I have always wanted to appear in an action movie as an enemy combatant who dies spectacularly. Being shot off the roof in a Western would be sweet; being eaten by an alien monster? Sign me up!
But the most satisfying on-screen ending will always be a blunt-shooting Stormtrooper sliced down by a lightsaber. This gives me goosebumps.
I'm not the only one, either. A recent online post discusses the best movie deaths people can recall. Here are 12 great movie deaths, according to guys who love seeing movie villains breathe no more.
1. Hans Gruber, Die Hard (1988)
Alan Rickman's excellent — albeit grammatically incorrect — German heist leader meets his end after falling from Nakatomi Plaza. John Mclaine fills him full of lead, and he crashes through the plate-glass windows. Curiously, his flailing arms and terrified expression are almost comical.
2. Sonny Corleone, The Godfather (1970)
Vito's hotheaded firstborn son finds a grizzly end after being betrayed by Carlo Rizzi when assassins hunt him down at a toll booth intersection. His death is as dramatic as his character: a gang of Tommy gun-wielding hitmen showers him with bullets as he tries to escape his car.
3. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
The 1967 movie arguably changed the face of cinema forever, with a final death scene reminiscent of Sonny Corleone's bullet-riddled demise. The brutal death scene accurately portrays the fugitive bank robbers' real-life demise.
4. Captain Miller, Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Saving Private Ryan‘s depiction of soldiers' bravery is unsurpassed — with the exception of 1917, of course. His character is wounded and knows there is no way out, but he still manages to keep the enemy at bay, shooting at their Panzers with his M9.
“That's giving it everything you have right up until the end,” the Tom Hanks-loving contributor confirms.
5. Stephen, Django Unchained (2012)
The sadistic enslaver's henchman meets his nemesis Django in an almost Shakespearian death scene. Our protagonist reminds Stephen of his horrific crimes against enslaved people before blowing away his kneecaps. He then leaves him to die in the subsequent detonation of the plantation mansion.
6. John Fitzgerald, The Revenant (2015)
Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy bring so much gravitas to their roles in this masterpiece, no doubt aided by the harsh, realistic conditions of Alejandro G. Iñárritu's film shoot. Cold-hearted military veteran John Fitzgerald, mortally wounded by a resurgent Hugh Glass, is sent downriver into the clutches of the local Blackfeet tribe.
Fitzgerald is a despicable villain; one can only rejoice as he floats down the icy river to his painful demise.
7. Darth Vader, Return of The Jedi (1982)
A lifelong Star Wars fan asserts that Vader's noble, galaxy-saving self-sacrifice was astonishing to them as a kid: “That Vader could take all his power and then finally be the one to turn it all around and make things right.” There aren't many more emotive death scenes than ridding the universe of Palpatine (until he returns in the quite silly Rise of Skywalker).
8. Chen Zhen, Fist of Fury (1972)
Bruce Lee's kung-fun classic has one of the greatest dojo-fight scenes of all time, with Lee's character Chen Zhen cutting down Japanese karate enemies like small saplings. Fittingly, Chen Zhen goes out in a blaze of high-kick glory as the Japanese guards surround the temple, ready to shoot him.
9. Mayor Rob Ford, Sharknado 2 (2014)
Sharknado 2 has an ensemble cast of cameos and walk-on roles, including Damon John, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Kelly Osborne. However, the late former Toronto mayor Rob Ford steals the cameo show getting impaled by a rogue baby shark in a press conference — for no apparent reason.
10. Thelma & Louise, Thelma & Louise (1991)
Ridley Scott's smash hit road trip movie about two best friends escaping abusive husbands and lives of despair culminates in an iconic death. Finally nearing capture by the state police and the FBI, the friends hold hands and plummet into the Grand Canyon in a '66 Thunderbird.
11. Sergeant Elias, Platoon (1986)
Oliver Stone's epic war saga has such a poetic yet heartbreaking death scene it made the movie poster. Sergeant Elias's arms raised to the skies as Viet Cong troops mow him down in a rice paddy is unforgettable, especially knowing the evil Sergeant Barnes put him there.
12. Gandalf, Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The King (2001)
Someone comments in the post that Gandalf's sacrifice to the fire dragon Balrog heralds a “complete loss of innocence” in the first part of Peter Jackson's trilogy. “The tone for the rest of the movie and series completely shifts.”
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.