Do you think it's a cop out when villains do a 'suicide by hero'?


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Thread: Do you think it's a cop out when villains do a 'suicide by hero'?

  1. #1

    Do you think it's a cop out when villains do a 'suicide by hero'?

    I'm writing a screenplay, and couldn't decide if my main villain should live or die. I was thinking maybe she could be he could be arrested and then choose suicide by hero. Basically it's when the villain has the chance to be arrested quietly, but gives up that chance, and would rather die. Here are some movie examples, but maybe I should give a violence warning:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcdLD17vA-E

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTHdDxOKX68


    But do you think that that type of villain defeat is a cop out, because it kind of says the writer wanted to have their cake and eat it too, like the villain being arrested wasn't good enough, and the writer didn't have the guts to have the hero kill him in cold blood, so it it having your cake and eat it too therefore perhaps in a way?

  2. #2
    Member Rojack79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    I'm writing a screenplay, and couldn't decide if my main villain should live or die. I was thinking maybe she could be he could be arrested and then choose suicide by hero. Basically it's when the villain has the chance to be arrested quietly, but gives up that chance, and would rather die. Here are some movie examples, but maybe I should give a violence warning:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcdLD17vA-E

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTHdDxOKX68


    But do you think that that type of villain defeat is a cop out, because it kind of says the writer wanted to have their cake and eat it too, like the villain being arrested wasn't good enough, and the writer didn't have the guts to have the hero kill him in cold blood, so it it having your cake and eat it too therefore perhaps in a way?
    It honestly depends on both the hero and the villain. Oh and the story itself. If you can right it in such a way as to have the suicide come out of nowhere or just make it feel gut renching for the villain then it'll work out just fine.
    This might not be my best work but that just means there's room to improve.

    I don't have a big ego. You just can't comprehend my greatness!

  3. #3
    Member Sir-KP's Avatar
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    Ask your hero why wouldn't they kill the villain in cold blood and why the villain prefer suicide than mercy or punishment.

    If your hero is a 2m tall hunk, gun-totting, coming in hot full of vengeance, then obviously it wouldn't be right if he hesitate or suddenly become a wise sage in front of the villain, refuse to kill him and stuff.

  4. #4
    This is a reflection of life. How many terrorists are shot by the police? It is just a dramatic way to suicide.

    No-one wakes up one morning and decides to become a terrorist, they have to be in a susceptible mind frame and psychologically worked over until they have a weird view on life.

    I don't know if you can work enough detail into your script to demonstrate the illogical reasoning behind such behaviour.

    Good luck
    BC

  5. #5
    You know what's a cop out?

    Being a writer and asking strangers on the internet to make fundamental plot decisions for you.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  6. #6
    I'm going to say yes, only because 'suicide by cop' seems to be a bit lazy from a writing standpoint. I would think that the character going out in a blaze of glory, or turning good at the last moment to give his or her own life would make for a better bit of storytelling and such.

    -JJB
    ​"Strong convictions precede great actions....."

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  7. #7
    Okay thanks. What's the difference between going out in a blaze of glory compared to suicide by cop, aren't they kind of the same thing for a lot of villains?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Okay thanks. What's the difference between going out in a blaze of glory compared to suicide by cop, aren't they kind of the same thing for a lot of villains?
    A 'suicide by cop' type of death for the character more or less serves no one but himself/herself. The character dies, and that is that. Less loose ends, but a lot less substance. If the character goes out in a blaze of glory while dying (as I have done with a character in one of my series), it gives the potential of late character development and/or closure, can further the plot with a better ending, and can set up future stories (if in a series) with the ramifications of going out in said blaze.

    It's also a lot more satisfying as a writer to give a character in a similar situation a better send-off.

    -JJB
    ​"Strong convictions precede great actions....."

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  9. #9
    Member Rojack79's Avatar
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    Honestly the one and only way I could see the suicide by cop angle working is if the big bad is extremely selfish. Make us feel like they're going to go out on their terms and only their terms. Otherwise blaze of glory works every time.
    This might not be my best work but that just means there's room to improve.

    I don't have a big ego. You just can't comprehend my greatness!

  10. #10
    I have known many, many criminals, and the idea of one killing themselves to avoid a prison stint is primarily fantasy. The same character defects that made them criminals also precludes the scenario.
    Essentially, habitual criminals are self-centered, ego-centric, and generally selfish. Why do rapists kill their victims? Because prison is inconvenient.

    I would more believe your villain thinking himself invincible and getting killed by the cops, but bad people committing suicide by cop is inconsistent.

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