THE AVENGERS - DEATH OF PHIL COULSON
Whenever Joss Whedon is around you know the Grim Reaper isn't far behind. As in the case of The Avengers
the Reaper came for our beloved S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). He certainly had an honorable death, taking on the God of Mischief with a Phase 2 weapon prototype. But he was no match for Loki, who magically appears behind Coulson and stabs our mortal hero through the back. His death would not be in vein, as it helped galvanize the group of heroes so that they could become the ultimate superhero team, The Avengers.
Of course the most tragic part was when Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) lied about Coulson's death. It's not the lying part of it that bothered me so much as it was the destroying of Coulson's valuable trading card collection in order to sell the embellishment. Come on, the guy just finished putting together that set.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN - DEATH OF UNCLE BEN
This is perhaps the most controversial death scene on the list as the unnecessary reboot retold the origin of Spider-Man, yet had to change a few things up from the Sam Raimi trilogy to try to make it seem fresh and new. Thus, we have the new retelling of Uncle Ben's death.
Basically Uncle Ben dies because of chocolate milk. Peter (Andrew Garfield) goes to a convenience store because he wants to get his lactose on, but he is two pennies short of having the exact amount to purchase the chocolate goodness. The cashier freaks out when Peter reaches into the penny tray for two freaking pennies, and says he can't do that based on some crazy store policy. I have never encountered a cashier that anal before, but so be it. As the scene continues, the guy behind Peter knocks over some stuff by the cashier, and while that jackass is distracted he takes cash from the register, and even tosses Peter that milk he always wanted. As though he has just encountered his very own dairy godfather.
That's the setup. When the cashier notices he has been robbed he darts (walks briskly) after the robber and now yells to Peter to help him catch the thief. Peter basically says, "[frick] that, you fat two penny hoe." I'm paraphrasing. Oh, back to the death, so Uncle Ben hears the cashier's cries for help. At this time the thief stumbles to the ground a gun squirts out from under him and Uncle Ben lunges for it. The gun goes off and Uncle Ben's rice is cooked. The End.
MEN IN BLACK 3 - DEATH OF AGENT J'S DAD
You might think one of many deaths that “Boris the Animal” (Jemaine Clement) experienced in the film might make the list. While they were entertaining, there is only one death from the film, and on this list, that brought a tear to my eye. And it was done so well, that I was genuinely surprised that it came from a director, and a franchise that I haven't held in high regards.
The death scene I speak of, is when Young Agent K (Josh Brolin) and Agent J (Will Smith) have seemingly defeated both versions of Boris at Cape Canaveral, Florida. But of course the young version of Boris miraculously survived and springs up out of nowhere as Young K is thanking a high ranking military official that helped the Men in Black in this mission. That military official is killed during Boris's surprise attack, and we soon learn that he is actually Agent J's father. As a young boy, that is meant to be a younger version of J, runs toward his dead father. The boy is comforted by Agent K, and now we know what tragic event in the past made K so damn surly and why he took Will Smith's character under his wing.
You can bust out the tissues as Agent J looks on from afar at the whole scene and realize all of this at the same time we do. It's a touching moment and goes a long way to adding heart and depth to a franchise that sorely needed it.
DREDD - DEATH OF MA-MA
Dredd 3D - Depth Perception - Planning with Pre-Viz (Close Up) from Prime Focus World Official on Vimeo.
SKIP TO THE 1:09 MARK
Then there is Dredd
, the comic book movie that was loved by critics and comic book geeks, but ignored by the general public. Even though the film had plenty of characters being killed, there is only one death scene that really stood out, the death of Ma-Ma (Lena Headey).
Ma-Ma has rookie Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) in her clutches, when all of a sudden Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) shows up. He makes quick work of her bodyguards, but she has no plans to go quietly and reveals that she has a Dead Man’s Switch embedded in her wrist. If she were to die bombs attached to the Peach Tree complex would blow, killing lots and lots of dirty dirty people. Dredd who is usually mister black and white surprises us by grabbing an inhaler filled with Slo-Mo (drug) and using it on Ma-Ma. He then gambles that her wrist device might not have much range from the bottom of the block, so he tosses her through glass and into the atrium. The slow-motion visuals are absolutely breathtaking as she slowly witnesses floor after floor of the mayhem that she has caused. The lush images seem to go on forever until she reaches the end of her journey and her face kisses the ground. The impact is violent, and oh so thoroughly enjoyable.
GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE
DEATH OF BLACKOUT
Based on polls and comments over the past few months it's fair to say that Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
is loathed among the majority of the CBM community. I guess I'm in the minority. Not that I liked it, but I don't think it's a complete and utter disaster as many do. There are a few scenes that are actually incredibly entertaining and well done, but found Nicolas Cage's over-overacting to be the true anchor that sank this film. Which actually kind of funny since the directors, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, were so boisterous about their excitement for working with the Oscar-winning actor.
One such scene that stood out among the rest was when Ghost Rider saves Nadya from Black Out's (Johnny Whitworth) decaying touch. The fight takes place on a speeding car, and features some elaborate camera work, with some psychedelic images sprinkled throughout that would make a hippy on shrooms wig out. Ghost Rider of course is victorious with a penance stare and finishes the scene with a well placed one liner, "Road Kill."
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES - DEATH OF BANE
In the first half of The Dark Knight Rises
, Selina Kyle, played by Anne Hathaway, is at Daggett's trying to get her hands on a device that will erase her long list of priors. Bane's goons chase after her and during a rooftop fight Batman comes to her aid. But the Caped Crusader don't-like-a-no-gun, so he forces her to give up her gun.
Now, I bring up that scene because without that setup, the payoff to Bane's demise isn't as good as it was. And yes I know plenty of fanboys cry themselves to sleep at night because in their eyes Bane (Tom Hardy) should've had a "better" death scene, but I dispute that.
The death scene in question begins right after Bane had sobbed like a little girl as Talia (Marion Cotillard) reveals their sorted backstory to Batman (Christian Bale). Talia has left Bane and Bats all alone, but Bane has no interest in waiting for the bomb to go off and consume them...he wants to finish Batman for good. So as he starts to choke Gotham's Dark Knight, Catwoman appears out of the blue on the Batpod and blasts Bane with the guns attached to the vehicle. She drops a clever quip about being pro-gun and thus the clever payoff is complete.