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Dropped A Bridge On Him: Live-Action Films

  • Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek: Generations. Trope Namer.
    • As originally written and filmed, Kirk was shot in the back by Soran, but test audences really didn't like that at all. So they went back to the Valley of Fire and reshot the scene to have Kirk having to get Soran's remote while on a collapsing bridge, finally getting to use it just as the bridge gives out. So, Kirk was actually dropped with the bridge; it just ended up landing on top of him.
    • It also applies to Robert and René Picard who both are killed off-screen.
  • From Star Wars Episode III Revenge Of The Sith:
    • Many Jedi die quite abruptly, but Canon Immigrant Aayla Secura is executed particularly brutally, being shot over and over as if to assure us that she's really dead. Amazingly, some people still insisted that she wasn't.
    • Averted with Mace Windu. Samuel Jackson explicitly refused to participate in the movie if a bridge was to be dropped on his character. That said, his death scene was one of the most memorable of the film.
    • Count Dooku was powerful enough to curb stomp Obi-Wan and Anakin, and go head-to-head with Yoda. He gets killed unceremoniously in the first fifteen minutes of Episode III because Anakin's power has grown beyond Dooku at this point.
    • Kit Fisto is also a pretty cool Jedi who gets some screen time in Attack of the Clones and The Clone Wars, but he is hacked down in about a second by Palpatine.
      • He lasted a little while longer than the other 2 jedi killed (almost immediately) in that fight
  • The character of Fox in The Warriors was originally meant to be a more substantial presence in the film, particularly in that Mercy, the girl the gang picks up during their escape back to Coney Island, was originally meant to be his love interest. Since the two actors playing Fox and Mercy had no chemistry together, the script was rewritten so that Mercy hooked up with gang leader Swan instead. The actor who played Fox actually left the film over this, so he was written out of the script by being run over by a subway train during a scuffle with a cop.
  • No Country for Old Men's Llewellyn Moss is killed offscreen. And NOT by Anton Chigurh, the guy chasing him almost the entire movie. Possible subversion in that it was more than likely that this was a deliberate move - it's not the only moment in NCFOM where audience expectations are completely turned on their heads.
  • In xXx, Vin Diesel plays an extreme sports master named Xander Cage who is recruited for his unconventional specialties and skills by a secret government organization. When Vin Diesel dropped out of the sequel, xXx: State of the Union, and was apparently somewhat unprofessional about it, it is announced early in the film that his character has been killed offscreen, and a new character, Darius Stone, replaces him. On top of that, Stone is said to be "tougher and nastier" then Cage when xXx's superior is considering his replacement. In the DVD release, this is explained: Simply put, he goes into a building, which promptly blows up. To emphasize the deadness, two things come flying out of the wreckage - his charred torso and the portion of his neck with the 'xXx' tattoo on it, complete with ears. They must have forgotten their own script, because in the movie, Agent Shavers tells Darius Stone that the last xXx died in some sort of freak snowboarding accident.
    • See also the franchise's entry on the Mcleaned page, as the reason for this abrupt and poorly-explained offscreen death was allegedly that Vin Diesel and the producers didn't part on good terms.
  • Notoriously, the third X-Men film, The Last Stand eliminated several franchise regulars, with arguably the most controversial example being that of Scott Summers, aka Cyclops. Despite acting as the team's field leader and, within the regular comic series, their linchpin since inception, he's quickly killed off-screen within the first 30 minutes of the film by his newly resurrected fiancee, Jean Grey. As though that wasn't bad enough, his death barely registers with the rest of the cast later on in the film, with only a brief mention by Professor X who doesn't seem overly perturbed by the loss of his surrogate son.
    • To some of the general public, Cyclops' anti-climactic death might not have been that big of an issue as his screentime got shafted in the previous 2 films in favor of Wolverine, who acted as the series' cinematic alpha hero. However, for fans of the comics, the death was also a slap in the face of sorts since the film's plot was heavily influenced by the comics' extremely well-regarded "Dark Phoenix" storyline that focuses on Jean and Scott. Within the context of X-Men 3, that story became a secondary plot thread, and Wolverine was substituted in as the romantic/heroic lead in light of Scott's less than stellar death.
    • Also, Professor X is killed off midway through the film. Coupled with the fact that Rogue and Mystique were both Put on a Bus and Jean had basically removed herself from the X-Men/Brotherhood fray, you have a climax that barely features any of the characters from the previous two movies.
    • Also of note in the third film are Kid Omega, Arclight, Psylocke, and (presumably) Juggernaut, all of whom unceremoniously fall victim to Jean Grey's psychotic "burn everything" episode near the film's conclusion.
    • It is likely that the X-Men: First Class characters Emma Frost, Riptide, Azazel, Angel Salvadore, and Banshee will meet this fate as they will not be appearing in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Given that Bolivar Trask is the antagonist, it is highly likely they will be either stated or presumed to be killed by sentinels. If no explanation is given and anything suggests no sentinels were involved, then this will be a case of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome instead. If it is suggested they are still alive, then they were likely Put on a Bus.
  • The character of Tank was killed between the first and second The Matrix films after the actor, Marcus Chong, was involved in an especially messy contract dispute. An alternate interpretation averts this trope if one chooses to believe that Tank died from the injuries he sustained during the first movie, thus turning his Crowning Moment Of Awesome into a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • The character of Grandpa Gohan in Dragonball Evolution is killed by having a...house dropped on him. In the manga that this was (very, VERY loosely) based upon, he got stepped on by Oozaru-mode Goku, although this was from before the series had started.
  • In Burn After Reading, while sneaking around in the CIA agent's house, Brad Pitt scares the guy who's sleeping with the agent's wife, who quickly shoots him in the head. Of course, this all fits with the Farcial Black Comedy of the movie.
    • Not to mention, his death comes as especially shocking, because it's a well-known trope that the "stupid but well-meaning goofball" almost NEVER dies.
  • The Kraken in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. It's an incredibly dangerous menace in the second film, and is still around when the second film ends. Did you think the third film will have our protagonists engage the Kraken in an epic final battle? Well, if you were expecting that, you were probably very disappointed when the Kraken only appears in the third film ... as a corpse. It's implied that Cutler Beckett ordered Davy Jones to kill it despite its obvious usefulness to both of them in keeping control of the sea.
  • In Mr. Nice Guy, Diana, the Distressed Damsel of the first act, may be either this or a Brother Chuck. She gets a knockout punch from one of the gangsters towards the end, and is never seen or mentioned again.
  • One criticism of The Sorcerer's Apprentice is that this happened to the secondary villains. Drake, Sun Loc, and Abigail all get rather anticlimatically killed off once Hovath has decided You Have Outlived Your Usefulness.
  • Diamonds Are Forever. Assuming that you count Blofeld's final demise as happening in this film, then the Biggest Bad in Bond history is killed because 007 gently swings his submarine into the side of the oil rig. Hardly the demise you'd expect for such a major character.
    Please, Mister Bond! I'll buy you a delicatessen! In stainless steel!!
    • It Makes Sense in Context, given the fact that the person who owned the copyright to Blofeld was trying to use it to wrestle for control of the series proper. Knocking off a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo of Blofeld was basically the owners' declaration of independence and burning of bridges to assert that Bond did not depend upon Blofeld as an antagonist.
    • Which is all well and good until you realize it doesn't make much sense to do it at that time in Roger Moore's fifth outing and just as many films since Blofeld's last appearance.
    • He isn't listed in the credits. It isn't Blofeld, it isn't Blofeld, it isn't it isn't it isn't...
    • Irma Bunt is implied to have met this fate between On Her Majestys Secret Service and Diamonds Are Forever without even being mentioned.
      • They had planned to put her in Diamonds, but the actress died of a heart attack shortly before filming.
  • Luis Buñuel's final film That Obscure Object of Desire features a May-December romance couple where in the young girl keeps on breaking the old man's heart, but he keeps winning her back over and over again. The final scene sees them walking happily only to start arguing again and suddenly the screen is consumed by a random explosion that kills them.
  • In Bruno Mattei's unofficial Jaws sequel Jaws 5: Cruel Jaws a bunch of characters are killed off very awkwardly in a scene where they're on a boat trying to shoot the shark when suddenly the woman in the group starts getting hysterical and for no reason grabs an open tank of gasoline and raises it over her head, accidentally pouring gasoline all over herself and the guy next to her, and then another guy gets right in the way of the pouring gasoline and fires a flare gun, causing the ship to explode.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World had a strange one when rival rock band Crash and the Boys were unceremoniously killed off by Matthew Pattel (in fact they were the only non-villians killed off) even though they had a larger role in the comic.
  • Particularly blatant example of both this and "Kick the Dog": Sarah's death at the end of The Crow: City of Angels. A highly sympathetic child character in the previous film, ostensibly returning as a Love Interest for The Hero, killed in passing by the Big Bad in a meaningless, pointless anticlimax that added too little to the plot to even be called a "sacrifice", and without even the closure that would be provided by, say, showing her spirit joining the temporarily-resurrected protagonist's when he's shown returning to the afterlife and rejoining his murdered son.
  • Destiny and Leroy in Mystery Team.
  • Danny Glover's U.S. President in Roland Emmerich's Twenty Twelve. Introduced the subtrope Dropped An Aircraft Carrier On Him.
  • In The Crawlers a.k.a. Troll 3 a.k.a. Creepers a.k.a. Contamination .7, the heroes confront the Big Bad and demand to know the location of the illegal dumping site he's been using to dump chemicals so he can embezzle money. He laughs at how they expect him to cooperate and pulls out a gun. Even though he could just shoot at least one of them or just tell them the location and run off with his embezzled money while they're busy, he instead shoots himself in the head.
  • Wash in Serenity. Also an example of Killed Mid-Sentence. He is celebrating his safe landing when a harpoon crashes through a window and impales him, killing him instantly. It was used deliberately in this instance, to give the following scenario — with the entire cast trapped and fighting a holding action to give Mal enough time to transmit a message — a real sense of Anyone Can Die jeopardy that was lacking in the original script. Joss says in the Serenity commentary that he originally didn't intend for anyone other than Book to die, but then he finished the script and realised that the stakes weren't high enough, and that it was kind of implausible for them all to get through unscathed. Therefore, he did his evil Joss trick of picking the character that would be the most heart-wrenching to kill, and proceeding. YMMV on whether this had the intended effect, to put it mildly.
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows drops the bridge on Irene Adler, unceremoniously during a flashback.
  • The young protagonist of Pay It Forward, infamously.
  • The film version of Slaughterhouse-Five has Derby, up to that point Billy Pilgrim's constant friend and companion, summarily executed at the back of the frame while two minor characters (both Germans) are talking in the foreground. It's actually very effective, because ... that's the way it happens in wartime.
  • The Dark Knight:
    • Wow, Maggie Gyllenhaal is replacing Katie Holmes, and the character's going to be a lot cooler? Awesome! She just kneed The Joker in the balls! Aw, man, this movie kicks a—.............What the fuck just happened?
      • The scene, while brutal, is still crucially important to the birth of Two-Face from Harvey Dent.
    • Two-Face, his death certainly applies. After about 20 minutes of screen time after his turn to the dark side, and he quickly gets knocked off a building.
  • Bane's death in The Dark Knight Rises was disappointingly anticlimactic. After spending the entire film being an Implacable Man, being blown away in one shot by Catwoman was nigh humiliating to say the least. We didn't even get one last look at the body.
    • This might be because he was shot by what amounted to a small tank cannon, which would kill anyone quickly and not leave much to look at beyond a very unpleasant mulch of human pieces.
    • Not to mention Talia al Ghul, who suffers death by whiplash!
  • One would expect the extremely badass Ironhide from Transformers to go down in battle guns blazing but in Dark of the Moon, he's shot in the back by Sentinel Prime's cosmic rust gun and dissolves into a pile of rust.
  • Looks to be what happens to most of the cast of the first G.I. Joe film in the sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Marlon Wayans, the actor who played Ripcord in the first film, jokingly mentioned that Ripcord was killed offscreen by friendly fire.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze strangely combines Anticlimax Boss and Dropped a Bridge on Him by having Super Shredder drop a dock on himself. Close enough.
  • Kickboxer, one of Jean-Claude Van Damme's most famous movies spawned 4 direct-to-video sequels, none of which actually feature Van Damme. Kickboxer 2 starts with Van Damme's character and his older brother already dead after being shot by the vengeful Tong Po (who is, apparently, a sore loser), and switches to their (previously unmentioned) younger brother who, of course, must fight Tong Po in the end. Kickboxer 5 has the younger brother killed off-screen by the new Big Bad for refusing to let the guy promote him in the very first scene.
  • Please try not to mention Spider-Man 3 to any Venom fans nearby you. The way he quickly gets shafted in it still leaves them pretty sore.
  • Beneath The Planet of the Apes. The protagonists of both the first (Taylor) and the second (Brent) being shot by gorillas after an intense battle, followed by an Earth-Shattering Kaboom, is cruel but not anticlimactic. The preceding scene, where Taylor's girl Nova is shot down by a single gorilla, not so much.
  • Randy Meeks, who provided the "rules" for the first three Scream films gets unexpectedly yanked into Gale's news van about halfway through the second film during a telephone call with the killer (who had been hiding in the van), and is then stabbed to death. The same goes with Cotton Weary who, after getting a Big Damn Heroes moment at the end of the second film, is killed off in the opening prologue of the third in about ten minutes of screentime.
  • Alien³: After battling their way through to the end of Aliens, Newt and Hicks are killed off in the opening scene of Alien³, effectively making the events of the previous movie pointless. Their deaths are not even seen on screen. They just died when their ship crashed.

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