Not every movie has a happy ending. Not every final death is necessarily sad. Great movies have a way of making a main character’s death in battle something to honor even if it fills us with grief in doing so. Even bad movies can be partially-redeemed in some cases with a good fight to finish off a not-so-perfect character.
Here are 7 movie last stands that every geek should be able to appreciate.
The final scene is set up perfectly. There’s no chance for escape. There’s enough guns pointed at the heroes to take out a small army, let alone two outlaws. We hear it go down, but we end with a view of the heroes in their last moment of splendor and courage.
Had Tom Hanks‘ character, Captain John H Miller, survived to make it home after the mission, the movie would not have had as much critical acclaim. The sacrifice and fearlessness is a big part of what made the movie spectacular.
Some would argue that the movie wasn’t that great, but the battle scenes were. Others think it was an excellent character-driven story sprinkled with action scenes and innovations in cinematography. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, the last stand of the Spartans was memorable on many levels.
The scene below technically isn’t the last, last, last stand, but it’s close enough and in many ways is superior to the climactic scene of mass-suicide when they ride into the bullets shortly after this scene. What makes it great is that there are plenty of honorable deaths, faces split in half, and a well-liked character spitting blood in defiance after getting shot. The simultaneous moment of clarity shared by the main protagonists in the heat of battle alone is enough to make the scene epic.
They knew exactly what they were getting into. They knew they would probably die. They knew they would not be asked to do it. They could have gone back to the base and regrouped. Instead, they volunteered for likely-death for the sake of their comrades.
The only thing better than a loved-character dying valiantly in a last stand is a redeemed character dying in a last stand. Enough said. Watch this awesomeness:
There are other movies such as Gladiator, but we have to keep things compliant with copyright and there’s nothing legal that we can post on that or other movies.