Dying with your Boots on pt 1.

I’m not a crier during movies. I’m a jumper during scary ones, but the parts where most people cry, I don’t. I get it, but it doesn’t hit me like that.

The parts of movies where I do get choked up is when brave people die. More than that, when people who know they’re going to die, but march ahead anyway. Stuff like that gets me every damn time.

Not a great example, but very iconic.

In honor of the brave sacrifices of (mostly) fictional characters, here is a list of my favorite deaths from the movies.

Optimus Prime – The first I saw and still the best, Prime makes a stand to buy everyone else time to escape Autobot city.  You want grit?  This death has it by the semi load.  Megatron’s fearsome arm cannon, a giant noisemaker in the Saturday morning cartoon, is used with efficiency in the movie, dropping heroic Autobots left and right, and even shooting Ironside point blank in the head(!), before settling it on the greatest leader of the Autobots.

40 ft. tall Iron John Wayne.

The fight is ferocious and brutal, each blow becoming more desperate as the 40 foot tall robots begin to wear down.  Soon Megatron shoots Prime in the chest, then shoots him twice, then three times, each powerful blast punctuated with “fall damn you, fall!”  Yet, Prime soldiers on, each step heavier, until he reaches Megatron and delivers a spectacular beat-down before both mortal enemies fall to each other.

Alright, I’m starting to tear up, moving on…

Boromir – Yeah he was a bit of a prick at the beginning, but c’mon, he’s next in line to be the Steward of Gondor, waiting to become the leader he always knew he could be, and some asshole who shits in the woods shows up, is revered by the warrior elite of Elven Society, and happens to be of the lineage of the true Kings of Men starts handing out orders.  Compound that with the fact that he is being tempted by the One ring on a profound level, and you have all the makings of a truly epic, but understandable, dickhead.  Yet when it comes time to suit up and do battle Boromir’s true character shines through.

Valhalla awaits.

The Uruk-hai are horrific combinations of orc and goblin, born in the violated earth beneath Isengard.  When these abominations come to take the Halflings back to Saruman, Boromir steps up in a big way.  He fights off the Uruk-hai by the dozens, his body count well into the teens before he’s struck by an arrow.  Serving as nothing more than something to make him mad, he fights on, monstrosities falling to his sword. Then the second arrow hits, knocking him to the ground.  Summoning stamina from a reservoir unknown to lesser men, he gets back up to fight before being felled by a third.  When his executioner walked up, Boromir didn’t beg or cry, he looked Death in the eye.  If it’s your time, filled with arrows and surrounded by the corpses of your enemies is one of the better ways to go.

Whistler – Kris Kristoferson spent most of the Blade movies drunk and angry, and that’s how he went out.  Consistently surly, burnt-out, and constantly catching fuckers at bad times, Whistler was the walking embodiment of grit.  Whether telling Daywalkers to stop acting like pussies, or sassing murderous vampire lords, Whistler never ever backed down.  He was too tough to die from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, being nearly beaten to death, then nursed back to health so it could start all over again, and finally being shot repeatedly by the FBI when they raided his and Blade’s headquarters.

"Did I catch you fuckers at a bad time?"

Granted the Feds’ bullets made his hobble (because walking normally is for fancy lads) more pronounced, he kept on trucking, seemingly pulling shotguns out of nowhere (maybe the warehouse was made of shotguns) and firing wildly at federal agents, no doubt picking out the ones not manly enough to have fostered dozens of offspring.  Finally, cornered, shot, and bleeding out, Whistler flipped off the tactical team and detonated the explosives hidden in the warehouse, proving once and for all, that the only person man enough to kill him was himself.  Even then he had to try two times.

Mifune – He’s the leader of the humans’ infantry in the Matrix Revolutions.  The last man standing in those bad ass robot suits.  So in awe of his sheer manliness, one of the characters remarks “he’s pissing steel!”  Now, that is a fairly ridiculous thing to say, so he had to have meant it.

Man, if only I had a robot suit...

It just slipped out.  Second, you think it’s a coincidence he’s named Mifune after Toshiro Mifune, one of Japan’s greatest actors, and the go to guy to play bad ass samurais in cinema?  Hell no.  Defiant to the last, he cuts swaths through the invading hordes, slinging white hot lead into a living mass of glowing red eyes and metal tentacles.  He goes out with a lion’s roar, giving his life so Zion has a chance to survive.

Ellen Ripley – She fought like hell to save her life, her crew, some cocky space marines, and little Newt.  But at the end of the day, when it came down to it, she was fighting to save humanity, and upon finding out she was not only incubating an Alien embryo, she displayed the fierceness that let her blow monsters out of air locks, duct tape a machine gun to a flamethrower, and go toe to toe with the galaxy’s greatest monsters’ mom.  Throwing herself into a pit of molten steel in the ultimate fuck you to nature’s greatest killing machine, her last thoughts were a prayer to God that someone wouldn’t hire Joss Whedon to write a movie about her, only to have some French asshole fuck it up.

Sorry they won't let you just stay dead, Ripley.

Oops.

William Wallace – Wallace had made his point.  He fought like a man who would become legend.  He inspired Scotland to stand up for itself, and ignited a warrior tradition that would live on in the minds of the Scots forever.  If he wanted a quick death, no one would begrudge him.  Hell, it was expected and accepted for him to ask for a quick death.  His two closest friends stood, nearly silent, at the scene of his public torture and execution.  The only words they could manage were begging Wallace to ask for mercy.  But William would not have it.  Mustering his last breath he literally screams out, with his last bit of life, a defiant challenge to let a tyrant know there’d be no satisfaction here.  Utterly defeated on nearly every single level, William Wallace would die a man.

I know, I know, Mel Gibson’s evil. Whatever, I will always love Braveheart.

Vasquez – Perhaps the toughest chola to ever roll through the Colonial Marines, Vasquez is five feet and three inches of steel. In Aliens she’s part of the detachment sent to LV-426 and is one of the fireteam’s smart gunners, which means she has a weapon so big, she has to wear it, but it’s all for nothing.
The marines and the civilian survivors are on the move, their fortified position overrun by hundreds of  monsters with acid for blood. Trapped in the tunnels with the aliens closing in, Vasquez, rather than let the xenomorphs tear her apart or take her back to the nest to be impregnated by a facehugger, clutches a grenade, lets her commanding officer know that he’s an asshole, and makes sure she takes a couple of the aliens to Hell with her.

Maximus – He survived professional armies from beyond the horizon, barbarian hordes, the worst and then the best gladiators the Roman Empire had to offer and he still he stood, unbowed. His entire life, Maximus was at worst beaten, but never defeated.

And here he is, about to get killed by a little weiner kid in white armor in front of thousands after being tortured all night and stabbed in the fucking chest by the pussy trying to profit from his death. Maximus is done for, and he knows it.

However, he’s not going alone. It turns out having people swing a sword at you in pre-determined motions isn’t a good way to learn how to fight is it Commodus? You know what’s a great training for fighting? Fighting. With nothing left to lose, Maximus meets every attack from the twisted Emperor. Disarmed, Commodus asks for a weapon from the Praetorian Guard all of whom know enough about fighting to realize that that would only piss off Maximus more. Weaponless, Commodus can only stand there while Maximus punches him near to death. For the finale, Maximus takes the knife Commodus tried to use to stab him, and plants it in the guy’s neck, slowly, and looks him in the eye the entire time.

Then he declares a win for democracy, falls over, and dies in front of literally the entire cast like a high school play.

Nikolai – A Spetsnaz soldier picked out of Chechnya and plunked down on a planet to be hunted by a race of giant, invisible monsters. Predators did a lot of stuff like the first movie, A LOT, but the one thing they did that’s actually better than the original, is that they didn’t let the brave bastard who stayed behind die off screen.

Painless.

No, Nikolai, far from home, and abandoning any hope of seeing his family again, stays back to buy the others some time. For his trouble he gets shot, stabbed, and picked up bodily via the stabbing device. He is done for, and has seen enough blood and death to know it. Rather than surrender his life quietly and let someone get a shiny new spine for their wall, Nikolai arms and detonates the two claymores strapped to his chest.

The lesson here is, never let someone brave die off screen, and Russians are all fucking nuts.

*-*-*

I’ll see you guys for part two tomorrow.

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About Nonstop Karate

Created by Chad Quandt and Matt Loman Lonely. Online. Angry due to being online and lonely.

Posted on February 1, 2011, in History Lessons, Lists, Matt Loman, Movies, Pop Culture and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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