Spoiler alert: everybody dies

ReAnne Utemark

A recent slew of movies I watched left me a little shot down.

Movies like “The Departed,” “In Bruges,” “Burn After Reading” and “Titanic” all end with almost everybody dying in really violent ways. There are a lot more – see anything by Quentin Tarantino – but these come to mind as movies with a bit more mass appeal.

Oh, I should perhaps mention the spoiler alert, at least for “Burn After Reading.” It is still at the expensive theatre, so I feel bad about ruining the ending. If you haven’t seen the others by now, then you probably aren’t going to see them and it doesn’t really matter.

Also, “Titanic” was more of a sick joke than anything else.

The other three movies seem to either be completely absurd or very dramatic. Some are both – like “In Bruges.” In this movie, two assassins are sequestered to Bruges while they await orders for a job. During their wait, Ray, one of the assassins, reveals that on one of his first jobs, he shot a small boy and was understandably struggling with morality, meets a girl who sells drugs to movie stars, gives a bunch of coke to a dwarf who turns out to be racist and likes prostitutes. Turns out, the other assassin, Ken, has to kill Ray and can’t do it, so Ken puts Ray on a train and sends him away. Through a series of events, Ken jumps off a bell tower, Ray ends up back in Bruges and gets shot, the assassin boss shoots the dwarf, but thinks he shoots a boy and, consequently, shoots himself… I suppose it makes more sense if you actually see the movie, but not much.

“Burn After Reading” was just a weird series of misunderstandings involving Russians, Brad Pitt being an idiot, plastic surgery, online dating and John hatcheting someone in the middle of a Washington, D.C. street.

I have no idea what that was about.

In “The Departed,” everyone just gets their brains blown out.

The appeal of this kind of movie is unknown to me. I have always maintained that mass appeal movies are, for the most part, an escape mechanism. The movies of the early twentieth century took people away from war, economic downturn and a variety of other grim realities. I think some movies should still be an escape into heroics or romance or comedy. A movie experience should be whatever the viewer wants to get away from whatever they are facing in the cool darkness of a movie theatre, not to face their own mortality in the most gruesome ways possible.

Maybe John is an escape for some people.