The season five finale of ABC’s drama “Lost,” which aired May 13, used a certain plot device I’d seen before, but was still very satisfying.
In the episode, called “The Incident,” Juliet Burke (Elizabeth Mitchell) professes her love for James “Sawyer” Ford (Josh Holloway) before falling into a pit with a nuclear bomb that failed to detonate. Juliet, Sawyer and other survivors on the strange South Pacific island had been trapped in the past (1977) and hoped that exploding the bomb at that particular location would change the future and save them all.
Juliet survives the fall, albeit severely injured, and hits the nuclear core with a rock repeatedly until it explodes. The screen goes white. Cliffhanger ending until next season.
That episode got me thinking of movies where a character, usually gravely wounded, dramatically explodes a bomb and sacrifices themselves or seeks revenge.
I can think of five good examples.
The first was “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” In that 1982 sci-fi movie, villain Khan Noonien Singh (played by Ricardo Montalbán) is gravely wounded after a space battle and detonates the Genesis device on his ship to destroy the crippled USS Enterprise and his rival Admiral James T. Kirk. Khan quotes from “Moby Dick” as he activates the bomb. “‘From Hell’s heart ... I stab at thee. For hate’s sake I spit my last breath ... at thee,’” Khan hisses. Very dramatic stuff.
Other examples of such climactic bomb explosions in movies include “The Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957), “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” (1970), and “Predator” (1987).
Convinced there were more examples, I reached out to the Netflix community on the Ning social network.
I got some interesting responses: “Black Sunday” (1976), “Aliens” (1986), “Dog Soldiers” (2002) and “Dead Snow” (2009). I even put “Black Sunday” and “Dead Snow” on my Netflix list.
Photo at top from “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”