Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Showdown #3: Most Badass

Welcome to the third "episode" of Showdown! The past two posts had been about pitting three different movies for the title of The Manliest Movie, safe to say with Fight Club [1999] taking home the title, we can put that little debate to rest, at least until another contender comes along.

As requested by a friend of mine, Ninja, this episode of Showdown will include something from Terminator 2: Judgment Day [1991]. However I am not going to use the movie as a whole, not for now at least. No no. This, is a Showdown for the Most Badass (Badassest?) movie character. Now, you might be wondering just how being a badass differ from being manly, kindly read on and find out for yourself.

And no, it has nothing to do with having an unshapely or dysfunctional backside.

The case for T-800

Premise: Skynet's previous attempt to alter history by taking Sarah Connor out of the equation failed, but that won't stop them from giving it another try. This time around however, the target is John Connor himself instead of his mother. Not missing any trick, the human resistance also dispatched a representative to protect John, this time sending a machine instead of flesh and bones; a reprogrammed T-800.

Just How Badass is He?

#1 Cool, Cold and Steely
A determining factor of a badass is how cool that person is, someone who does everything his way and looks cool doing it. Very slow to anger, but very efficient when fighting back. Sounds like T-800? Hell yeah!

He pretty much showed us how badass he is from the very moment he made his first appearance. He showed up butt-naked, while most of us cringe at the idea of being naked in public, the dude simply struck a cool pose and stood up without a care in the world.

And he proceeded with letting a guy stick a cigar to his pecs without so much as an "Ouch!" But that doesn't mean the he's a pushover in anyway at all. By the time the biker realised that the T-800 is one bad motherf*cker, it was too late. Even with his cybernetic dong flapping about, the T-800 won the barfight with ease. The biker had to give up his clothing, his handgun, boots and his Harley just to stay alive.

And T-800's transformation to a total badass was complete as he walked out of the bar with George Thorogood's Bad to the Bone playing in the background.

The best part? That was only the beginning. That whole scene was kind of a teaser showing us that this T-800 guy is going to push the Badass Meter to the limit.

Sure enough, this guy can take multiple gunshots anywhere on his body without so much as a flinch.

Okay, maybe he did flinch a little towards the end. But that was due to a SWAT team (about a dozen of them) blasting away at him with their SMGs! You gotta be a Platinum Badass to even still be standing after all that.

Most people would flip out and completely lose their sh*t when somebody open fire at them, whereas the T-800 would coolly dispatch them all. It is also interesting to note that he didn't actually kill anyone, especially after he took an oath to John Connor. One badass scene that exemplified this was at the gates of the Pescadero State Hospital. The guard denied them entry, and the T-800 nonchalantly shot him in his legs...

... and broke the window to get the gates open, even though the door was literally one step away. Why? 'cause he's a badass! He can do whatever the hell he wants as long as he looks cool doing it.

Oh, also he took some ammo clips from the guard, casually walked back to a horror-stricken John Connor, calmed him down by saying,

"He'll live..."

Things went from bad to worse for those working night shift once the T-800 got inside. Sure, he swore he wouldn't kill anyone, but he never said anything about not giving anyone a concussion.

Are you ready for pain?
'cause that's exactly what he did.

Some of his most badass moments however, was when he met his match, the T-1000. In fact, you can even say that the T-1000 is a little bit more than a match for him, since the dude was of a more advanced model. If the T-800 is a PlayStation 2, that would make the T-1000 a PlayStation 3.

The T-800 knows that, but that doesn't stop him from taking on the T-1000 heads-on anyway. Needless to say, he looked cool while doing it.

He lost round one, so what? He just got back up eager for more...
After that, we get treated with some of the best chase scenes in movie history... and not to mention totally badass.

Remember the way he cocked his rifle? He's so cool, he only needed one hand to do it;

... Also remember when he ran out of ground?

No problem!
And this is how the T-800 won round two.

... With a bang.

Your move, fucker...
Fast forward to the later scenes in the movie, the T-800 showed us how much more of a badass he could be. When the police surrounded the Cyberdyne headquarters where our heroes were, the T-800 took it upon himself to scare the crap out of them by using a minigun...

... and when he ran out of ammo, he switched to a freakin' grenade launcher! Understandably, every single policemen ran for cover, presumably wetting their pants in the process.

It was only when he stopped did the police returned fire. But the T-800 didn't care, he calmly walked away whilst reloading the grenade launcher. Humans are hardly a challenge for him. Like I said earlier, his badassery really shines only when he faced the T-1000, which he did again in the climactic scenes in the movie.

And this has got to be one of my favourite; in the final car chase scene, our heroes couldn't shake off the T-1000 from their tail, even after crashing the helicopter he was riding in. The T-1000 got on a tanker truck instead and chased them with it. He finally caught up with them, both trucks going bumper to bumper at high speed. By then, I suppose the T-800 got fed up and did this...

He freakin' shot the T-1000 at point blank... With an M-16!!

Now, the T-800 had plenty of other cool scenes, but for the sake of saving time, I chose only some of my favourite moments.

#2 Toys
Not even a badass can do without some toys, and allow me to recap some of them here.

Vehicle: Our T-800 rides a 1990 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy FLSTF, forever haunting me with a desire to own a Harley myself someday.

1990 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy FLSTF
Weapons: A handgun, a Winchester shotgun, a minigun, a grenade launcher and an M-16. Try handling all of those weapons in a week before you should even think about taking on this T-800.

#3 Catchphrase(s)
Okay, the T-800 may lack some things in this department. He's just one of those traditional badass who mostly let his actions speak for him. But when he does open his mouth, a majority of words that came out are memorable.

"No problemo"
"I'll be back"
... and of course,

"Hasta la vista, baby..."
Alright, I think that's pretty much all for the T-800. Let's not waste any time and go straight to his opponent.

The case for John McClane

Premise: When a New York cop flies to Los Angeles to spend Christmas with his estranged family, he got more than what he bargained for when terrorists seize the office building where his wife works. Not one to let himself be pushed around, he hides in various parts of the building while fighting the terrorists at the same time, guerrilla style.

Just How Badass is He?

#1 Cool, bold and Witty
Now, John McClane is a badass of a different breed. Most action heroes are known for their badass feat, others for their quips. McClane is one of the few who does both.

He's the kind who would kick your ass, and smug about it while you're on the ground, writhing in pain. One good example was when he killed his first terrorist...

Not only he broke the guy's neck, upon realising that they guy's shoes were too small for him, McClane hurled an insult to the terrorist, to his dead body. If McClane thinks you're a douche, it doesn't matter if you're dead or alive, he's not gonna show you any respect at all. But that's okay, because he's a badass.

What kind of insult was it? Don't worry, I'll include it in the Catchphrase section.

Not one to let a dead terrorist go to waste, he decided to joke around with the other terrorists first. Which was really a ballsy move, because it was pretty much McClane's way of saying "You gotta do better than that".

"Now I have a machine gun. Ho-ho-ho..."
That kind of begs another question, why was he barefooted to begin with? What kind of badass doesn't even own a pair of shoes?

An undershirt, dress pants, no shoes and a handgun... A strange combination indeed.
But like I said, the dude's from a different kind of breed of Badasses. He does not equip himself with an arsenal of weapons, he simply worked with what's around him, using makeshift weapons if he needed to. Kind of like a badass McGyver. Although he doesn't feel the need to make everyone feel intimidated by him.

Make no mistake, though. McClane's the real deal once you get on his bad side. Notice how he maintained mostly a calm demeanour when he's off-duty, like how he was when he got off the plane until he got to the party.

It wasn't until when terrorists seized control of the Nakatomi Plaza did he gained a heightened sense of everything; physical prowess, confidence, sarcasm, and homicidal tendencies.

Although it's not hard to see why anyone would be merciless towards those particular terrorists, who could easily pass as one of those guys from Wham!

By '88, it was too late to start a New Wave band, so they turned to terrorism...
You could say that it was survival instinct, after all three guys were chasing him down with machine guns. But  I'll be damned, McClane's way of getting out of danger was really about putting himself into other kinds of danger;

Like manually stopping huge blades of fan...
Potential death by falling...
Potential death by simply getting stuck in the ventilation shaft with no means of rescue...
Potential death by crushing, in the elevator shaft...
Potentially bleeding to death...
And again, potential death by falling...
Why? 'cause he's a badass! He doesn't have to explain himself. Granted, he did all those things because the situation called for it, but the point here is that he kept falling from one danger to another and yet his pants remained spotless in the crotch area.

Even more impressive, not once did he lose his wit, there was always at least one smart quip to go with every situation. Nothing more badass than a man with a sense of humour especially in the face of danger, huh?

Welcome to the party, pal!
#2 Toys
Vehicle : Aside from a limousine, none. But they're inside a building, so other "vehicles" here are limited to elevators and staircases.

Weapons : A beretta handgun, a sub-machine gun, some C4 explosives, a computer monitor (?) and the freakin' elevators!

#3 Catchphrase(s)
This is where McClane takes the cake. In fact, it wouldn't be too much to say that a bulk of his appeal comes from his one-liners.

[stealing Tony's shoes]
John McClane : Nine million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister.

[McClane tries to call up police]
Supervisor : Attention, whoever you are, this channel is reserved for emergency calls only.
John McClane : No fucking shit, lady. Does it sound like I'm ordering a pizza?

John McClane : Let's see you take *this* under advisement, jerkweed!

John McClane : [huddled in an air vent, recalls his wife's invitation] "Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs..."

[while crawling through a narrow ventilation shaft]
John McClane : Now I know what a TV dinner feels like.

[McClane, before jumping from the roof]
John McClane : I promise I will never even THINK about going up in a tall building again. Oh, God. Please don't let me die.

John McClane: Geronimo, Motherfucker!

John McClane: Who's driving this car, Stevie Wonder?

And the Die Hard staple;

"Yippee-ki-yay motherfucker!"
Alright, without further ado, it's time to pick a winner. Now, I know from the start that people are going to have doubts about this particular showdown. It may sound like it was a mismatch, pitting a cyborg against a human. But I assure you, it's perfectly legitimate. We are looking at the most badass of characters in movie history, so whether you're flesh and bones or steel and screw is irrelevant. It all comes down to their ability to make us gawk at their badass-nes.

With that being said, the winner of this Showdown is;

The T-800, although I should maintain that I think they're both total badasses, with both films being some of my all-time favourites. However, I would imagine that if we put the two characters in the same room together, the T-800 will have a slightly more dominant presence.

So yeah, I think the T-800 rightfully won, albeit only by a hair.


Zulfahmi said...

Thanks Mamu... This is awesome~

T-800 is totally the most badass!
I'm glad u mentioned the way he cocked the rifle with only one hand... That's the most memorable move for me... Awesome post!

Why dont u compare the bad guys next??

T-1000 is certainly a tough one to beat...

Mamü Vies said...

I'll try to think of something. Although at the moment I haven't much to say about the T-1000.

But I'll keep that in mind :D

Anonymous said...

A showdown of villains would be awesome. Some suggestions:

The Joker (The Dark Knight)
Hans Gruber (Die Hard)
Doc Ock (Spider-Man 2)
Hannibal Lecter

Mamü Vies said...

Sure, I'll think of something. Just gotta be sure that they are in the same league if I were to pit any of them together.

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