Deep in the Egyptian desert, a handful of people searching for a long-lost treasure have just unearthed a 3,000 year old legacy of terror. —Amazon. 24 words.
The Mummy Returns. 2001. Fantasy, Adventure, Action.
The mummified body of Imhotep is shipped to a museum in London, where he once again wakes and begins his campaign of rage and terror. —IMDb. 25 words.
An ancient legacy of terror is unleashed when the accursed mummy, Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo), is resurrected along with a force even more powerful: The Scorpion King (The Rock). —Amazon. 28 words.
The Scorpion King. 2002. Fantasy, Thriller, Adventure, Action.
A desert warrior rises up against the evil army that is destroying his homeland. He captures the enemy's key sorcerer, takes her deep into the desert and prepares for a final showdown. —IMDB. 32 words.
Adventure rules! As the spectacular Mummy series explodes into a new realm of breathtaking, non-stop action in The Scorpion King! Unleashing WWE superstar The Rock as the most feared warrior of the ancient world, The Scorpion King plunges you into a sweeping tale filled with stunning fight sequences, awe-inspiring battles and pulse-pounding thrills. It’s the ultimate special effects-powered epic and the must-see-and-see again adventure of the year! —Amazon. 67 words.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. 2003. Adventure, Fantasy.
Blacksmith Will Turner teams up with eccentric pirate “Captain” Jack Sparrow to save his love, the governor’s daughter, from Jack's former pirate allies, who are now undead. —IMDB. 27 words.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. 2006. Action, Adventure, Fantasy.
Jack Sparrow races to recover the heart of Davy Jones to avoid enslaving his soul to Jones’ service, as other friends and foes seek the heart for their own agenda as well. —IMDB. 32 words.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. 2007. Action, Adventure, Fantasy.
Captain Barbossa, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann must sail off the edge of the map, navigate treachery and betrayal, and make their final alliances for one last decisive battle. —IMDB. 29 words.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. 2011. Action, Adventure, Fantasy.
Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too. —IMDB. 27 words.
Sherlock Holmes (with Robert Downey Jr.)
Sherlock Holmes. 2009. Action, Adventure, Crime, Mystery, Thriller.
Detective Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England. —IMDb. 28 words.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. 2011. Action, Adventure, Crime.
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. 1977. Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi.
Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the universe from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader. —IMDb. 37 words.
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back. 1980. Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi.
After the rebels have been brutally overpowered by the Empire on their newly established base, Luke Skywalker takes advanced Jedi training with Master Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader as part of his plan to capture Luke. —IMDb. 40 words.
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. 1983. Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi.
After rescuing Han Solo from the palace of Jabba the Hutt, the rebels attempt to destroy the second Death Star, while Luke struggles to make Vader return from the dark side of the Force. —IMDb. 34 words.
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. 1999. Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi.
Two Jedi Knights escape a hostile blockade to find allies and come across a young boy who may bring balance to the Force, but the long dormant Sith resurface to reclaim their old glory. —IMDb. 34 words.
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. 2002. Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi.
Ten years after initially meeting, Anakin Skywalker shares a forbidden romance with Padmé, while Obi-Wan investigates an assassination attempt on the Senator and discovers a secret clone army crafted for the Jedi. —IMDb. 32 words.
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. 2005. Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi.
As the Clone Wars near an end, the Sith Lord Darth Sidious steps out of the shadows, at which time Anakin succumbs to his emotions, becoming Darth Vader and putting his relationships with Obi-Wan and Padme at risk. —IMDb. 38 words.