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    High Morality Characters
    #1
    Senior Member roxics's Avatar
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    I don't know the right words to use to describe this, but it's when main characters get on their moral high horse and come down on other characters for killing someone or taking a certain action.
    In the end, the main characters on their moral high horse always end up being right because that's what the writers want. Whereas in reality, some of those b-characters would probably be right in killing that other character or taking that certain action.

    I tend to find myself agreeing with the b-characters more often than not. Usually their position is the practical position that's not motivated by emotion.
    It's the "hey why don't we just shoot this guy and end it now" position. But instead the main characters on their moral high horses say "no, we don't do that, because we're the good guys."
    Then of course the bad guys get away and crap goes down and eventually the bad guy falls off a cliff or something and the main characters never have to get off their high horse because they never pulled the trigger themselves.

    Personally I find this to be drama for the sake of drama instead of just getting things done. I can't help but feel like in real life, even the good guys wouldn't hold back and would pull the trigger to stop the bad guy or person trying to dominate the world. I can't relate to those main characters. They make me angry rather than be on their side.


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    Senior Member Batutta's Avatar
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    I think this says more about you and your view of the world than anything. However, if this is just used as a plot device to, as you say, let the bad guys get away, without any real thematic discussion about the opposing philosophies of the characters, then yeah, it can be lazy and just drama for the sake of drama. But if it's the whole point of the film, like, say in The Dark Knight, I don't see what the problem is. You might not agree with Baman's philosophy of never killing, but I think his position is clear and understandable, delineated with a lot of character work to back up the reasons for his position. Ultimately, this is all about context though. In some situations, it would be foolish not to put someone down. In others, there is a choice to be made. Your position seems to be, you should always kill that person. But I think that's because you've seen a lot of movies and know that if they don't, he's going to cause trouble later. Real life is not movies though and nobody can see the future, so if someone believes people should be killed for what they think they're going to do in the future, that's a slippery slope and it's best we not venture into that discussion for fear of getting too political.
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    roxics, can you give examples? Then we would be better to say, yes that was heavy-handed, or no you're big weirdo and stay away from me.


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    #4
    Senior Member vcassel's Avatar
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    I think in the case of Batman the real question (especially in the comics) is what the hell is wrong with Gotham's criminal justice system that these deranged killers keep escaping to cause murder and mayhem over and over again. Of course the actual answer to that is the narrative demands it or else there wouldn't be any Batman comics to sell. But I do wish comics would take more of a chance on introducing new rogues rather than rehashing the same ones ad nauseam.

    The Dark Knight is a small window into the decades old world of Batman, so Batutta is right that the audience sees Batman's no kill policy as understandable, but I don't think the comic Batman is morally justified in not killing the Joker no matter how he feels about it. And I say that as someone who doesn't even support the death penalty.
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    Senior Member roxics's Avatar
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    No I'm not saying it's the only right move ever to take out the enemy, but there seem to be a lot of good guy characters that can't seem to ever step outside of their own box.
    I wouldn't consider Batman one of those characters. I've watched Batman stuff my entire life and never noticed he never killed anyone until I was in my mid thirties. Which is either a testament to my poor lack of observational skills or that he always did things in such a way that I never felt he wasn't doing things the right way.

    As for examples, what spawned this particular thread is a couple Agents of Shield episodes. Spoilers for anyone who cares. But there is a character who is a female that is about 16-18, attractive and has been trained her whole life by the bad guys to be a killing machine. Martial arts and so on. She ends up cutting off the arms of one of the good guys and then taking some of the other good guys hostage and forcing them to fix a machine that will give her superpowers that are beyond nuclear weapon in power. The good guys have already been to the future and seen the world destroyed by this power. Literally destroyed, chunks of it flying everywhere. This girl ends up taking on about 10% of the power but can't handle anymore and starts freaking out. Even so she's extremely deadly. One of the other good guys tries talking her down, but before she can, the women who got her arms cut off ends up cutting the throat of this girl and killing her. Now all the other good guys are treating this woman like she's a murderer, despite the fact that this team has killed countless other enemies and henchman in masks for four seasons already without any issue at all. But now they suddenly care this girl has been killed and act like its murder when she was clearly a threat, even at only 10% power. She was a threat even before.

    I can't help but think that in real life, the call of any military general would be "take out the threat" in this situation.


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    Senior Member Justin Kuhn's Avatar
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    This made me think of a scene in Netflix's Lost in Space remake where they flipped a tanker trailer full of spaceship fuel and one of their guys was trapped under the it. The Robinson girl, a medical doctor in training, wanted to pull the trailer off him and try to save his life. The nominal leader of the colony wanted to place the fuel as first priority, because they needed it to get off the planet and save everyone. They pulled the trailer off to save the guy, which spilled the fuel as they knew it would, leaving them with a bare minimum of fuel and a wounded party member who died on the trip back.

    The leader character was written as a d-bag the whole time but in this case I totally agreed with him; pretty cut and dry.


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    #7
    Senior Member roxics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Kuhn View Post
    This made me think of a scene in Netflix's Lost in Space remake where they flipped a tanker trailer full of spaceship fuel and one of their guys was trapped under the it. The Robinson girl, a medical doctor in training, wanted to pull the trailer off him and try to save his life. The nominal leader of the colony wanted to place the fuel as first priority, because they needed it to get off the planet and save everyone. They pulled the trailer off to save the guy, which spilled the fuel as they knew it would, leaving them with a bare minimum of fuel and a wounded party member who died on the trip back.

    The leader character was written as a d-bag the whole time but in this case I totally agreed with him; pretty cut and dry.
    I saw that as well and agree with you. That's what I'm talking about, they write these secondary characters off like they are the ones we're supposed to hate and yet they are being practical and reasonable. What was even worse with that scene was that they could have only lifted the thing a few inches up to pull him out, but they lifted the whole trailer up onto all its wheels again, spilling all the fuel out to save him. Horribly executed and unrealistic.


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