YMMV American History X Discussion

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07:30:58 AM Jan 6th 2017
Moved this entry here:

  • Moral Event Horizon: Derek shooting at the armed assailants intruding on his home is defensible as defense of home, but when he kills one of them after he seriously wounded him is sailing over the line. Some would say that the line was crossed when he and the other attackers assaulted and tormented the workers of the shop who unlike the criminals did nothing to deserve this apart from being immigrants.

While the other entries on the page look to correct (such as the Aryan Brotherhood rapists in prison, and Cameron for instigating the above-mentioned attacks), I don't think this one fits the definition of the trope. Moral Event Horizon is an act that establishes "permanent evil; as in, the first evil deed whose role in the story is to tell us they will always be a bad person." This directly contradicts Derek's whole redemption arc throughout the movie. Whether or not he succeeds at that is another matter, but the very fact that he's able to become The Atoner at all and break ties with his former gang disputes the idea of him becoming permanently unsympathetic.

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