Stop It, Hollywood: Far-Away Funerals

Certain actions (some of them completely absurd and unfounded in anything resembling real human behavior) have become so overused in movies and television that they’ve actually transcended being cliches to become parodies of cliches, which is just all sorts of weird. Even if a cease and desist can’t be issued against these incidents, the least we can do is complain about them. Here is an example of the kind of foolishness we never want to see on the big and/or small screen ever again.

G.I. Joe Funeral

You really have to be some kind of jackass to watch a funeral at a distance from the crowd. For one thing, is your pain involving the deceased so exclusive and all-encompassing that you’re too much of a jerk to share it with others who have come to pay their last respects? And for another thing, do you really think the people at the funeral don’t notice you watching from afar? And you know what they’re thinking, right? “What a jackass.”

It’s a frequent scene in a Hollywood movie, used to isolate the character and show that he’s so haunted by the death of whomever the hell – consumed with guilt, regret, what have you – that he has to drive off on his motorcycle even before the coffin is in the ground. The latest movie to include such a scene is G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, with the jackass in question being Duke, played by Channing Tatum. There he is, haunted by the fact that he couldn’t keep his promise to Sienna Miller to keep Joseph Gordon-Levitt alive, so haunted that he can’t join the rest of the crowd in their mourning. Duke ends up being even more of a jackass because Joseph Gordon-Levitt actually survived and transforms himself into Cobra Commander for no particular reason other than he’s now burned and ugly. What a truly stupid situation.

Watchmen Funeral

Another recent example is Watchmen, where everyone gets their own 20-minute flashback involving the Comedian – except for Rorschach, because he’s lurking in the treeline, as he’s wont to do. This is actually one example in which the character is allowed to be at a distance from the rest of the funeral attendees, because it’s Rorschach, and he apparently smells really bad, even in the rain. And he’s batshit crazy – no one likes a crazy person at a funeral.

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