10 – Richard Schiff Performs the splits – The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Richard Schiff’s character in the Jurassic Park sequel didn’t deserve to die, but die he did. Attempting to save the lives of imminently doomed Jeff Goldblum and Julianne Moore, Schiff’s Eddie hooks a cable to a falling caravan and reverses away from the strategically positioned cliff. No sooner has the battle of gravity swung in his favour, but a duo of T-rex’s arrive and proceed to tear both his vehicle, and him, in half. In a film beset with issues, and filled with plenty of gratuitous dino-porn, Eddie’s death is the most poignant – and most effectively executed. At least he didn’t die on the toilet, I suppose.
9 – Goose’s Swandive – Top Gun
7 – Bill Killed – Kill Bill Part 2
6 – Vader’s Last Gasp – Return of The Jedi
5 – Hans Gruber’s Fall From Grace – Die Hard
4 – Reno’s last explosive hit – Leon: The Professional.
3 – The Magic Pencil – The Dark Knight Rises
2 – I’m Melting!! – Raiders Of The Lost Ark
1 – Captain Miller Bites It – Saving Private Ryan
With the wash of death and carnage throughout Spielberg’s epochal WWII flick, none meets more emotional resonance than Tom Hanks’ Captain Miller right at the end. Mortally wounded while trying to defend a bridge from German attack, Miller is seen fending off a tank with a handgun, before the cavalry arrives in the form of a bunch of bombers, routing the German advance. As Miller slumps, the man whose life he gave to save, Private Ryan (Matt Damon), stands over him, helpless in the face of it all. Miller quietly beseeches Ryan, as he dies, to simply “Earn this.” It’s a death scene moving for the sacrifice of those who went to war, as if Miller is representative of all those who died asking the living to never forget those who gave their very existence for the greater good. And if you’re note crying by then, you’re dead inside.
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