Unexpected unfairness in movies (probable spoilers)

We were watching It’s a Wonderful Life again last night (I always forget how dark it is!) and I remembered how upset I used to be as a child that (and seriously, do I have to spoiler box this? There are people to whom this is a new movie?)

Mr Potter keeps the eight thousand dollars! He doesn’t suffer any repercussions except that he has to watch the town come out and support George Bailey. He’s eight grand to the richer! Uncle Billy still has to live with the guilt of losing the money! Thank god for our friend in the plastics industry, because unless all those bills were hundreds there wasn’t no eight thousand dollars in that basket, either. Eight thousand dollars is a crapload of money in 1946!

That’s really not what you expect from that movie, you know? It feels like that’s an end that ought to be wrapped up or something. I mean, I get that the angel doesn’t come and solve your problems, but still!

So, let’s hear some other unexpected film “that’s not fair!” moments. I don’t mean people dying in war movies - that’s what you expect in a war movie, even if you think they’re going to live through the whole thing and then, kapow. Unfair, but not what I’m looking for here.

That’s not the way it ended originally.

I recently watched the Bourne trilogy back to back, and realized that Bourne is a lot less violent than I remembered… He’s almost Gandhi compared to your average action hero! The fact is that he allows a lot of the jerks aiming for him to live, he even refuses to shoot in cold blood Karl urban, the guy that killed his girl (granted, Urban probably died anyway from his accident injuries, but still, nice of Bourne to restrain himself)

This means that a lot of characters that deserve a bullet between the butt cheeks end up relatively unscathed: oil mobster Karl Roden is seen detained by the Russian police, David Straitham suffers some undetermined legal problem or other, while evil masterminds Albert Finney and Scott Glenn and whoever played the Asset are left in unsatisfying good health.

Even Joan Allen, who was aware of Straitham’s murder of a British journalist and did nothing, would have died somehow in any other movie for being in the grey moral zone.

Being John Malkovich.

Besides John Cusack’s character, all the other horrible characters get a happy ending. The only two innocent people, John Malkovich and the little girl, get a fate worse then death. The scene that gets me is how happy Malkcovich is when he gets his body back only to lose it forever moments later.

Finney wasn’t exactly left in good health, though-

Bourne plays the tape for him then leaves him with the gun, which Finney uses to blow his own brains out

Chewbacca not getting a medal at the end of Star Wars.

He DID win the Wookie-of-the-Year award, though.

Thanks for spoilering. I really have not seen this movie, although I’ve heard lots of references to it. I always mean to see it, but somehow never get around to it. I even rented it once and didn’t watch it. I know. . . weird. :slight_smile:

As to unfairness, I always thought it was pretty unfair that the cop had to kill himself in Les Miserable . While he might have been overzealous in chasing the main character, it was still his job.

In Clerks, there’s the scene where Randal is talking about the tragic end of Return of the Jedi; how innocent contractors were killed when the second Death Star (still under construction) was destroyed. A roofer happens to be in the store, and explains how he must take those risks into account when choosing jobs.

But as he tells the story, he says that he was offered a lucrative job, but the risk (working for a gangster) was too high, so he passed it along to a friend. The friend was killed.

Dude, what the hell? If the job is too dangerous, you don’t set up your friend to take it. You sent the man off to die.

What an asshole. I’m guessing he was bangin’ the guy’s wife, and this was an easy way to get him out of the picture.

There are two characters in Pulp Fiction who actually go out of their way to help other people*.

Unfairly, I think, Tarantino has one of them kill the other.

  • Yes, self-interest strongly motivates one of them. Still, he does what he does.

Speaking of Return of the jedi, i present the Endor holocaust. Though some people would consider the death of all Ewoks more than fair.

Okay, you got me. Which two characters are you talking about? Jules goes out of his way to help Pumpkin and Hunny Bunny. Captain Koons went out of his way to return Butch’s father’s watch. Butch goes out of his way to rescue Marsellus. And Jimmy went out of his way (albeit reluctantly) to hide Jules and Vincent. But none of these characters killed each other - in fact, all were still alive at the end of the movie.

Little Nemo, you’ve caught me in an over-simplification. I’m talking about Vincent and Butch, of course, the only two main characters who connect the way I described (one kills the other). Let me say, though, that:

Is the only one you mention that I wasn’t referring to that I kind of agree with. My only quibble is that he didn’t really “help” Butch in any significant way by passing that watch on. In fact, giving Butch that watch wound up causing him significant problems later in life.

I agree with this: it was one I was referring to. The other is Vincent (motivated by self-interest) helping Mia stay alive.

No, he didn’t. He never left his house, and he spent most of the time they were there bitching. He tolerated helping them, and only barely at that. I wouldn’t call that going out of his way.

I would not equate “goes out of his way not to kill them” and “goes out of his way to help them.” That’s just me, and we can agree to disagree on that. :slight_smile:

No, that was the character played (magnificently) by Brian Cox in Identity and Supremacy. Finney (wonderfully) plays the scientist guy that appears at the end of Ultimatum.

Agreed but what about Wedge Antilles and the surviving Y-wing pilot as well, don’t they deserve something?

I never got the impression the little girl suffered with John Cusack’s character being stuck in her mind forever. The scene at the end where the daughter watches her two moms, she comes off as a happy normal girl, not one who is tormented by some creepy guy talking in her head. IOW, she probably couldn’t hear the guy’s voice.

Sure, she’s fine now, but what about when she hits 44 and becomes possessed by a bunch of people? She’ll be in exactly the same situation as Malkovich then. I think that’s what Uosdwis R. Dewohwas saying.

Ah, I stand corrected. I forgot about that! :smack:

You’re right Illuminatiprimus, thats what i meant.

The only way she could be spared would be if the possessed Malkovich would die before her 44th birthday. Maybe the girls mothers have a plan to kill him. On the other hand, at the end of the movie, Malkovich is already telling Charlie Sheen about the doorway. Imagine being possessed by Charlie Sheen. :eek:

Well, he didn’t have to, did he? He just did it because he came to the realization that

his moral code, as represented by his overzealous pursuit of a petty criminal for years and years, was woefully misguided and inadequate compared with the moral code of that same petty criminal. He realized what a flawed human being he really was.

Just the ultimate despair, really.