Cinema’s Ultimate Jerks is a celebration of the characters we love to hate in the movies we love to love. They’re not always the main villains – and sometimes they’re not even villains at all – but they’re definitely jerks. So let’s take a look at this week’s jerk-off, and why they find themselves forever enshrined here in the hall of shame. Since this week we’re talking about Anakin Skywalker, this is your spoiler warning for the 1999 movie, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the 2002 movie, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and the 2005 movie, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
Okay, I know. The Star Wars Prequels. Dead horse, right? Everyone has already talked about how Star Wars was ruined forever and ever and ever, Amen. Everyone has already talked about how all of their childhoods were destroyed in unison the first time that Jar Jar Binks stumbled onto the screen back in ’99. We know. George Lucas is the worst. He redefined disappointment and destroyed one of the greatest villains in cinematic history. Or whatever. So this might seem like I’m punching down here, throwing Anakin Skywalker into the annals of Cinema’s Ultimate Jerks history. But we all need an easy day sometimes, kids. I’m saving Ellis from Die Hard for Christmas, so it had to be this.
Anakin Skywalker sucks. Let’s just make that one clear right from the get-go. He suuuuuuucks. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the monotone-voiced jerk-child Anakin in Phantom Menace, or the sand-hatin’ lovebird Anakin in Clones, or the fanny-fit throwing emo knob in Sith. None of them are any good. There’s no good Anakin. He’s just a ringpiece of the highest order in each of the prequel movies, and that’s a shame because knowing that the future Darth Vader started life as such an unmitigated toss-pot really does take the shine off of his villainy in future episodes somewhat. I mean, let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater here – I’m not one of those people who thinks the prequels ruined everything forever. They’re just a bit rubbish. Anakin Skywalker though, both as a character and as performed by two cringe-worthy actors, sucks the big one.
The Phantom Menace introduces us to the future Darth Vader as a little slave child working for a sleazy flying alien thing that says, “Annnnniiiiiii” a lot. I think he’s supposed to be a comedy character but I’m not really sure. I mean, nothing says “hilarity” quite like a slave trader, but who knows? Anyway, Liam Neeson reckons young Anakin has potential to train as a Jedi thanks to him having loads of magic Jedi bugs in his blood or whate- you know what, you don’t need the horse-shit backstory. Long story short, he’s a little dickhead. All he does for the entire film is talk in a super annoying monotone voice, and somehow, implausibly, save the day at the end. Oh yeah, also he takes part in these super dangerous pod races that last for like a billion hours and consist of nothing but CGI and Anakin saying, “Woooo” in a robotic voice, like Ric Flair after a stroke. It’s rubbish. Honestly, it really is.
Anyway, fast-forward to the next movie, and child actor Anakin has been sent to bed with no supper, only to be replaced by the equally appalling Hayden Christensen playing the now grown up Skywalker. For as bad as Anakin was in Phantom Menace, you can at least give poor little Jake Lloyd a smidgen of leeway because he was a child actor. Hayden Christensen was a fully functional real life grown up when he disgraced our screens as a teenage Anakin Skywalker, and that’s a little tougher to swallow. Sporting a hair-cut that made him look like a rejected character model from the worst Final Fantasy game ever, and delivering insipid lines of dialogue like, “I’m haunted by the kiss that you should never have given me,” without a hint of self-awareness or irony, most of Anakin’s scenes in Clones wouldn’t seem out of place in a straight-to-DVD parody.
Revenge of the Sith is the best of the prequel movies, but that’s a little bit like saying that Hodgkin Lymphoma is the best cancer to get. You’d probably still not choose to endure it, would you? It’s chock-full of appalling acting and dialogue, and an overuse of CGI makes it all feel totally weightless. Plot-wise, Anakin has started having dreams about his wife Padme dying, so he does what anyone else would do in this situation, and murders a bunch of children to try and save her life because a guy that might as well have had a neon sign floating above his head saying —–>I’M A BADDIE!<—– told him it might help. It’s so stupid. Eventually, Padme – the usually reliable Natalie Portman in her worst ever performance – realises that her husband is a complete ballbag, and then just dies of grief (!?), and Anakin gets his arms and legs chopped off by Obi-Wan. Actually, the ending is pretty radical. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how Darth Vader was born.
Anakin: You are so… beautiful.
Padme: It’s only because I’m so in love.
Anakin: No. No, it’s because I’m so in love with you.
Padme: Then love has blinded you?
Anakin: Well… that’s not exactly what I meant.
Padme: But it’s probably true.
Comeuppance: Obi-Wan calls Anakin out on his bullshit but he ain’t listening, so they have a massive rumble and Obi-Wan cuts his arms and legs off and then he gets set on fire and then his skin burns off and then he gets turned into a robot. It’s probably a bit overkill, but then it actually makes for quite cathartic viewing after watching him twitter on about sand and shit for six hours of movie time. Anyway, after all those bad things happen to Anakin, the now officially evil Emperor tricks Anny into believing that Padme died at his hands, and Anakin, grief-stricken from murdering the woman he loved and a bunch of innocent kids and nearly murdering his best friend, shouts “Noooooooooo!” like a comical space Frankenstein.
Jerk-off Rating: If his jerkiness were a spaceship it could do the Kessel Run in eleven parsecs.
Tune in next week – same jerk time, same jerk channel – to find out who’s next in our celebration of cinema’s ultimate jerks. And if you’ve not quite had your fill of cinematic jerk-offs, check out #3 Cypher (The Matrix), #7 Carter Burke (Aliens), or #10 Peter Parker (Spider-Man 3).
A Cinema’s Ultimate Jerks Christmas: Harry Ellis, Dwayne T. Robinson, & Dick Thornburg from ‘Die Hard’
Cinema’s Ultimate Jerks is a celebration of the characters we love to hate in the movies we love to love. They’re not always the main villains – and sometimes they’re not even villains at all – but they’re definitely jerks. For this very special Christmas edition of Cinema’s Ultimate Jerks, let’s look at three of the biggest douchebags in cinematic history and see why they find themselves forever enshrined here in the hall of shame. It’s the final ever Cinema’s Ultimate Jerks, and for Christmas we’re inducting Die Hard’s Dick Thornburg, Deputy Dwayne T. Robinson, and Harry Ellis.
Die Hard is of course the world’s greatest ever Christmas movie, and so it seems only fitting that Die Hard would include not one, not two, but three of the biggest pricks ever to grace the silver screen. Die Hard‘s Unholy Trinity of cinematic buttheads is legendary and is actually one of the reasons that the late, great, totally-wrong-on-this-one Roger Ebert gave the movie a mediocre review. You can’t win ’em all, Rog. Anyway, Hans! Bubby! Let’s talk about Harry Ellis.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. If you’re a wholesome, well-to-do individual like myself then you’ll have sung those lyrics in your head, imagining little children building snowmen, chestnuts roasting on a roaring fire, and Christmas cheer and good will to all men (and women, before you start). But did you know that snow is also — in the parlance of our times — a slang name for the illicit street drug, cocaine? Also known as Charlie, Sniff, Blow, Bugle, Bernie’s Gold Dust, Auntie Nora, Bizzle, Colombian Marching Powder, and Great Uncle Charles’ All Natural Nose Tonic, cocaine is an illegal substance enjoyed by deviants and ne’er-do-wells looking to talk a lot of shite or balance out an incredible amount of alcohol consumption with an upper. Anyway, Harry Ellis, the dirty little bastard, can’t get enough of it.
John McClane — a New York, straight shootin’ cop who’s not afraid to play by his own rules — hates Ellis about 0.4 seconds into his first meeting with him, when after arriving at his wife’s Christmas party at Nakatomi Plaza, he gets an eyeball of Ellis sticking his beak into a big fat slug of Paradise White. Harry claims he was just making a phone call, but John — with eleven years of experience as a detective — instantly recognises all of the sniffing, fast talking, jittery behaviour, and the fact that Ellis still has some cocaine in his moustache, as signs that Ellis has just been having a cocaine. But John isn’t at the Christmas party to bust people for having a big one on pay weekend, and so he lets it slide. Just this once.
Ellis, overconfident thanks to his indulgence in too much Star Spangled Powder, tries to show his dominance as the office alpha male by insisting that John’s wife Holly show her husband the Christmas gift that he bought her. “It’s a Rolex,” he proclaims, proudly, with a massive, bearded grin. Honestly, what an absolute flannel this guy is. I firmly believe that John McClane could have grabbed Ellis by his fucking beard right then and there and launched him directly through the window to his death, and there’s no jury in the land that would have convicted him. Not even in one of the weirdo states. Defenestration would be a mercy killing. Not for Ellis, but for everyone else who ever had to suffer spending one moment in his odious presence.
Anyway, once it all goes pear-shaped and terrorists take over the Nakatomi Plaza, Ellis starts freaking out a little bit. Maybe it’s the fact that armed gunmen have taken him hostage, or maybe he’s just desperate for another toot of Peruvian Flake, but instead of trusting John McClane to sort all the baddies out like everyone else has, ol’ Harry decides to take matters into his own hands. He requests an audience with the terrorist leader, Hans Gruber, in which he pretends to be an old friend of John’s who can talk him out of sneaking around in the shadows, capping terrorists, and generally fucking up Hans’ plan.
“Hans! Bubby! I’m your white knight!” he audaciously claims, utterly oblivious to the fact that he’s in way over his head. He tries to convince Hans that they’re equals, only while Hans prefers to conduct his business via the medium of threat and/or violence, Harry does his deals with the stroke of his pen. If looks could kill, Hans’ burning hatred for Ellis would have zapped a hole through his head there and then, but ever the consummate professional, Hans hears him out. Harry’s plan, it seems, is to negotiate with John, get him to stand down, and then what? Have a glass of champers with Hans and his mates, before going back to his apartment to watch Home Alone 2 like a normal person on Christmas Eve? Honestly, I don’t think he thought this plan through. But then maybe his drug-addled brain wasn’t capable of rational thought.
Say no to drugs, kids.
Jerk-off Quote: “I’ve watched 60 Minutes, and I say to myself, they’re motivated, they’re happening, i.e. they want something. Maybe it’s because you’re pissed off at the camel-jockeys or maybe it’s the Heebs, Northern Ireland, it’s none of my business. I figure, you’re here to negotiate. Am I right? Hey, business is business. You use a gun, I use a fountain pen, what’s the difference? Let’s put it in my terms: you’re in a hostile takeover, you snatch us up for some green mail, but you’re not expecting some poison pill to be running around the building, am I right? Hans! Bubby! I’m your white knight.” — Harry Ellis, who negotiates multi-million dollar deals for breakfast, dealing with some Eurotrash.
Comeuppance: Unfortunately for Harry Ellis, he’s not the master negotiator that he thought he was, and his plan to make friends with his terrorist captors and get out of the situation unscathed all goes to pot. Hans Gruber — in a move so crowd pleasing that it almost turns him into the hero of the movie — shoots Harry Ellis dead when John McClane refuses to give himself up. And nobody, not even his mum, turned up to his funeral. Maybe. They don’t deal with that bit in the movie. But come on.
Jerk-off Rating: Beards didn’t come back into fashion for like twenty years after Die Hard. Coincidence? I think not, bubby.
Somewhere around the time that Ellis is first starting to wish he had another gram of gear on him to get through the terrorism-related pickle he’s found himself in, Deputy Dwayne. T. Robinson of the Los Angeles police department turns up outside the Nakatomi Plaza to stick his oar in. Up until this point, John McClane has been chatting via walkie talkie to another cop named Al, and the two have been getting along swimmingly. But for whatever reason, Deputy Dwayne T. Robinson takes an instant dislike to John McClane, and pretty much whatever the situation is, he finds some way to point the finger of blame towards him.
Has there ever been a worse policeman that Dwayne? You’d think that when you’re facing an incredibly volatile terrorist threat with dozens of potential civilian casualties, you’d be glad of a little help from an inside man, but Dwayne seems determined to fuck the whole thing up from the moment he arrives on the scene. The bullet-riddled terrorist corpse that John McClane threw from the window to get Al’s attention? He reckons it’s probably a stockbroker who got depressed. Now, admittedly, depression is a difficult thing to quantify, and it’s hard to predict how exactly it may affect the person afflicted by it, but I have a hard time believing that depression could cause one to repeatedly shoot themselves in the chest and then leap face-first through a high-rise window. It’s a slightly ostentatious method of suicide, wouldn’t you agree?
Still, who knows? I’m not a big city psychiatrist. Maybe that’s a common occurrence in Los Angeles. Far be it from me to dispute Dwayne’s credentials when it comes to dealing with such matters. Maybe Dwayne just wanted to look at it from all angles? To be thorough? So what about when a SWAT team tries to enter the building, terrorists mercilessly gun them down and leave them bleeding on the pavement, and then John McClane drops C4 down an elevator shaft to blow up the baddies responsible before they can do any more damage? Surely, that tells you McClane must be fighting the good fight? Well, Dwayne gets annoyed that McClane blew out of a bunch of windows with the blast. Say what you will about Deputy Dwayne T. Robinson, but he’s a man who respects his glass. Don’t fuck with windows on this dude’s watch.
But hey, we don’t know Dwayne’s history. Maybe his parents were artisan glassmakers and that’s why he was so upset about McClane brazenly destroying dozens of windows just to save a few lives. I mean, these guys knew what they signed up for. It’s a dangerous job. People die. And if a handful of people have to die so that we don’t have to make an uncomfortable phone call to the local glazer, then so be it. That’s why Dwayne is the Deputy — he has to make the tough calls that we wouldn’t be able to.
Jerk-off quote: “We don’t know shit, Powell. If there’s hostages, how come nobody’s come to us with ransom demands, huh? If there’s terrorists in there, where’s their list of demands? All we know is that somebody shot your car up. It’s probably the same silly son of a bitch you’ve been talking to on that radio.” — Deputy Dwayne T. Robinson, PhD in Psychology, master glassmaker, enormous twat.
Comeuppance: None, really. His authority is fairly quickly diminished once the FBI arrive, but then I guess he probably gets it back when the FBI are blown up minutes later. At the end of the movie it looks like he’s about to read John McClane the riot act, but then some shit goes down and it never happens. Presumably he got fired for being absolutely shit at cop stuff, and he now lives on the street, drinking liquor from a brown paper bag, recanting tales to all and sundry about how shit Die Hard 5 was.
Jerk-off Rating: I’ve seen all three The Naked Gun movies, and every Police Academy, and he’s still the worst cop ever.
Not long after Deputy Dwayne T. Robinson arrives to make John McClane’s life more difficult at every single turn for no apparent reason, the press gets wind of something sinister being afoot at the Nakatomi Plaza. Enter Dick Thornburg, slimeball reporter extraordinaire, played with effortless sleaze by the wonderful William Atherton. Long time fans of Cinema’s Ultimate Jerks may recall that William Atherton was featured as our very first entry thanks to his role in Ghostbusters as EPA Agent Walter Peck. How fitting, then, that he should be our final inductee, too.
If there’s one profession that Hollywood has historically been unkind to more than any other, it’s journalism. Reporters are frequently presented as self-centered, arrogant, sell-their-own-mother-for-a-story types, and hey, maybe that’s all true. I don’t know any actual journalists. Maybe they’re all massive whoppers. And whoppers don’t come any more massive than Dick Thornburg. The guy practically oozes out of the screen in every single scene he’s in, like some sort of creature out of The Ring, only ginger, and much shitter. As far as Cinema’s Ultimate Jerks inductees go, Thornburg is the gold standard.
Perhaps his greatest crime against taste and decency occurs in the latter half of the movie when, after discovering John McClane’s name thanks to Harry Ellis’ ill-fated attempt to coax John out of hiding via Walkie Talkie, he travels to McClane’s home address and threatens the Mexican house-keeper with the INS if she doesn’t let him in to interview McClane’s infant children about potentially never seeing their parents again on Christmas Eve. Wow, that’s quite a sentence. There are so many things wrong in that sentence that it’s tough to know even where to begin, but Dick couldn’t give a flying fig. He wants a Pullitzer, and if he has to threaten a few Mexicans and ruin a couple of kids’ Christmases to get what he wants, then so be it. Hey, sounds like another guy we all know.
Anyway, once the terrorist incident has been dealt with via a combination of gunshots, explosions, and cheesy one-liners, John McClane and his wife, Holly, are about to head home for a well deserved glass of sherry when Dick decides that now is the perfect time to poke his nose in and ask for an interview. Holly, bemused with Thornburg thanks to the whole threatening the housekeeper and putting her traumatised children on national television thing, scones him with a right hook, live on camera for all the world to see, proving that Santa really is out there, listening to our appeals for physical violence against smug people we don’t like. Thank you, Santa.
Jerk-off Quote: “Look. You let me in right now, or I call the INS. Comprende?” — Dick Thornburg, proving that douchebaggery sounds the same in every language.
Comeuppance: After getting jarped by Holly McClane on live television, he gets a restraining order against her and remains a massive prick, ready to reprise his role in the alright-but-not-as-good Die Hard 2. Eagle-eyed viewers will also notice that the wedding ring that Thornburg is wearing in the first Die Hard is nowhere to be seen in the sequel, and so it’s safe to assume that his wife learned of his pending induction into the annals of Cinema’s Ultimate Jerks history, and got out while the getting was good. Nice work, girl.
Jerk-off Rating: We’re ending Cinema’s Ultimate Jerks with him. He’s the peak. Or the trough, depending on how you look at it. He’s an arsehead, okay?
Thank you to everyone who enjoyed – or read, at least – our celebration of all things jerk-off here with Cinema’s Ultimate Jerks. It’s been a blast to write, but all good things must come to an end. If you’re in the mood for a little more cinematic dickheadery, then check out the previous entries into the hall of shame right here. Enjoy your Christmas, and whatever you do, leave being a jerk to the professionals.
Cinema’s Ultimate Jerks #23: Paul Krendler from ‘Hannibal’
Cinema’s Ultimate Jerks is a celebration of the characters we love to hate in the movies we love to love. They’re not always the main villains – and sometimes they’re not even villains at all – but they’re definitely jerks. So let’s take a look at this week’s jerk-off, and why they find themselves forever enshrined here in the hall of shame. Since this week we’re talking about Paul Krendler, this is your spoiler warning for the 2001 movie Hannibal.
The Hannibal Lecter movies have never left us wanting when it comes to characters that are so loathsome and detestable that we want to see real bad things happen to them, real soon. While many of these characters are of the criminally insane variety and fall more in line with what we traditionally think of as baddies when it comes to serial killer movies, there’s also a few that are ostensibly on the side of good, but are absolute hoops regardless. The Silence of the Lambs gave us the hideous Dr. Fredrick Chilton, but Hannibal ups the ante with Ray Liotta’s Paul Krendler.
Paul Krendler has a bit part in The Silence of the Lambs (and it’s not Ray Liotta) as a big-shot bureaucrat that’s about to make life very tricky for Clarice Starling unless she catches serial killer Buffalo Bill, and quick. Of course, she does and we never hear from Mr. Krendler again. By the time Hannibal rolls around, Clarice (and it’s not Jodie Foster) has had the shine taken off her career somewhat after a couple of botched jobs in the public eye, and her bosses are coming down on her hard. Paul Krendler is one of those bosses, and he seems to take immense pleasure in making Clarice squirm at every conceivable opportunity.
As the movie goes on, we learn that Paul Krendler is a prick to Clarice because years previous she rebuffed his romantic advances and told him to go home to his wife. Romantic advances might be overselling it somewhat, because he strikes me as the “any hole’s a goal” sort of scumbag, and it’s more likely than anything that he just wanted a bit of slap and tickle behind the back of her indoors. Anyway, obviously, since Clarice didn’t want to partake in any of these adulterous shenanigans, Paul Krendler now has to be an absolute peenarse to her because those are the rules. Someone doesn’t want to have sex with you? Thou shalt make their life a misery forever more. I think that’s one of the Jerk-Off Ten Commandments.
Anyway, not only is Paul Krendler massively incapable of dealing with rejection like a rational human being, it later turns out he’s also not above taking bribes from the dregs of society in exchange for his clout within the FBI. Mason Verger – an evil millionaire paraplegic – isn’t too fond of everyone’s favourite cannibal psychiatrist, and he’s sending Paul Krendler money as part of an international effort to lure Hannibal out of hiding so he can have him killed for revenge. You see, years previously, before Hannibal was ever arrested for his naughty eating, he came across Mason Verger and wasn’t a big fan. Mason liked to abuse children which Hannibal thought of as incredibly rude, so he drugged the millionaire with hallucinogens, convinced him to peel his own face off, and then snapped his neck leaving him alive, but paralysed. Yikes. Mason is none too happy about his current state of affairs thanks to Lecter, and wants Paul Krendler to publicly destroy Clarice Starling for whom Hannibal has a bit of a thing, knowing it’ll capture the good doctor’s attention and then they can strike.
Paul Krendler spends most of the rest of the movie being an obnoxious jerk to Clarice, while also taking money from a known pedophile and all round rotter with nary the briefest hint that he might feel remotely bad about any of it. He’s a scumbag crooked FBI agent, and that’s just something we simply can’t stomach. If you can’t trust the FBI, who can you trust? Paul, you’ve let the FBI down, you’ve let America down, and most importantly, you’ve let me down. On the plus side, by the end of the movie, we don’t really need to worry about that any more.
Paul Krendler: I always figured him for a queer.
Clarice Starling: Why would you say that, Paul?
Paul Krendler: Well, all this artsy-fartsy stuff.
Comeuppance: Okay. Sometimes baddies get their just desserts and sometimes they don’t, but when it comes to making sure that what goes around comes around few movies deliver quite as resolutely as Hannibal. Hannibal Lecter foils Mason Verger’s plans to murder him, and, of course, murders him right back. It turns out that Lecter isn’t totally okay with Paul Krendler trying to destroy Clarice Starling’s career just to get one over on him, and so he prepares a little revenge. Before I wind up slipping into some sort of lazy, “Revenge is a dish best served cold,” pun, let’s just get down to brass tacks: Hannibal kidnaps Paul, drugs him, lobotomises him, cuts the top of his skull off with a surgical saw, picks bits of his brain out, stir fries them, and feeds them to Krendler while he’s still alive. On the plus side, Paul does seem to enjoy his meal.
Jerk-off Rating: Honestly, all that horrible shit above happens to him and you don’t even feel sorry for him at all.
Tune in next week – same jerk time, same jerk channel – to find out who’s next in our celebration of cinema’s ultimate jerks. And if you’ve not quite had your fill of cinematic jerk-offs, check out #22 Draco Malfoy (Harry Potter), #19 Byron Hadley (The Shawshank Redemption), or Iosef Tarasov (John Wick).
Cinema’s Ultimate Jerks #22: Draco Malfoy from the Harry Potter Series
Cinema’s Ultimate Jerks is a celebration of the characters we love to hate in the movies we love to love. They’re not always the main villains – and sometimes they’re not even villains at all – but they’re definitely jerks. So let’s take a look at this week’s jerk-off, and why they find themselves forever enshrined here in the hall of shame. Since this week we’re talking about Draco Malfoy, this is your spoiler warning for the all of the Harry Potter movies.
POTTER! If there’s one thing worth celebrating about Draco Malfoy it’s that he somehow perfected the fine art of turning someone’s surname into a slur through nothing more than the sheer venom in which he enunciates it. POTTER! He really spits the name every time he says it, and in many ways it’s impressive that he could furnish so much hatred into two innocuous syllables that, spoken by anyone else, are a form of identification and little more. But it’s also part of the reason why we’re talking about him today, because Draco Malfoy is a bully and we can’t abide bullies here. He’s a cockgoblin of the highest order, and someone needs to bring him down a peg.
Harry Potter is a ten year old boy who one day finds out that he’s a wizard, and he’s cordially invited to attend Hogwarts wizarding school to hone his craft with other wizards, and giants, and shapeshifting cats, and all kinds of mad shit – mostly in the form of rubbish early 2000s CGI. His invitation to Hogwarts is a life-saver, because Harry Potter is an orphan who lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousin and they’re an absolute shower of bastards. Awful people the lot of them. The uncle is played by that gay old dude from Withnail & I, I think. Anyway, all Harry wants to do is go to wizarding school, do all of his homework, study hard, pass his wizarding A Levels, and then get a soul-crushing middle management job for which he’s marginally overqualified and equally underpaid, but not by enough to do anything about it. That’s life, kids, and having a magic owl or, you know, saving the wizarding world from the greatest evil it has ever faced isn’t going to change that fact. Better grow up and accept it.
Anyway, Harry Potter, as it happens, is some kind of legendary kid because back when he was a baby, Lord Voldemort – who is basically magic Hitler – tried to murder him in his bed after icing his mum and dad, but somehow the baby survived the attack – spoilers, it was magic – and now everyone reckons he’s the key to stopping the aforementioned Big Daddy V and his minions of evil. While that makes him popular among some students, it also makes him the target of bullies, because that’s how it is at school. Honestly, I remember the time a kid at our school got some new shoes that were different to everyone else’s, and man, that was some dark shit that went down. It was like the end of fucking Platoon – people throwing shit about at him and all sorts. School is a warzone. You’ve got to play it smart, and Harry makes a bum decision when he makes friends with Ron Weasley who is not only ginger, but poor too. Double whammy. Hey, I have nothing against redheads, but let’s face facts, aligning yourself with one at school is fucking suicide because even cool gingers get tortured.
So the ringleader of the bullies at school is Draco Malfoy, whose mum and dad are rich and well-to-do, and he’s from a distinguished line of pure blood wizards. That’s important, apparently, because some wizards aren’t down with the whole wizards and humans gittin’ it on thing, which, you know, seems a bit uncool to me. Maybe it’s an allegory for something. Who knows? Since he’s rich and everything, he thinks that gives him free reign to do whatever he wants, and whatever he wants to do is pick on young Harry Potter every chance he gets. He’s basically every stereotypical rich prick bully you’ve ever seen in a movie, all rolled into one vile, white haired, smug little shit that you just know would end up abusing his power in his job at the zoo if he didn’t come from wealth. But he’s rich so in reality he’d probably go on to join the Conservative Party, putting some sort of mad slogan like, “£300 million a week for the NHS if you all punch yourself in the kidneys” on the side of a bus. He’d probably end up as Prime Minister, too, the jumped up little cu
Anyway, so he’s a prick, and everyone knows it, and for the next eight movies, literally all he does is bully Harry Potter in slightly different ways. Most of it involves saying, “POTTER!” with a ferocity usually reserved for usage of the words on George Carlin’s list of things you can’t say on TV, but he also does some other shit, like mocking Harry’s dead parents, and joining a cult and agreeing to murder the kindly old headmaster of the school. Actually, that last one is probably a bit much, but then he never actually goes through with it. He’s a coward, you see. All bullies are cowards, or so the old adage goes. He runs his mouth, and he talks a big game, but really he’s just a scared little boy, pushed into a life of villainy that he’s ill-prepared for by his ruthless, overbearing father. He’s still a twat though.
Jerk-off Quote: “No one asked your opinion, you filthy little mudblood!” – Draco Malfoy, basically being a magic racist.
Comeuppance: He doesn’t really get any, which totally annoys me. I’m still not over it, actually. It pisses me off. He’s a rotten egg, and he picks on everyone for seven years of school, then he joins the Death Eaters and tries to kill Dumbledore, and then he has a big fight with Harry and Co. in which one of his friends actually gets burnt alive and dies, and nothing happens. He just gets to live his life. Doesn’t even get grounded, probably. Honestly, if I was Harry I’d have let him burn, but no, Harry rescues Draco from certain death and lets him go despite all of his shenanigans. Ultimately, it’s this that saves Harry’s life, as Draco’s mum helps him in exchange for information regarding the fate of her son, so I guess it all works out, but The Deathly Hallows Part 2 would be like 14% better if someone just shivved Draco in the back at some point with a filed down tootbrush.
Jerk-off Rating: If you had a dose of polyjuice potion you’d neck it, transform into Draco Malfoy, and then immediately punch yourself in the John Thomas.
Tune in next week – same jerk time, same jerk channel – to find out who’s next in our celebration of cinema’s ultimate jerks. And if you’ve not quite had your fill of cinematic jerk-offs, check out #18 Rene Belloq (Raiders of the Lost Ark), #8 Simon (True Lies), or #4 Glenn Guglia (The Wedding Singer).
A Lost Comic?: Remembering Emily Carroll’s ‘Anu-Anulan and Yir’s Daughter’
‘Pokémon Gold and Silver’ Remain the Greatest Pokémon Games
‘Bee Simulator’ Review: Pleasantly Droning On
Tom Hanks Soars in ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’
20 Years Later: ‘Pokémon Gold and Silver’ Took the Franchise’s Next Evolutionary Step
Games that Changed Our Lives: Brotherhood in ‘Pokémon Gold’ and ‘Silver’
‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’: The Force is Strong in this One
Ranking The Legend of Zelda Series
‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ Undoubtedly Ranks as the Best Horror Film of All Time
With ‘Scream 5’ Announced, Let’s Look Back at ‘Scream 4’
The Top 50 SNES Games
‘Earthbound’ is one of the Weirdest, Most Surreal Video Games
150 Greatest Horror Films of the 20th Century (Top 20)
150 Greatest Horror Movies of the 20th Century (Top 140)
- Film2 weeks ago
With ‘Scream 5’ Announced, Let’s Look Back at ‘Scream 4’
- Game Reviews3 days ago
‘Donkey Kong Country’ – Still as Difficult, Demanding and Amazing to This Day
- Film2 weeks ago
History of ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ – the Movie that Made me a Movie Buff
- Games8 hours ago
‘Pokémon Gold and Silver’ Remain the Greatest Pokémon Games