by David Christopher Bell
The best part about faking your death has to be getting to decide how it will all go down. Instead of a bathroom heart attack, you can have fun with it and get mauled by a bear or spontaneously combust.
The following characters know exactly what I’m talking about, as when it came time for someone to “die” they all had a bit of fun with it.
Without a doubt, spoilers ensue, but even mentioning what movies they’re for would spoil them for you, so if you’re concerned at all, just don’t read.
8. Harry Lime Gets Hit By A Car in The Third Man
No, it’s certainly not the most interesting way to go. Still it must be nice to have so many friends to help fake your death like that. I can’t even organize a game of half court let alone hide in the sewers while my buddies haul off a murdered stand-in for my supposed corpse.
Really the only mistake here was suddenly showing up unannounced. Rule number one of faking your own death is to refrain from dramatically smirking in doorways with cats. That’s just poor follow-up.
7. Satan Plays Dead in Devil
Devil was much better than the Shyamalan credit leads you to believe. Still – why is the devil personally seeing to this particular situation? It’s kind of like Bruce Almighty where for some reason God decides to help a middle class news guy instead of the millions of starving people around the globe.
Are there not any crappier people to deal with than the ones in this elevator, or does the devil conduct meet and greets way more often in this particular universe?
Anyway, it’s the older lady. So that’s now spoiled for you. The film does a good job at making you not realize that when she dies half way through and sits there like a dumb corpse for the rest of the film.
6. Davian Kills A Fake Julia in Mission: Impossible 3
The facemasks in Mission: Impossible are like get out of jail free cards for screenwriters. Reserved for only the tightest of corners, they seem to manifest masks whenever it’s convenient. They are portable and inexplicable.
At the end of the third movie we find out that the teaser at the start is all thanks to one of these things when Phillip Seymour Hoffman kills Tom Cruise’s girlfriend, who is really just some other lady no one cares about. So it doesn’t count. Why go through all that trouble? My guess is that when you have the ability to replicate faces, you use it every chance you get. Also, the raw material probably sells in bulk and spoils quickly – that’s how they get ya.
5. John Kramer Plays Dead in Saw
As a stand-alone film, Saw is one of those plots that seems really brilliant at the end until you think about it a little harder. Then – as part of a series – it becomes so muddled up that it doesn’t matter, as any plot hole goes unnoticed amongst a sea of confusing flashbacks.
One thing is certain, drugging yourself to remain still while lying in the middle of a room doesn’t really seem necessary when you have complete control over a situation. That said – showmanship counts in this case, and serves as the end-all explanation for why anything in these movies happen.
4. Hooker And Gondorff Fake A Shoot Off in The Sting
Newman and Redford are the guys that Clooney and Pitt cry themselves to sleep every night thinking about. Heck, most guys out there would rather be Paul Newman at this very second – and he’s dead.
This film uses the technique that Ocean’s Twelve so horrendously mimicked –when the cops start snooping around, just fake your own arrest by higher authorities. Like a big ol’ con sandwich – the best way to not get caught is to catch yourself so no one else bothers to. Double points if you die.
3. Alfred And Robert in The Prestige
Technically neither death is faked, but knowing that tells you just how incredibly elaborate the situation is. You see, if you play your cards right having an identical twin (or Tesla clone) is a lot like having an extra life. You can just tag team until one of you kicks out, and thanks to your genetic one-up your twin can carry on.
What bothers me is the Hugh Jackman’s character didn’t realize this when he was replicating himself every night – and instead of simply using the same clone, he kept killing them and hiding their clone bodies. That’s both wasteful and space consuming.
2. Bane Pulverizes A Plane in The Dark Knight Rises
If your plan involves airplane-to-airplane sky rappelling than you might be over thinking it. That is unless you’re a super villain – but are movie super villains self-aware like that? What I’m asking is, did Bane one day decide to be one – or did it all fall into place? One day he buys a bomber jacket, a few months later he gets really into cargo pants… and then – bam – one day he’s fighting a man dressed like a bat.
Anyway – there was clearly no other way to fake this guy’s death but to pump his blood into a corpse and then crash his plane to make it look like an accident. After all, airplanes lose their wings before crashing miles and miles later all the time.
1. The Autobots Blow Up A Spaceship in Transformers: Dark Of The Moon
Look, I’m just as upset as you that the third Transformers film somehow made it to the number one spot on a list. But there was no getting around it; when you use NASA to fake your own death then it’s pretty damned over-complicated.
How much taxpayer money do you think they burned through making it look like they died in a rocket explosion? Of course, that’s probably nothing compared to what it costs to constantly repair major cities and landmarks that these guys feel the need to fight in.
I might be asking too much here though. After all, subtly is not exactly something you’d expect from an alien creature that turns into a big red truck when it wants to be discreet.