Saturday, March 31, 2007

10 Movie Assholes

Today's List is a tribute to those characters designed to tweak our collective ires. I give you film's greatest assholes.

The List's standard spoiler warning: This List involves discussion of film plots, and contains plot spoilers. If you have not seen the films listed below, proceed at your own risk!

Private Hudson in Aliens
Asshole Credentials:
Asks Hispanic crewmate Vasquez if she's "ever been mistaken for a man;" later hurls a racial slur at her: "Right, right, someone said alien, she thought they said illegal alien and signed up." Loses his shit when things go bad, despite earlier bragging about his team being "ultimate bad asses." Makes an art form of hysterical complaining.
Most Assholish Line:
"Well that's great, that's just fuckin great man. Now what the fuck are we supposed to do? We're in some real pretty shit now man . . . That's it man, game over man, game over! What the fuck are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?"

Sully in Commando
Asshole Credentials:
Part of a mercenary cadre intent on returning corrupt dictator General Arius to power in the Central American republic of Val Verde. Kidnaps retired commando John Matrix's daughter to facilitate assassination of incumbent Val Verdean presidente. Makes unwelcome advances to comely air hostess Rae Dawn Chong. When she rejects, he calls her a "fucking whore." Is told by Matrix that he's "a funny guy," and will be killed last. Matrix lied.

Most Assholish Line:
See above. What an asshole.

Richard "Dick" Thornburg in Die Hard and Die Hard 2
Asshole Credentials:
Endangers cop John McClane's wife Holly when he interviews their family on live television while she is being held hostage by a band of German thieves. When said terrorists begin destroying police ordnance with a rocket launcher, his immediate reaction is to ensure that his cameraman got it on tape. Later, causes widespread panic at Dulles Airport when he phones in a report from an airplane and reveals that terrorists have control of the airport. Is tasered for his troubles.
Most Assholish Line:
Thornburg (assholishly trying to get an upgrade from economy to first class): "You cannot put me near that woman."
Stewardess: "Excuse me?"
Holly: "He means he's filed a restraining order against me. I'm not allowed within 50 feet of him."
Thornburg: "50 yards. So by keeping me in the section you are violating a court order. I can sue you and this airline. That woman assaulted me and she humiliated me in public."

Vicomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons
Asshole Credentials:

Agrees to seduce, and thereby ruin, both the virginal Uma Thurman and the prudish Michelle Pfeiffer in exchange for one night with the evil Glenn Close. Forgets his first lesson from 'Asshole 101' and falls in love with Pfeiffer. Restores himself to pure assholedom by cruelly abandoning her at the behest of Close.
Most Assholish Line:
"You see, I have no intentions of breaking down her prejudices. I want her to believe in God and virtue and the sanctity of marriage, and still not be able to stop herself. I want the pleasure of watching her betray everything that is most important to her. Surely you can understand that."

Juror No. 3 in Twelve Angry Men
Asshole Credentials:
Once beat his 9-year-old son for running away from a fight. Hasn't seen said son, now an adult, for two years. Wants to send a young man charged with murdering his own father to the electric chair, despite a paucity of compelling evidence. Prone to emotional outbursts, which he blames on another juror's "goading."
Most Assholish Line:
"It's these kids - the way they are nowadays. When I was a kid I used to call my father, 'Sir'. That's right . . . 'Sir'. You ever hear a kid call his father that anymore?"

Tyler Durden in Fight Club
Asshole Credentials:
Believes in the Nietzschian credo that "whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger." Is the alter ego of Edward Norton's unnamed narrator. Is more attractive, charismatic, and capable than Norton, and knows it. Has loud, raucous sex with a suicidal Helena Bonham Carter. Holds extreme anti-captialist and anti-consumerist beliefs. Masterminds "Project Mayhem," a plot to destroy the headquarters of the major credit card companies. Lays a trap to have Norton / himself castrated if he tries to stop him.
Most Assholish Line:
"All the ways you wish you could be, that's me. I look like you wanna look, I fuck like you wanna fuck, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all the ways that you are not."

Mister Pink in Reservoir Dogs
Asshole Credentials:
Refuses to tip waitresses. Bums cigarettes off others, despite having quit. Complains that his alias sounds too much like "Mister Pussy" and that he would prefer to be "Mister Black." In a diamond heist gone wrong, kills three cops - but no "real people." In the aftermath, tries to escape with the diamonds while everyone else in his crew is either dead or dying. Doesn't get far.
Most Assholish Line:
"I'm very sorry the government taxes their tips, that's fucked up. That ain't my fault. It would seem to me that waitresses are one of the many groups the government fucks in the ass on a regular basis. Look, if you ask me to sign something that says the government shouldn't do that, I'll sign it, put it to a vote, I'll vote for it, but what I won't do is play ball. And as for this non-college bullshit I got two words for that: learn to fuckin' type, 'cause if you're expecting me to help out with the rent you're in for a big fuckin' surprise."

Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski
Asshole Credentials:

Connects everything to the Vietnam War, of which he is a veteran. Pulls a gun on a bowling opponent he suspects of cheating, because "it's a league game." Refuses to bowl on Saturday because he converted to Judaism from Polish Catholicism when he married his (now five years ex-) wife. Interferes in a ransom delivery in a doomed attempt to keep the money for himself. Attacks a corvette with a baseball bat on the mistaken assumption it was bought with said ransom money. Pulls a man off his wheelchair in an attempt to prove that he isn't really paralysed (he is). Takes exception to the price of his cremated friend's urn, and instead stores his ashes in a coffee can. Casts the ashes not over the Pacific Ocean, as intended, but over his best friend, The Dude. As The Dude says, "you're not wrong, Walter. You're just an asshole."
Most Assholish Line:
"Donny was a good bowler, and a good man. He was one of us. He was a man who loved the outdoors . . . and bowling, and as a surfer he explored the beaches of Southern California, from La Jolla to Leo Carrillo and . . . up to . . . Pismo. He died, like so many young men of his generation, he died before his time. In your wisdom, Lord, you took him, as you took so many bright flowering young men at Khe Sanh, at Langdok, at Hill 364. These young men gave their lives. And so would Donny. Donny, who loved bowling. And so, Theodore Donald Karabotsos, in accordance with what we think your dying wishes might well have been, we commit your final mortal remains to the bosom of the Pacific Ocean, which you loved so well. Good night, sweet prince."

Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby
Asshole Credentials:
Plays polo not because he enjoys it, but because of the social and business contacts it provides him. Is a racist and an anti-semite, and disapproves of inter-racial marriage. Is outraged when he discovers that his wife Daisy is having an affair with Jay Gatsby, despite the fact he has been keeping a mistress himself. When his mistress is accidentally killed by Daisy in a road accident, he tells her grief-stricken husband that Gatsby was responsible, leading to Gatsby's murder.
Most Assholish Line:
"I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and relax, while Mr Nobody from Nowhere makes love to your wife, is that it? Well, if that is it, Daisy, count me out. Because let me make myself clear. People begin by sneering at family life, and family institutions, and before you know it, we'll have intermarriage between black and white!"

Alec Baldwin as Blake in Glengarry Glen Ross
Asshole Credentials:
Is given a brief to threaten, browbeat and humiliate a group of desperate, down-on-their-luck real estate agents. Takes to the task with unusual relish and more than a little profanity. In fact, his 7-minute sustained torrent of assholishness is so breathtaking, it deserves to be reproduced here in its entirety:

Most Assholish Line:
"Fuck you. That's my name. You know why, mister? 'Cos you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight, I drove an eighty thousand dollar BMW. That's my name."

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Mike said...

I guess it depends how you define asshole, but for a few of those films I thought there were more reprehensible characters.

Certainly, Burke in "Aliens" is so damn slimey that he out-wankers Hudson, who at least goes down fighting. Burke is taken out when abandoning the others to (supposed) death, after just having attempted to impregnate a woman and a child with a hideous alien parasite so he could sell their bodies. Hmmm.

In "Die Hard", I'm going to have to go with Harry Ellis, the sleaze-ball coke-head who thinks he can outwit a stone-cold master criminal just by smarming up in an 80s way that just evokes Gordon Gecko.

For "Res Dogs" I'd take Mr Orange. But then he's an evil sociopath, and Mr Pink certainly holds the dickweed title, so that could make him more of an asshole. Again, a matter of definition.

Walter Sobchak and Tom Buchanan OTOH are OTM.

Boy, but there are so many others, huh? How about Bill Paxton in "True Lies"?

"I have to lie to women to get laid. And I don't score much. I got a really small dick, it's pathetic. "

"Would a spy pee himself?"

4:23 am  

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