The Bodyguard

I’m in geeky fan battle mode this morning, thanks to a podcast I discovered, The Launchpad Podcast.  The show hosts, Matt and Aaron, sound like they’re essentially younger counterparts of myself and my geeky buddies.  We’d disagree on some things (as fans tend to do), but on the whole, these guys know what they’re talking about, and they have a lot of fun with it.

This morning I’m catching up on this podcast, and they presented a situation for discussion in “Episode 17: The Bodyguard,” which I’d like to share with my readers for consideration.  Here’s the setup:

Darth Vader.  Batman.  Wolverine.  Hellboy.  Marv from Sin City.  RoboCop.  Judge Dredd.  The Predator.  The Terminator.

Pick one.  This character will protect you.

The other eight will try to kill you.

The characters chosen were picked specifically because they’re not so overpowered as to completely wipe the floor with the others, despite what anyone may think at first glance.  The show hosts also put forth the added bonus that you’ll fall in love with the one you pick, a la Kevin Costner, but hey… comedy.  I’m leaving that to the side.  It’s been far too long since I had a quality versus fan battle, so I’m more interested in comparing these fictional would-be gladiators.

Forget the (often highly inaccurate) YouTube videos you may have seen — and don’t bother linking to any of them.  None of those take into account a nine-way combat like this anyway.  So I want to know… which character do you pick as your protector, and why?  How does this character beat the others?  Discuss!

17 thoughts on “The Bodyguard

  1. Oh man.

    In pretty much every single superhero movie you are guaranteed a “shirt off” scene and plenty of times it makes the trailer as well. Henry Cavill had to basically become a body builder for his role as superman, all for one shirtless scene because (rightly enough) they felt he should look like he fills that superman suit. Chris Pratt played a character who didn’t have any super strength, who didn’t have any character traits that would say he was a big tough guy, he went through a total body transformation for the sake of one shot as well. Expect plenty of Hemsworth pecs when Thor is released, which will probably be sufficient enough as to have my sister carried out of the cinema in a bucket. It may be different, it’s not the same as objectifying women, but objectifying it is, you just haven’t noticed. Early in the 21st century human creativity was stifled under an endless deluge of crappy right wing adolescent wet dream superhero franchise sugar coated crap that rained down on us harder than a superheros six pack. How we desperately need a new hero to rise, one who can write, understand irony and provide complex and multilayered movies. Not another dude who pretends to fly.

    Coming back to your question: Batman. The Dark Knight is, absolutely, the daddy. And it’s because it transcends the genre limitations of the superhero movie. You could remove all the “superhero” elements and you’d still be left with a slick, violent neo-thriller. Batman is not some demigod; he’s a human being who realises by the end that he can’t win all the time. He can’t save everyone, and sacrifices and compromises are sometimes necessary to “win” (if the morally ambiguous resolution of this movie can be called a victory.” It has phenomenal performances, perfect pacing and genuine, honest-to-god depth. Not that fake depth that “gritty” superhero movies have when they hamfistedly attempt to tackle “issues.” The Dark Knight makes you ponder some truly weighty and relevant themes. “Batman – Mask of the Phantasm” was not only an excellent piece of 2D animation, it was also a much better Batman story than had been seen hitherto. The best thing about Batman 1989 is that it led to Batman TAS which in turn kicked off the excellent DC animated canon that ran up until Justice League Unlimited. Kevin Conroy is easily the best Batman. Batman TAS was able to create a much more complex series of characters than any of the live action stuff (which I do enjoy for the most part). Ledger’s idiosyncratic performance alone was also worth the ticket price, and the opening scene (bank heist where the Joker masterminds the raid and simultaneously disposes of his henchmen) is one of the all time best movie opening scenes.

    Sorry. I’m a little mardy today, It’s all those superheroe movies I’ve been watching recently…Playing catch-up… I think my problem is that the special effects now seem to be the only reason to go. The plot is usually less interesting than belly button lint, the heroes themselves are bland, and to be honest, I’m really just sick of Hollywood’s inability to make a film that hasn’t already been done before, in comic or remake form. The number of original concepts is just disappearing year by year. SF in book form s going down the same path…

    NB: I’ve got a special spot for Hulk. Hulk real superpower is knowing were the clothing store is that sells those trousers that don’t blow out the crotch when he hills outs. It’s weird they only sell trousers that do that and shirts as well…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ok, I think I’ve sorted out the spammer / duplication thing now. Again, apologies. But thanks for playing!

      I’m with you on your Batman arguments, especially the part about the best thing about the Keaton era being the Animated Series. Love that. Conroy is MY Batman, and I’ve told him so personally.

      That said… I’m still parcing my own arguments together. If there’s a snowball’s chance Batman can walk away from this, he’s an obvious top choice. I don’t know that he can survive Vader, though. If anyone could, it’d be the Bat, but still… That’s what I love about the extended rock-paper-scissors of this. So many variables.


    • And you are spot-on about all the modern hero films. It’s like they’re a dime a dozen now. Very few have any kind of heart to them. I was impressed with Spider-Man: Homecoming, for what it’s worth, and I’m not even a fan of Spidey. It’s just good.

      Liked by 1 person

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