Monday, November 11, 2013

When the Credits Roll: The Consequences of the Hero's Actions

This weekend, I watched the Christmas classic "Jingle All The Way" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and comedian Sinbad (for the third time since October...) and I realized, something has been bothering me, but until now I never knew what it was.

It wasn't until the ending scene of "The Avengers" that I heard a movie point out that the heroe(s) was never held accountable for their actions. This got me thinking: are the good guys in movies really as good as they seem? When do they reap the consequences of their actions?

Finally! A hero faces justice!!! MWAHAHA!!! er....sorry

So today I'd like to dive into this very subject, starting with the above mentioned classic, "Jingle All The Way". (For those of you who may not have seen it since it's 1996 release, SPOILER ALERT!! Also, shame on you.)

****Let me point out this is purely for fun, I'm not taking this too seriously. Again, this is just for laughs. It is just a movie after all****

I'm going to start by listing off the rap-sheet that I noticed in chronological order, so feel free to correct me in the comments if I missed any of the hero's "heroic feats".

Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger), our beloved hero:
-Speeding / Driving on the shoulder of the freeway
-Destruction of police property
-Assaulting a minor
-Knowingly purchasing counterfeit goods
-Impersonating an officer
-Breaking and entering
-Assaulting an officer
-Resisting arrest
-Destruction of public property

Outside of these, he's just not a great person in general. The following aren't necessarily broken laws, but still not really admirable traits: The guy puts work before his family constantly, he rigged a city-wide contest so that his son would win, after HE screwed up and forgot to buy his kid a Christmas present! Then in a deleted after-credits scene, we find out he didn't get his wife anything either!!

I probably even missed a few, but you get the idea. Now I'm no policeman, but I have to think that with all of these crimes added together, this guy's gotta be looking at 10-15 years, MINIMUM! And what happens in the end? Because he's dressed in the costume of an American icon, he's carried away on the shoulders of the everyday citizen. I ask you, is this really how we want to treat such incredible offenses?

Sh*t just got real, eh Howie?

And we haven't even mentioned Myron (Sinbad) the frickin' TERRORIST!! Am I the only one who thinks its a bit out of the ordinary that the guy threatens to blow up a radio station with a BOMB!? Oh, and then later actually BLOWS UP a police officer?! Yeah something tells me in post-9/11 times, that's gonna get you more than just a slap on the wrist before you strut home to your son with that action figure, pal.

And don't forget the attempted kidnapping of a child, and actual kidnapping of the actor who was supposed to play Dementor in the Christmas Eve parade! This guy is an openly admitted psychopath! He flat-out tells a group of police officers that he is mentally unstable! Sure he may be able to use that in court, but even if he gets off with an insanity plea, there is no way his son is staying in that household. Way to bust your ass for that toy, Myron, but you'll be going away for a long time.


I'm sure you could do this for every movie under the sun, but this is just one example of how unsettling the consequences of the hero's actions can really be. Don't get me wrong, I'll never stop watching this movie, but its always fun to go all detective on this kind of stuff. But if you ask me, the REAL hero of this movie is the mother. Not only does she not commit one single misdeed against the law or her family, but she consistently defends her husband and puts her butt on the line while she KNOWS that he is consistently screwing up! That woman wins the award of movie hero in my book.

Have you ever noticed the hero being rewarded for severe law-breaking in your favorite movie(s)? Sound off in the comments below!