I love a good death scene. Ronald Lacey’s Arnold Toht in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Samuel L. Jackson’s Russell Franklin in Deep Blue Sea. Sean Bean’s Boromir in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. (“My brother…my captain…my king.” Cue: me, sobbing.)
So imagine my disappointment upon seeing 2012. (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.) I finally caught up with last weekend’s box-office champ, and though I agreed with our critic Lisa Schwarzbaum, finding the film to be a fun spectacle, I couldn’t get over one of the most nonsensical and unnecessary death scenes I’ve seen in a big-budget disaster flick:
that of Thomas McCarthy’s Gordon (pictured, left), the plastic surgeon/stepfather/romantic rival of John Cusack’s Jackson who you just knew would somehow end up a casualty before the credits rolled. Think about it: 1) Gordon was hardly a bad guy. He was good with the kids, nice to his wife’s ex-hubby, and provided a shoulder to lean on for other characters hoping to find safety from the imminent apocalypse. 2) The man spent the majority of the film performing incredibly difficult feats of flying, dodging fireballs and smoke clouds in the cockpit to get Jackson & Co., to safety. Add those two things together, and surely, Gordon deserves an epic, heroic death scene, right?
Wrong. The guy ended up suffering death from gears. Wha? After all he had done, he just ends up getting squished by series of large gears?! Even Johann Urb’s Sasha, the pilot we see on screen for just nanoseconds, met a more heroic demise. Why couldn’t Gordon go down in a similar blaze of glory?
Naturally, this got me thinking about how many other death scenes on TV and film failed to satisfy. (Robert Muldoon in Jurassic Park and Boba Fett in The Return of the Jedi are a couple that spring immediately to mind.) So tell me, PopWatchers, what death scenes have left you disappointed? Holla back in the comments below. And for a related good read, check out EW’s rundown of Samuel L. Jackson’s 10 Best Death Scenes.
Image Credit: Joe Lederer