There have been some terrific movie deaths over the years. They usually become the climax of the movie and the reward we have been building up to for the entire movie. Hans Gruber being thrown off of the Nakatomi Plaza. The Green Goblin taking his own glider to the gut. Sometimes a good movie death can bring the powerhouse emotion that a film sorely needs. M in Skyfall. Gatsby in Great Gatsby (narrowly missed this list, because the book did all the work when it came to emotion – the movie can’t really take too much credit for that fantastic scene). So did 2013 manage any memorable deaths? Well, I dive into the murky worlds of murder to find out. Oh yeah, and major spoilers below, if you hadn’t guessed.
5 – JAVERT – LES MISERABLES
For those of you that do not know the story of Les Miserables, Javert is put in charge of apprehending Jean Valjean. When Valjean saves him, Javert realises his entire life goal has been for nothing and decides to commit suicide at the end of his song (exactly how Taylor Swift’s career should go!) Being an age-old story, we all knew where this was going and therefore I doubted that the movie could really shock me. It all continues as expected, with Javert singing about destiny and looking down at the big drop underneath his feet.
What follows was the funniest bit of the entire movie! As he slow-mo fell off the drop, I had a passing thought that it was a good thing that I wasn’t directing this movie, because I would have been physically been unable to pass up the obvious joke here. And it turns out Tom Hooper wasn’t able to either, because as Javert hits the ground, there is the most sickening crack. Everyone squirmed in their seats and I rocked back with laughter at the brilliance of this one comedy moment in this epic tragedy.
4 – DR ANDREW FASSBACH – WORLD WAR Z
OK, I know, just over a week ago, I moaned about how World War Z killed off characters long before they had time to develop, but in fairness, the first time they tried this trick was pretty decent. We had this new character established Dr. Andrew Fassbach. We learned that he was this Doctor, who had a decent theory about how to cure the zombie infection and bring humanity back. All the military had to do was escort him to a military base that had the missing key to the cure. It sounded like generic zombie plot.
Which is why it was hilariously funny to see him killed off as soon as the first zombie attacks. It reverted everything we expected from the movie. He just panics, trips and then shoots himself in the face, as he lands. There was this silence, as the audience registered what the hell just happened. And then the chuckles broke out. This death could have been so much higher, if World War Z didn’t try this same twist eight other times in the bloody film.
3 – MALKEITH – THOR: THE DARK WORLD
Malkeith had a pretty brutal ending in the second Thor. Just when he thought he had hit the height of his power, it all went a little pear-shaped for him. Thor just rocks up and plants a teleporter pole into each off his arms. Next thing the villain knows one of his arms is painfully ripped from his body and transported into another dimension. The rest of his body is sent to a dimension on the other side of the universe. He lies there, bleeding out, waiting for death to finally end the misery him and his race has suffered for millennia now. That is a pretty bad way to go out…
Oh wait, we are not done. Back in London, Thor is about to be crushed by Malkeith’s falling spaceship. Eric Selvig thinks on his feet and manages to teleport it away from Thor. However, in a statistically unlucky move, it ends up about to crush Malkeith. As his own spaceship falls upon him and crushes his broken body into smithereens, I reckon his last thoughts were: “Why the fuck did I design my spaceship like a bloody sword?!”
2 – BILL NIGHY – ABOUT TIME
Let’s go for a sad death this time. About Time was a very beautiful story about running out of time, when you think you have all the time in the world. Bill Nighy’s death was really emotional, because Richard Curtis approached it from every angle. My own gripe about the whole affair was that it took away from the relationship between the two leads, slightly killing off the Rom-Com element of the movie. However, that is a half-hearted argument, because the father-son side of the movie was by far the best bit of the movie.
The actual death was sad and raised a few tears, but it kept going on. One of the best moments in the movie is where Tim travels back in time to see his Dad one last time after his death. He walks in and chokes up. Bill Nighy instantly knows that in real time he had died and gives us a terrific facial expression. He pushes past it for his own son and comforts him. Then they go back in time and relive Bill Nighy’s favourite memory – the two of them running across a beach, when Tim was little. Yes, I choked up a little. The father characters are always more interesting in chick flicks than the actual romantic figure and… wait, have I been calling the character by Bill Nighy’s actual name throughout this whole article?!
1 – SANTANA – RIDDICK
However, the best death was Santana from Riddick. It was just celebrating the fact that Riddick is so awesome. The movie built up this villain that was easy to hate and the director knew that we were just waiting to see how horribly Riddick would kill of this nasty bloke. Eventually Santana manages to capture Riddick and we have him tied to a post, surrounded by people that all want him dead. Yet Riddick is still smiling and confident. He even goes as far as telling everyone how he is going to murder Santana.
And it is that moment where we know Santana is dead. We stop caring for his character and just class him as a dead man walking. Even Santana kind of knows it, his eyes constantly shrouded in panic from that point onwards. The rest of that scene is little more than window-dressing. And when Riddick’s predictions begin to come true, a few seconds later, he unleashes this elaborate murder technique, beheading Santana and honouring his words. It is a brilliant moment and the kind of thing I want to see from any more Riddick movies.