The heroes in our favorite movies can be as close to our hearts as family members. Closer even, in some cases. You know what you did, Karen. Movie protagonists, however, serve as moral compasses, people who can do no wrong and always put their own safety on the line for lives of others. Seriously, they're so inspiring that action movies are often way better than their "Oscar worthy" counterparts. We can be so enamored with our heroes, we sometimes ignore the mass off-screen deaths in movies. The fact is, the good guys sometimes casually kill lots of random, innocent people for their own gain. Of course, these scenes are rarely shown in detail, but that does not mean their actions do not have consequences, and it goes to show that heroes can secretly be the villains of their own movies.
While everyone's aware of the enormous, inadvertent death tolls racked up by superheroes (Marvel's done it so frequently, it served as the catalyst for the events of Captain America: Civil War), there are plenty of examples in science fiction, action movies, and even comedies of good guys murdering countless strangers.
The Genie In 'Aladdin'Photo: Walt Disney Pictures
In the film Aladdin, the Genie is a figure of terrifying potency. As he says himself, he possess near-unlimited cosmic power. He expresses his magic through wishes, but he's bound by three rules: 1) he can't kill anybody, 2) he can't make anybody fall in love with anybody else, and 3) he can't bring people back from the dead.
While these may seem like hard-and-fast rules, it's pretty clear they're just the Genie's preference, not a statement of limitations. After the "no bringing back people from the dead" clause, the Genie adds "...it's not a pretty picture. I don't like doing it!" He doesn't like doing it. Not he can't, or won't, he just doesn't like it. The same probably holds true for his other "rules."
So when, exactly, does the Genie kill countless innocents? Why, after a big song-and-dance number, of course. See, after Aladdin wished to be a prince, the genie made him a prince. Literally. He didn't wish to appear to be a prince or seem to be a prince, so the Genie made him an actual prince. And that means subjects. All the people we see in the song "Prince Ali" are real, thinking humans. They have to be, otherwise Aladdin is prince of nothing.
So what happens to those people? Since we don't see them in any of the direct-to-video sequels, or the spin-off television series – and they're never mentioned again – we have to assume the Genie "unmade" them once Aladdin got the girl, and assumed the regal role he really wanted. That's murder, the same way it's murder if a parent kills a child.
- Photo: Universal Pictures
Who knew that the heroes of the Fast and Furious franchise were also responsible for scores of deaths on the streets of Rio de Janeiro? In Fast Five, Dom and Brian successfully complete a heist where they literally pull a massive bank vault through the streets of the Brazilian city, smashing through police cars, buildings, and bus stops. While Mia Toretto excuses some of the damage by saying, “Well the plan is working, you guys have every corrupt cop in Rio on your tail,” it’s safe to assume that as the damage and mayhem continued to mount, so to would the need for cops, both corrupt and otherwise.
Innocent civilians also faced injury or death when the vault smashed through the glass walls of a bank. While the movie would have you believe that everyone got away, how likely is it that a large group of people waiting in line at a bank were each able to dodge a several-ton metal vault careening towards them at 60 miles per hour? Exactly.
The traffic accidents Dom and Brian caused would have likely killed scores of people, and in the end, Dom turns the safe into a deadly wrecking ball, which he smashes into nine police cars before finally reaching the two SUVs driven by the actual bad guys. Who’s to say that all of those police officers were the corrupt cops Mia mentioned? Even if they stayed on the straight and narrow for their entire careers, they could have easily still found themselves on that bridge, and on the very wrong end of Dom and Brian’s murderous bank heist. Luckily, thanks to Dr. Randall Kelley, a physicist at Harvard, we now know that the physics behind their stunt would make the mayhem mathematically impossible.
- Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
It’s hard not to incur casualties when Earth is under attack from massive aliens rising out of the ocean floor, but Raleigh and his Jaeger, “Gypsy Danger,” don’t do anything to help mitigate loss of life during their battle with several Kaiju in the streets of Hong Kong.
While the city was already under attack before Gypsy Danger shows up, Raleigh (along with his fellow Jaeger pilot Mako) made matters much worse when they inadvertently took the battle from the water off the coast of Hong Kong to a naval port, and eventually to what seems to be center of the ciy. From using an oil tanker as a baseball bat, to smashing through highway bridges and giant sky scrapers, Raleigh, Mako, and Gypsy Danger ended the lives of a lot more than just a few Kaiju.
- Photo: Warner Bro's
This movie, and its group of heroes, could have easily made millions without causing mass off-screen deaths. In Ocean's Eleven, Basher Tarr (Don Cheadle) comes up with a genius way to fry the security system of their targeted casino, using an EMP device that he refers to as "a pinch" to shut off all the power in Las Vegas.
Tarr describes the EMP as a "device which creates, like, a cardiac arrest for any broadband electrical circuitry." While the plan goes off without a hitch, not one of the 11 criminal masterminds considers that an EMP detonation could cause literal cardiac arrest for anyone in the Las Vegas dependent on a pacemaker. Additionally, a total blackout in a city as large as Las Vegas could cause a potentially huge number of injuries and fatalities from road accidents, people dependent on life support in hospitals, and much more.
To make matters worse, the subsequent mayhem we see take place on the Bellagio casino likely happened on every casino floor in the city. Las Vegas probably erupted into a small war zone, and physical altercations surely would have accounted for a non-zero amount of casualties.