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Taking The Bullet / Live-Action Films

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Taking the Bullet in movies.


  • Parodied in 22 Jump Street, where in a callback to the first film, Schmidt tries to take the bullet for Jenko just like Jenko did for him. He ends up diving past him while Jenko gets shot in the arm.
  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Rawhide interposes his body to take the poisonous mini-starfish a Red Lectroid spat at Buckaroo. He ends up dying as a result.
  • Air Force One
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    • When a MiG fires a missile at the title aeroplane, one of the escorting F-15 pilots flies his aircraft directly in the way, destroying it and dying while saving everybody on board the 747. In a subversion, shrapnel from the destroyed jet tears up the tail of Air Force One, making it unable to continue flying. Although this is still less damage than the missile itself would have caused.
    • A more traditional example happens earlier, when a cowardly official gets his heroic redemption.
  • One of the Haters in the Christian movie Revelation from the Apocalypse film series sacrifices himself to block a bullet Willy Spino fires at his half-sister Helen Hannah after he receives the Mark of the Beast and ditches the wheelchair. Her protector, though, gets better.
  • Batman: The Movie (1966). Batman and Robin are trapped on a buoy with a torpedo coming toward them and there's an explosion. Later:
    Robin: Gosh, Batman, the nobility of the almost-human porpoise.
    Batman: True, Robin. It was noble of that animal to hurl himself into the path of that final torpedo. He gave his life for ours.
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  • During the final shootout in Black Angel Vol. 1, Mayo jumps in front of Ikko when Chiaki shoots at her: taking the bullet intended for Ikko.
  • In Big Game, Agent Morris took the bullet intended for president before the start of a movie, leaving him with shrapnel dangerously close to his heart and a foul opinion about Moore, leading directly to his Bodyguard Betrayal.
  • In the Oscar scene of The Bodyguard Kevin Costner's character does this for Whitney Houston's character.
  • Archie Moses (Adam Sandler) takes a bullet for Jack Carter (Damon Wayans) in Bulletproof. He gets better.
  • When Rabid Cop Mannix challenges Captain Thunderbolt to a duel, fellow Bushranger Alan Blake goes in Thunderbolt's place, and ends up shot dead.
  • Subverted in an intense scene of The Cavemans Valentine when Romulus tries to do this for his daughter. He throws himself on top of her as a badguy starts shooting. She then continues firing at the bad guy while pinned under her hysterically yelling father. Romulus, seconds later: "Are you shot? Am I? We're alright? We're not shot? You're alive? I'm alive? How can that be?"
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  • In Chai Lai Angels: Dangerous Flowers, a flashback reveal that Lotus was Widowed at the Wedding when her new husband leapt in the way of a sword thrust intended for her. This is why she is so down on the idea of romance.
  • Parodied in City Hunter: The Cupid's Perfume: Poncho sees a bad guy taking aim at Kaori, and dives... only to push Mr Skippy in the way at the last second.
  • Parodied in City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold when Jon Lovitz' character takes a bullet for Billy Crystal's character, shares some tearful last words with his brother, and black out... then immediately revives upon discovering the bullet was a blank.
  • In Crash, Daniel, the locksmith tells his young daughter that she has an invisible cloak that protects her from bullets, because she's too scared to sleep after hearing gunshots. Later, she jumps in front of him to protect her father from a gunman with her invisible "invincible cloak". In reality, the gun had been loaded with blanks, unbeknownst to the shooter, and the little girl lives, convinced that she really saved her daddy's life.
  • The Dark Knight:
    • Jim Gordon pushes the mayor out of the line of fire when the imposter honor guard turns their weapons on him and is shot in the back. Turns out he was faking his death in order to capture the Joker.
    • Batman makes the Tumbler jump in front of the rocket that Joker shoots at the armored car carrying Harvey Dent, which in turn severely damages the car and prompts Batman to deploy the Bat-Pod to continue his pursuit.
  • Though it never happens, in Dave, Ving Rhames' job is essentially to take a bullet for Kevin Kline. He later admitted he'd do it for Dave as well.
  • Dead Again in Tombstone: When Col. Boomer throws his cavalry sabre at Alicia. Dr. Goldsworthy steps in the way and is impaled instead of her.
  • Kate takes a dodgeball strike for Peter in the final match in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story. Complete with slow-motion dive and long, drawn-out "nooooo".
  • Sue Storm in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. She was trying to use her forcefield to stop the javelin thrown by Doom on the Silver Surfer, but it went right through it since it was formed from the energy of the Surfer's surf, which was shown to be able to go right through it earlier in the movie.
  • Occurs near the end of the Fatal Fury motion picture. The newly resurrected god of war immediately launches a blast of fire at the nearest person, which happened to be Mai... until Andy leaped in front of her... until Laocorn leaped in front of ''him'', screaming his sister's name. Powerful... but marred by the vaguely irritating fact that Sulia had already died to redeem him.
  • Agent Sam Simms (Sinbad) jumps in time to take a bullet for the President's son in First Kid.
  • In The Golden Child, Action Girl and Love Interest Kee Nang takes a crossbow bolt for The Chosen One, Chandler Jarrell. Fortunately, she's Only Mostly Dead, giving Jarrell an additional incentive to rescue the Golden Child.
  • Hot Fuzz, Danny takes a blunderbuss shot to the chest to protect Nicholas. He gets better.
  • In a manner of speaking, this is how Randy Quaid saves the Earth in Independence Day, by flying his plane into the "barrel" of a Death Ray and causing it to backfire into the ship.
  • Clint Eastwood's Secret Service agent from In the Line of Fire, at the last possible second, figures out who the assassin is, and jumps in time to take a bullet which was aimed at the President.
  • Played straight... no, inverted... no, subverted in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Gay Perry takes a bullet for Harry, allowing him to save the day and the girl! But then, the girl notices a bullet hole in his jacket. Turns out that the bullet went straight through Perry and still hit Harry. But not to worry! The bullet hit a paperback book in his pocket! Aaaaand went straight through. Harry sticks his finger through the hole in the book, wiggles it, pokes at the hole in his chest, then faints.
  • The Last Starfighter. When Centauri sees the Zandozan's arm aiming the energy pistol at Alex, he moves in front of Alex and takes the energy bolt. He's mortally wounded by the shot and dies after returning Alex to the Starfighter base. At the end of the movie it's revealed that Centauri wasn't killed, but was just dormant while his body healed itself.
  • Lethal Weapon 4: Butters does this during the final shootout when a Chinese soldier is about to shoot Murtaugh from behind. Thankfully, it's not fatal.
  • In Lizzie Borden's Revenge, Bobby jumps in front of Vanessa as Lizzie swings the axe at her, and wears the axe head in his chest.
  • In Machete Kills, former villain Osiris redeems himself by taking a disintegrator ray meant for Machete.
  • In The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc a French knight takes an arrow for Joan of Arc.
  • In Mortal Engines, even though he's shown to be shocked at Valentine's actions, the commander of the Beefeaters gives his life as a human shield when Fang tries to kill Valentine.
  • Murder at 1600 has this happen at the end of the film, with a disgraced Secret Service agent protecting the President from his National Security Advisor. It was a weird movie.
  • Painkiller Jane: Jane leaps in front of Watts when gunmen attack them near the end, getting hit by one bullet meant for him. While he is hit, it's Just a Flesh Wound, while this spars him from worse.
  • The Prince and the Pagoda Boy:
    • Ly Cong Uen's superpower is apparently making people do this for him. Of course, given the fact that he survived the events of the film historically, his survival was a given:
    • An officer takes a spear thrown at Uen, and before dying remarks that it does feel better to save a life than take one.
    • Uen's love interest somehow appears to take an arrow meant for him at the climax.
  • Rancho Notorious: During the final gun battle, Altar steps in front of a bullet Wilson fires at Frenchy. However, due to the chaos of the gunfight, no one realise what she has done or that she has been fatally wounded till after the fight is over.
  • In Romasanta: The Werewolf Hunt, Theresa and Manuel are embracing when, over Manuel's shoulder, Theresa sees Antonio aiming a musket at him. Still hugging him, she spins around so that her back is to Antonio and she wears a Silver Bullet to the shoulder.
  • Marion in Robin Hood - czwarta strzała tries her best, but the bolt out of Ginsburne's crossbow hits Robin anyway.
  • Subverted in The Scorpion King. Cassandra, upon prophesizing the future, realizes that the Scorpion King is most likely to die at the hand of one of Mammon's archers, and that it is about to pass, attempts to take the arrow for the Scorpion King, but instead, he ends up getting her out of harms way, thus getting himself hit anyways. Luckily, he's just that tough and survives.
  • In Shaft (2019), at the end of the final battle, Gordito tries to shoot JJ to spite Shaft II, but Shaft II jumps in front of JJ and shoots Gordito out of a window to his death. Shaft collapses from his wounds, but later recovers in a hospital.
  • In Skyfall, Mallory takes a bullet meant for M, although he survives. It helps to prove he's more badass than he first appeared and worthy of being her successor.
  • In Spider-Man 3, Harry is impaled by Venom with his own glider saving Peter, much like his father was while trying to kill Peter.
  • In Stargate, Daniel Jackson takes a staff blast meant for Colonel O'Neil, and dies. Ra resurrects him with his sarcophagus.
  • Inverted in Supertweak, where a Secret Service agent jumps in front of the President. The shooter just waits for him to hit the ground, and then takes the shot.
  • Welsh saves the life of Pvt. Doll in this fashion in The Thin Red Line (1964).
  • Tenet has a Mind Screw variation due to the use of temporal inversion. The Protagonist sees Neil lying dead in front of him, but his body is inverted so when The Dragon goes to shoot the Protagonist as well, the bullet instead flies out of Neil (who comes back to life) and back into his gun, as Neil took the bullet for the Protagonist in normal time. This leads to a Bittersweet Ending when Neil leaves toward the end of the movie, knowing that this inevitable death is waiting for him in his own timeline.
  • In Turner & Hooch, the title dog saves the hero by Taking the Bullet, with obvious consequences.
  • In Two of a Kind (1983), Zack shields Debbie as a robber fires his gun, and is instantly killed. He gets better.
  • In Winnetou III, the villain fires at Old Shatterhand who stands up to warn soldiers who are coming to help them fight the bandits — they don't know they'll get attacked immediately, but Winnetou leaps on the bullet. It's too close to his heart and an Army doctor can't remove it.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): Antiope takes a bullet for Diana during the battle on the beach.
  • X-Men Film Series
  • In Young Sherlock Holmes, the villain shoots at Sherlock, but his love interest Elizabeth takes the bullet, and her death ends up being a Freudian Excuse for Sherlock's famed status as a bachelor.

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